Two rants in one

Over this past week, as I was setting up my little greenhouse, I was wishing for a better way to track the temperature changes in it.  I currently use a cheap little outdoor thermometer that also tracks the high and low for the last 24hrs, but in order to read it I have to actually go out to the greenhouse and open it up.  Not the end of the world, but not always a good thing either.

I was debating buying a cheap wireless outdoor thermometer ($16 @ Home Depot), which will do the exact same job but allow me to check the temp and last high and low without actually having to open up the greenhouse if I don’t want to (usefull for those cooler days).

But when it really gets down to it what I REALLY want is something that I can track ALL the temperature changes, preferably on a graph on my computer, so I can see whats really going on.

Ought to be simple enough to find a not expensive thermometer that’ll sync into my home’s wifi so I can track things on my computer……right?


I can find the above linked unit for $16.

I can find a USB dongle that’ll plug into my computer and track local ambient temp for $15.

I can find units that’ll record temperature and that you can then plug into your computer via USB to see the recorded data (forgot to save the link) for about $35.

But I cannot find a wifi connected unit that’ll sync to my home’s wifi, that doesn’t require an additional base station wired to the computer, and that doesn’t actually send the data out to a remote website that I then have to access if I want to see the data, for less than $100.  Hell, I’d even accept a small discrete USB plug for the computer if thats what it took.

LaCrosse makes a selection of units that ALMOST look like they’ll do what I want, at least one for less than $100, till you look closer and realize that they actually send the data out to a remote website to be accessed from there, plus it’s a paid subscription scheme if you actually want alerts.

AcuRite makes a unit for just over $100 that’s closer, but it still requires the (not small) base unit to be hardwired to the computer (via USB), plus the sensor isn’t exactly a small discrete unit.

I found THIS piece for $150 that looks like it might do what I want.  If I want to spend $150 (actually there’s a couple sites that have it cheaper, but none under $100)……

Digging deeper, there are a couple units that’ll sync to a wireless device (phone or ipad) that’ll do what I want…..but they sync via bluetooth, not wifi.  Nope, not what I want.

Digging through the smart home products there’s ONE, with a sensor for $50 and a small discrete USB base station for another $50.  All the rest are quite a bit more for the same sort of technology.

I don’t understand.

There are wireless cooking thermometers that’ll sync via wifi.  Which I’d be tempted to just buy, but in theory the greenhouse could drop below freezing (I hope it won’t, but it could) and those aren’t rated for that kind of temp. But the basic technology is there.

Heck, if you dig there are a BUNCH of instructions online about how to build your own, MANY of them coming in under $100 even buying the parts retail!  So clearly there’s a market.

Maybe at a later date, if I ever build the bigger permanent greenhouse I want, then I might be willing to drop a few hundred on a unit.  But right now I just want something cheap.


Rant 2-

I did most of the above linked searching on my ipad.   I didn’t think I was logged into my google/gmail account, but apparently I was.  Heck, I was using Safari, not any form of Chrome or any other google made browser.  But 24hrs after completing the above search I started getting spam from Sears.  See, one of the units I’d stopped to look at closer had been on Sears website.  Nothing unusual there.  But that was all I did, read the description.  I didn’t “place it in my cart” or do anything remotely like logging into an account there.  Heck, I don’t have an account on Sears (or Kmart) website.  But those spam emails the next day?  From Sears, stating “did you forget something?” and linking to the unit I’d stopped to look at.  W.T.F.?!  Clearly there’s something linking from the Ipad via google to the info gathering on sites.  But is it an Ipad/Apple setting?  Or a google setting?  I can’t find anything obvious.  Sure, I don’t have “private browsing” or whatever they call it turned on, but that shouldn’t be GIVING websites my email address just because I browsed through!