by Jennifer Allen on
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Whether you want to keep an eye on a musty basement, a cigar collection, a premium guitar, or your baby’s nursery, the line of Sensor Push monitoring products are a dead simple and super accurate solution to help you wirelessly monitor temperature and humidity.
If you’re into any sort of hobby that requires you to keep an eye on optimum conditions, we don’t have to tell you twice why it matters. Cigars require just the right temperature and humidity for safe storage and aging. Hot and dry wine cellars will ruin your wine. Bone dry winter conditions will damage the carefully crafted bodies of wood acoustic guitars and other wood instruments. Keeping all these items at the right temperature and humidity is key to protecting your investment.
Even if you’re not a cigar collector or a flamenco guitarist with a treasured antique guitar, however, there are plenty of reasons to monitor the conditions in your home. High relative humidity in areas of your home with poor ventilation (like basements, crawl spaces, or attics) can lead to mold. Low relative humidity can cause cracking in plaster, woodwork, and is hard on human body—low humidity in the winter makes our bodies more susceptible to illness for instance. Or maybe you just want to easily track the temperature in your crawl space and get an alert when the temperature is cold enough for the pipes to free, or track how hot or cold it gets in the baby’s nursery in the middle of the night.
So what do you do, regardless of which of the above scenarios you’re interested in? You get a tool that will help you monitor the relative humidity and temperature and place it in the areas of your home (or in the storage location of your hobby items like your humidor or guitar case).
There are tons of such products on the market, but most of them have a variety of flaws. The sensors are inaccurate. They’re not wireless so you have to go physically check them. They are wireless but they only work with the company’s proprietary base station.
The product we’re taking a look at today, Sensor Push, hits several key points that make it worth a second look and then some: it’s totally wireless, it’s sensitive and properly calibrated right from the factory, it works with your smartphone, and it tracks conditions over time so you can easily review them (and even export the data). Essentially, it’s everything the other solutions on the market aren’t. Let’s take a closer look.
You can make your Sensor Push setup as simple or complicated (in a good way) as you want. At the bare minimum to use the Sensor Push platform you need a single sensor, seen below, called simply enough the “HT1″ (for Humidity and Temperature sensor version 1).
Each sensor is rated for temperature accuracy within ±0.5°F and ±3% humidity measurements (in our tests of the sensors they were far more accurate than this and had a better than ±3% humidity register). They use a small CR2427 battery (which should last a year or more under normal above-freezing conditions) and has a footprint of 1.57″ x 1.57″ x 0.65”—so small you can tuck one anywhere, even right inside the chamber of most instruments. The sensors retail for $50 each.
The HT1 (or multiple HT1s) are paired to any smartphone or tablet that supports Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity. Whenever your device is within ~325 feet of the sensors the sensors will push their data to the app on the device. Data is collected every minute and the individual sensors have enough onboard storage for two weeks of measurements.
If you want access to the measurements when you are away from home or otherwise out of range of the measurements, you can expand the power of the Sensor Push platform by introducing the G1 Wi-Fi Gateway. This $99 add-on looks like a little baby-size internet router and, when placed within range of the sensors automatically bridges the sensors and the internet so you can access your sensor data away from home. There is no fee for the service and all connectivity and cloud-based storage of your sensor data is included with purchase cost. The gateway can be linked to your home network via wireless connection or a wired Ethernet connection.
Typically when you watch a “Get started with our product!” video the video makes it seem way easier than it really is. In the case of the Sensor Push setup, however, seen in the video above—it really is that easy. It took us more time to go to YouTube and check to see if they even had a tutorial video than it took us to set up the device. In fact, if you follow along with the video, product in hand, you’ll probably beat their setup time. It’s just that easy to do.
Install the app, make sure Bluetooth is active on your device, tap “Add”, pick a sensor or a hub and hold it near the phone, give it a name, and you’re done. That’s it. The sensor is now connected, named, and ready to go.
Once you’ve added the sensors to your system and they’re in place, you can easily review them on the main application dashboard, seen above.
The top sensor has alerts set (as shown by the hashed out bars and the green dot indicating the current readings are in the safe zone). The bottom sensor does not and is simply reporting on the available data with no alarm parameters set. Any time one of your sensors with an alarm parameter set exits the range you’ve specified you’ll get a push alert to your phone notifying you.
You can also dip into detailed views at any time to review the history of both the temperature and the humidity. When examining a week of data collected from our temperature sensor “Humidor”, for example, we can see that the humidity only went outside of the target zone once but the temperature did sink below the threshold we set several times—all deviations are indicated by the red in the line.
Over all the the experience of using Sensor Push—both the sensors themselves and the hub that allows you to check your temperature and humidity parameters while you’re away from home—has been incredibly smooth and user friendly. There were no hiccups from the unpacking to the setup to the deployment and daily use.
If you have anything you want to really keep a close eye on without babysitting it in person—be it a cigar collection, an expensive guitar in deep storage, a crawlspace, or a greenhouse—the Sensor Push platform is a fantastic way to enjoy smart temperature and humidity monitoring that’s so dead simple to use you’ll wish you’d bought it years ago.
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