Temperature monitor for hoop house and field

I rent land, including a single poly hoop house. Because I don’t live on site, it can be a bit nerve wracking with frost warnings. I had in mind setting up weather monitor in the hoop and field. Trick is no internet or electricity–so would need batteries and be able to connect via satellite or cell coverage. Does such a magical device exist? Or other solutions in mind?

I don’t know of a solution that you can buy that would work right out of the box. But if you like to tinker (and are comfortable with code), you can set this up with a Raspberry Pi and/or an Arduino with a GSM module. And of course you can power these with a small solar panel. The trick here will be to also set them up in a somewhat weather proof case/environment.

The hardware is relatively inexpensive, but you’re probably looking at quite a bit of time to set it all up if you don’t have prior experience. Here are some links to get you started:



Alternatively, there are quite a few WiFi based weather monitors on the market that are relatively inexpensive (check amazon.ca). You could use an old and inexpensive smartphone with a cheap data-only plan to create a WiFi hotspot that will use the cell data as a connection to the Internet. The sensor would relay the data through the WiFi hotspot, and the data can be sent to you over the Internet. You could also easily power this with a small solar panel and battery.

This would be pretty easy to set up, no scripts or coding involved, but you will have a monthly fee to pay for the cell phone data service (about 20-40$ a month).

Let me know if you have any more questions, I’m a bit of a geek, I’d be happy to help you get started.

1 Like

Check out sensorpush.com
I made a remote monitoring unit using a cell phone as wifi hotspot, their gateway and a couple of sensors. You’ll could use a 12 volt battery but will need an inverter for the gateway. I put the gateway and the cell phone and battery into a big rubbermade tote.

Apple sells a device called Elgato Eve Remote Weather Station. Uses a long lasting battery, and transmits data to your cell phone, you can get gadgets from them to adjust temp if you ever do get a heater. cost was $49.95, but I’m not sure if that’s U.S.$. I’ve not used it myself, but will if I need one.

I think you can get Elgato Eve through other retailers as well, like Amazon

I think that a common solution is from a company called Monnit that is capable of using a cellular connection. An example is here;https://www.monnit.com/Product/MNG-9-3C3I-SC-ND . You would need to add a temperature sensor to it and of course provide a power supply and purchase a sim card (plan).

There are also things like this from Amazon ; https://www.amazon.ca/KKmoon-Temperature-Humidity-Monitoring-Support/dp/B019GYISZE/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1516890315&sr=8-5&keywords=gsm+alarm+temperature If you do a search for GSM alarm you will come up with lots of hits.

We use https://www.acurite.com/temperature-and-humidity-sensor-06002rm-592txr.html
you can get up to as many sensors as you want, but there is only three channels…There is a free app for your computer and smart phone, so we get alerts when the temp drops or raises too high in our greenhouse or chicken brooders. Has definitely been handy when we are away from the farm and able to monitor temp. Pretty affordable too.

Thanks everyone for your feedback! I’m going to look over your suggestions more in-depth.

I’ve also used the Accurite ones and they were pretty good. The only issue in your case would be internet and power (both are required for this system), however, you could apply some of my previous suggestions (solar power and cheap data cell phone) to make this work.

I’ve been doing some reading on the sensor push website. Apologies, tech ignorance here, what do you mean by “will need an inverter for the gateway”?

the gateway requires alternating current (i think). 12 volt batteries are direct current. AN inverter changes dc to ac

You can buy a relatively cheap inverter at Canadian Tire (and other such stores). They are often used in conjunction with solar panels setups, battery backups, etc.

Here is an example of a 1000W unit.


So a bit of an update–in case people are following and want some more details. I got in touch with Telus–my business cell provider. Evidently, per month the minimum cost for adding a phone as a wifi hotspot would be $70 a month (not including my current cell bill, which would almost double the cost). The good news: you can BYOD (bring your own device) and have it share your current data. Bad news: you need more data plus you pay $45 a month to just bring the other smart phone line in.

So, my decision: keep an eye on the weather, button up the hoop house tighter, use plenty of row cover and with some cold nights coming up, I’m going to hold on planting for a few days. Since my crops are pretty cold tolerant, I’m feeling better about this.

I may invest anyways in one of the systems recommended by folks–but would only run it for a few months–especially if next year, I got into planting in February.

I very much appreciate the help on this!