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Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #40: Outdoor ACU>RITE Digital Wireless Temperature Sensor Housing (Part 2)

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Blog entry by Paul Bucalo posted 03-24-2015 05:48 PM 1325 reads 0 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 39: Outdoor ACU>RITE Digital Wireless Temperature Sensor Housing (Part 1) Part 40 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 41: Outdoor ACU>RITE Digital Wireless Temperature Sensor Housing (Finale) »

It was never my intent to make this build into an attractive build. Functional is the priority. It is the only reason for going through all this work for a $10.00 item. But it’s not unusual for my build ideas to become runaway trains, sometimes with no way to stop safely (enter the music of Jethro Tull’s Locomotive Breath.) My intent was to make this a 100% free pallet wood build. I have brand new pine boards and studs I could have used. With a change in design—swinging sensor box to one stationary—I needed to come up with a different mount option without scrapping the wall bracket I made. The brass colored hand rail bracket was all that I could find at our local Lowe’s. Now, I am glad I went with it. The sensor box can be pivoted to change the angle in relation to the sun and weather. Serendipitous.

The glass drawer knob I used to hide the hole that was to accept a screw eye and chain was not to my liking. It was gaudy. I was concerned that the glass will act as a prism and concentrate heat fom the sun’s rays into the top of the box. The metal base is one more thing to possible rust or corrode. And I realized I forgot to add vent holes in the top, as I had originally planned. The solution was a squared section of hemlock with slots cut from it, eventually all leading to the hole in the top of the box. I hope the slots, only the width of a table saw blade kerf, won’t attract insects to infiltrate for rest or nest. It looks better.

I like that a gallon of Titebond III is full of itself. I couldn’t find anything heavier that wouldn’t crush the project:

The new look. Better, right? Functional, I think:

Time to begin painting. Because I mistakenly (as in, so deep in the forest I no longer saw the trees) missed the fact that I used the wrong glue (The Original Formula Titebond) for the construction of the sensor box, I’m hoping that a couple of coats of latex bin primer will protect the glue joints from moisture. The rest of the construction, including the top vent cap and side reinforcement for the metal bracket, were glued up with the Titebond III. Here is the inside of the box with its first coat of primer:

The quart can in the background is the semi-gloss outdoor enamel I bought yesterday to use for the final painted wood finish.

The wall bracket and sensor box have a complete coat of primer. The wooden knob and bottom vent cover are only primed on the side you can see. The sensor pin needs to have the handle primed, as well. Later on I will mount the metal bracket to a scrap board I can clamp to the table, then I will take a wire wheel to it to bring it down to either bare metal or a dull matte finish. I still have gloss white spray enamel and spray poly from the bathroom project a couple of years ago. I will use both on the bracket.

The next blog entry will be the finale…I hope.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA



7 comments so far

View luv2learn's profile

luv2learn

2458 posts in 1763 days


#1 posted 03-24-2015 06:58 PM

Hey Paul, your design could easily become an awesome bird house with a little modification. Just sayin :-).

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#2 posted 03-24-2015 07:01 PM



Hey Paul, your design could easily become an awesome bird house with a little modification. Just sayin :-).

- luv2learn

Heh-heh. That notion did not escape me. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5042 posts in 2607 days


#3 posted 03-25-2015 12:19 AM

Dang, I wish I’d seen this blog series earlier….....

I actually have the same problem as you, with my outdoor temperature sensor. So I did quite a bit of research—and this is the part you’re not going to like…...!

What I found was that the sensor needs to be inside what’s called a “radiation shield.” In other words, a shield from radiation, namely solar radiation, and thermal radiation. Sunlight, and air temperature. The shield should be made of a very thin material, mostly aluminum, to minimize heat build-up within the shield. It should have as many ventilation slots as possible to allow outside air into it. And it should have a fan mounted at the top, to draw in outside air.

It’s very important that the temperature of the air inside the shield be exactly the same as the air outside.

The shields that I have seen look like rockets, with a conical top to shed water, horizontal ventilation slots around the outside, and an open bottom. Also, the better ones have a solar-powered fan mounted on the top to draw in outside air.

I wish I had seen your blog series earlier to mention all this, before you built your shield.

Anyway, I thought I’d pass this info along anyway, in case you decide to build another one, or retrofit this one!

-- Dean

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#4 posted 03-25-2015 12:33 AM



Dang, I wish I d seen this blog series earlier….....

I actually have the same problem as you, with my outdoor temperature sensor. So I did quite a bit of research—and this is the part you re not going to like…...!

What I found was that the sensor needs to be inside what s called a “radiation shield.” In other words, a shield from radiation, namely solar radiation, and thermal radiation. Sunlight, and air temperature. The shield should be made of a very thin material, mostly aluminum, to minimize heat build-up within the shield. It should have as many ventilation slots as possible to allow outside air into it. And it should have a fan mounted at the top, to draw in outside air.

It s very important that the temperature of the air inside the shield be exactly the same as the air outside.

The shields that I have seen look like rockets, with a conical top to shed water, horizontal ventilation slots around the outside, and an open bottom. Also, the better ones have a solar-powered fan mounted on the top to draw in outside air.

I wish I had seen your blog series earlier to mention all this, before you built your shield.

Anyway, I thought I d pass this info along anyway, in case you decide to build another one, or retrofit this one!

- Mean_Dean

Hah-hah. Just my luck, Dean. Ah well, I’ve come this far, I will finish it and see how my readings are compared to the reality outdoors. I have $5.00 invested in the metal bracket and whatever I used up in the $13.00 can of paint. The rest was lying around or free. Thanks for letting me know. Appreciated.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View handsawgeek's profile

handsawgeek

591 posts in 855 days


#5 posted 03-25-2015 01:18 PM

Paul,
This is good stuff.

You and I pretty much go down the same path – tinkering with stuff that combines electro-mechanical with woodworking!

Nice project!

-- Ed

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#6 posted 03-25-2015 01:38 PM



Paul,
This is good stuff.

You and I pretty much go down the same path – tinkering with stuff that combines electro-mechanical with woodworking!

Nice project!

- handsawgeek

Thanks, Ed. I appreciate the comparison and compliment. My tinkerer nature is working its way out of deep storage. I’ve never had any doubts about my abilities or desire. Tinkering is what I live for. Everything else is second place. :)

With the disappointing update from Mean_Dean , I can only hope the sensor reads something close to the real ambient temperature when in the sun. Outside of that, it shouldn’t be too far off. Worse come to worse, I can drill a hole in the front and made it a bird house for finches. :)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

5042 posts in 2607 days


#7 posted 03-25-2015 04:39 PM

Paul,

What you could do, is get a coffee can and cut horizontal slots in it around the perimeter. When you cut the slots, fold the flap up, to maintain the shading. After cutting the slots, paint it glossy white.

Next, get a small solar-powered fan, and install it on the top, to draw in outside air.

Lastly, you can get a 10-foot section of galvanized conduit, and put it in the ground in any open area. The temperature sensor needs to be at least 6 feet off the ground, so the 10-foot conduit gives you that, with 2-3 feet of length to put in the ground.

So for about $20 or so, you’ll have a very accurate temperature sensor!

-- Dean

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