Introduction: Easy Temperature and Humidity on Raspberry Pi

Air temperature and relative humidity are very common parameters that need to be measured. Raspberry Pi doesn't come with analog capabilities, and reading sensors isn't exactly easy.

On this instructable we're using the EzTemp sensor.

With EzTemp you get a professional relative humidity sensor by Honeywell and an accurate thermistor that you can read using your serial port on your Raspberry Pi.

Let's see how to do it!

[ You can get the EzTemp on Tindie ]

Step 1: Connection

EzTemp uses the serial port on your Raspberry Pi to communicate.

Identify the serial pins on your Raspberry Pi. Then connect:

  • RPi GND to EzTemp GND.
  • RPi Tx to EzTemp Rx.
  • RPi Rx to EzTemp Tx.
  • RPi 3.3V to EzTemp 3.3V.

Notice that a Tx pin must be connected to a Rx pin, and vice-versa.

Now you are ready to use the EzTemp!

[ You can get the EzTemp on Tindie ]

Step 2: Disable the Serial Console

By default, the Raspberry Pi uses the serial port for the shell. As noticed by MarcR on the comments (thanks for the tip), we need to disable the serial console to use the EzTemp.

Method 1: raspi-config script

The easiest way to disable the serial console is by running the raspi-config script. Open a shell and type:

sudo raspi-config

It will show a menu, just go to 8 Advanced Options > A7 Serialand select No.

Now reboot the Pi and go to the next step.

Method 2: Automatic script

We can disable and enable the serial console using the rpi-serial-console script. To install it, open the shell and type:

sudo wget -O /usr/bin/rpi-serial-console && sudo chmod +x /usr/bin/rpi-serial-console

To display whether the serial console is currently enabled or not, simply run:

rpi-serial-console status

To disable the serial console, simply run:

sudo rpi-serial-console disable

To enable the serial console, simply run:

sudo rpi-serial-console enable

After enabling or disabling the serial console you'll need to reboot the Pi for it to take effect, and go to the next step.

Method 3: Manual

Then open this file with your favorite editor:

sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt

Its content should be something like this:

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=tty1 console=ttyAMA0,115200 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait

Remove any reference to ttyAMA0, getting something like this:

dwc_otg.lpm_enable=0 console=tty1 root=/dev/mmcblk0p2 rootfstype=ext4 elevator=deadline rootwait

Save changes, and open inittab:

sudo nano /etc/inittab

At the end of the file, comment out this line:

T0:23:respawn:/sbin/getty -L ttyAMA0 115200 vt100

Reboot your Pi and go to the next step.

[ You can get the EzTemp on Tindie ]

Step 3: Download the Example Script

On your Raspberry Pi, you must download this script. You can do it opening the shell and typing:

wget <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>

Now run the script typing:


And that's it! you have your EzTemp running.

EzTemp&RH build 2
Temperature: 24.0C
Humidity:    48.0%
External:    1018 / 2048 counts
Version:     2

Let's see how to use it in your programs.

[ You can get the EzTemp on Tindie ]

Step 4: Tinker

Here we'll analyze that each part of the script does, so you can understand it, and modify it for your projects.

First of all, we need to open the serial port. The script uses PySerial module to do this.

import serial
ser = serial.Serial('/dev/ttyAMA0', 9600, timeout=1)

Now, let's query the sensor for the build value. It is a static value that identifies the version of the EzTemp.

First, we need to send the command 'v' to the EzTemp:


The build value is a 2-byte value, so we should expect a 4-byte (1-byte echo + 2-byte build + 1-byte checksum) response from the EzTemp. Now read the response:

s =

Data is received in separate bytes, although the build identifier is a 2-byte value. To "reconstruct" it, we must shift the most significant byte 8 bits to the left, and then add the least significant byte. This way we recover the 2-byte field correctly:

version = (ord(s[1]) << 8) + ord(s[2])

You can use the sentence above everytime you receive a 2-byte value from EzTemp.

The last line of this block simply prints the result on screen:

print 'EzTemp&RH build ' + str(version)

The rest of the script does the same querying sensor values from the EzTemp. Let's see the temperature value as an example:

s =
temperature = (ord(s[1]) << 8) + ord(s[2])

print 'Temperature: ' + str(1.0*temperature/10) + 'C'

In this case, we use the command 'd' to query the temperature in celsius degrees with 0.1ºC precision. As you can see, the capture of the response is quite similar. The difference is on how to handle the returned value.

When we query temperature or any other parameter with 0.1 precision, the data is received as a 2-byte integer in tenths of the value. This is, if temperature is 21.5ºC, the EzTemp receives the value 215, and the user script must divide by 10 to get the actual temperature.

All values have an integer precision command if you don't require decimals. Using these commands easens reading and processing of the returned data. Check the datasheet for the complete list of commands.

[ You can get the EzTemp on Tindie ]

Step 5: Useful Resources


MarcR (author)2015-03-02

Hello, just to let you know, on my Raspberry pi 1 model B using raspbmc, I could not read the temperature and humidity using the python script, because the serial port was locked by the console (permission denied).

I had to edit the following file /etc/init/ttyAMA0.conf :
sudo nano /etc/init/ttyAMA0.conf

and replace "start on" by "start []". Then you need to reboot, and it should work.

Another way that could help to workaround (not tested):

Other than that, great little piece of electronics, works flawlessly for me. I plan to record periodic readings in a mongo db, then display a graph using nginx, all on the raspberry. I'll post a how-to if I succeed :)


Nice catch Marc! Our RPi had the serial console disabled already, and we forgot about that! We'll update de instructable with your tip! Thanks! :)