Introduction: Measuring Temperature With Flowstone

Picture of Measuring Temperature With Flowstone

A major component of the automation system I'm building is the ability to measure temperature, specifically the temperature of blower air in an air conditioning system. I use a touchscreen netbook and a Labjack U3-HV to create this windows based automation system.

Here is how I achieved the software reading of real world temperature values.

Step 1: The Hardware Setup.

Picture of The Hardware Setup.

I used a standard NTC thermistor and 36kohm resistor to form a voltage divider. The free end of the resistor is connected to 0Volt and the free end of the thermistor is tied to 5Volt. Across the resistor the voltage is proportional to the temperature reading. i.e. Temperature rises and Voltage across the resistor rises. The junction of the resistor and thermistor I connected to analog input AIN1.

Step 2: Getting Sample Data.

Picture of Getting Sample Data.

Using a digital thermometer (its probe and the thermistor I wrapped together), I took temperature and voltage readings from ambient down to that of melting ice. These values I put into excel and made an XY scatter plot. From this I was able to get the equation of the linear relationship between temperature and voltage. Therefore for my hardware, the Temperature is;

T = (Vr - 2.921) / 0.038

Step 3: Implementing in Flowstone.

Picture of Implementing in Flowstone.

Using the formula from the previous step, here is how I implemented it in Flowstone. I have attached the schematic to demonstrate how it works.

The last pic is a screenshot of the prototype software I'm developing for the embedded system.

Now with any thermistor and fixed resistor, reliable temperature measurements can be made. I hope you found this instructable useful.

Comments

strider98107 (author)2016-01-29

Hi! This is cool and very much of interest to me. Would it be possible to post a schematic of your wiring connections? I can't quite tell from the photo what you have going on at the LabJack.

Also, less important, what's your opinion of LabJack vs others (Dataq etc), and how good is Flowstone?

Thanks much!

Bob

I have a major instructable I plan to publish in the coming weeks. I'm prototyping the system right now. I will have full wiring diagrams with it. Basically the thermistor and resistor form a voltage divider: the midpoint going to the Labjack AIN1, thermistor free lead to 5V and resistor free lead to 0V. To me, Flowstone and Labjack are the best possible combination for Windows based automation projects!

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