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Remote Monitors for Temperature, Etc. for Buildings With Only Cell Phone Availability

by Barbara 8. April 2014 08:58

Question about remote temperature monitors that work with cell phones.

Q:"What remote monitors does Safe Home Products sell that have bettery back-ups and do not require a land line. I have a Blue Tooth type cell phone I want to use. I need to monitor the temperature of my Florida home while I am up North. Thanks. Will."

Answer: There are two lower priced Sensaphone remote monitors that use 6 C cells (not included) as power back-up. The Sensaphone Desk Top Monitor FGD400 includes an internal programmable temperature monitor. For that you would need to purchase the Sensaphone FGD-0230 Bluetooth Interface for Cell Phone . That interface also works with the Sensaphone Desktop Monitoring System 800, 8 External Outputs for Sensors which also uses 6 C cells (not included) as power back-up. You can add additional sensors for moisture, humidity, intrusion, etc.

Currently these Sensaphone Models can use cell phones with the Bluetooth interface FGD-0230:

Thanks for your question. Pleae contact if you need more information. Safe Home is in Central time.

Sincerely,

Barbara

Kill A Watt Power Monitors Help You Reduce Electric Bills

by Barbara 23. February 2014 11:57

Question about the Kill a Watt Electricity Usage Monitors.

Q: "Electric costs in Florida are to increase up to 30% this next year. What advice do you have about deciding which electrical appliances I should replace with more energy efficient ones? How can I measure current usage without going to a lot of expense?

Answer: I suggest you begin checking power usage on appliances with compressors, i.e. refrigerators, freezers, window air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Most appliances over 8 to 10 years old are energy hogs. I replaced my old manual defrost freezer (circa 1971, much in need of a new gasket) about 10 years ago, I checked the power usage  and was horrified: a new unit would pay for itself in less than 2 years just in energy savings!

If you want to check the power usage of a system such as your TV, DVD, speakers, etc, the easiest choice is by using a Kill A Watt Power Strip with Surge Protection


Currently, there are several models of Kill A Watt meters available:


Thanks for your questions. Remember that there are some electric company rebates on Energy Star appliances.
Sincerely, Barbara

Temperature Guard Remote Monitors for Temperature, Humidity & Power Now Need No Land Lines!

by Barbara 5. November 2013 12:25

Q: "I need to know if power fails or the temperature or humidity changes in my home in Connecticut in the winter or in our motor home when we travel in the summer. We winter in Florida and take our animals with us. I live in a safe neighborhood so I am not worried about break-ins. What do you suggest?" Thanks. Calvin

Answer: I suggest you purchase the new CM712 TemperatureGuard Self-Contained Remote Monitor. Microtechnologies introduced the CM712 in late summer 2013. This replaces the VM-500-3 and VM-500-3HT units that required a land line. This is an easily set up unit suitable for computer rooms, homes, motorhomes, boats and more. You may choose to purchase two units, one for your permanent home and one for your on-the-go home. For example, if the 120VAC power in your motor home park fails or your air conditioner stops cooling, you'll know if you are shopping, etc.

The initial cost is about $600. Remember you won't have to pay for a land line. You will need a SIM card, available on a monthly basis from Microtechnologies.com, the manufacturer. Or you can get one from ATT, etc.  Alerts go via the cell network. The three sensors for temperature, power and humidity are built in. If you want you can add a dry contact door sensor. In an RV park, you probably won't need that. The "tweets" are sent right to your cell phone or computer. An internal battery back-up means alerts continue if power fails.

Text Message Alarm Notices Include:

Temperature or humidity goes out of limits

  • A door is opened  (if you have that sensor installed)
  • Water is detected. (if you have that sensor installed)
  • When the alarm condition is corrected.
  • If an alarm condition is not corrected.
  • Power outage
  • Low internal or external battery.

Dual power operation:

120vac with its included wall mount power supply.
12vdc source for use in cars, trucks, campers, boats. Requires 12 Adapter Not Included.

SIM Plan Details:

A SIM card plan is required for the CM712 to connect to the cell network. Two options are: purchase a T-Mobile SIM card through TemperatureGuard.com (Curent cost in 2013 $150 per year or $12.50 per month with an automatic renewal). Or purchase a SIM from AT&T™ or from any GSM cell service provider worldwide. No SIM card is included with the TemperatureGuard unit.

CM712 Features:

  • Quad-band EGSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • Works on the AT&T™and T-Mobile™ cell networks.
  • Program up to four cell phone numbers to send alarm text messages to.
  • Program an ID text so if you have more than one CM712 you'll know which one is in alarm.
  • Programmable high and low temperature limits for each sensor
  • Programmable alarm time delay for each sensor.
  • Handy reminder feature will send additional text messages if an alarm condition continues.
  • Internal rechargeable battery backup. Approximately 6 hours.
  • Ability to connect external battery for even longer life when power is out
  • Wall mount enclosure.


Specifications:

One internal temperature sensor

Measuring range -4°F to 154°F
Accuracy: +-.4 degrees
Resolution: 1 degree

One internal humidity sensor
Measuring range: 0 to 100% RH
Accuracy: +- 3%
Resolution: 1%

Antenna bulkhead fitting: SMA FemaleCM712

Operating Temperature Range: 32°F to 125°F
Enclosure Dimensions: 5.625" x 3.250" x 1.375"
Plug-in wall transformer included

Facts and Questions:

Q: What is the minimum I need to buy to have a basic monitoring system?
A: One CM712 and a SIM plan.

Q: What type of SIM card does the CM712 use?
A: 1.8V or 3.0V SIM card and complies with the Phase 2 GSM 11.14 standard

Thank you for your question. Please contact us for further information.

Sincerely, Barbara

Reasons to Install Sensaphone Remote Monitors Instead of Typical Security Systems

by Barbara 6. January 2012 07:13

Question about advantages of Sensaphone Remote Monitoring Systems over security systems by national or local alarm and security companies.

Q: "We are building a new data center. Our choices are between a national or local alarm and security company with monthly monitoring fees or a Sensaphone system. We want to monitor power, temperature and humidity. We are also concerned about possible water leaks onto the flooring and being able to lower the thermostat in the room if one of the units begins to overheat. Which system do you recommend? Thanks. Bill."

Answer: For a data center, we would recommend the Sensaphone IMS-1000 Internet Remote Monitor, IMS-1002 or Sensaphone IMS-4000 PowerGate2 Outlet Switcher IMS-4302IMS-4000 unit over the Sensaphone Web600 Web-Monitor Alarm, No Land Line Needed. The WEB600 is a great starter solution with accessories like a battery back up, a temperature probe, a zone water detector and a humidity transmitter.  However, when you are talking a larger computer room or data center, you are talking about tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars of equipment that keep your business operational 24/7.

Sensaphone Systems offer these advantages:

  • No Monthly Monitoring Fees: you buy the product and programs it to notify directly any employee or employees you choose without the cost of a central service that runs at least several hundred dollars annually.
  • Real Sensor Values: Universal inputs read actual temperature values and more.
  • Battery Backup: Either included or an inexpensive option.
  • Maximum Flexibility: Notifications using custom voice phone calls, emails, faxes, text messages, SNMP traps, etc. Communication is via land phone lines, cell phones, Ethernet or satellite.
  • Remote Access: You can program remotely whether a phone line product, a web-based products or a satellite product.
  • No Dependencies: stand alone solutions mean you get direct communication without a central service, computer or server in the middle.
  • Field Proven in Sensitive Applications: Proven reliability and validity in emergency response materials, military weapons systems, medicines, Homeland security, etc.
  • Innovation: In-house engineering. Three US patents for unique technologies. Constantly working to make products more powerful and easier to use.
  • Easy to Use: Simple, clear set up and maintenance. You don't have to be an electronics genius! Some products like the IMS series even automatically detect the sensor you've connected and configure it for you. The owners manuals are extensive and clear to follow. Telephone technical support is there, unlimited and toll free.
  • Made in the USA:  Yes! Sensaphone is made in Pennsylvania. All engineering design, manufacturing, servicing, testing and support are here in the USA.

For your data center, Safe Home recommends you choose the IMS-1002 model and then choose from the 9 sensors listed:

If a sensor is disconnected, you will get an alert. Each sensor is continuously monitored by the IMS parent unit. Cat-5 jacks and cables make it easier to connect to remote sensors using existing structured cabling.

The data logging includes a time stamped collection of input values that can be viewed and graphed. Plus you will get a detailed event history of user logins, telephone calles, etc. It is possible to add video integration to have an image sent of the condition that tripped the alarm. This is web-based monitoring with a traditional phone line, too.

You can place the IMS-1000 or IMS-4000 into your server rack. There are no moving parts in the IMS-1000 series units: each is complately standalone with its own internal battery back up.

Please contact us if you have additional questions. Thank you for your questions.

Sincerely, Barbara

IMS-1000 Sensaphone, No Land Line Required, Infrastructure Monitoring System Uses Ethernet Network.

by Barbara 13. November 2011 10:32

Question about the Sensaphone IMS-1000 Remote Monitoring System.

Q: "I have a computer room I need to monitor for humidity, power and temperature. There is no land line in that room. Is the IMS-1000 system the best choice? What sensors will I need to add?  How does this unit mount? I have computer racks in the room. Thanks. Ed."

Answer: Sensaphone designed the IMS or Infrastructure Monitoring System for situations like yours where there is no land line available. It does require an ethernet network. And you can rack mount this monitor into your computer rack. Dimensions (H x W x D): 1.75" x 14" x 7"

The IMS-1000 series of products includes the following key features:

  • Eight sensor inputs to monitor environmental conditions and/or alarm contacts from other computer equipment such as UPS systems.
  • 10/100BASE-T Ethernet port.
  • Internal battery backup for uninterrupted performance.
  • Compact design allows rack-mount, wall-mount, or tabletop installation.
  • Embedded web page to program and manage your IMS-1000 system.

Per Sensaphone's manual for the IMS-1000:

"The system is designed to be a comprehensive method of ensuring 100% up-time of your computer systems. By monitoring all aspects of your computer room, including environmental conditions and network equipment, the system will keep you informed of the status of your infrastructure. Monitored conditions can include temperature levels, humidity levels, line voltage, leak detection, server response, UPS systems, and more. The system allows the computer professional to be notified immediately of any detected problems. Notification can occur via voice telephone call, pager, e-mail, fax or snmp trap. An internal battery backup system insures that the unit will continue to run if main power fails."

Sensaphone does caution: "Caution: The IMS sensors are not TCP/IP devices and therefore should not be connected directly to any wiring infrastructure that is connected to network equipment such as a hub, router, or switch. Sensors use RJ-45 plugs and cables similar to thoseused with Ethernet devices".

Environmental Sensors Needed for Your Computer Room Include:

  • Sensaphone Temperature Sensor 4810 for IMS-1000,4000 The temperature sensor connects to the IMS-1000 via an RJ-45 cable (e.g. CAT5 cable). The connection from the sensor to the IMS-1000 can utilize your existing network wiring infrastructure. For example, the sensor may be installed in another room or another floor. Connect the sensor to your structured wiring network via an RJ-45 jack. At the other end, connect a patch cable from your structured wiring patch panel directly to the IMS-1000 environment input.
  • Sensaphone Humidity Sensor 4820 for IMS-1000,4000 The IMS-4820 Room Humidity Sensor operates between 32° to 122°F (0° to 50°C)and Humidity ranges of 0 to 100% RH. Accuracy is ± 5%. This unit also connects with RJ-45 cable (not included).
  • Sensaphone 4840 External Power Failure Sensor for IMS-1000, 4000 This will handle your worries about power outages. The range is 0 to 250 VAC, 50/60 Hz with an accuracy of ± 2%. The power connection is via a Universal IEC-320 power inlet.

There are several other options as well. These are the:

If you have additional questions, please contact us. Sensaphone does update sensors and remote monitors periodically so product codes and specifications may change.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

Sensaphone Monitors and Temperatures Sensors for Refrigerators, Cold Storage and Freezers

by Barbara 17. October 2011 07:55

Question about which Sensaphone monitor will closely monitor commercial and medical freezers and refrigerators in our facility.

Q: "We need to monitor 8 different refrigerators and freezers where we keep medical supplies. Which Sensaphone units will meet our needs? Thanks. Sue."

Answer: With the limited information you gave, I will do my best to offer you choices to meet your needs.

Sensaphone has two low temperature sensor models

The FGD-0107 is a unique 2.8K Temperature Sensor with Glass Bead Vial. This unit ideal for cold storage temperature monitoring. The glass bead filled vial buffers any momentary fluctuations that may cause a preliminary alarm dial out, such as defrost cycles, opening of doors, and fans circulating air. The glass beads will slow the response time of the sensor allowing normal daily operations to occur without having an alarm initiated. This is a highly recommended sensor for every cold storage application.


The Temperature Range that can be monitored depends upon which Sensaphone controller unit is being used:

  • 400, 800: -20° to 150°F (-30° to 65°C)
  • 1400, 1800, 2800, WEB600: -109° to 115°F (-85° to 57°C)
  • 2000: -125° to 124°F (-87° to 51°C)
  • Express II: -85° to 200°F (-65° to 93°C)

The IMS-4814 Ultra Low Temperature Sensor is designed to connect to the Sensaphone IMS product line (i.e. the IMS-1000 and the IMS-4000) and monitor temperatures in refrigerators or freezers. The electrical connection between the sensor and IMS unit is made via the attached RJ-45 patch cable. The package contains the 1) Ultra Low Temperature Sensor (1) Attached 7’ Patch Cable and (1) Attached 12’ of cable with weatherproof probe. The sensor probe may be secured inside equipment using the included clamp or it may be hung using tie wraps. Do not install the black plastic enclosure inside of a refrigerator or freezer. It is available with an optional NIST temperature certification. (IMS-4814-NIST) The Ultra Low Temperature Sensor comes with an attached 7’ cable with an RJ-45 plug on the end and a weatherproof probe with 12’ of cable. If the sensor installation is close to the IMS unit, you can plug it directly into an IMS environmental input. If the cable is too short you can use the included RJ-45 adaptor and a longer patch cable to extend the length. For applications where the sensor may be far from the IMS unit, you may utilize your existing network wiring infrastructure. For example, the sensor may be installed in another room or another floor. Connect the sensor to your structured wiring network via an RJ-45 jack. At the other end, connect a patch cable from your structured wiring patch panel directly to the Host or Node environment input.

  • Temp Range: -122° to 53°F (-86° to 12°C)
  • Humidity: 5–90% RH
  • Sensor type: Sealed thermistor probe
  • Accuracy: ± 3°F
  • Connector: 7’ Cable with RJ-45
  • Housing: Black plastic
  • Compatibility: IMS-4000, IMS-4000 Node, IMS-1000

So next you need to determine which IMS (Internet Monitoring System) unit you need to handle your monitoring issues. The Sensaphone IMS-1000 has 8 sensor inputs. Configuration is easy: all IMS Solution sensors are auto-configured when you plug them into the IMS-1000. The Ultra Low Temperature Sensor will identify itself as a 4-20mA transducer. On the Properties screen for this sensor you must select the sensor type: either Low Temperature (Deg F) or Low Temperature (Deg C). When a sensor is removed, or the connection is disrupted, the configuration data remains intact but the sensor will go into trouble status and generate a trouble alarm. When the sensor is plugged in again, or the connection is re-established,configuration data remains unchanged and the sensor returns to normal operating condition.

The Sensaphone IMS-4000 in combination with the IMS-4000 node can monitor up to 64 sensors.

Please look at our webpages and decide which features you need. There are cross references on the pages to most sensors and to the IMS-4000.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara

 

NEMA-4X Enclosure on Sensaphone Remote Monitors for Business Use

by Barbara 14. October 2011 08:33

Question about the Sensaphone 2000 Data Log Remote Monitor, Nema-4X Enclosure, Sensaphone CELL682 Remote Monitor Control System NEMA-4X Solid Door and Sensaphone 1400 Remote Monitor NEMA4X Enclosure Clear Door

Q: What is a NEMA4X enclosure? Do I need it on a Sensaphone remote monitor for my business? I see it listed on these Sensaphone units that I saw on your website.Thanks. Steve."

Answer: According to Nema.org, "Type 4X Enclosures constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection to personnel against access to hazardous parts; to provide a degree of protection of the equipment inside the enclosure against ingress of solid foreign objects (windblown dust); to provide a degree of protection with respect to harmful effects on the equipment due to the ingress of water (rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, and hose directed water); that provides an additional level of protection against corrosion; and that will be undamaged by the external formation of ice on the enclosure."

Sensaphone offers these enclosures on most of their remote monitors because many remote monitors are located in dusty or potentially corrosive industrial settings. Sensaphone monitors can be mounted inside buildings or outside. Those mounted in greenhouses are exposed to high humidity levels and water sprays as plants are watered. So purchase one with a NEMA4X enclosure if your situation requires it.

Choose a Sensaphone remote monitor according to the number of inputs you need and the complexity of your situation. For example the Sensaphone 2000 is a data logging monitor with 8 inputs and can contact up to 32 persons while the Sensaphone 1400 can monitor only 4 sensors for humidity, temperature, etc.

Thank you for your questions.

Sincerely,

Barbara

 

What do the Product Numbers Mean on Sensaphone Remote Monitors?

by Barbara 10. July 2011 13:23

Question about the Sensaphone Remote Monitoring Systems.

Q: "I need a remote monitor but am confused by what differentiates one model from another. Can you give me a simple explanation? I don't know if I want a 1400, 800, etc. for my green house needs. Thanks. Steve."

Answer: The numbers actually refer to the number of inputs available to you. If you have a small greenhouse set-up, one of the smaller, less expensive basic units would be a good choice. Also consider if you have a cell phone or land line in the building.

Here is some information about the basic units:

  • Sensaphone Web600 Web-Monitor Alarm6 available zone inputs. A battery back-up unit (not included) plugs into the left side of the unit. Also there is an ethernet connection and a input for the 5V DC power adapter. There are two lights, a power and an alarm light on the top of the unit. A screwdriver is even included.
  • Sensaphone Model 800 Desktop Monitoring System: 8 inputs and 1 output contact. Monitor 8 conditions, plus power failure and sound level.Notify 8 people with custom voice phone calls.Control a thermostat or other device automatically, manually, even remotely.
  • Sensaphone 1400 With Solid Door has built-in Power Failure, Sound Level, Temperature Inputs 4-contact or temperature, 4-20mA Outputs 1 Relay (manual or automatic control)Notification 8 custom voice phone calls No monthly fee.
  • Solid Door Sensaphone 1800 Remote Monitor Monitor up to 8 conditions, plus power failure and sound level. Notify up to 8 people with custom voice phone calls or text messages. Review alarm history and who acknowledged the alarm event. Control a device automatically, manually, even remotely. Sends a text message and alpha page alarms.
  • Sensaphone 2800 Wireless Monitoring System lets you use up to four Sensaphone wireless sensors with the 2800. A variety of wireless sensors types are available to choose from, including:Temperature,Humidity,Power Failure,Motion Detector,Water on Floor.Wireless sensors. Two Wireless Interface modules. These allow you to connect to existing equipment or sensors and transmit their status back to the 2800 wirelessly. There is a Dry Contact wireless module and a 4-20mA wireless module. The 4-20mA wireless module even provides battery backed 24 VDC loop power for your transducer. Built-in Power failure, Sound level. Inputs 4 hard wired universal, 4 wirelesses inputs, Outputs 1 relay (manual or automatic control)Notification 8 custom voice phone calls.

There are numerous sensors available for the inputs. There are some larger units available that can take extra slot cards allowing a larger number of sensor inputs.

Please give us more information about your situation and we'll help you choose.

Thanks for your question.

Sincerely, Barbara