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Build Your Own Grain Bin Monitor
You could spend as much as $500 to $1,000 for a ready-made remote temperature monitor or, with a set of plans developed by government researchers in Alberta, Canada, you can build one for as little as $30.
Ag Engineer Edwin Thornton says you can buy all parts, except the thermister probes themselves, at most electronic stores. All you need for tools is a soldering iron.
The monitor makes use of temperature probes containing thermistors to sense temperature. A thermistor is a resistor that alters in resistance depending on temperature change. The change in resistance is balanced by an electronic "Wheatstone bridge" and output is sent to the meter. The thermistor temperature probes can be permanently installed in livestock barns or grain bins up to 1/4 mile away, letting you remotely check conditions in barns and look for hot spots in grain.
Total costs for components is about $30 plus, about $6 for each thermistor and the cost of wiring. The unit operates on two "D" cell batteries. A simple dial lets you check each remote location separately. You can use any number of probes up to 11.
Alberta Agriculture has developed complete plans that list components, parts numbers, and detail exactly how to build.
For a copy of the plans, send $1 for postage and handling, to: Remote Temperature Monitor, FARM SHOW Magazine, P.O. Box 1029, Lakeville, Minn. 55044.

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1985 - Volume #9, Issue #4