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The Pico TH-03 is a cool bit o' kit in my book, it allows the measurement of temperature, light, if doors are open etc with the appropriate plug in sensor. Each TH-03 has 3 ports or channels that sensors can plug into and although the sensors themselves come with a 5m lead, each sensor can be up to 100m away (you can buy extension leads) from the TH-03 unit. Couple this with something like the RocketPort serial hub units (review coming) and the distance is almost unlimited...
The unit plugs into a free COM port from which it draws it's power - this is really a plug-in and go piece of hardware. Using the unit is simplicity itself and DLLs and example source are included so that reading from the unit can be integrated into your own application. Supplied on 3 floppies is a small application called PicoLog to give you an updated graph and some source code examples (Linux drivers are also included). Using the DLL was so easy that it took 5 minutes (if that) to knock up a simple VB application to plot my own graph (fig 2), create hi/low images etc. Using the DLLs or supplied application you can poll the unit as often as you like, and response time is almost immediate.

The unit itself measures 1 and 1/4 cigarette packets long and just under a cigarette packet wide (Sorry but that's how we measure things around here).



You could perhaps get something like HomeSeer to tell you the temperature eg. "The garage temperature is 5 degrees C. Would you like me to warm it up before you go in?" - but I can't test that as I don't use HomeSeer.

Because I'm in Holland I paid around 450 NLG - that's around 132 GBP for a Pico TH-03 and two temperature sensors, it may turn out cheaper in the UK because of the strength of the pound.

Approximate Price 132.00

PicoTech