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Re: [BackpackGearTest] Revised Owners Report Thermachron iButton Temperature Sensor

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  • RickScoutDad
    Depending on how TECH you are on your backpacking trips, you could view your entire ibutton log on your Palm PDA. If you take your Palm along anyway, there
    Message 1 of 9 , Oct 1, 2002
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      Depending on how "TECH" you are on your backpacking trips, you could view
      your entire ibutton log on your Palm PDA. If you take your Palm along
      anyway, there is an interface to read the ibutton data. Not sure of the
      cost or weight though. Check around the dalsemi.com site for details.

      Rick
      ----- Original Message -----
      From: Carol Crooker
      To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Tuesday, October 01, 2002 10:30 AM
      Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Revised Owners Report Thermachron iButton
      Temperature Sensor


      Owner Review of Thermachron iButton Temperature Sensor

      Personal Information
      Name: Carol Crooker
      Age: 43
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5'10"
      Weight: 165 lbs
      Email: cmcrooker@...
      City, State: Phoenix, Arizona
      Date: September 29, 2002
      Backpacking background: For the past 6 years I've backpacked about 30 days
      each year. My trips were from 2 to 28 days, with my usual trip being
      between 3 and 6 days long. Most of my trips have been in Arizona and the
      High Sierras with Oregon, Utah and New York thrown in for variety. Weather
      has varied from highs in the 90's to lows in the 20's. Most of my
      backpacking trips have been solo.

      Product Information on DS1921 Thermachron iButton
      Manufacturer: Dallas Semiconductor
      Year of manufacture: 2002
      Web site: http://www.ibutton.com
      Weight as delivered: 0.1 oz with plastic fob
      MSRP: $25

      Manufacturer's Description:
      The DS1921 Thermachron iButton is a revolutionary temperature-recording
      device. It incorporates a direct-to-digital temperature sensor, a
      Y2K-compliant real-time clock calendar, and non-volatile memory into a 16mm
      stainless steel iButton enclosure. It has advanced features including:

      Temperature range -10 degrees C to 85 degrees C (14 degrees F to 185
      degrees F)
      Selectable starting offset (0 minutes to 46 days)
      Selectable sample interval (1 to 255 minutes)
      Alarms and capture registers triggered when outside specified range
      2048 time-stamped temperature readings with optional data wrap
      Long-term temperature histogram with 2 degree C resolution in 56 bins
      4096 bits of general purpose read/write nonvolatile memory

      Carol's plain English description:
      This is a tiny, dime sized steel can (5 dimes stacked on top of each
      other) with a temperature sensor and clock inside it. You can NOT look at
      the can (iButton) and see the temperature or time. It has a very simple
      interface with a desk top or hand held computer that allows you to see
      temperature and time "real time" when the iButton is connected to the
      computer or, after the fact, for a whole backpacking trip.

      How the heck is this useful for a backpacker?
      You can take note of what clothing/sleeping bag combinations keep you warm
      to what temperatures.

      I'm continually adjusting my gear, trying to get as light as I can and
      still be comfortable. Since I started the light weight journey I've always
      backpacked with some kind of thermometer (the $2.95 tiny thermometer until
      recently when I got a watch with a digital temperature readout). I hang the
      thermometer from my pack during the day and from my tarp at night. I note
      the temperature frequently during the day and every time I wake up during
      the night. I always want to know the overnight low for bragging rights and
      so I know what combination of gear and clothing keeps me warm down to what
      temperature. As I've become more experienced, I wake up less frequently. I
      also got tired of really bringing myself awake to check the temperature when
      I could have just rolled over and fallen back asleep if I hadn't wanted to
      see how cold it was. So, I have been looking for a device to help me with
      this that didn't weigh a lot. I'm also curious by nature, and I love having
      a graph of the temperature variations over my whole backpack trip.

      Initial Set up of iButton
      The kit includes a DS1921 Thermachron iButton (a tiny, dime sized can), a
      plastic key-ring fob so the iButton can be attached to your backpack, a
      9-pin Universal 1-wire COM port Adapter, a Blue Dot receptor with RJ-11
      connector, an instruction sheet.

      First, I downloaded software so I could "talk" with the iButton. This
      only took a few minutes. The web site address was included in the
      instruction sheet. Next, I found a COM port on the back of my computer that
      was the same size as the 9-pin connector from the kit, plugged in the
      connector and tightened the two thumb screws. (The instructions note that
      if your COM port needs a 25-pin connector, you'll need to get a 25-to-9-pin
      adapter.) Then I installed the software, which was simply following
      prompts. I then plugged the phone jack connector at the end of the Blue Dot
      receptor into the back of the 9-pin connector from the kit. I reviewed the
      on-line instruction manual and opened the iButton viewer program. Next I
      simply held the iButton against the spring loaded Blue Dot receptor. Like
      magic, my computer screen indicated that the "device was present".

      The viewer program was fairly easy to understand. The program allows you
      to design a "mission" and program the iButton for a mission. To design the
      mission, you select how often you want the iButon to record temperatures
      (I've been using 30 minute intervals) and when you want the mission to
      begin. For example, if I'm leaving on a week long backpacking trip
      tomorrow, I can set the mission so that the iButton starts recording
      temperatures every half hour beginning sometime tomorrow. You can also set
      high and low "alarms". For example, I'll probably use freezing as a low
      alarm. That just means the graph I see after the trip will have all
      temperatures below 32 degrees in red. A handy little feature.

      Other Details
      For 30 minute samples, the iButton will record temperatures for 42 days
      before it starts writing over the temperatures from the first day.
      Accuracy is plus/minus 1 degree C (plus/minus 1.8 degree F).
      The batteries in the iButton are not replaceable. Each iButton lasts
      about 10 years.
      It can be dropped, stepped on and you can swim with it.

      Field Testing
      I tested the iButton at home, in the freezer and refrigerator and in
      various rooms in the house and on day hikes. In fact, I was able to solve a
      family argument. My step-son was continually complaining about how his room
      was hotter and more uncomfortable than his sister's. Using the Thermachron
      iButton, I was able to prove, with a graph even, that temperatures in his
      room overnight were no hotter than in his sister's room. Chalk one up for
      science!

      Observations
      The iButton is incredibly easy to use. There is a lot of techno talk on
      the web site which was a bit intimidating, but it really was easy to set up.
      It's light, only 0.1 oz! Accuracy is plus/minus 1 degree C, not incredibly
      accurate. Even though I haven't mastered every detail of the viewer
      program, I can still gt done what I want to do with this device.

      Things I like
      Really easy to use.
      It only weighs 0.1 oz.
      The starter kit was only $25.
      I can prove it got below freezing every night!

      Things I don't like or could be improved
      It would be great to be able to see what the overnight low was in the
      field, without having to take the iButton to a computer to access this
      information. In other words, I wish the iButton had a readout display right
      on the tiny can! One can only dream.
      I wish there was a way to snap the iButton onto the Blue Dot receptor.
      I've either had to hold it or put something on top of it to hold the iButton
      to the spring loaded receptor.

      Conclusion
      The Thermachron iButton is FUN! I plan to take it on all my backpacking
      trips.

      Carol Crooker
      Transformation Coach



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    • John Burnet
      Hi Carol, Thanks for the review and for introducing me to this very interesting product. I have been looking for a really portable max/min thermometer, but I
      Message 2 of 9 , Oct 4, 2002
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        Hi Carol,

        Thanks for the review and for introducing me to this
        very interesting product. I have been looking for a
        really portable max/min thermometer, but I think this
        sounds better.

        The only error I saw was the omission of the 'e' in
        the following: 'I can still gt done what I want to do
        with this device.'

        You can upload your review to:

        http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Environmental%20Monitoring%20Gear/Thermometers/Dallas%20Semiconductor%20Thermachron%20iButton/

        Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this
        report.


        Happy trails,


        John Burnet
        gatemansnametag(at)yahoo(dot)com
        BGT List monitor

        =====
        "What are the three most essential backpacking items?"

        "Toys, water, and food. Without water and food, you'll die. If you don't bring toys, all you'll have to play with is rocks and sticks."

        -- A. M. Frick

        __________________________________________________
        Do you Yahoo!?
        New DSL Internet Access from SBC & Yahoo!
        http://sbc.yahoo.com
      • Chief Moderator
        I m also looking but the 14 dg F lower limit pretty much knocks this one out for me.... Jerry http://www.BackpackGearTest.org
        Message 3 of 9 , Oct 4, 2002
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          I'm also looking but the 14 dg F lower limit pretty much knocks this one
          out for me....
          Jerry



          http://www.BackpackGearTest.org <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> :
          the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.

          -----Original Message-----
          From: John Burnet [mailto:gatemansnametag@...]
          Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 11:41 AM
          To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: [BackpackGearTest] EDIT - Revised Owners Report Thermachron
          iButton Temperature Sensor


          Hi Carol,

          Thanks for the review and for introducing me to this
          very interesting product. I have been looking for a
          really portable max/min thermometer, but I think this
          sounds better.

          The only error I saw was the omission of the 'e' in
          the following: 'I can still gt done what I want to do
          with this device.'

          You can upload your review to:

          http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Environmental%20Monitoring%20Gea
          r/Thermometers/Dallas%20Semiconductor%20Thermachron%20iButton/

          Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this
          report.


          Happy trails,


          John Burnet
          gatemansnametag(at)yahoo(dot)com
          BGT List monitor

          =====
          "What are the three most essential backpacking items?"

          "Toys, water, and food. Without water and food, you'll die. If you don't
          bring toys, all you'll have to play with is rocks and sticks."

          -- A. M. Frick

          __________________________________________________
          Do you Yahoo!?
          New DSL Internet Access from SBC & Yahoo!
          http://sbc.yahoo.com


          Yahoo! Groups Sponsor

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        • cmcrooker
          Jerry, There is also a Thermachron iButton that reads down to -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F). It s the same price as the iButton I reported on ($15 for the
          Message 4 of 9 , Oct 6, 2002
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            Jerry,
            There is also a Thermachron iButton that reads down to -20 degrees C
            (-4 degrees F). It's the same price as the iButton I reported on
            ($15 for the iButton alone, $15 for the hardware to get it up and
            running. It is not listed in kit form like the iButton I bought
            which gets you a $5 discount.) The item number for the -20C iButton
            is DS1921L-F52. If -4F is low enough for you and you decide to get
            this iButton, maybe a phone call to the company can save you $5 if
            they'd agree to substitute the -20 degree C iButton for the -10
            degree C iButton.
            Wish I'd thought to do that!
            Carol Crooker
            Transformation Coach

            --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Chief Moderator"
            <ChiefModerator@B...> wrote:
            > I'm also looking but the 14 dg F lower limit pretty much knocks
            this one
            > out for me....
            > Jerry
            >
            >
            >
            > http://www.BackpackGearTest.org
            <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> :
            > the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the
            planet.
            >
            > -----Original Message-----
            > From: John Burnet [mailto:gatemansnametag@y...]
            > Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 11:41 AM
            > To: BackpackGearTest@y...
            > Subject: [BackpackGearTest] EDIT - Revised Owners Report
            Thermachron
            > iButton Temperature Sensor
            >
            >
            > Hi Carol,
            >
            > Thanks for the review and for introducing me to this
            > very interesting product. I have been looking for a
            > really portable max/min thermometer, but I think this
            > sounds better.
            >
            > The only error I saw was the omission of the 'e' in
            > the following: 'I can still gt done what I want to do
            > with this device.'
            >
            > You can upload your review to:
            >
            > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Environmental%20Monitoring%
            20Gea
            > r/Thermometers/Dallas%20Semiconductor%20Thermachron%20iButton/
            >
            > Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this
            > report.
            >
            >
            > Happy trails,
            >
            >
            > John Burnet
            > gatemansnametag(at)yahoo(dot)com
            > BGT List monitor
            >
            > =====
            > "What are the three most essential backpacking items?"
            >
            > "Toys, water, and food. Without water and food, you'll die. If you
            don't
            > bring toys, all you'll have to play with is rocks and sticks."
            >
            > -- A. M. Frick
            >
            > __________________________________________________
            > Do you Yahoo!?
            > New DSL Internet Access from SBC & Yahoo!
            > http://sbc.yahoo.com
            >
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
            >
            > ADVERTISEMENT
            >
            >
            <http://rd.yahoo.com/M=233351.2428261.3848243.2225242/D=egroupweb/S=1
            705
            >
            066005:HM/A=1212978/R=0/*http://www.gotomypc.com/u/tr/yh/grp/300_youH
            1/g
            > 22lp?Target=mm/g22lp.tmpl>
            >
            > <http://us.adserver.yahoo.com/l?
            M=233351.2428261.3848243.2225242/D=egrou
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            >
            >
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            >
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            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Chief Moderator
            Outstanding! Thanks for the information. Jerry http://www.BackpackGearTest.org : the most comprehensive interactive gear
            Message 5 of 9 , Oct 6, 2002
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              Outstanding! Thanks for the information.
              Jerry



              http://www.BackpackGearTest.org <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> :
              the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the planet.

              -----Original Message-----
              From: cmcrooker [mailto:cmcrooker@...]
              Sent: Sunday, October 06, 2002 1:14 AM
              To: BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: [BackpackGearTest] Jerry Re: EDIT - Revised Owners Report
              Thermachron iButton Temperature Sensor


              Jerry,
              There is also a Thermachron iButton that reads down to -20 degrees C
              (-4 degrees F). It's the same price as the iButton I reported on
              ($15 for the iButton alone, $15 for the hardware to get it up and
              running. It is not listed in kit form like the iButton I bought
              which gets you a $5 discount.) The item number for the -20C iButton
              is DS1921L-F52. If -4F is low enough for you and you decide to get
              this iButton, maybe a phone call to the company can save you $5 if
              they'd agree to substitute the -20 degree C iButton for the -10
              degree C iButton.
              Wish I'd thought to do that!
              Carol Crooker
              Transformation Coach

              --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., "Chief Moderator"
              <ChiefModerator@B...> wrote:
              > I'm also looking but the 14 dg F lower limit pretty much knocks
              this one
              > out for me....
              > Jerry
              >
              >
              >
              > http://www.BackpackGearTest.org
              <http://www.backpackgeartest.org/> :
              > the most comprehensive interactive gear reviews and tests on the
              planet.
              >
              > -----Original Message-----
              > From: John Burnet [mailto:gatemansnametag@y...]
              > Sent: Friday, October 04, 2002 11:41 AM
              > To: BackpackGearTest@y...
              > Subject: [BackpackGearTest] EDIT - Revised Owners Report
              Thermachron
              > iButton Temperature Sensor
              >
              >
              > Hi Carol,
              >
              > Thanks for the review and for introducing me to this
              > very interesting product. I have been looking for a
              > really portable max/min thermometer, but I think this
              > sounds better.
              >
              > The only error I saw was the omission of the 'e' in
              > the following: 'I can still gt done what I want to do
              > with this device.'
              >
              > You can upload your review to:
              >
              > http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Environmental%20Monitoring%
              20Gea
              > r/Thermometers/Dallas%20Semiconductor%20Thermachron%20iButton/
              >
              > Sorry for the delay in getting back to you on this
              > report.
              >
              >
              > Happy trails,
              >
              >
              > John Burnet
              > gatemansnametag(at)yahoo(dot)com
              > BGT List monitor
              >
              > =====
              > "What are the three most essential backpacking items?"
              >
              > "Toys, water, and food. Without water and food, you'll die. If you
              don't
              > bring toys, all you'll have to play with is rocks and sticks."
              >
              > -- A. M. Frick
              >
              > __________________________________________________
              > Do you Yahoo!?
              > New DSL Internet Access from SBC & Yahoo!
              > http://sbc.yahoo.com
              >
              >
              > Yahoo! Groups Sponsor
              >
              > ADVERTISEMENT
              >
              >
              <http://rd.yahoo.com/M=233351.2428261.3848243.2225242/D=egroupweb/S=1
              705
              >
              066005:HM/A=1212978/R=0/*http://www.gotomypc.com/u/tr/yh/grp/300_youH
              1/g
              > 22lp?Target=mm/g22lp.tmpl>
              >
              > <http://us.adserver.yahoo.com/l?
              M=233351.2428261.3848243.2225242/D=egrou
              > pmail/S=:HM/A=1212978/rand=201569319>
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > BackpackGearTest-unsubscribe@y...
              >
              >
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service
              > <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/> .
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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            • John Burnet
              Hi Folks, I believe that I have caught up on all of the outstanding owner s reviews. If you have recently submitted an owner s review and you do not see a
              Message 6 of 9 , Oct 6, 2002
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                Hi Folks,

                I believe that I have caught up on all of the
                outstanding owner's reviews.

                If you have recently submitted an owner's review and
                you do not see a reply from me with today's date, I
                have missed it. Please point it out to me and I will
                get it edited and approved for upload as soon as
                possible.

                Thanks for your patience,

                John Burnet
                gatemansnametag(at)yahoo(dot)com
                BGT List monitor

                =====
                "What are the three most essential backpacking items?"

                "Toys, water, and food. Without water and food, you'll die. If you don't bring toys, all you'll have to play with is rocks and sticks."

                -- A. M. Frick

                __________________________________________________
                Do You Yahoo!?
                Yahoo! Health - Feel better, live better
                http://health.yahoo.com
              • starnescr
                And a great big THANK YOU!!! from us. I try to edit a report from time to time and it is a lot of work. I can t imaging doing this many all at once. Now to fix
                Message 7 of 9 , Oct 6, 2002
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                  And a great big THANK YOU!!! from us. I try to edit a report from
                  time to time and it is a lot of work. I can't imaging doing this
                  many all at once. Now to fix mine.

                  Coy Boy

                  --- In BackpackGearTest@y..., John Burnet <gatemansnametag@y...>
                  wrote:
                  > Hi Folks,
                  >
                  > I believe that I have caught up on all of the
                  > outstanding owner's reviews.
                  >
                  > If you have recently submitted an owner's review and
                  > you do not see a reply from me with today's date, I
                  > have missed it. Please point it out to me and I will
                  > get it edited and approved for upload as soon as
                  > possible.
                  >
                  > Thanks for your patience,
                  >
                  > John Burnet
                  > gatemansnametag(at)yahoo(dot)com
                  > BGT List monitor
                  >
                  > =====
                  > "What are the three most essential backpacking items?"
                  >
                  > "Toys, water, and food. Without water and food, you'll die. If you
                  don't bring toys, all you'll have to play with is rocks and sticks."
                  >
                  > -- A. M. Frick
                  >
                  > __________________________________________________
                  > Do You Yahoo!?
                  > Yahoo! Health - Feel better, live better
                  > http://health.yahoo.com
                • Andrew Priest
                  Hi John Well done and thanks for jumping in big time and getting them done. I must admit it wasn t something I was looking forward to on my return! I should be
                  Message 8 of 9 , Oct 8, 2002
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                    Hi John

                    Well done and thanks for jumping in big time and getting them done. I must
                    admit it wasn't something I was looking forward to on my return!

                    I should be able to help again now.

                    Cheers
                    Andrew

                    At 01:26 AM 07/10/2002, you wrote:
                    >Hi Folks,
                    >
                    >I believe that I have caught up on all of the
                    >outstanding owner's reviews.

                    --
                    Aushiker - Hiking in Western Australia - http://aushiker.com

                    Group Monitor: BackpackGearTest - http://www.backpackgeartest.org



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