WeatherDuck: Serial Port Climate Monitor

WeatherDuck: Serial Port Climate Monitor
WxDux-1 Specification (5/4/03). IT WatchDogs, Inc.
Remote PC Environment Monitor
A simple, low-cost way to
monitor remote computer rooms or
cabinets, the WeatherDuck plugs
directly into the PC serial port and
reports temperature, humidity, light
level, air flow and the door position
status. Remote sensors and a camera
can be added.
Internal Sensors
Light Level
All sensors are internal
(external magnetic-type door sensors
are required to sense door position).
The WeatherDuck uses serial
port power: no external "wall-wart"
supply is required. The matchboxsized device can be located up to 15'
away by use of a serial port extender
External temperature sensors
can easily be added. The sensors
connect to the WeatherDuck using
RJ-11 telephone-type connectors and
can be located hundreds of feet from
the WeatherDuck. Typical
installations have three Remote
Temperature Sensors for monitoring
room temperature, air conditioning
outlet temperature (check for
evaporator freezing or refrigerant loss)
and the “hot spot” in a computer
The PowerEgg accessory
continuously monitors volts, amps,
power factor, wattage plus low and
high volts. Additionally, the amount
of power consumed (kWh) is
continuously calculated in the
PowerEgg which can be used for subnet power billing.
Comprehensive Software Supplied
Data can be viewed via a Web
page, Excel tm spreadsheets, Telnet,
and Simple Network Monitoring
Protocol (SNMP). When viewed
through the Web format, a variety of
graphs and real-time data can be
The unit plugs into a PC serial port.
No external power supply is required.
I/O Ports
and Air Flow
A rugged metal housing contains
the circuitry and sensors.
Self-contained Monitor
• Temperature, humidity,
air flow, light level, door
open - all use internal
• Remote temperature
• Optional WebCam
• PowerEgg electrical
power monitor
• No external power
• Simple click-together
wiring connects external
External devices can be added
such as remote temperature sensors
and power condition monitors.
Alarming functions via e-mail
and paging are available and
threshold easily set. See the sections
on software later in this data sheet.
Uses Existing IP Address
The WeatherDuck uses the
existing server IP address and network
connections thus saving the cost of
maintaining a separate IP address.
The simplest application uses
one WeatherDuck per room. Most
users add a Remote Temperature
monitor air conditioning register
output or room temperature.
Avoiding Melt Downs
Remote computer installations
face catastrophic failure in the event
of air-conditioning failure. Once internal temperatures
have exceeded 130 degrees F, the equipment is usually
damaged and should be replaced.
What Threatens Remote Computer Sites
Sensor Specifications
Each sensor is factory calibrated and should never
require re-calibration.
The WeatherDuck is an indoor device and can not
be used in environments where condensation could occur.
The presence of water on the circuit board will damage the
electronic components.
Lights On?
A/C Failure
Temperature: -10C to +85C (14F to 160F), +/- 0.5 degrees.
(Note: 1. Remote temperature sensors have same
characteristics. 2. Temperature is updated internally
every two minutes.)
Humidity: 0 -100% range, non-condensing, +/- 5%, 0-60
RH, +/- 8% at 90% RH typical.
Light Level: 0 -100 Lux, +/- 5%.
Air Flow: 0 - 100cfm. (Updated every two minutes. 100cfm
is the about amount of air from a 5" muffin fan in a noresistance environment. A reading of 10 approximates
still air, a reading of 100cfm is approximately 30.
Fans Stop
Adding a WeatherDuck provides a complete climate
picture. When magnetic door sensor are used, the
position of the room door or the cabinet door can be
monitored. A WebCam adds the view of the room.
Humidity: 0 -100% range, non-condensing, +/- 5%, 0-60
RH, +/- 8% at 90% RH typical.
Lamps: Two internal green lamps (LEDs) are furnished and
can be turned on and off under software control.
Monitor Hotspots and Room Temperature
External Devices Bus: A Dallas Semiconductor "1-Wire"
bidirectional communication bus is furnished. All
external devices (except contact sense) are sent over this
bus. See serial communications for more information.
One sensor
outside, three
sensors inside
the cabinet check
for hot spots
Input/Output Contacts (Door Sensors): 0 to 5 vdc with
internal loop current furnished.
Three multiple purpose contacts are supplied with
screwdriver attachments. An internal 500 microamp loop
current allows the position of magnetic door sensors to
be detected. A reading of "1" means there is essentially
no current (door open) and a reading of "99" means the
full loop current is flowing (door closed). These sense
ports can also be used to measure 0 to 5 volts direct
A 1.5 volt battery connected negative end to the
Contact labeled "C" and the positive end to any of the
contacts labeled "1,2,3" would give of a real-time
reading of about "30" on the real time data (0 to 100) and
graphing scale. It is this function that enables the
monitoring of Current Transformers (CT) by use of a
small adaptor.
Other 5 volt output devices can be used.
By use of a serial port command, the contact ports can be
configured to output from 0 to 5 volts direct current. A
Add four Remote Temperatue Sensors and a
cabinet fully instrument against heat damage.
An external sensor checks that Service Level
Agreements are maintained.
typical application would be to turn a small lamp on (Light
emitting diode typical. With an interposing relay, an
auxiliary air conditioner or other high current device could
be turned on. (Call Tech Support for more information on
device control.)
Using One Remote Temperature Sensor
Power Required: None, uses power from serial port data
lines (RTS and DTR) held to on by WeatherDuck
The Remote
Sensor plugs
into the RJ-11
Connector. DB-9, female connector.
Mounting: Two 4-40 screws with knobs.
12' cord
Data Input Connectors: up to 24 AWG wire, solid wire
External Device Port: RJ-11 female telephone connector.
Serial Port Commands: the Weather Duck is supplied with
a complete Windows, NT, 2000, and XP client and use of
this client is recommended. If you wish to access the
WeatherDuck and external devices, the following
commands are supported.
Serial Port Commands (case sensitive)
‘h’ Help Menu
‘ ‘ Banner (version)
‘@’ Serial number
‘V’ Verbose Mode on
‘v’ Verbose Mode off
‘B’ Auto Report on (every 60 seconds)
‘D’ Auto Report off
‘T’ Temperature
‘H’ Humidity
‘F’ Airflow
‘L’ Light
‘<‘ LED A on
‘>’ LED B on
‘l’ Latched port
‘:’ LEDs off
I/O Ports Commands (controlling the I/O ports)
Rn (1, 2, 3) reads the specified port as an analog input,
returning a value of 0-99, where 0 indicates complete
closure and 99 indicates open.
Jn (1, 2, 3) [V2.0 only] reads the specified port as an
digital input, returning either H or L followed by CRLF.
Pn and Nn (1,2,3) set port n high or low, respectively,
returning either H or L followed by CRLF.
One-Wire Commands: The 1-wire command set provides
high-level access to the Dallas Semiconductor 1-Wire
protocol which is communicated via the RJ-11 jack opposite
the DB-9 connector. The Remote Temperature sensor and
Power Egg are 1-Wire devices.
Consult the V2.0 software documentation for more
information and examples of 1-Wire communications.
‘r’ Reset
The Remote Temperature Sensor comes with a
12’ cord and can be installed (or deinstalled) at
any time. The software automatically discovers
the sensor and begins graphing it..
Multiple Temperature Sensors
Telephone wire connects multiple
Remote Temperature Sensors
Sensors plug into the
WeatherDuck receptacle
Common telephone connectors add additional
sensors. Total cable lengths should not exceed
200 feet. Six sensors are recommended
although dozens can be used..
‘j’ Read/Write BIT
‘n’ NEXT
‘b’ BYTE mode
‘p’ BYTE but with strong pullupSensor
Client Software
WeatherDuck Service (Widows NT, 2000, and XP)
For more information on communicating with Dallas
Semiconductor “1-Wire” devices the user should review
the reference documentation supplied by Dallas
Remote Temperature Sensor Specifications
Sensor: semiconductor sensor, same as internal sensor of
WeatherDuck, +/- 0.5 degree accuracy.
Cable: 12 feet, Cat 2 wire (telephone wire)
Connector: RJ-11 male
Mounting: Four mounting clips, double sided tape
Software Specifications:
Operating Systems: Windows NT, 2000, and XP
running as a service. (Windows 98 can run as an
application. See installation note.)
WeatherDuck 11-W
WD Plugin
Processor Loading: Average usage shows peak 1%
during Web accesses.
Processor Speed: P3 or better
Power Egg
Memory Requirements: 40MB disk, 30MB RAM.
(Varies with application.)
Remote Temp
WeatherDuck data can be accessed multiple ways locally
or remotely through an internet connections. No
configuration is needed when additional temperature
sensors or PowerEggs are added. The devices are
discovered autonmatically.
Room Temperature
A WeatherDuck and two Remote Temperature Sensors give a comphrensive coverage of a room. The WeatherDuck’s
internal temperature sensor monitors the cabinet, the first Remote Temperature Sensor hottest part of the cabinet,
and the second Remote Temperature Sensor monitors the air-conditioning system operation for early warning of
evaporator freezing or compressor failure.
Installation has been made as intuitive as possible and
most users will not need to do any additional
configuration. The system runs automatically, cleans up
after itself, and automatically discovers devices.
Web Service (local and remote)
All commonly-used features are available via a simple
web-based interface. WeatherDuck Server has its own
embedded web server that runs on its own port, so it will
not interfere with any other web applications that may be
running. A separate server, such as IIS, does not have to
be running.
Magnetic Door Sensor Wiring
The door sensors wire int the ports through
screw terminals
Graphs and Real-time Data
Graphs are automatically drawn for all registered
devices and are visible on the home page of the web
application. Hourly graphs are updated every minute, and
daily graphs are updated every hour. Real-time data is
also available on the same page.
Up to three door sensors can be accomodated.
Thse contact ports can be used for other purposes.
Alarm conditions may be set for any numeric value
returned by any known device. For example, an alarm
condition may be set to monitor temperature or humidity,
in effect keeping an eye on your air conditioner. E-mail
alerts are mailer whenever alarm conditions are triggered
or reset.
Door Sensor
Light Level
Air Flow
Door Position
When magnetic door sensors are used, the position of the room door or the cabinet door can be
monitored. A WebCam adds the view of the room.
Graphs are automatically updated, times
period from 2 hours to 5 days can be selected
Real-time data, updated continously. The
IO values of “1” shows doors are closed.
WeatherDuck data can be accessed in a variety of way. No cnfiguration is needed when new sensors or PowerEggs are
added. The devices are discovered autonmatically..The Web page can be viewed locally or remotely.
If you have a Windows-compatible webcam
attached to your system, WeatherDuck Server
can be configured to take a snapshot at a fixed
interval and display the snapshot in the web
Real-time data is available in XML format via
http, providing a straightforward way to integrate
environmental data into external applications.
The Excel remote logger (see below) is a simple
example of XML-based integration.
Log Exporter
Sometimes the provided graphing
functionality may not be adequate for the kind of
data analysis you wish to perform on historical
data. To address this need, historical data may be
exported as html, Excel spreadsheets, or commadelimited text. This functionality is available over
the web, so you don’t need to fish around on the file system.
Telnet Interface
Many administrators find that they can get things done faster
using the command line. So WeatherDuck Server provides a telnet
interface for text-based access to real-time data, device tables, user
administration, low-level configuration, and system log monitoring.
Excel Logger
As an example of XML-based remote monitoring, we have
provided an Excel template that connects to a remote WeatherDuck
Server and logs data on the fly.
WeatherDuck comes with graphing and monitoring tools of its
own, but there are plenty of other monitoring applications that can
keep eyes on a WeatherDuck server. WeatherDuck Server
publishes its data via a WinSNMP extension, making it available to
SNMP-aware monitoring tools such as WhatsUp Gold, MRTG, and
Examples, instructions, and MIB files are provided for the most
common tools.
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