What's best for temperature reporting & control

It was easy when there was just Arduino but now we have to choose.
I want to put a “controller” at my cottage to turn on the heat remotely. As well the unit would report several temperatures when polled. Is the choice Boron or Electron or … ?
Any helps in getting started would be wonderful.

@davidsproule ,

Thanks for asking. This is a very reasonable use of the Particle platform.

To answer your question, you may need to flesh out the details a bit. For example:

  • Going forward, the Boron would be the best choice as the Electron is not going to be available. The Boron also uses 4G cellular technology optimized for IOT - CAT M1 in the US for example which gives you lower power.
  • If there is WiFi that is not behind a login page, you could consider the Argon (soon to be updated to the new Photon) that may give you better connectivity depending on your situation.
  • How many temperature data points do you want to collect? Are they all within a few feet, tens of feet, more dispersed? For example, in one application, I was collecting the AC intake, outflow register and room temperature. This can give you a sense of temperature and of the proper functioning of your AC system.
  • How will you turn on the heat? Do you plan to do this with a direct electrical connection to the heater’s controls or does your heater present an API that you can simply call?

Happy to provide some details on my experience and - best of all - there are a lot of smart people who can help you in this community.



Thank you Chip for your quick response. You sound like a great helper.
We have a telephone activated heat controller that unfortunately interferes with long distance calling from the cottage, thus my desire to replace it a Particle answer. I have a Boron, an Electron and several Photons. I am just a hobbyist with ancient (1959) electronics training, but often have trouble getting my microcomputers to work. My one success was putting a Photon in a Teddy Ruxpin to automate his speech with eye, mouth and arm movements. I am a retired Anglican Priest.
My plan is 3 DS18B20 temp sensors (outside, inside & basement pump room) - all within 10’ and a latching relay . Our baseboard heaters have 18v relays in line with local thermostats fed by the nearby transformer that would be turned on by the Boron.
I would like to use my Android cell phone to contact the Boron, read the temperatures and turn the heat on or off.
One further note we have internet & WiFi but it will not be active during the winter, so I am thinking “cell.”

@davidsproule ,

I had a similar project to collect data from three DS18B20 sensors on MBTA trains. It was a bit different Than my typical outdoor fare and I enjoyed the luxury of not having to worry about power / sleep much.

I am including a link to the repo - please take a look and see if this might be of use to you.

A couple additional notes:

  • This code sends data to a back-end service - Ubidots which stores the data for review, driving events and reporting. It may be a good place for you to trigger your heater or view with your phone - but it is not a requirement for your project.

  • Some of the code refers to devices you may or may not need - FRAM, RTC, Watchdog.

  • Switching on the heat is a possibility, but you need to think about how your system will “fail safe”. controlling real-world devices requires some careful planning.

Take a look and see if the code makes sense to you.


Thank you your response. Unfortunately, I don’t know what you are talking about in Gitlib.
At the moment I can’t even get my Boron to get on line, It was setup on CLI back in January but now I can’t find the correct command (exact words) to get it going again. I am lost with it flashing blue and can’t find the way to get it onto the net.
I appreciate your interest and understand that we were heading in the same direction. Unfortunately Particle is so complex that us dummies get lost in the setup.
I will understand if you just want to go away,

@davidsproule ,

Sorry, I should have asked a few more questions before throwing the whole Github thing at you. I believe that Particle does a lot to help simplify building solutions like you are trying to do. They have also created some great documentation.

If your Boron is flashing blue, it likely needs to be setup. Take a look at this guide and see if you can get your Boron back on-line:

Once you do get on-line, you may want to check out some of the getting started docs:

Again, sorry about jumping right into the deep end of the pool on this. You can learn this stuff step by step.


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