Monitoring your fridge and freezer temps

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 14:25
ThreadID: 109113 Views:2718 Replies:5 FollowUps:16
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Hi I sometimes run two engels. One is used as a fridge the other a freezer. Because they sit in the back of the fourby (Landcruiser) I can only assume their working when driving. I d like to set up a monitor whereby I can see the temps at a glance when driving as well as an alarm triger when temp rises abvove a set amount.

Would appreciate any comments any may have.


Thanks

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Reply By: DaveO*ST-R - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 14:42

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 14:42
I use this for the fridge/freezer in my caravan. Acu-Rite I can't see why it would not be suitable for what you need. An alarm for minimum/maximum temps can be set for each sensor. Wireless range is good as well.

Just an option for you anyway.

Cheers,

Dave
AnswerID: 537581

Follow Up By: rare - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 14:49

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 14:49
Yes they look promising. Thanks
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 15:23

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 15:23
I have that system as well and happy with it
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Follow Up By: Les PK Ranger - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 16:44

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 16:44
Alby, I take it the sensors are placed inside the fridge or freezer, and they wireless no probs ??

Are the batts in the sensors ok with the temps ?
Low temps usually play havoc with batteries of all types.

Thanks, they look like a great way to keep an eye on the one fridge, and might place the other inside the cab somewhere to monitor that . . . at least until maybe one day I might set up a second unit for a freezer too :)
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 18:07

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 18:07
Les I can't recall the battery type (lithium?) they recommend but it is a AA disposable battery that Eveready and Duracell sell in supermarkets etc.
I run one in my fridge and one in our freezer and they have worked just fine
I have had the product for about 3 years and would buy it again
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Reply By: Freshstart - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 17:12

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 17:12
An alternative. I try to stay away from using any remote etc with batteries. They always seem to go flat at the wrong time.

I got two of the displays shown below ( approx $5 ebay) and mounted them on the outside of the fridges where they can be seen from outside of the car. They are right next to the rear drivers side window and can be seen easily as you get in and out of the car. No audible alarms, but if there is an issue the temperature will normally stay as is for quite a while. The voltage is taken from the 12V DC input to the fridge. So you get the temperature from a probe (supplied) placed inside the fridge and the actual voltage at the electronics of the fridge.

Works atreat for us. No batteries - no missing warning.

AnswerID: 537585

Follow Up By: Member - bbuzz (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 20:10

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 20:10
Love the idea of the monitoring.

Does running the wire to the sensor into the Engel (or similar) affect the rubber seal badly?

Same question for the caravan fridge.

bill
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Follow Up By: Freshstart - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 20:46

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 20:46
Not at all. The standard fridge temperature probe runs through a grommet in the wall of the fridge. I simply ran mine in the same grommet. Luck!!

I got the 12V for the monitor "+" supply and also the sensing from the inside of the electronic control box. The device runs on 7 - 30 V DC from memory. Hence the same 12V DC source can be used for the supply as well.

So it will still operate quite effectively even the the supply voltage from the car's battery was to go low. And thus twe temp and voltage would also be accurate.

To what standard I didn't worry with.

As long as the displayed values appear steady and as expected, and they have over several years, then I am happy that the fridge is performing as shown and that "all is well".

Our two Engel fridges (40L & 21L) are in the car. We don't have a caravan. Can't comment there. Sorry.

I got an inexpensive larger box from Jaycar and mounted this led display unit in it. The LED box is open at the rear.

If you want to investigate further here is a similar listing:

LED Digital Voltage Meter Time Temperature
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Reply By: Ross M - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 19:30

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 19:30
Jaycar sell small temp devices which monitor room or fridge temp.
$20 each # QM7209 1m wire on probe.
Set on fridge they will store highest and lowest readings and will display those when asked to.
The units have an alarm setting to indicate if a set temp maximum or minimum is exceeded. You can toggle through to see max an mins too.
Magnetic base for attaching to fridge or similar steel surfaces.
AAA battery lasts for a quite a while, longer than most trips, 2 years at least with mine.
Probe into fridge and away you go. Have to have probe in a place where a realistic temp is read.
Even inbuilt temp sensors only read the cabinet temp and not the food temp, so you place the probe where you want to know what the temp is in that spot.

Similar, stand alone Engel brand units are simply junk and fracture leads and become inoperative if used.
AnswerID: 537592

Follow Up By: Member - Ups and Downs - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 06:38

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 06:38
Ross, I must be lucky, my Engel unit for around $30 lasted for 8 years.
Paul
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Follow Up By: Freshstart - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 09:00

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 09:00
Paul you are not lucky at all. Engels are fine.

I think that Ross is talking about some kind of stand alone monitoring gizmo. Not the actual fridge.

Our two engel fridges (40L and 20L) perform perfectly. One was purchased new and the other one, that we use as a freezer, came from ebay. And we mainly go off road onto rough and heavily corrugated roads and tracks. They have been shaken up heaps. The most recent trip was a CSR drive and that was almost all corrugations. So I don't know what facts or reports that he could be basing his claim on.

Interested though.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 09:09

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 09:09
I have the Engel wireless temp monitor and it is a waste of money. The sender does not send a signal once the temp inside the fridge gets below about freezing and even when above that temp with the fridge door closed range is only a few feet.

Garry
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Follow Up By: lizard - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 09:10

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 09:10
Yep , my Engel temp monitor wire leads snapped at the unit - threw it in bin
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Follow Up By: Freshstart - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 09:17

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 09:17
Maybe this is a case of "cheap is best". WHAT! Did I say that!!! Like my solution.

I also tie all loose wires together with cable ties and try not to use batteries. After all I did install a third battery under the bonnet for all these extra 4x4 accessories. (the bloke who invented them mu be richer than Gates). The only dry cell battery in the kit is a 6V one for a large square torch.
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Reply By: Batt's - Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 19:32

Tuesday, Aug 12, 2014 at 19:32
I have the EvaKool monitor which I think is a generic brand it works good for up to about 20 mts. I use rechargeable batteries and when I go away I put a 12v/240v 1hr battery charger in the glove box because I use rechargeable batteries for most things cameras, torches etc
AnswerID: 537593

Follow Up By: Mark - Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 21:23

Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 21:23
Also had the Evakool one for over 3 years and it worked well as we could see the temp of the fridge in the CT from the tow vehicle. The receiver died this year though so we bought a new one. If we get another 3 years I will be happy.
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Reply By: The Landy - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 10:13

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 10:13
Hi Rare…

I use one of these, which incidentally is in the latest Anaconda catalogue at a price of $25.



Mine has been in the vehicle for over 12 months, I haven’t changed batteries, and in fact I do nothing with it other than check the read out when I am near the fridge. The monitor is located next to the fridge in the canopy.

My thoughts are not to over think or overwork this sort of thing.

Whilst it might be good to monitor the temperatures from the “driver’s seat” the reality is the further away you have the monitor from the transmitter the more likely you are to have erroneous readings. And besides, there are plenty of other more critical things to observe when driving.

Place one on top of each unit and take a look when you are around the back of the vehicle near the fridge…

Good luck with it,
Cheers
Baz – The Landy
AnswerID: 537611

Follow Up By: Freshstart - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 10:56

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 10:56
Two good points mate. Don't over engineer the job and keep the voltage monitoring right at the fridge. That's exactly what we did. The monitor is on the fridge and I get the voltage from inside the fridge electronics. I did them a few years back before the Simpson and Cape drives. Still prefer the smallish, non battery ones.
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Follow Up By: garrycol - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 11:58

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 11:58
That is the same as the Engel one I have mentioned above - don't work for long where temps drop below freezing.

Get a wired version.

Garry
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Follow Up By: The Landy - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 14:21

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 14:21
I suspect range will be limiting if wireless, and hence the reason mine is co-located with the fridge. In terms of temperature monitoring it appears to works fine at +- temperatures. I was testing the solar panels not too long ago and had the fridge running at sub-zero for an extended period and the wireless temperature monitor was indicating this.

But mind you, I'm not looking for absolute temperatures, but whether it is stable or trending one way or the other. They'll only ever provide guidance...

Looking at one on the dashboard could only mess with your head I reckon!

Cheers, Baz - The Landy
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Follow Up By: Freshstart - Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 14:35

Wednesday, Aug 13, 2014 at 14:35
I like the last bit Baz. Agree wholeheartedly and I look for stability as well.
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