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Old 09-18-2019, 09:00 AM
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Can one buy digital clocks/thermometers that work outdoors?


Please read the OP carefully. I do NOT want an outdoor sensor that sends the temp to an indoor base. Ideally what I want is a digital clock/thermometer combo that can stay in an unheated garage and be readable from anywhere in the garage. I am not interested in any analog readouts. I know LCDs won't work below freezing so I am probably looking for an LED device of some sort.

Does such a thing exist? I cannot wade thru the morass of indoor/outdoor weather stations which flood any google search I try.

Thanks.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:25 AM
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I must add that I have an Oregon Scientific weather sensor in my garage which functions down to -22F and it has an LCD on it (maybe 1/2 in height) so I am baffled why I keep hearing that LCDs won't work below freezing.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:33 AM
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Most LCDs are spec'd for room-temperature operation, but low-temperature versions are available.
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Industrial, non-automotive transportation and military sectors, among others, often require LCD character or graphics displays that can operate in extreme temperature environments. Typically, standard LCD character and graphics modules provide a temperature range of 0C to +50C. However, several display manufacturers offer extreme temperature models with operating temperatures of -40C to +80 or +85C. There also is a wide selection of standard versions that range from -20C to +70C.
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:34 AM
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I went to amazon and put:

outdoor digital thermometer

in the search box. Then I chose "4-star and up" reviews. Got 46 hits. Check the reviews and Q&As on the ones that look promising.

You don't have to buy from amazon, but you get an idea of what's out there. Don't know if this will help.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:14 AM
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Some of the issue may be the batteries. Standard alkalines don't work well in cold temperatures; you need the more expensive lithium versions.

I've got both the sensors and the base station of a greenhouse thermometer in an unheated packing shed (sensors are in the coolers); these work in cold weather as long as they've got the right batteries, and the base station has a clock. It doesn't have a large enough display for you, though, I don't think.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
I went to amazon and put:

outdoor digital thermometer

in the search box. Then I chose "4-star and up" reviews. Got 46 hits. Check the reviews and Q&As on the ones that look promising.
Almost all of those are the type that has an outside sensor, which the OP didn't want.
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Old 09-18-2019, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThelmaLou View Post
I went to amazon and put:

outdoor digital thermometer

in the search box. Then I chose "4-star and up" reviews. Got 46 hits. Check the reviews and Q&As on the ones that look promising.

You don't have to buy from amazon, but you get an idea of what's out there. Don't know if this will help.
You missed the part where I want the physical readout to appear in the garage, not be read indoors by an outdoor sensor. I did the same search as you and all are sensors that send readings indoors.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:02 AM
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You don't really need the wireless. They do make units with a wired sensor probe on a large LED display, like this:

https://www.amazon.com/d/Temperature...ure/B00NLL0R0I

Usually intended for monitoring industrial things. That one's "currently unavailable", but there are other similar products.
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:09 AM
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I searched for 'thermometer "LED display"' and found this - it's not really designed for outdoor use but at least it's a digital thermometer with a wired sensor and LED display, and operating temperature down to 14F. Is that cold enough or do you expect the garage to get colder than that?
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Old 09-18-2019, 11:11 AM
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I found some that might work for you by Googling for digital freezer thermometers.
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Old 09-18-2019, 12:12 PM
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How much is it worth to you?
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Old 09-18-2019, 01:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaBob View Post
Does such a thing exist
Certainly.
Dozens of businesses around here have outdoor signs that give the time (often with temperature, too). Perhaps bigger & more expensive than you want to pay, but certainly available.

Last edited by Tim@T-Bonham.net; 09-18-2019 at 01:45 PM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:00 PM
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How about?
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scr4 View Post
I searched for 'thermometer "LED display"' and found this - it's not really designed for outdoor use but at least it's a digital thermometer with a wired sensor and LED display, and operating temperature down to 14F. Is that cold enough or do you expect the garage to get colder than that?
The display is very small. But thanks.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:27 PM
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Again, too small. I'd want the digits to be at least 4" tall.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by yabob View Post
You don't really need the wireless. They do make units with a wired sensor probe on a large LED display, like this:

https://www.amazon.com/d/Temperature...ure/B00NLL0R0I

Usually intended for monitoring industrial things. That one's "currently unavailable", but there are other similar products.
Again, I think this is intended to be displayed indoors in a warm environment and reports what is at the end of the probe. I want the entire thing to be able to be in the cold environment.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:30 PM
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This is either going to be a custom design (I could do it for you), or extremely expensive (like for a time-and-temperature display on a bank, as mentioned above).
You are probably the only person in the world who wants one.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yabob View Post
You don't really need the wireless. They do make units with a wired sensor probe on a large LED display, like this:

https://www.amazon.com/d/Temperature...ure/B00NLL0R0I

Usually intended for monitoring industrial things. That one's "currently unavailable", but there are other similar products.
Looks like a winner except as you said it's unavailable.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:32 PM
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Again, too small. I'd want the digits to be at least 4" tall.
If you can, industrial displays from Red Lion or Newport or whoever have all sizes of digital displays, if a purchased thermometer display is too small it isn't too hard to run the signal wires to a stand-alone display.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:42 PM
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Even if it's a remote sensor, wireless or wired, you don't have to place the readout device inside, but can leave it right by the temperature sensor.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:44 PM
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Even if it's a remote sensor, wireless or wired, you don't have to place the readout device inside, but can leave it right by the temperature sensor.
Yeah, that's what I was thinking. There's no law that says the sensor has to be outdoors, and the display indoors. Put both in the damn garage.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:45 PM
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Looks like a winner except as you said it's unavailable.
Here is the same thing from the manufacturers web site: Thermometer
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:48 PM
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Here is the same thing from the manufacturers web site: Thermometer
Nice find. But as many of you have posited, such a device appears to be way more expensive than I imagined. Thanks to all.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:49 PM
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Yeah, that's what I was thinking. There's no law that says the sensor has to be outdoors, and the display indoors. Put both in the damn garage.
The issue was that many sensors can handle the low temps, but the display cannot, hence the long wire probe to a display safely in a warm house.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:52 PM
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Quote:
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Almost all of those are the type that has an outside sensor, which the OP didn't want.
ALMOST all, but not ALL. I did read the OP.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:53 PM
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The issue was that many sensors can handle the low temps, but the display cannot, hence the long wire probe to a display safely in a warm house.
How about you put the display in a warm house, set up a cheap video camera to stream an image of it to an 85" TV in the garage?

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Old 09-18-2019, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaBob View Post
I want the physical readout to appear in the garage, not be read indoors by an outdoor sensor.
It occurs to me that presuming you can find one with what's supposed to be the "indoors" readout the way you like it, you could probably just keep both the sensor and the base station in the garage. It shouldn't need to be waterproof, after all, just to work in the cold -- and as I said earlier that's partly a matter of what batteries you use. IME the "indoors" readouts I've got work fine in the cold; they're just too small for what I think you're after, as they're not designed to be readable from across a sizeable room.
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:57 PM
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Here's another one: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/3280...chweb201603_53
  #29  
Old 09-18-2019, 03:17 PM
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What exactly is the end goal? If you want to be alerted to the garage being below (or above) some threshold, you can use a temperature controller like this and connect a colored lamp to the output, so the lamp would turn on when the temperature is below (or above) the setpoint.

If you really need the actual temperature displayed in big letters, and the $375 unit discussed above is too expensive, you could get a cheaper one with a wired sensor, and attach a heater to the display unit (like a silicone strip heater).

Or maybe a Bluetooth temperature sensor? The display will be in your pocket (i.e. your smartphone) rather than mounted on the garage wall.

Last edited by scr4; 09-18-2019 at 03:22 PM.
  #30  
Old 09-18-2019, 03:38 PM
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Another option of using a indoor type of display and a outdoor temperature sensor both in the garage is to build something that can keep the display part warm. If it's a plug in it may produce enough heat on it's own to be happy in the garage, or add some insulation to the back of the display. Maybe clear plastic or glass in the front, or a clear 'box' around it,something like this https://www.shoppopdisplays.com/CS00...RoCJSgQAvD_BwE . It may be needed to add some form of heating element inside this, or attached to the back. But as long as you have power in the garage it would cost far less than those commercial signs, even with a ongoing electric use, which those signs will also have to use.

Last edited by kanicbird; 09-18-2019 at 03:40 PM.
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Old 09-18-2019, 04:11 PM
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It occurs to me that presuming you can find one with what's supposed to be the "indoors" readout the way you like it, you could probably just keep both the sensor and the base station in the garage. It shouldn't need to be waterproof, after all, just to work in the cold -- and as I said earlier that's partly a matter of what batteries you use. IME the "indoors" readouts I've got work fine in the cold; they're just too small for what I think you're after, as they're not designed to be readable from across a sizeable room.
Eh, just buy a box of them and place one every few feet along a wall.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:54 PM
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I must admit I'm puzzled: The very first reply, by the same person as the OP, seems to be saying that he already has the device that he's looking for.
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Old 09-18-2019, 06:04 PM
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I must admit I'm puzzled: The very first reply, by the same person as the OP, seems to be saying that he already has the device that he's looking for.
Display isn't big enough, apparently.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:00 AM
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It's too bad you're not interested in analog readouts, because otherwise this problem could be solved with an inexpensive wall clock and a bimetallic coil thermometer.
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Old 09-19-2019, 07:53 AM
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It's too bad you're not interested in analog readouts, because otherwise this problem could be solved with an inexpensive wall clock and a bimetallic coil thermometer.
Exactly. I really like digital readouts. I spend alot of time in my garage which is not heated. I want to be able to glance up at see the exact temp on a digital display.

I might just chance an indoor unit that is temp rated to below freezing and use lithium batteries. The industrial models that seem to do what I want are too expensive.

And yes, the Oregon Scientific unit I use as a remote sensor is not readable unless you walk right up to it.

Again, many thanks to all who cared to answer and help. Mods can consider the issue closed.
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Old 09-19-2019, 09:31 AM
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Large displays lime this are sometimes called scoreboards. A google image search for thermometer scoreboard brings up some possible candidates. In particular, check dhgate.com. There's one called 2019 HD LED large screen wall clock that looks good.
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Old 09-19-2019, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by jnglmassiv View Post
Large displays lime this are sometimes called scoreboards. A google image search for thermometer scoreboard brings up some possible candidates. In particular, check dhgate.com. There's one called 2019 HD LED large screen wall clock that looks good.
I think the gatekeepers on that site do not understand the difference between LCD and LED. That clock you mentioned is clearly LCD, not LED. We have that exact clock in our office.
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Last edited by BwanaBob; 09-19-2019 at 12:37 PM.
  #38  
Old 09-19-2019, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BwanaBob View Post
I spend alot of time in my garage which is not heated. I want to be able to glance up at see the exact temp on a digital display.
I have a extension to my house that's not heated - so I bought a space heater, which works really well.

Apologies if that's not possible in your case.
  #39  
Old 09-19-2019, 06:28 PM
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I think the gatekeepers on that site do not understand the difference between LCD and LED. That clock you mentioned is clearly LCD, not LED. We have that exact clock in our office.
I couldn't ink to it earlier but this looks like LEDs to me:

https://www.dhgate.com/product/hd-le...462935797.html
  #40  
Old 09-25-2019, 09:38 AM
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That is the clock we have at work. I don't care what their website says, it's an LCD clock. LED digits are quite distinctive.
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  #41  
Old 09-25-2019, 11:16 AM
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That is the clock we have at work. I don't care what their website says, it's an LCD clock. LED digits are quite distinctive.
While LCDs don't glow, they can be back-lit to appear glowing. Hence LCD monitors and such which are fading away. So you could technically do something like this with LCDs. But it's not the best strategy. For something like this I think it's more likely that it's LEDs behind a mask. To light up a segment the LCD(s) behind it are turned on.

But I think you're getting off track here. The issue is visibility. Whether it's LED or LCD is immaterial at heart. Is the thing big enough and bright enough (and temp. tolerant enough) to solve your problem? Then who cares what the middle letter is?
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Old 09-25-2019, 01:28 PM
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I was under the assumption that LCDs would be damaged or ruined in subfreezing temperatures, where LEDs wouldn't. It doesn't get much below freezing in my garage, even if its brutally cold outside (say 15 degrees).
So I want a thermometer or even better a clock thermometer combo that's digital and can withstand a range of say 20F to 120F. Also the digits need to be at least 3 inches in height. I also don't want to pay hundreds of dollars.
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Old 09-25-2019, 03:29 PM
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LCDs just get more sluggish as the temperature falls. They may also suffer from readability problems.
But, even standard-temperature LCDs won’t be damaged by sub-freezing temperatures. Storage temperatures of -20C are typical.
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:55 PM
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I must add that I have an Oregon Scientific weather sensor in my garage which functions down to -22F and it has an LCD on it (maybe 1/2 in height) so I am baffled why I keep hearing that LCDs won't work below freezing.
They won't work when they get too cold. For some LCD's that is actually around 32F, so people actually see it happen. Sometimes that's actually because the battery is too cold: sometimes it's the LCD. Low-temperature thermometers use LCD's with a lower operating temperature and a lower freezing temperature: I don't know what they do about the battery.
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