Hardware hacking with Arduino’s temperature sensor

Dad always kept it cool in the house, just like his native bay area. With a cold front moving through Texas this weekend, I thought I’d use my Arduino’s temperature sensor to track the overnight temperature of the unheated living room and compare its readings to the actual outdoor temperature.

I modified sparkfun’s temperature sensor example to log every minute, let the sensor run from 11 p.m. to 11 a.m. Friday night and plotted the indoor readings against the hourly outdoor recorded temperature.

Outdoor temperatures at the minute level would provide better comparison, but I was surprised to see how small the difference is.

Twilio was nice to hook my teammates and I up with open-source Arduino boards for best use of their SMS service on voting wait time our project for a hack in New York last summer. Tools like Arduino offer exciting opportunities for folks interested in sensor journalism, but I’ve found it tricky to find newsworthy applications of hardware sensors. Recording the overnight temperature of my apartment was a simple experiment, but I look forward to more.

Fortunately the Texas Tribune nerds let interns tinker in the newsroom.