How to use Tempurity™ to Collect Temperatures from a Home Network
This primary purpose of this document is to describe how to configure your home network for use with the Tempurity System. Although examples of a method for home-based installation of temperature probes are given, in general, installation is covered elsewhere. The directions for network configuration differ depending on whether your Tempurity Server, the computer serving as the temperature collector, is inside your home network, or outside of it. In either case temperatures can be monitored from anywhere on the internet. You will be able to watch temperatures, define and send alarm notifications from any computer either inside or outside your home. This document is targeted towards customers that have a home router. For more detailed information see the Tempurity System User’s Guide, and the Tempurity Quickstart Guide which can be obtained from the download section of the Networked Robotics web page. The Tempurity System allows data collection and monitoring of more than just temperature. Almost any parameter can be monitored especially through contact (switch) monitoring and voltage monitoring.
At the time of this writing you can monitor the temperatures from a demo home where every room and two hot water heaters are connected to the Tempurity System. To monitor the demo home, download the Tempurity Monitor to your Windows XP computer from www.networkedrobotics.com/download. Enter the Tempurity Server address "tempurity.homeip.net". If this server is not available, you may wish to connect to the server at "demo.networkedrobotics.com".
For detailed installation information see the Tempurity System User's Guide. The photographs below show Networked Robotics TPL3 probes installed in a home in order to record room temperature. The probe is plugged directly into a network wall plate. The green light indicates that the probe is connected properly to Networked Robotics' NTMS4 network hardware. This is an example of the network-closet-based installation method described later in this document and shows the location of some of the probes at the demo house.
To collect temperatures you will need at least one Networked Robotics NTMS4 network device and at least one Networked Robotics digital temperature probe. To collect temperatures from multiple NTMS units, in most homes, you will also need a home network router. Routers can be purchased at electronic stores such as Best Buy for under $100 and can be either wired or wireless for use with Tempurity. If you wish to connect your temperatures wirelessly, you will also need a wireless bridge such as the LinkSys WET11. Figure 4 shows an example wireless configuration.
Configuring your Home Network for use with Tempurity
The Process of Configuring your Network for use with Tempurity
This document describes the process of configuring a home network in cases where a Tempurity Server is outside your home network and is collecting temperatures from Networked Robotics hardware inside your home or where a Tempurity Server is inside your home and you wish to access temperatures with an external Tempurity Monitor. In either case you will need to:
The examples below are based on Linksys routers from Cisco Systems. You may need to consult your user’s guide in order to find the appropriate configuration screens for your brand of router.
Home Router and Network Basics
Most home routers have a single external network address, called an IP address, and multiple internal addresses. All connections initiating from outside the home network must be to the external IP address. The Internet Service Provider (e.g. Comcast, Sprint, or AOL) assigns you this address from a range of addresses allocated to their organization. Usually the address is automatically assigned to the router when you turn the router on. Network messages coming into the router from the outside are usually discarded. Because the internet sees only one external address, and there are many internal addresses, the router does not know to which internal address/ computer the message should be sent. You will need to tell the router that externally-originating messages destined for Tempurity devices should be forwarded to the internal computer's (Tempurity Server's) internal IP address or to the internal IP addresses of Networked Robotics NTMS hardware on your network.
In the router configuration you will identify the types of external message that will be forwarded internally by the external message's network (TCP) port address. For Tempurity this will be either the network port address(s) you entered into your NTMS via the NTMS Configuration Utility (when the Tempurity Server is external) , or the fixed address 3010 which is the port used by external Tempurity Monitors to talk to internal Tempurity Servers.
Determine your Router’s External Address
Connect to your router according to the instructions in the router user’s guide. Usually you will do this by entering the router's default IP address, usually 192.168.x.1, into a web browser. Enter the router username and password as per the router's user's guide.
Linksys routers the “Status” screen is used to determine the external
IP address, shown below on the line “Internet IP address”. This will be
entered for every access to Tempurity from outside of your home
network. You should record this address.
Configuring the Router for Access by Tempurity
You will use the router’s port mapping procedures to allow external access by Tempurity. On LinkSys routers this function is enabled in a screen called Applications and Gaming (Multiplayer game servers require the same procedures to allow connections by the outside).
If the Tempurity Server is Outside the Home Network
In the example below two NTMS4 network devices are connected within the home network. Each of these are connected to four Networked Robotics digital temperature probes that might be connected to a room, refrigerator, or freezer anywhere in the house (not shown).
The figure below shows how port mapping allows the Tempurity Server to connect through the router to collect temperatures. Note that the port addresses must all be unique. These are assigned manually to the NTMS via the Tempurity System's NTMS Configuration Wizard or NTMS Configuration Utility.
In the Linksys screen above, “Application”, is a field that can be any user-specified entry. “Port start and end” is the configured NTMS network port for a given temperature port on the NTMS. “Ip address” is the internal IP address that you gave to the NTMS device using the NTMS Configuration Utility. Enable should always be checked.
From within the Tempurity Server Configuration Utility screen on a Tempurity Server outside the home network, each monitored device will be identified using the router's external IP address and the unique port address as follows:
based on the external address of the router as determined in the previous section. You should record these addresses. You may wish to list them on a Tempurity System magnet or on another label for public reference.
If the Tempurity Server is Inside the Home Network
If the Tempurity Server is inside your home, that is if you are collecting and storing temperatures on one of your home computers, then if you wish to access temperatures outside your home, you must enable connections from a Tempurity Monitor running outside of your home to the Tempurity Server. You will need to open the Tempurity Monitor Port address on the router, which is always port 3010. The figure below shows a potential home network configuration.
In the router application and gaming configuration screen above there will a single entry where the port address is 3010 and the IP is set to the internal IP address of your Tempurity Server computer. On a Windows XP computer you can confirm the IP address by Start->Run-> enter "CMD" and then type "IPCONFIG" at the black command screen.
If the Tempurity Server is inside the home network, the Tempurity Server Configuration Utility should be entered using the internal router addresses as:
These are the addresses that you should record on the Tempurity magnet label for permanent reference.
Preventing the Router from Creating Internal IP Address Conflicts
You must manually assign IP addresses to each NTMS that are within the range of IP addresses allowed by the router. In a typical home network e.g. 192.168.1.1 to 192.168.1.255 would be allowed by default. The router hands out addresses to computers on your network in this range using a system called DHCP. You should ensure that the router does not hand out an address that is already in use by an NTMS or a Tempurity Server. In the Linksys screen below the Start Ip address, and the number of address field determines that 192.168.1.100 through 192.168.1.150 will be handed out by the router. Any other address except 192.168.1.1 (the router’s address) would be able to be assigned to an NTMS without fear of a duplicate address.
Fixing the Router's External IP Addresses
When the router is set to obtain an IP automatically, (see the figure above), every time that the router is restarted it may be assigned a new IP address from the internet service provider. External monitoring by the Tempurity System requires that this address be a known, fixed quantity. To ensure this you will need either a (1) fixed IP address for your router (note that most ISPs give changeable or dynamic addresses most commonly) , (2) a universal power supply to prevent router reboots, or (3) the use of dynamic DNS to ensure that the router's IP address is known. The use of dynamic DNS is recommended although detailed instructions for using dynamic DNS are beyond the scope of this document. In general you will need to (1) ensure that your router supports dynamic DNS protocol and (2) register with one of the router company's dynamic DNS providers.
Example Home Installation
Installing NTMS4 Hardware in a Network Closet
The NTMS4 can also be installed in your homes' network closet to reduce the amount of clutter in the rooms / areas you are monitoring. Your typical home network closet consists of:
These pieces of hardware are connected such that you can use patch cable to determine which port on the router feeds any given wall plug. Pictured below is a simplified typical setup:
The NTMS4 is installed in series with the router and patch panel as to convert wall plugs into temperature ports. Using different colored patch cable to identify temperature lines, plug desired jacks on the patch panel into your NTMS4. Plug the NTMS4 directly into the router for internet. Pictured below is a simplified typical NTMS4 installation:
Now all wall plates that are connected to the NTMS4 are temperature ports. It is now possible to plug in proprietary Networked Robotics temperature probes directly into the wall plate. Use extension cables to lengthen the reach of the probe.
This document describes the unique network configuration of your home router for use with Tempurity and describes an example installation method. With the instructions in this document you are now able to see or collect temperatures in your house from anywhere in the world; office, hotel, vacation house, relatives house, etc.