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Remote Temperature Sensing for dog safety


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I've narrowed it down to MarCell or Waggle.  I'd be interested in user experiences with either system.

I've decided against a WiFi-based system as I would need to rely on campground WiFi.

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Do you have hot spot or equivalent in your coach?

Both of the ones you list require a cellular signal to work.

Just putting it out there but the Micro-Air Easy Touch thermostat has the ability to monitor temps and send alerts on temp.  You can monitor the inside/outside temps remotely and start/stop AC's.  It also requires communicating to a wifi system, I use a hotspot when on the road.  When parked in my garage I connect to a wireless router I have setup in the garage.  But the system is still only as good as the cellular signal.

I also installed a EC-30W Onan AGS so if the power goes out the generator will start.  I have this set up on Temp, so if the power goes out and it gets above a set temp in the coach the generator will start, you have to make sure the AC's are set to run if its hot out. 

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No hot spot in the coach.

The attraction to the two brands I listed is that they use cellular which should provide satisfactory coverage for where we camp.

The Micro Air product is of interest, though without an onboard hot spot I'm not convinced it will be reliably connect and stay connected to campground WIFI.

In another thread on this forum there's an extensive discussion about my AC issues, the Auto start feature is useful if you lose power, it doesn't help if there are gremlins in the AC system(s).  For that reason I'm reluctant to rely solely on AGS.

 

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I assume you know that your AGS will do remote sensing and start up in the event of a CG power failure.  If you go that route, you really need to test and understand the AGS.  Magnum will do that for you over the phone.  Since we have the same rig, your AGS, as Stinger told Maverick….”ain’t got the best family reputation”. Magnum told me they were prone to failure and that the “N” series or the current model was redesigned for more robustness and reliability.  Mine was replaced under extended warranty.  I rarely use it, but test it.  It is MUCH SIMPLER than the old one….controlled by the Magnum remote.

I might bone up on that.  Many of our members rely on the magnum as the Genny has to start.  I might not full understand “remote” sensing, but if you are dependent on the Magnum AGS, order the new one.  It is 2 screws and one plug install….and that is it.  Reliable is what you want and your existing one, based on all my research, is dubious

Comment.  To put the “other AC issues” to bed….as it seems to be a haunting issue.  Frank and myself, as discussed, with you on the phone, are confident that you AC issues were, as I summarized, properly diagnosed.

Now, the real test, with any diagnosis.  Run the AC’s per the manual with the “operating tips” that we passed on.  I, too, suffer a little paranoia when something lets me down.  But, in this case, it was, with Frank’s expert knowledge and experience…along with my experience in helping others with their AC as well as EMS….the most plausible failure mode.  My AC’s have 4 or 5 times the hours as yours.  Mine were never operated on Low…in a high humidity condition and my Front AC breaker was tight.  I would go on from here.

BUT as I pointed out above, you number one failure point, assuming you haven’t replaced your AGS….is that.

Second, if you want 100% reliability when it comes to the AGS working…..watch for telltale signs that the Magnum remote is not working.  This is NOT trying to make you paranoid….just a bit of practical help.  Go through the set up.  Be familiar with it and get it properly, with Mangum’s help, setup.  The first step…prior to calling them.  Do the soft reboot or reset.  AC Power ON.  Hold in the power button on the Magnum Inverter….maybe 20 seconds.  Let off.  You may have to turn back on the inverter from the Remote.  Then go through the parameters.  Write then down on a note card and every few months, go back through the setup to “verify”.  If you inverter doesn’t automatically or come one (microwave will be dead…or if it is flashing….and you have disabled the “Search” function), then start to monitor.

One operating tip I learned, if you allow your batteries to go down and the Inverter “kicks off” due to low voltage or some other “alarm” failure.  It is a GOOD idea, recommended by Magnum, to do the soft reset….and also check the set up parameters.  Keeping them properly set, like properly operating your AC’s will pay dividends.  I should have pointed out….my Magnum was acting a little strange….but no gross failures.  The Remotes are NOT bulletproof.  When mine started to “loose” the settings….it was replaced and it has worked flawlessly and has over 5 months of “use” and I used my AGS a few times on that trip….  Just a little first hand experience.

I, personally don’t think you damaged your AC’s nor have a TStat issue and you did the power PM and also cleaned the COMM connections.  You should be good to go…but be observant…

 

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1 hour ago, CaptPat said:

No hot spot in the coach.

The attraction to the two brands I listed is that they use cellular which should provide satisfactory coverage for where we camp.

The Micro Air product is of interest, though without an onboard hot spot I'm not convinced it will be reliably connect and stay connected to campground WIFI.

In another thread on this forum there's an extensive discussion about my AC issues, the Auto start feature is useful if you lose power, it doesn't help if there are gremlins in the AC system(s).  For that reason I'm reluctant to rely solely on AGS.

 

I can't travel without some sort of hotspot for internet connection.  I do all my banking/buying online and I never ever use a public wifi, to many security risks.

I'd rather surf the internet to read news, RV sites etc then watch TV.   

So the Micor Air works for me. 

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Understand,

FYI, last year I bought a cheaper hotspot from Cricket and only pay for it when I use it.  Still not cheap though but was the best option when I took 2 longer trips last year, it uses ATT network and I had connectivity in every place I stopped.   One advantage is that you could also set up a remote camera to check in on your dog(s). 

At home I am using a legacy ATT hotspot plan ~$23/month unlimited data.  

No need to respond but thought you should know there are options.

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I’ve never used the AGS features maybe I’ll look into after our upcoming checkout trip.  I view the AGS as secondary to getting a high temp alarm notification 

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1 hour ago, CaptPat said:

I’ve never used the AGS features maybe I’ll look into after our upcoming checkout trip.  I view the AGS as secondary to getting a high temp alarm notification 

Yes, test it at home before relying on it to work. Mine was mis-wired from the factory!

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3 hours ago, CaptPat said:

No hot spot in the coach.

The attraction to the two brands I listed is that they use cellular which should provide satisfactory coverage for where we camp.

The Micro Air product is of interest, though without an onboard hot spot I'm not convinced it will be reliably connect and stay connected to campground WIFI.

In another thread on this forum there's an extensive discussion about my AC issues, the Auto start feature is useful if you lose power, it doesn't help if there are gremlins in the AC system(s).  For that reason I'm reluctant to rely solely on AGS.

 

I use Wagggle but haven’t been able to use it all summer due to no cell signal here

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5 hours ago, CaptPat said:

Purchasing a mobile hotspot is not in the cards right now, we aren’t full timers

Not sure what carrier you're on but our Verizon "Jetpack" hotspot was $95 . . . . less than 1/4 tank of fuel . . . . and 15GB / month added $10 to our monthly bill (with automatic direct debit).  It's been pretty reliable at campgrounds.

Prices are all over the map now.  $44 (refurbished with sim card issues) - $150  https://www.amazon.com/s?k=verizon+jetpack+mifi+8800l&crid=21R9FRDKUA108&sprefix=Verizon+jetp%2Caps%2C115&ref=nb_sb_ss_ts-doa-p_2_12

The DW likes to check on / walk our furry buddies every 2 hours so we're never far away.  Hence not a high need for temp monitoring but the Micro-Air looks pretty spiffy. 

- bob

Edited by cbr046
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VISIBLE a subset of Verizon only costs $25 a month for true unlimited data/phone/text. I have one that I only use as a hotspot. It only runs data at 5mb but that will stream one television just fine and any other text/phone data takes nearly zero data speed. I and other friends have been using it as a hotspot for over two years now. I have even used it as my main internet connection at home when my main service has gone out. I have to found another phone service that is truly unlimited i regularly stream 20-30GB of data watching TV every month. Some old phones will work with the sim but if you don't have one Visible has phones in all price ranges. My daily driver phone is Visible and my hotspot is Visible. You may wonder why I have two. Well I need to leave one running in the coach if I want to have all of my wifi devices truly on. 

https://www.visible.com/

Ken

Note: Because I do land in areas with zero cell service I am now sporting a Starlink system but that is a different story. 

:classic_biggrin:

 

 

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7 hours ago, CaptPat said:

I’ve never used the AGS features maybe I’ll look into after our upcoming checkout trip.  I view the AGS as secondary to getting a high temp alarm notification 

This has been discussed here and at our gatherings.  The AGS, your present one, as well as the replacement, has programming options as follows:

Most common.  Lower voltage, say 11.9 or 12.0 ….adjustable…but these are the most common set points LOWER…run the risk of not having enough battery capacity to crank the Genny.  Higher….you waste fuel and don’t really exercise the batteries.  Point.  The batteries will actually be around 0.10 - 0.15 VDC HIGHER than what the Magnum is reading…so 11.9 is only 50% depleted.  You set the run or the “recharging time.  For your 4 bank house, 3 is usually fine.  If you are in the boonies, and this is a reoccurring or daily event, use 3 1/2 or 4.

Temperature.  PET PROTECTION.  The AGS has a “phone” cord.  There is a temperature probe that is sold with every Magnum AGS. It is mounted behind the 5 button TStat.  It is the “start” temp.  When you choose TEMPERATURE, then you set that.  Lose CG power and temperature rises.  Comes ON.  The Genny will run for the set time….regardless.  If the temperature presumably rises, and or power is restored, it will run the preset time.  Folks that use this feature will have to advise on the “length” or time that the Genny runs.  Once the Genny times out, then the Remote will reset and if the temperature has not been reached, the Genny will restart.  
 

Finally….once in a blue moon “auxiliary START signal.  Only reason I know, other than curiosity, I had to use it.  Sequoia NP has a “Genny ON” schedule dreamed up by a “out of touch non RV Committee”.  The run time is slightly less or maybe 3 hours….twice per day.  The “ON” is 8:00 and 2:00.  We were out and about earlier in the AM and out communing with Nature in the PM.  What you do in a NP.  I installed a 24X7 timer.  Every morning at 8:00, the timer closed a switch.  Switch was closed for 15 minutes.  Same at 2:00.  Magnum makes a phone cord plug in cable with a pair of leads.  You remove the “temperature” probe line and plug in their auxiliary cable adapter.  You choose “OTHER” or maybe AUXILIARY.  ONCE the signal is generated, like turning on a light switch…Genny starts and runs for the RUN TIME interval. 15 minutes after start, the timer opens or turns off the light switch.  At 2:00, it came on again for 15 minutes.  I complied and batteries stayed charged. I cut the time back to 2 1/2 hours and we always, since I was using the “low energy setting” on the Samsung and icemaker was off and had converted all overhead and the vanity and sconce lights to LED, we used barely any.  I had power strips up front in the HEC and the TV and all electronics were OFF….not in stand bye.  Actually unplugged the microwave.  Same for the rear TV & DVD.

NEVER met anyone that did this….but it worked like a charm.  I plugged back in the Temperature cable and will probably never use again.

Read up.  This is the reason Monaco put in the AGS…an “option” just about every rig, Diplomat and above, got.  You now know the issues with your original (probably has 4 dials).  Before I spent any money on monitoring, I would upgrade to the reliable “N” unit and always use that.  That was probably the second most used feature…

Good Luck.

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16 hours ago, Grampy OG said:

VISIBLE a subset of Verizon only costs $25 a month for true unlimited data/phone/text. I have one that I only use as a hotspot. It only runs data at 5mb but that will stream one television just fine and any other text/phone data takes nearly zero data speed. I and other friends have been using it as a hotspot for over two years now. I have even used it as my main internet connection at home when my main service has gone out. I have to found another phone service that is truly unlimited i regularly stream 20-30GB of data watching TV every month. Some old phones will work with the sim but if you don't have one Visible has phones in all price ranges. My daily driver phone is Visible and my hotspot is Visible. You may wonder why I have two. Well I need to leave one running in the coach if I want to have all of my wifi devices truly on. 

https://www.visible.com/

Ken

Note: Because I do land in areas with zero cell service I am now sporting a Starlink system but that is a different story. 

:classic_biggrin:

 

 

Interesting, looks like you buy a phone and use it as a hotspot?  How many wifi devices have you been able to connect at the same time?

Pat

On 8/5/2022 at 10:57 AM, jacwjames said:

Understand,

FYI, last year I bought a cheaper hotspot from Cricket and only pay for it when I use it.  Still not cheap though but was the best option when I took 2 longer trips last year, it uses ATT network and I had connectivity in every place I stopped.   One advantage is that you could also set up a remote camera to check in on your dog(s). 

At home I am using a legacy ATT hotspot plan ~$23/month unlimited data.  

No need to respond but thought you should know there are options.

This may be worth looking into. The Cricket website seems to imply an affordable solution, along with Visible that another posted mentioned.

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14 minutes ago, CaptPat said:

Interesting, looks like you buy a phone and use it as a hotspot?  How many wifi devices have you been able to connect at the same time?

Pat

Here is a write up the OP from the IRV2 forum did that explains how to hook it up.  I was interested in doing this at one time so I saved the writeup.  There have been some changes but not many. 

Once you get it set up you can buy a small portable router that would allow multiple devices.   Have to check the router because all are different.

I originally had the Mobley ATT hotspot, which worked fine but only allowed for 5 devices, I added a router to do more but then just upgraded to the Nighthawk which allows 20, which sounds like a lot but I use it at home (6 smart TV's, 2 laptops, security cameras, thermostat, 2 phones plus a couple others I'm missing).   I added a router for the house plus I've set up a WIFI extender for the garage with another router out there.   I've come to rely on the internet. 

My SIL with her granddaughter visited last week.  I normally use ~90GB of data a month, not sure what the great niece was doing but she gobbled up +50GB data in 4 days.  Luckily the ATT hotspot is unlimited at ~$24 a month.  I don't think I've ever been throotled but I know that high traffic times it slows down. 

RV Internet $40-$25_month unlimited internet setup process - Google Docs.pdf

Edited by jacwjames
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2 hours ago, CaptPat said:

Interesting, looks like you buy a phone and use it as a hotspot?  How many wifi devices have you been able to connect at the same time?

Pat

This may be worth looking into. The Cricket website seems to imply an affordable solution, along with Visible that another posted mentioned.

Only one device so I connect my router to the phone and then it is as many connections as the router will support. Because I am a tech geek I had 14 devices in the MH at last count. All working fine on the Visible hotspot. I have a dandy little router that will connect with wifi or tethered or bluetooth to the phone. Visible only sees it as one device. 

Example I have 3 MicroAir thermostats that are connected by wifi 24/7. 

 

2 hours ago, jacwjames said:

Here is a write up the OP from the IRV2 forum did that explains how to hook it up.  I was interested in doing this at one time so I saved the writeup.  There have been some changes but not many. 

Once you get it set up you can buy a small portable router that would allow multiple devices.   Have to check the router because all are different.

I originally had the Mobley ATT hotspot, which worked fine but only allowed for 5 devices, I added a router to do more but then just upgraded to the Nighthawk which allows 20, which sounds like a lot but I use it at home (6 smart TV's, 2 laptops, security cameras, thermostat, 2 phones plus a couple others I'm missing).   I added a router for the house plus I've set up a WIFI extender for the garage with another router out there.   I've come to rely on the internet. 

My SIL with her granddaughter visited last week.  I normally use ~90GB of data a month, not sure what the great niece was doing but she gobbled up +50GB data in 4 days.  Luckily the ATT hotspot is unlimited at ~$24 a month.  I don't think I've ever been throotled but I know that high traffic times it slows down. 

RV Internet $40-$25_month unlimited internet setup process - Google Docs.pdf 445.53 kB · 1 download

This is the router that I have been using for 3 years now. Two of my RV friends are sporting the same combo. This router connected to Visible. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GBXMBQF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

BTW: This router was initially selected because it will connect through wifi to hotel and rv park closed systems that only allow one connection. Perfect, connect the router (one connection) and then connect your phones, tablets, laptops, etc. to the router. 

The only reason this subject is still in this original thread is that I do all of this to monitor the coach so that I can protect my pets when I am not there. 

For simplicity even when I have my Starlink up I connect the router to it so that I don't have to change all of my devices. 

I am also positive that if you really check into Cricket it throttles after a certain amount of data. No good for streaming all you can eat TV. Visible tells you right up front it is 5MB and that is a very good speed for most. And $25 a month is awfully hard to pass up. 

 

Edited by Grampy OG
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Everyone seems to avoid answering the question or offering some other options. I have the Marcell and think very highly of it. I chose the one with AT&T service and it has worked in all states, even Alaska. Of course, if you go 'off grid' for lots of time, you are going to have problems with anything. But we wanted the security of knowing if there where issues when we left our dog in the coach. It notifies us if the campground electric goes off or if the generator shuts down (as it has!). It also notifies us if the temp goes above a certain point (which it has). It sends notices to both of our phones (not AT&T). And we used it for 5 months during the summer - they have plans for partial or yearly. I would recommend it without question. We did have issues when traveling in the Yukon and British Columbia but we had many issues with cell service and certainly no internet there as well.

Hope this helps your decision making . .

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2 hours ago, SteveJ said:

Everyone seems to avoid answering the question or offering some other options. I have the Marcell and think very highly of it. I chose the one with AT&T service and it has worked in all states, even Alaska. Of course, if you go 'off grid' for lots of time, you are going to have problems with anything. But we wanted the security of knowing if there where issues when we left our dog in the coach. It notifies us if the campground electric goes off or if the generator shuts down (as it has!). It also notifies us if the temp goes above a certain point (which it has). It sends notices to both of our phones (not AT&T). And we used it for 5 months during the summer - they have plans for partial or yearly. I would recommend it without question. We did have issues when traveling in the Yukon and British Columbia but we had many issues with cell service and certainly no internet there as well.

Hope this helps your decision making . .

I did mention that all of this was ultimately installed so that I could monitor the coach for the safety of my pets. I even have two Arlo cameras to watch the furry friend. By no means is what I use the ultimate solution. Just one dude's suggestions. 

Cioa

Ken

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17 hours ago, Grampy OG said:

Only one device so I connect my router to the phone and then it is as many connections as the router will support. Because I am a tech geek I had 14 devices in the MH at last count. All working fine on the Visible hotspot. I have a dandy little router that will connect with wifi or tethered or bluetooth to the phone. Visible only sees it as one device. 

Example I have 3 MicroAir thermostats that are connected by wifi 24/7. 

 

This is the router that I have been using for 3 years now. Two of my RV friends are sporting the same combo. This router connected to Visible. 

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07GBXMBQF/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

BTW: This router was initially selected because it will connect through wifi to hotel and rv park closed systems that only allow one connection. Perfect, connect the router (one connection) and then connect your phones, tablets, laptops, etc. to the router. 

The only reason this subject is still in this original thread is that I do all of this to monitor the coach so that I can protect my pets when I am not there. 

For simplicity even when I have my Starlink up I connect the router to it so that I don't have to change all of my devices. 

I am also positive that if you really check into Cricket it throttles after a certain amount of data. No good for streaming all you can eat TV. Visible tells you right up front it is 5MB and that is a very good speed for most. And $25 a month is awfully hard to pass up. 

 

Thanks, this is really helpful.  Looks like Visible has more upfront costs than Cricket but offers unlimited access.

 

13 hours ago, SteveJ said:

Everyone seems to avoid answering the question or offering some other options. I have the Marcell and think very highly of it. I chose the one with AT&T service and it has worked in all states, even Alaska. Of course, if you go 'off grid' for lots of time, you are going to have problems with anything. But we wanted the security of knowing if there where issues when we left our dog in the coach. It notifies us if the campground electric goes off or if the generator shuts down (as it has!). It also notifies us if the temp goes above a certain point (which it has). It sends notices to both of our phones (not AT&T). And we used it for 5 months during the summer - they have plans for partial or yearly. I would recommend it without question. We did have issues when traveling in the Yukon and British Columbia but we had many issues with cell service and certainly no internet there as well.

Hope this helps your decision making . .

Thanks exactly the information I was looking for.

 

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