Have you met the Temperature@lert team yet? Come down to the McCormick Center in Chicago from the 18th through the 21st (this weekend!) and meet with our CEO & President: Harry Schechter, our Brave Business Developer: Mark Langley, our Advertising Acrobat: Diane Deng, and our B2B Bees: Benny Bridger. Find us at Booth #6383!
This is a not-to-miss event, the premier restaurant, food service and hospitality industry show. Come and learn about how Temperature@lert can avert disasters by overseeing, monitoring, and alerting from BOH, to FOH, to pantry, and through the rest of you culinary kitchenstand. Temperature@lert has you covered and would love to meet with you if you're in the Chicago area! If you can't make it, make sure you're following @TempAlertHarry for the latest news at the show!
Air Filter Series:
A Lesson from the Home
by Dave Ruede, Product Evangelist at Temperature@lert
What air filters do in your house, and what they mean for the IT space
We can learn many valuable lessons from owning a home, but the learning curve is (at times) steep for home improvements and renovations. It was only a year ago that my wife and I bought a house, and one of these valuable lessons surfaced almost instantaneously. I realized afterwards that this lesson is applicable to any space where filter quality can affect HVAC efficiency (and energy costs!).
Soon after the purchase, our gas-fired forced air furnace needed replacement due to a crack in the heat exchanger. The unit came with a standard 1” (25 mm) air filter; you know the kind, the ones in your air conditioner ducts. These filters remove dust. Air passes through the pleated non-woven fabric and extracts larger dust particles and bugs from the air. The filter plenum was able to accept a deeper filter, up to 4” (100 mm) deep. The filter was scheduled to be changed quarterly, but since summer was upon us I waited until the heating season began in the fall.
To frame this issue, keep in mind that filters do their job by trapping dust particles that are too big to pass through the holes in the fabric. Smaller particles and air molecules pass through easily, or at least easily enough to let the air circulate as designed. Filters are made with specifications that balance the removal properties (efficiency in removing particles) with the resistance to airflow compared to no filter being present (pressure drop).
The surface area of the pleated filter media has a direct affect on the pressure drop. If everything else is constant, the pleated media’s surface area is inversely correlated with the low pressure drop. Put more simply: the higher the surface area, the lower the drop. The same low pressure drop can be achieved by making the non-woven more porous, thereby having a negative effect on removing particles since larger spaces would let more dust through. Low pressure drop is beneficial because the fan motor will require less energy to move the amount of air required to heat the house, and helps to lower energy costs.
A Portable Air Conditioner
To address this very issue, I removed the 1” filter in the fall and saw that it had changed from black to brownish-gray. Immediately afterwards, a 4” filter was installed that was also rated to reduce pollen and other allergens. The deeper pleats and advanced non-woven design balanced the increased pressure drop, due to the smaller openings needed to remove pollen and such. Six months later when I took it out, the outlet side was still white. Even though we believed that we had kept a clean house, the inlet side was covered with a thick layer of dust and lint. The filter performed significantly better in removing dust and the like (versus the 1’’ filter), and did so without compromising the performance of the heating system.
To connect this issue to IT and server rooms, keep in mind that an office air conditioner (that feeds the server closet or the HVAC and CRAC units in data centers) contains a filter like the one in my home. A server room’s HVAC system can be similarly affected by the surface area of an air filter. A poor or makeshift filter can diminish the efficiency of these units, and the energy costs will remain the same regardless. The combination of high power usage and low efficiency is hardly ideal.
Regardless of size (closet, room, warehouse), these seemingly “insignificant” filters are important for assuring HVAC effectiveness and efficient energy usage in the IT space. The next piece in this series will cover the performance of air filters in server rooms (both positive and negative), and will also outline other key environmental issues in the IT space. Stay tuned, and stay cool! Google+
Notification Sender Change for Sensor Cloud Customers
For Temperature@lert customers on sensor cloud, the notification "sender" address will change on May 20, 2013 (Monday).
Previously, alerts and notifications were sent from: "firstname.lastname@example.org".
Going forward, all notifications will be sent from: "email@example.com".
This change will take effect in the coming days. Be sure to update your spam folders, address books, and firewalls to prevent bounceback and to ensure prompt delivery of alert notifications. Please contact Temperature@lert with any questions or concerns in regard to this change.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions!Google+
Dogs in Your Vehicle: Temperature Monitoring for RVs
Temperature monitoring and control of stored food and server equipment is crucial for a number of reasons, but failing to monitor temperatures for dogs in RVs, police cruisers (K9 Units), and other civilian vehicles can ultimately lead to one severe consequence. This fear of losing a pet exists in the mind of every pet owner, and failing to monitor temperature in a car or RV unit can easily turn that fear into a reality. But is this really a huge concern for all traveling dog owners? How hot does a RV or police car get, and at what point does this become a critical issue to address with monitoring devices and alerting procedures? If you’ve asked any of these questions (as a dog owner), you’ve taken the first step towards preventative methods that can save the life of your beloved companion(s).
To boil these numbers down into a rule of thumb, consider that if the average temperature outside is 75 degrees, the temperature within the car or RV will rise 20 degrees (F) in approximately 10 minutes, and approximately 30 degrees(F) in a half hour. This is especially true in the southern states where humidity may act as a multiplier for these temperature readings. Police dogs are equally sensitive to high temperatures, and hours in a hot cruiser during the shift can easily lead to dehydration. As officers of the law, police dogs require special environmental conditions to stay in top form, and without temperature monitoring, police cruisers can be deadly heat boxes. A quick Google search for "police dogs and high temperatures" yields a shocking list of K9 deaths due to exposure to extreme temperatures. In these situations, the temperatures inside the car had exceeded a critical point (often over 100 degrees Fahrenheit), and the dogs were unable to survive as a result. These news snippets serve as reminders that temperature monitoring devices are an important consideration for all police departments with K9 units.
Your dog(s) may be a best friend, a loyal companion, an officer of the law, or just another traveler, but the inherent dangers of rising temperatures are not to be forgotten or ignored. Be sure to consider a temperature monitoring system (and alert system) for RVs, police cars, or in other vehicles during long road trips and extended vacations. Confined dogs rely on the environment of the vehicle to survive, and the environment needs to be firmly controlled for peace of mind (for you, the owner) and for the safety of your dog(s).
TEMPERATURE@LERT NAMED AS FINALIST IN 2013 AMERICAN BUSINESS AWARDS
The 11th annual Stevie® Awards will be presented on June 17 in Chicago and September 16 in San Francisco.
Boston, MA – May 9, 2013 – Temperature@lert, a leading provider of real-time, cloud-based environmental monitoring solutions designed to enable businesses to mitigate temperature-related disasters, was named a Finalist today in the New Product or Service of the Year – Software category in The 2013 American Business Awards for their Sensor Cloud service. Temperature@lert will ultimately be a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie® Award winner in the program.
Sensor Cloud is a web-based Software-as-a-Service product for monitoring the environmental conditions of server rooms, bio-pharma vaccine storages, and commercial refrigerators while providing regulatory compliance data logging and alerting for various environmental sensors such as temperature, humidity, water, and more. The fault-tolerant design helps ensure that sensor data is logged and maintained for years, while the website and free iPhone/Android apps enable access to sensor readings and the ability to edit phone calls, emails, and SMS alerts from anywhere.
Temperature@lert’s Cellular Products have previously won several awards, including a Stevie Gold Award for their Solar Cellular Edition in 2012. However, it is Temperature@lert’s Sensor Cloud that serves as the brains of all Cellular Editions with over thousands of devices deployed and running the service. Temperature@lert's WIFI and USB devices can also be connected to Sensor Cloud for a consolidated view of all sensor readings and alert statuses. Temperature@lert’s mission is to create a cost-effective and fault-tolerant system that will allow any user to monitor their assets at any moment, anywhere.
The American Business Awards are the nation’s premier business awards program. All organizations operating in the U.S.A. are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small.
The American Business Awards will be presented at two awards events: the ABA's traditional banquet on Monday, June 17 – in Chicago for the first time, after 10 years in New York; and the new product & technology awards event on Monday, September 16 in San Francisco.
More than 3,200 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Most Innovative Company of the Year, Management Team of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others. Temperature@lert is nominated in the New Product or Service of the Year – Software category for their Sensor Cloud service.
“Temperature@lert’s Sensor Cloud service directly addresses every industry’s monitoring needs ranging from server rooms, to farms, to medical storage, and even to commercial food transportation operations. We are deeply honored to be recognized as a finalist for our Sensor Cloud service by the American Business Awards,” said Harry Schechter, CEO/President of Temperature@lert. “This honor only further validates the need for remote temperature monitoring because everyone should be able to easily prevent temperature related disasters, regardless of type of industry or size of company. We believe in giving you a solution before you even have a problem.”
Finalists were chosen by more than 140 business professionals nationwide during preliminary judging in April and May. More than 150 members of nine specialized judging committees will determine Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging, to take place May 13 - 24.
Details about The American Business Awards and the list of Finalists in all categories are available at www.StevieAwards.com/ABA.
Temperature@lert’s temperature and environmental monitoring solutions provide both real-time and historic views of a location’s temperature and other critical parameters through alerts and cloud-based graphs, data logs and reports. This information allows customers to immediately react to potentially disastrous temperature or other fluctuations in critical environments, as well as provide temperature consistency for regulatory and internal process control requirements. Temperature@lert has more than 40,000 devices installed in over 50 countries around the globe. For more information, please visit www.temperaturealert.com.
About the Stevie Awards
Stevie Awards are conferred in four programs: The American Business Awards, The International Business Awards, the Stevie Awards for Women in Business, and the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. A fifth program, the Asia-Pacific Stevie Awards, will debut this year. Honoring organizations of all types and sizes and the people behind them, the Stevies recognize outstanding performances in the workplace worldwide. Learn more about the Stevie Awards at www.StevieAwards.com.
Sponsors and partners of The 2013 American Business Awards include the Business TalkRadio Network, Callidus Software, Citrix Online, Dynamic Research Corporation, Experian, John Hancock Funds, LifeLock, PetRays, and SoftPro.
What is Support?
The short answer is pretty straightforward. Particularly for technical products and services, customer support and service is a critical component of a relationship. Forget about the sale, forget about the logistics and shipping, and forget about the “client win”. A client won is easily a client lost with poor or misguided support procedures. And those procedures, complex or simplistic, form the fundamental foundation for a user experience. The sensor industry is no stranger to this concept, since temperature sensors and other monitoring devices are often used as a safeguard for quality assurance, product safety, and various regulation standards.
There is a high degree of visibility and sensitivity for support in the onset of a sale; a sales receipt and a support ticket shouldn’t come as a bundle, and users are highly sensitive to such initial support troubles. Think about it: they’ve just made a ‘new’ purchase, and troubleshooting the purchase (immediately afterwards) sounds like an instant headache. If the product is new, why doesn’t it work out of the box? Of course, this is all dependent on the product being used, the level of technical expertise required for support, and the sensitivity of the product to business operations and/or personal needs. Support may be critical, support may be simple, support may be hardly relevant; it depends on the product. But any support system or team must ultimately rely on...
The Golden Standard of Informed Support:
It’s not enough to have a pack of geniuses in the support system, or a highly personable smoothie with a knack for calming customers. Especially with a technical product (and a technically savvy customer to boot), customers and support have a relationship that mirrors that of a teacher and student. If the teacher is unable to provide informed and researched information that benefits the students (via knowledge, insight, or test preparation), the students are disinterested and frustrated that the supposed “educational leader” is stumbling on the provision of valuable information. Likewise, if support staff members are unable to provide succinct and “tried and true” solutions for customers (along with bold and new improvisations), discontent and frustration can enter the equation. Overall, customers view support personnel as educational leaders in the same way, and are understandably receptive to guidance in foreign territory. Still, if the guidance is poor, the relationship will sour as a result.
Take cloud computing as an example; the popular mission-critical computing venture that can significantly improve performance and reduce overall business costs on data, storage, and servers. If you switched your entire organization to a new cloud provider today, and by tomorrow your engineers and system administrators were ranting about the problems and lack of service and support, you’d be quite the regretful business owner (and rightfully so). The cloud computing rabbit hole is deep and terrifying when support and customer service fail.
Going further past the initial sale, support has a valuable and important role in the lifecycle of the customer. Sales teams are the “boots on the ground”, but support staff members are the “angels in the sky”. They represent an eternal shield of protection for the customer, the product, and the overall experience with your business (though depending on your support policies, this may not be eternal).
As a final note, consider the ROI of all of your (satisfied) customers, and recognize that without product satisfaction (specific to support quality), they are ONLY your customers if support maintains progressive trust. Our support staff (for Temperature@lert) is devoted to the golden standard of informed support, and many of our competitors lack the instant phone services and in-house insight that we bring to our customers. The sensor industry relies on this adage more so than a shoe retailer, but any fabulous product must be complemented by receptive and informed support staff members. You want users to be reassured of not just the product, but the quality of service for the product as well. Without high quality service, a high quality product is virtually useless.
How to download and re-install the latest software and drivers
1) Uninstall the software and delete the program files\temperature@lert folder.
2) Uninstall the drivers (Download the driver cleaning utility from our downloads section)
3) Unzip the files
4) Run CDMUninstaller.gui by right clicking and choosing "run as administrator" (or just run if that option is not displayed) - no need to change any settings.
5) Click "Add" and then "Remove Drivers"
4) Download the latest updates here
5) Start Software and click "rescan" on the settings tab.
6) Click save and apply.
With the most recent updates of Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 and related platforms, you may need to run the driver uninstaller again, and unplug and plug the device back in, and let the OS automatically detect drivers.
- New sensor reading firmware
- Fixes bug with the alarm email page not saving settings between reboots
- Fixed bug with preferences page not saving settings correctly
- Minor updates to status emails
1. Log into your Temperature@lert TM-WiFi 330 unit
2. Navigate to the "Help" Tab
3. Click "Upgrade Firmware"
4. Follow the prompts, and select the tm-wifi-330-7-1.bin file
5. The update should take approximately three minutes total. Do not power off
your device during the update, as that may render the device non-functional. Google+
Temperature Sensing Technologies: Phone calls or text alerting?
We all have our preferences. Vanilla or chocolate. Heads or tails. Red or black. Whatever the case may be, we’re creatures of habit. We want consistency and we want simplicity, and what works for some, may seem inefficient or time-consuming to others. Many of these habitual choices are trivial (shower before shave, chocolate over vanilla), whereas others require more consideration. In the world of temperature sensing technologies, customers and users have their own preferential choice to make for alert types.
Text Message Alerting for Sensor Technologies:
“Texting” can be described as a brief electronic message sent between two mobile phones. For some of us, this represents a straight and discreet line into our communication stream. For temperature alerts, these discreet alert notifications are useful because they don’t interrupt our tasks (such as a meeting or presentation). Alerts sent via text message are direct. Text messages have been widely adopted by vendors of sensor technologies, and aside from email alerting, is the most popular alert type available in the sensor market.
Phone Call Alerts for Sensor Technologies:
In a more recent development, a few temperature sensor vendors have implemented phone call alerts into their systems. It’s as simple as it sounds; once a temperature threshold is breached, the device communicates with built-in software and initiates a phone call to a designated person. In contrast to text message alerting, phone call alerts are a firmer reminder of temperature excursions. Text messages can be overlooked or missed, especially if a phone is set to silent during the evening. In the most critical of times (early hours of the morning and evening), the line of communication (that indicates a failure or problem) needs to be clearly defined and reliable. Highly reliable alert types and notifications are fundamental to corrective action for temperature variance, and once an alert is triggered, the clock begins to tick. A text message alert might be a prod, but a phone call alert is a firm poke.
What’s the right choice for you?
The differences between the two alert types are pretty obvious, and frankly, if the cell phone is set to silent, either alert can be easily missed. But alerts systems aren’t perfect, and even with robust alerting procedures, critical issues can be easily missed. One of the better strategies is the implementation of multiple alert types and escalations. By using a combination of text message and phone call alerts, temperature excursions (and failure notifications) are directed to a number of different people and mediums.
Escalating alerts takes this idea a bit further, in which an additional “extreme alert” layer is added. For instance, if temperatures exceed 75 degrees Fahrenheit in a server room, system administrators and programmers are immediately notified. If the temperature rises to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (indication that the problem is swelling), higher level employees or owners will receive an alert as well. This strategy assumes that the first wave of alerts may not be received and/or responded to immediately, and provides a secondary layer of protection if temperatures are reaching certain extremes. Small temperature changes can be handled by the appropriate personnel, whereas an extreme rise in temperature can be part of a company-wide alert network.
Keep these simple reference points in mind when reading food labels and sifting through stored leftovers. These tips should serve as basic guidelines for food storage and handling, and are not derived from official FDA or USDA regulations/specifications.
Food Label Types
"Pull Date" or "Sell By": This is the time by which foods are acceptable for display in a store. These foods (if sold after the date) are still safe to eat, but safe food preparation and handling are still applicable. This guideline is used by stores/supermarkets as a logistical reference point for consumables, and doesn't necessarily translate to guidelines for consumption/storage in the home.
"Best if used by": At the date given, the food item has reached the official freshness threshhold, by which the quality or flavor (after the given date) will decrease at a certain rate. Keep caution when preparing these foods (if being used after this date), as their shelf life decreases with each passing day. Make note of how many days/weeks have passed since the "best used by" date, and evaluate these for spoilage and contamination.
"Expiration Date": This is the finite deadline for milk and other perishables (not including eggs). Typically these expiration dates are backed by scientific research, and are usually accurate (milk in particular). Immediately discard any foods that have breached this threshold, and make note of other items/products that are due to expire.
"Pack Date": The date in which the food was processed or packaged. Keep in mind that the logistics (delivery etc) affect these dates, such that a "packed item" may reach shelves days after processing or packaging, but is nevertheless fit for consumption (these items are typically non-perishable)
Quick Leftover Tips
Refrigerate/Freeze foods in shallow (less than 4 inches deep) containers up to 2 hours after cooking. Air space around the edges of the container is one strategy that enables quicker cooling and circulation of cold air within the container.
Label all storages with the suggested expiration date (or any information that can be taken from the existing label). This will prevent others from eating leftovers that have passed their expiration date. Keep a succinct chart of storage times for refrigeration/freezer items, and mark the leftovers with the date of storage, the date of potential (or definitive) expiration, and be sure to discard when in doubt.
Reheat leftovers to approximately 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Soups and liquids should be reheated to a continuous boil.
Temperature@lert has previously developed a dry contact smart sensor. We had previously developed adapter boards for industrial sensors, such as wind speed, soil moisture, and a host of other applications specific to agriculture. Expanding beyond the agricultural industry, our adapter board integrates into many monitoring and alarm systems that have the capability for dry contact concatenation.
With the use of a Temperature@lert Cellular Edition, users will will be able to alert users to fire alarm panel signals, air conditioning unit state changes, doors/windows opening and closing, etc. In laymens terms, dry contact is essentially a switch where it has two basic outputs that are relevant to individual applications. Dry contact will produce a simple logical output of either: “open” or “close”, “on” or “off”, “is” or “isn’t” to name a few.
- Retail food establishments can be alerted if a refrigerator door has been “opened” and have the alert triggered to notify when the door has been “closed”.
- Property owners can use the sensor for door alarm functionality, such that an alarm can be triggered if the circuit is broken.
- The sensor can be integrated into BMS (Building Management Systems) for a variety of industrial applications, including monitoring power and lighting systems.
“These outputs can translate into numerous possibilities for Temperature@lert’s latest smart sensor,” notes CEO and President, Harry Schechter. Temperature@lert Cellular Edition Users will be able to connect their devices to their current alarm systems where dry contact is available. Schechter also notes that, “users will not only be able to be alerted to temperature, humidity, and floods but in addition they can monitor doors, windows, lights, and power for generators among others”. The potential for integration with numerous systems and Temperature@lert Cellular Edition’s ease of usability puts Temperature@lert at the forefront of innovation in monitoring beyond the basic monitoring offerings for IT server rooms, commercial refrigeration, biopharmaceutical and medical supplies, energy management, and property management.
For more information about our dry contact smart sensor, please email email@example.com.