Suppose you have a spare refrigerator in your garage, a deep freezer in the basement, or other spots around your home that could benefit from temperature and/or motion monitoring. In that case, we know of a great product you may want to look into.
They’re called Wireless Tags by a company called Cao Gadgets. We’ve been using them on the farm for the better part of 6 years now, and it’s one of the best tools we’ve ever invested in.
- no monthly fees for monitoring
- DIY system is easy for the user to set up and use
- the interface is available on both web and mobile app
- monitoring for temperature, humidity and motion
- up to 40 tags can be connected to the system hub, called the Tag Manager
- tags have replaceable batteries
- the tags are small and inconspicuous
- relies on your home wifi; if using over a large property, connectivity may be an issue
- the tag manager must connect to your modem/router by ethernet cable
- battery life on the tags can be short, especially for tags that are far away from the tag manager or you set the “reporting” to happen more frequently
How We Use Tags
- For temperature monitoring in every refrigerator and freezer that we may not be opening daily. If one of them gets too warm, I’m notified, catching a failure before food is lost.
- As a motion sensor for both automatic openers on the chicken coop’s pop doors, I get a notification on my phone that says “the chickens are out” or “the chickens are secure” when the automatic door opens and closes at the opener’s set times.
- As a motion detector on the self-serve egg mini fridge that stays on our front porch for customers.
- We monitor the temperatures in both greenhouses when the growing season is underway to know when they need to be opened on sunny spring days.
- When we have new baby chicks, we use a tag to monitor the brooder temperature in case of a bulb breakage or power failure. Chicks need to stay at 95 degrees for the first week. Using a tag in the brooder has saved batches of chicks for us.
The tags we use to monitor motion rely on the tag itself to be moved, so we install them with hook and loop tape to the corners of any doors we want to monitor for open/close. The tags themselves do not have an electronic “eye” that monitors motion in the room like a security camera. These same tags also monitor the temperature and humidity. The PIR Kumosensor by CAO Gadgets is a device that monitors room motion instead of tag motion.
Setup is fairly straightforward. Simply plug the tag manager into your modem/router using an ethernet cable. Then you’ll create an account and activate the tag manager with its serial number. Then you’ll associate each tag one at a time to the tag manager. Then you can install the tags wherever you like. The Android app has a bit of a learning curve to it to get the settings for each tag adjusted. But once the setup is complete, it’s a fairly hands-off system.
We hope you’ll find the Wireless Tag system by CAO Gadgets as useful around your place as we do. If you decide to purchase a system, let us know if you need help setting up or how you’re using them.