Making a thermometer with a thermal sensor and an OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 0.96"

by cavargas on Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:07 pm

Hi All,

My name is Carlos and I am a senior undergraduate student at ASU. I am trying to build a build a thermometer that uses a thermal sensor with at least (512 thermal scans/sec) and has an OLED Color Display with animation.

I need help trying to find the components needed to develop this project, any help would be greatly appreciate it.

This is what I have so far:

-Development board (Thinking of Going with Arduino because of support, any suggestions as to what type of board to get?)
-OLED Display, has to be under 1", I am looking at the OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 0.96" - ID: 684
- Thermal sensor, I have not found anything at Adafruit that I could use. Any info regarding with thermal sensors I could use would be greatly appreciate it.
- Has to work with a small battery, Preferably small.

Any information and leads that anyone could provide as to what products I should purchase and how to go about building the thermometer would be just such a blessing.

I would prefer if I could get all the products from Adafruit as I think that they are simply awesome :) haha

Thanks in advance.
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Re: Making a thermometer with a thermal sensor and an OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 0.96"

by Zener on Wed Jan 23, 2013 7:43 pm

I think the temperature sensor is the easy part! You can use this one:

http://www.adafruit.com/products/165

You can "scan" it as fast as you want.
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Re: Making a thermometer with a thermal sensor and an OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 0.96"

by adafruit_support_bill on Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:00 am

You don't specify any requirements for your "thermal sensor" other than the scan rate. As Zener indicates, you can scan an analog sensor like the TMP36 as fast as you like. But if the sensor reaction time is slow due to the thermal mass, then a fast scan rate is pretty meaningless.
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Re: Making a thermometer with a thermal sensor and an OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 0.96"

by ajnorster on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:23 am

Arduino is a great choice if you're short on time and looking for lots of examples. If this more of a senior project and you have a lot of time and some solid programming experience then you may want to consider building your own controls. Interfacing with a display would become more challenging and you would learn a lot more about how a microcontroller operates. Adafruit sells a handy programmer and a dev board. While the tools might cost you extra, your final product would have a much lower total cost and you would be left with the tools for future projects.
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Re: Making a thermometer with a thermal sensor and an OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 0.96"

by cavargas on Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:23 pm

Firstly, thank you guys for all of your help!

More specifications as to the use of the thermometer are to be able to read the body temperature of an infant by applying contact to the forehead, that being said. Would the TMP36 temperature sensor still be adequate for the product? I would prefer if the temperature sensor would be able to read the temperature accurately with an error margin of o.5% should a thin layer of clothes be applied and less than that should it be applied directly against the skin.

As for the board, I have experience programming FPGA's though I do not necessarily have the time required to build my microcontroller from a transistor level. If anything I would prefer to design at a low level function implementation using C or a Arduino programming language (which I would have to learn) and I have also worked developing drivers and coding in C, I am also familiar with Linux. I would like to build a large scale prototype first (in a breadboard), would you guys be kind enough to point me towards the materials that I would need, like good breadboards, typical resistors and wires. Those would be very helpful.

Thank you so much for your time.
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Re: Making a thermometer with a thermal sensor and an OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 0.96"

by adafruit_support_bill on Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:29 pm

A 2 mS response time with a contact sensor like the TMP36 is not achievable. Through a layer of clothing that is even less realistic. For those kinds of response times I think you need to go with an infrared sensor.
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Re: Making a thermometer with a thermal sensor and an OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 0.96"

by Zener on Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:09 pm

I think the 500 scans per second spec doesn't make any sense for this application, so either was misinterpreted or some information has been lost somewhere. Where did that spec come from and what is the reasoning? We need to nail that down since it doesn't seem to make any sense.

Leaving that issue aside, the big problem here is how to attach the sensor to the baby. This is the big problem. There are millions of people who can program a micro to read a sensor. There are only a very small fraction of those who have the expertise to advise on this specific application. You need a biomedical engineer. The safety and liability aspects are huge I think.

I think we need a lot more information to really advise how to proceed if this is actually going to be attached to infants. Now I will guess this is a project and will not actually be attached to babies heads. But the issues are the same.
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Re: Making a thermometer with a thermal sensor and an OLED Breakout Board - 16-bit Color 0.96"

by cavargas on Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:31 pm

Again, Thanks for the help.

For more clarification:
Thermal scans.
The sensor will gather data at a rate of 512 scans/sec and output the average of the scans (this parameter pertains to how accurate the output of the data on the OLED screen). Looking at common average thermometer, it seems that the semi nice ones have this spec listed under product specifications.

The plan is the Following.

Top Layer: OLED SCREEN
mid layer: Circuit, connection to OLED SCREEN + micro controller to analyze incoming data from sensor + capacitors and resistors needed.
Bottom layer : Standard Clock Battery (Lithium coin or Alkaline) whichever is needed to provide the required voltage and current needed

Shape of the Product: Clip that can attach to a beanie.

Clip: Sensor that runs wires through the clip the to the circuit layer.

Should FPGA be used in final product I might have to add RAM to load the code to the FPGA on boot

The circuit sensor will be sent to a factory for printing. I will draw the circuit schematics.

What would be the best programming programming boards/sensors to get this started? I would like to use something that connects to my computer and I can have an interface with the OLED display, thermal sensor and data collected. I heard Arduinos are good for this? Is there a particular kind of Arduino board that you guys would recommend for this phase of development?

Thanks!
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