Temperature and humidity measurements with the AVR web-server

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original in en Guido Socher

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Guido likes Linux because it is a really good system to develop your own hardware.

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The tuxgraphics AVR web-server has a lot of general purpose IO pins where external hardware such as sensors can easily be attached.

In this example we use the sensirion sht11 sensor to All that is done with just one sensor. No other external components are needed.

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The sht11

The sht11 from www.sensirion.com is a fully calibrated sensor. Not a single external component is needed to use it in combination with an avr microcontroller. It has: A datasheet is available in the download section of this article or from www.sensirion.com.

It is a very good quality sensor developed in Switzerland.

A few things are a bit misleading when you read the datasheet of the sensor and I mention it here to avoid surprises:

What you need

... and this is what you get:

Humidity and temperature data accessible from any web-browser. You can even make it available to your mobile phone if you configure your DSL router appropriately.

What is the dew point?

The dew-point temperature is the temperature to which the air must be cooled to reach saturation. When the temperature cools to the dew point, fog or dew can occur.

Example: In your bath room you measure 23'C and 61% humidity. The resulting dew point is about 15'C. If your window or wall temperature would be 15'C or less then it would become wet.

Connecting the sensor

The SHT11 humidity and temperature sensor can be connected the Atmega microcontroller as follows. No additional components are needed.

Nothing must be connected to pin 1 (at the top) and the pins on the right. Those seem to be used for test and calibration during production.

You need just one more IO-pin per extra sensor in case you want to connect more than one sensor. The sck line can be shared but each sensor needs its own data-line as the sensors are all identical and can thus not be connected in a bus system.

The sensirion_protocol.c available from the download section expects the sensor to be connected as follows:
SHT11Web-server board
Vcc 3.3V (available on the analog port)
Data PD1 (available on the digital IO port)
SCK PD0 (available on the digital IO port)
GNDGND (available on the digital IO port)

You can change that as you like. Just edit the definitions at the beginning of sensirion_protocol.c.

The code to do this

Although the sensor is not I2C conform it is still possible to integrate it with an AVR microcontroller with less than 1Kb compiled C-code. All with just very little code: measurement, unit conversion, checksum calculations and dew point calculations. You can download the needed code in the download section. It is part of the tar-archive for a AVR-web-server. In the tar-archive you find 3 files: sensirion_protocol-NOcrc.c sensirion_protocol-crc.c and sensirion_protocol.h which are responsible for the interface with the SHT11 sensor. sensirion_protocol-NOcrc.c is slightly smaller and does not do any CRC8 checksums. sensirion_protocol-crc.c uses CRC8. If you have the sensor close to the microcontroller (2-50 cm cable) then there will be no need to secure the data against interference or transmission errors between sensor and microcontroller. You can then use the file without CRC8 calculations. One of the two files (sensirion_protocol-NOcrc.c or sensirion_protocol-crc.c) should be copied to the name sensirion_protocol.c and sensirion_protocol.c is what will then be compiled by the Makefile.

The actual use of the api provided by sensirion_protocol.h is then very easy:
#include "sensirion_protocol.h"

unsigned int humival_raw,tempval_raw;
unsigned char error;
int temp, dew;
unsigned char rh;

//measure temperature
error=s_measure( &tempval_raw,0);
if (error==0){
    error=s_measure( &humival_raw,1); //measure humidity

// measurement was OK (you could use error to detect if there
// is no sensor attached of if there is a CRC data integrity problem.
// We don't do this here to keep the example short).
if (error==0){
    temp=calc_sth11_temp(tempval_raw); // calculate temperature
    rh=rhcalc_int(humival_raw); // calculate relative humidity.
    dew=calc_dewpoint(rh,temp); // calculate dew point temperature
// That's it. Now you have temperature in Celsius * 10 in temp (e.g 251 for
// 25.1'C), dew-point in dew and relative humidity (values 0-100 %) in rh.

The above example is provided in case you want to use the sensirion code as part of your own development. If you want to use the sensor together with the avr web-server from tuxgraphics then nothing needes to be witten or changed. Just use the tar-archive from the download section as is and follow the included README.htm file.

My application

There are certainly plenty of applications for this. You can use it anywhere where you want to measure any or all of the values temperature, dew-point and humidity.

I just want to tell you what my use of it is. When I go on vacation I do usually switch off the heating in the house to save cost. The problem with this can be that it can either become too cold and/or too humid in the house. If you leave a window open then it might become too cold. If you have the window closed it can become very tropic (=too humid) due to the flowers in the rooms and no ventilation. With this sensor I can monitor the situation and ask the neighbors to open a window for a while if needed.

I can monitor that from my mobile phone or any computer at any time.

Sht11 with 100nf capacitor

Extending the sensor cable length

The length of the cable between microcontroller and SHT11 sensor should not be more than 50cm to ensure reliable operation. You can however extend it to a few meters by soldering a 100nF capacitor between the power supply pins of the sensor.

Automatically updating the web page

Personally I don't like web pages which reload themselves automatically. Many people have however written to me that they would like to have such a feature and maybe it makes sense here. As of software version 3.1 the page updates every 5min. If you want additional updates in-between then you can just click on the link "refresh page" at the bottom of the page.

There are two technical possibilities to implement automatic refreshing of a web page:

1) Adding the http-refresh in the server header. The server header is part of the http protocol and you don't see it if you click on page source in you web browser. A refresh very 5min would look like this:
HTTP/1.0 200 OK
Content-Type: text/html
Pragma: no-cache
Refresh: 300
The corresponging avr web-server C-code would look like this (one line):
plen=fill_tcp_data_p(buf,0,PSTR("HTTP/1.0 200 OK\r\nContent-Type: text/html
\r\nPragma: no-cache\r\nRefresh: 300\r\n\r\n"));

2) Using Javascript. The advantage here is that the user could stop the re-loading by switching off Javascript in the browser. The disadvantage is that it is a lot more html code. 300000 means 5min. You can place this statement somewhere on the webpage:
<script LANGUAGE=JavaScript>
The corresponging avr web-server C-code would look like this (one line):
plen=fill_tcp_data_p(buf,plen,PSTR("<SCRIPT LANGUAGE=JavaScript>

For the change in software version 3.1 I have used solution 1).