My Story: DIY Arduino temperature scanner

Inexpensive DIY might save you an expensive repair bill.

By Johnathan Hottell
My Story


I do a lot of towing with my LB7 Duramax diesel truck. On hot days I kept having an overheating problem, so I built this six channel temperature scanner for around $40. Compared to an expensive commercial scanner, it's worked out to be a great tool. My scanner is built using a Nokia 3310 LCD screen and an Arduino Pro Mini 3V version. The temperature probes are simple thermistors (see below for Jameco parts list).

Johnathan walks through his Arduino Temperature Scanner build
on this short video:
scanner inside


The sensors were placed around the truck at the intake, after cooler, hood, and grill. The Arduino was programmed so that the temperature sensor refreshed every second. A commercial style temperature scanner can cost hundreds of dollars, this project minimizes that cost. This is a great project to check both outdoor and indoor temperature.

Build Your Own Scanner:
We took Johnathan's great idea for this simple Arduino controlled temperature scanner and created a parts lists with some adapted tips. With the parts listed below, you can make a similar temperature scanner.

Parts List:

Description Mfr. Part No. Jameco Part No.
Thermistors: 1KΩ (6) NTC-102-R 207483
LCD screen shield DFR0009 2144411
Project box 173-BK 675542
Resistors: 220Ω (6) CF1/4W221JRC 690700
Arduino UNO A000049 2151232
Hook-Up wire 9313-0-R-25 2152876
9V battery ALK 9V 522 198731
9V battery snaps A104-R 11280
On/Off switch 1MS2T6B11M1QE 317332
2.5mm female jack G/S(SR2048A)-R 190538

Tools List:

Description Mfr. Part No. Jameco Part No.
Soldering Iron VTS20U 2131151
Solder SOLDERDISPLF 170457
Small Saw

Temperature Scanner Project Tips:

- Stack the Arduino shield recommended here, onto the Arduino UNO.

- Use the other available pins on the shield to connect your thermistors. Make sure that you connect the resistor to one side of the thermistors and then to the Arduino. The other side of the thermistor connects to the 3 volts on the Arduino.

- Think about where you want to put the temperature sensors and estimate the length of the wires needed.

schematicTemperature Scanner Schematic


temperature scanner Arduino powered temperature scanner with LCD screen display

In place of the thermistors, you could also use Waterproof Temperature Sensors on this project.

The programming code used on the scanner will depend on what LCD you use. A great starting point is the sample code on filears blog as a starting point and adapt for different programs.

We're always interested in what you are working on. If you have a project that you're proud of, send it to us and we'll share it with the Jameco community. Send your contributions to MyStory@Jameco.com.

Johnathan loves electronics, technology and helping others find a love for them too! He wants to make informative videos and projects to help save people time. His day job is a programmer, but he would really rather be in his shop. You can follow him on his Tech Blog, Filear.com.