My Story: DIY Arduino Temperature Scanner

Inexpensive DIY Might Save You an Expensive Repair Bill

By Johnathan Hottell

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.

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.
scanner inside

Johnathan walks through his Arduino Temperature Scanner build in this short video.

We took Johnathan's great idea for this simple Arduino controlled temperature scanner and created a parts list with some tips.

Required Tools:
Soldering Iron
Small Saw

Parts List

Part Description Mfr. Part No.
Thermistors: 1KΩ NTC-102-R
LCD screen shield DFR0009
Project box 173-BK
Resistors: 220Ω CF1/4W221JRC
Arduino UNO A000073
Hook-Up wire 9313-0-R-25
9V battery ALK 9V 522
9V battery snaps A104-R
On/Off switch
2.5mm female jack G/S(SR2048A)-R

Project Tips

Stack the Arduino shield 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 my blog as a starting point and adapt for different programs.

If you have an electronics story or project you'd like to share, please email
Johnathan Hottell 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 blog