Reviewed by Colin Hewitt
The Tempo Disc supplied by Blue Maestro, an award-winning manufacturer of data monitoring equipment, is a compact sensor capable of creating a data-log detailing the temperature and humidity of its surrounding environment. The device also calculates the dew point (the dew point, in a nutshell, being the temperature at which the air cannot retain all of its water content, and the water begins to form condensation).
As this is quite a specialised product with numerous applications in a professional and industrial setting, I wondered what you could do with it in a domestic situation.
I was recently sent a sample device to review and thoroughly enjoyed exploring its capabilities.
When it arrived, I was pleased to see that the gadget wasn’t over-packaged. The device is supplied in a small screw-top tin and is designed to be non-intrusive. The disc itself is small (about the size of a £2 coin). My pack included a silicon ‘pouch’ which made placement and housing very easy. A soft draw-string bag is also provided to store the device in when not in use.
The item has minimal documentation, but most importantly, a quick start guide is provided to get you up and running as quickly as possible. A comprehensive, but easy to understand user manual is available to download from the Blue Maestro website.
The monitor is switched on by pressing once on its blue coloured surface and is switched off by pressing it for longer than three seconds – it couldn’t be simpler.
Before using the disc, download a free app from your any app store. Both iOS (Apple products) and Android apps are available. Throughout this review, I used the iPad (iOS) app.
The temperature range the disc can record is between -30°C to +75°C (-22°F to +167°F). Because this device and the iPad (or mobile phone) communicate using Bluetooth, the range is approximately 75m/225 feet (although throughout this review the distance was only a few metres).
When operational the Tempo Disc measures temperature and humidity at regular intervals (from 1 minute to 18 hours, easily set by the user). After a suitable period of recording, to view the results, the user downloads the data log to the app. The app-software is very flexible; the data is viewable in graph or table form. For advanced users, the raw data in data.csv format can be accessed, enabling further analysis in a spreadsheet or more specialised software; however, this feature is beyond the scope of this review.
Because of its size, and long battery life (which is approximately one year and easily replaced with a standard CR2032 battery), the device can be placed almost anywhere; indoors or outdoors, there’s even an alternative waterproof model available if required.
Some of the potential domestic uses I have considered for this piece of equipment are detailed below.
Greenhouse temperatures can be recorded to determine when additional heating is required.
The disc could be housed in cabinets storing temperature-sensitive medications, helping to ensure that they are in the best climatic environment.
As a hobby, I restore vintage radios; sometimes, this requires minor redesigns. Monitoring the internal temperature of their wooden cabinets is extremely useful for detecting if any of the modifications are causing overheating which, if left unchecked, may cause severe damage.
The item could be placed in dough proving drawers to ensure that constant temperature and humidity levels are always maintained.
The internal temperature and humidity of pianos or other musical instruments could be monitored to ensure they’re in the best location (fluctuations of temperature and humidity can cause tuning to drift).
In art galleries or museums, the disc can be used to monitor the environmental conditions of display cases (e.g. book and documentation collections where constant humidity and temperature is crucial).
I hope you can see from the suggestions above, the only restriction to end-use potential is the user’s imagination.
While being so straightforward to install, and use in its basic form, the device has many additional features should you wish to delve further.
For hobbyists, this is a superbly designed piece of equipment, effortless to set up and operate, with a vast number of potential applications around the house, garage or workshop.