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Comfort Zones

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

TempMinder wireless digital thermometer, calendar and clock keeps tabs on inside temperatures and up to three remote locations

Admittedly, I’m a weather junkie. Maybe it’s because I wanted to be a meteorologist before pursuing a journalism career, but that’s another story. Keeping tabs on temperature is not only fun, it’s utilitarian, especially in a motorhome exposed to four-season travel. There are dozens of weather stations on the market – some elaborate and some inexpensive – and Minder Research, the company known for its tire-pressure-monitoring system, offers a product that fits the latter category. Called the TempMinder (MRI-200HI), this simple wireless temperature monitor can be hooked up to three remote transmitters.

The people at Minder Research have a great sense of humor and reading the instructions will bring a chuckle or two. Actually, the amusing language is comforting since you’ll never get the device programmed without reading the instructions. Sorry guys!
Batteries are used to power the receiver and remote transmitters. Inserting batteries is not exactly rocket science, but following the prescribed procedure is critical to proper operation. Once the two AA batteries are inserted in the receiver (polarity is important), you’ll have five minutes to complete the process of syncing the remote transmitters.
Three transmitters were lined up on a table to complete the process and each one was marked to coincide with the channel number that will show up on the receiver screen. Once the two AAA batteries are installed in the first transmitter (same direction) “CH1” and the temperature will appear on the receiver screen; to confirm the process a red light will appear on the remote transmitter. When the red light disappears, the batteries can be installed in the second and third remote transmitters using the same sequence. The receiver automatically recognizes the transmitters in the order the batteries are inserted. Within a few minutes the inside and remote temperatures should be very close and the accuracy of the monitor is designed to stabilize within 2 degrees Fahrenheit after around 48 hours. Ours was dead on.

Locating the transmitters is a matter of personal preference. I put one in the refrigerator, one in a shaded spot outside and a third in the utility bay to monitor the pipes and dump valves when traveling in areas with potentially freezing temperatures. The receiver was mounted on a wall next to the bed, so I can roll over and check temperatures. It can also be placed on a counter using the built-in “kickstand” and moved at will. Minder recommends lithium batteries in temperatures below minus 4, but I use them in the receiver and all the transmitters because they have superior service life – especially for the one in the refrigerator.

Programming the receiver takes a few minutes following the step-by-step instructions. The screen displays time, day, date, current and minimum/maximum temperatures, and a button can be pushed to toggle between the remote transmitters. That process went smoothly since we followed the instructions precisely. We did experience a little difficulty syncing the transmitters the first time. After clearing the info and
reprogramming the monitor, the syncing process went without a hitch.
There are a few things to consider when using this wireless monitor: The transmitters are not waterproof and should be protected from rain or road spray; when the batteries need to be replaced in any component, the syncing process must be restarted; and signal interference can impact the 165-foot rating for the transmitters, even though they will be much closer to the receiver when used in a motorhome.
The TempMinder works better than expected for a device that sells for around $20 (additional transmitters are $8 each).

Accuracy is good and the temperature range – minus 58 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit – is well outside the limits most of us consider comfortable.

Minder Research | 772-463-6522 | www.minderresearch.com




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