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TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  sanderson on 11/22/2016, 4:37 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:Now the readings for Tuesday Nov 22, 2016. The current ambient temp is around freezing and overnight lows are around -4C (25F). Nice to see that the temps in the bins are staying a lot higher than the outside temperature.

New Bin #2 -  This compost needs to be turned to give it another push back to higher temps but with the bad weather that probably is not going to happen.
Aww, where's the old pioneering spirit?  Didn't you used to walk 20 miles uphill to school?  Yeah, me neither.  If you do turn it one more time, just pull it out and throw it back in.  Forget the careful Berkeley separation.

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/22/2016, 4:54 pm

@sanderson wrote:
@trolleydriver wrote:Now the readings for Tuesday Nov 22, 2016. The current ambient temp is around freezing and overnight lows are around -4C (25F). Nice to see that the temps in the bins are staying a lot higher than the outside temperature.

New Bin #2 -  This compost needs to be turned to give it another push back to higher temps but with the bad weather that probably is not going to happen.
Aww, where's the old pioneering spirit?  Didn't you used to walk 20 miles uphill to school?  Yeah, me neither.  If you do turn it one more time, just pull it out and throw it back in.  Forget the careful Berkeley separation.
Only 20 miles???  

It was 30 miles to school for me and it was uphill in both directions!!!  

rofl

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  has55 on 11/22/2016, 10:41 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:
@has55 wrote:TD, I was thinking of making a compost thermometer like this one, but enclosed it in 1/2" PVC pipe. I would run the wire thru the pipe, put a end cap on it with a hole for the metal piece. But I can't figure out how to wedge the metal piece in so when I push it thru the compost pile it won't push back into the pipe. any ideas.

Digital LCD Thermometer for Refrigerator Freezer Temperature -50~110°C ED

 

has55 ... I've thought about using a pipe as well but like you have not figured out how to stop the metal piece from pushing back. One idea was to push a rod or pipe with a solid end into the compost first to make a path for the pipe which has the thermometer probe. Another thought I had was to fill the end of the pipe with epoxy to hold the metal probe in place.
I was thinking about the epoxy too.
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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  jimmy cee on 11/23/2016, 10:20 am

The sensing area on the probe is at the tip, thats where two wires are connected together. Place a small tubing clamp before sliding into cap hole. Adjust so much of the probe protrudes out the cap, then attach another close to cap to make probe rigid. You might have to search around for those clamps as they are not common. Auto parts stores may have small clamps for vacuum tubing.
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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/23/2016, 3:21 pm

Checking in with the temperature readings for the afternoon of Wednesday November 23rd. Current ambient temp is -2C (28F).

New Bin #1 - Now at 48.7C (119.7F) which is up from yesterday's 44.1C (111.4F).

New Bin #2 - At 37.2C (99F) which is down from yesterday's 45.6C (114.1F). So I decided to semi-turn the pile. What I did was fluff up the compost in the bin while trying to move some of the stuff from the top outside edges to the middle of the pile. I did not remove the compost from the bin ... just stirred things up a bit. At the same time I added some blood meal, coffee grounds and a small amount of snow for moisture. The temp after the semi-turning is 10.6C (51.1F). It will be interesting to see if this one heats back up.

Old Plastic Bin - At 34.2C (93.6F) which is down very slightly from yesterday's 34.8C (94.6F). Yesterday I added some kitchen scraps to this pile.

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/23/2016, 5:45 pm

This is an experiment to see if I can display a graph of the compost temperatures in New Bins #1 and #2

The big dips are the temps on the days after turning the compost.


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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  sanderson on 11/23/2016, 7:31 pm

Shocked Sweet!    Can you also add the Fahrenheit numbers on the right?  You know, for your "southern" cousins.

Excel or what?

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/23/2016, 8:44 pm

@sanderson wrote:Shocked Sweet!    Can you also add the Fahrenheit numbers on the right?  You know, for your "southern" cousins.

Excel or what?
Excel.  Not sure I can do the Fahrenheit on the right but I can do another set with Fahrenheit on the left instead of Celsius.

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/23/2016, 9:05 pm

@trolleydriver wrote:
@sanderson wrote:Shocked Sweet!    Can you also add the Fahrenheit numbers on the right?  You know, for your "southern" cousins.

Excel or what?
Excel.  Not sure I can do the Fahrenheit on the right but I can do another set with Fahrenheit on the left instead of Celsius.

Here it is.  The temperature scale can be read in either Celsius or Fahrenheit.  For the purple line (Series 2) read the scale on the left as Fahrenheit and for the dark blue line (Series 1) read it as Celsius.


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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 11/24/2016, 1:06 am

y'all are too fancy schmancy for me, lol! 

I have one smoking hot pile going.  It's all I can do to keep it just under 160.  It is climbing within a day of being turned and my body just can't handle the stress of turning it twice in a day.  I may add some wood chips next turn to up the carbon.  Ideas anyone?!
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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/24/2016, 8:23 am

@audrey.jeanne.roberts wrote:... I have one smoking hot pile going.  It's all I can do to keep it just under 160.  It is climbing within a day of being turned and my body just can't handle the stress of turning it twice in a day.  I may add some wood chips next turn to up the carbon.  Ideas anyone?!

Show off!!! Very Happy

Ideas??? You have high outside temperatures which help to slow down heat loss from the compost pile to the outside air. I suggest you move the pile up here to the freezing cold temperatures of Canada. That should keep it under control.
   rofl

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  sanderson on 11/24/2016, 12:36 pm

I had one that kept climbing to 170*F.  I'm riding in the car right now or I would look at my notes to see what I did besides tossing it around on the tarp.  Audrey, what a day to be fighting a hot pile!

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/24/2016, 2:01 pm

Readings for Thursday Nov 24, 2016. Ambient temperature is -1C (30.2F).

New Bin #1 - Now at 52.9C (127.2F) which is up from 48.7C (111.4F) yesterday. Amazing what those bacteria can do to generate heat even when the outside temp is around freezing and even lower (-5C, 23F) overnight.

New Bin #2 - First reading one day after stirring the contents and adding blood meal and coffee grounds.  Temp is at 16.8C (62.2F) which is up from 10.6C (51.1F) right after it was stirred.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 32.2C (90F) which is down from 34.2C (93.6F) yesterday.

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 11/24/2016, 8:21 pm

Company left, roof of greenhouse replaced (we had tried to use two strips joined together to cover the full length and it never worked right), compost pile turned, heading for my glider rocker to relax and leave the dishes for tomorrow!!!  

Trolleydriver, that was really funny tongue

First Thanksgiving with baby guy.  He was 8 months old today.  So fun I love you
Happy Thanksgiving all!!!
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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/25/2016, 1:25 pm

Readings for Friday Nov 25, 2016 (only one month to Christmas). The ambient temperature is 0C (32F) at the time of the readings

New Bin #1 - Now at 55.9C (132.7F) which is up nicely from 52.9C (127.2F) yesterday.

New Bin #2 - Now at 16.4C (61.5F) which is down ever so slightly from 16.8C (52.2F) yesterday. This is two days after it was "stirred" and blood meal added. Looks like this one has gone into hibernation for the winter. 

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 28.9C (84F) which is down from 32.2C (90F) yesterday.

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  CapeCoddess on 11/25/2016, 3:04 pm

Looks like new bin #1 refuses to give up Very Happy
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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 11/25/2016, 3:52 pm

Today my pile is only just at 130 degrees though it may continue to climb it's slowed quite a bit.  Yesterday was my 4th turn of it and things are breaking down rapidly so it may be running out of steam finally!

The cows are being fed a different type of hay this year, I think it's alfalfa hay.  In the past I think they've had oat hay.   That could be the heating issue.  I can recall using that kind of hay once before (we found a pile left at a campsite and brought it home).  I seem to remember it worked really well.  Any of you have experience of a difference with hay like that?
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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  sanderson on 11/26/2016, 1:02 am

I've used shredded alfalfa and leaves for the last 4 piles and I like the combination.

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  audrey.jeanne.roberts on 11/26/2016, 1:56 pm

My pile settled in at 140 degrees, so we're past the danger.  I'll turn it tomorrow and a couple more times.  I didn't write down when I started exactly but the next turn will be the 5th, so I'll proceed counting the turns rather than the days.  It's going to sit until spring for the most part anyway.  I'll move it out of the compost bin and store it when it's done.
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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/26/2016, 2:11 pm

Readings for Saturday Nov 26, 2016. The ambient temperature is 2C (35F) and the overnight low is forecast to be -5C (23F).

New Bin #1 - Now at 57.9C (136.2F) which is up from 55.9C (132.7F) yesterday.

New Bin #2 - Now at 14.9C (58.8F) which is down again from 16.4C (61.5F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 25.9C (78.6F) which is down again from 28.9C (84F) yesterday.

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  has55 on 11/27/2016, 2:25 am

@jimmy cee wrote:The sensing area on the probe is at the tip, thats where two wires are connected together. Place a small tubing clamp before sliding into cap hole. Adjust so much of the probe protrudes out the cap, then attach another close to cap to make probe rigid. You might have to search around for those clamps as they are not common. Auto parts stores may have small clamps for vacuum tubing.

trying to  get a better image of your instruction. got loss at this spot.  "then attach another close to cap to make probe rigid. You might have to search around for those clamps as they are not common"
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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/27/2016, 4:02 pm

Readings for Sunday Nov 27, 2016. The ambient temperature is 0C (32F) with an overnight low forecast to be -8C (18F).

New Bin #1 - Now at 59.0C (138.2F) which is up from 57.9C (136.2F). This bin continues to impress as it keeps on cooking.  Very Happy

New Bin #2 - Now at 13.4C (56.1F) which is down from 14.9C (58.8F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 22.6C (72.7F) which is down from 25.9C (78.6F) yesterday. I added more kitchen scraps today. As well, I poked some holes down from the top and stirred things a bit. I also noticed that the temperature probe was not in the centre of the pile but was close to the edge. I must have moved it accidentally a couple of days ago. It will interesting to see if the temperature reading changes very much now that the probe has been moved back to the middle of the pile.

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/28/2016, 3:01 pm

Readings for Monday Nov 28, 2016. The ambient temperature is -1C (30.2F) with a freezing rain warning in effect for tomorrow morning (glad I don't have to drive anywhere).

New Bin #1 - Now at 58.5C (137.3F) which is down ever so slightly from 59.0C (138.2F) yesterday.

New Bin #2 - Now at 12.5C (54.5C) which is down 13.4C (56.1F) yesyerday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 19.1C (66.4F) which is down from 22.6C (72.7F) yesterday. Keep in mind that yesterday I added kitchen scraps and made some vertical holes so that I could stir things a bit. I also re-positioned the temperature probe.

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/29/2016, 2:35 pm

Readings for Tuesday Nov 29, 2016. The ambient temperature is +1C (33F) and the freezing rain has stopped.

New Bin #1 - Now at 58.0C (136.4F) which is down ever so slightly from 58.5C (137.3F) yesterday.

New Bin #2 - Now at 11.8C (53.2F) which is down from 12.5C (54.5C) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 16.8C (62.2F) which is down from 19.1C (66.4F) yesterday.

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Re: TrolleyDriver's Compost Thermometer

Post  trolleydriver on 11/30/2016, 1:41 pm

Readings for Wednesday Nov 30, 2016. The ambient temperature is +2C (36F) and there is fog.

New Bin #1 - Now at 56.0C (132.8F) which is down from 58.0C (136.4F) yesterday.

New Bin #2 - Now at 10.9C (51.6F)  which is down from 11.8C (53.2F) yesterday.

Old Plastic Bin - Now at 14.9C (58.8F)  which is down from 16.8C (62.2F) yesterday.

So everything is on the way down.

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