Review: Inkbird IBS-TH1 Plus (Temperature and Humidity Sensor)

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-Bezza-

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I was provided with the Inkbird IBS-TH1 Plus Temperature & Humidity Smart Sensor by @Inkbird in exchange for this review. I have not been asked to provide a favourable review and this reflects my honest assessment of the product.

In a nutshell, the IBS-TH1 is small, battery-powered temperature and humidity sensor with capabilities of logging historic readings. This provides an advantage over simple thermometers in that you can see all this historic data rather than just a single point in time.

The main aim for wanting this product myself was to log temps and humidity in a wine cellar, where both are particularly important. However, given I haven't built this yet, and because I am feeling guilty about not having written up a review sooner, I've been using it in my brew fridge to monitor the variability in temperature during the fermentation phase.

The design of the device is very sleek. It measures 63.5mm squared and 20mm deep, weighing 53g (per the spec - I've not weighed it with batteries). There's a small button on the shoulder to toggle between Fahrenheit and Centigrade. There's also a small grill/vent type bit on the side which is the internal sensor.

A detachable external sensor probe is also provided - this has a very long wire, I think 2m, with a short metal sensor on the end (about 2-3 cm). The external probe only measures temperature and is less accurate than the internal temperature sensor (+/- 1C external vs +/- 0.3-0.5C for the internal) but does have the ability to read up to 100C vs 60C for the internal. Both measure as low as -40C.

The device will self-detect the external probe and automatically record off this. It won't log temperature from both sensors at the same time. It will still log humidity from the internal sensor with the external temperature sensor connected however.

As you'll see, the display is very clear. It's not back lit, which would have been a nice feature to have. But frankly, the power of the device is in the historic logging of data rather than the snapshot view that the screen provides, so it's not a major issue.

20180817_193851.jpg


The device also has a magnetic back which sticks to metal surfaces, as you would expect. However, the inside of my fridge is plastic so the magnet is a bit useless in this case. It would have been good if there was a small hook or recess in the back of the device to allow this to be hung on non-magnetic surfaces (which would also include the wall in my wine cellar).

So here it is in my brew fridge, behind the bungee cord.

20180817_193828.jpg


The device connects to the phone via bluetooth. You need to download an app called Engbird which is available for both Android and Apple. I used the Android version.

The app requires two permissions - location and access to storage. I understand the need to access storage, in order to record data and save the csv file download but no idea why it needs to know my location. I couldn't find any explanation for this. Perhaps Inkbird can clarify?

Also, when I denied permission to access my location, I couldn't pair my phone with the device.

Pairing was simple (once I'd allowed the right permissions). It searches for the device and then shows a screen like this:

Screenshot_20180812-141302_Engbird.jpg


The different scenarios correspond with different max and min temps (see screen below). I selected "Other" and manually changed the name and temp profiles.

Screenshot_20180819-161352_Engbird.jpg


I've not used the "Alert Me" function as I'm too far away from my fridge to be continually paired. Plus it's in a fridge, which isn't great for maintaining a Bluetooth connection anyway! You'll note the ability to calibrate - again, not something I've used.

The app is pretty simple. You can change the interval for the reading when connected (I need to check what intervals are possible but recall it being 1 min, 10 min, 1 hour, 1 day). I'm set to 10 mins as the data build up would be significant otherwise.

I couldn't find details of how many measurements can be stored in the device or what happens when that limit is reached - stop recording or overwrite oldest.

Instructions are limited. The package had some very limited printed info, basically showing a pic of the device and what everything is, the spec, where to get the app (including QR Code) and a screenshot of the app showing what each icon represents. This last bit isn't warranted - it speaks for itself. There is also some additional help within the app.

Screenshot_20180816-203446_Engbird.jpg


Onto performance. I have had this in my fridge for about 5 days now. Initially this was on the internal sensor so was recording the temperature and humidty of the fridge cavity. As you would imagine, the temps varied quite wildly. I then moved to the external probe which was tucked behind some polystyrene on the side of the FV. Temps didn't change much at all here.

You can see below how I was measuring the fridge temps whilst stepping up temps over three days and can then see where I moved to the probe.

You can change the scale of the graph - year, month, week, day - which obviously zooms accordingly. The csv file that you can export just shows the date and time of each recording, plus the temp and humidity (I can't upload as csv isn't allowed on this forum).

Screenshot_20180819-161326_Engbird.jpg
Screenshot_20180819-161319_Engbird.jpg
Screenshot_20180819-161335_Engbird.jpg


As an experiment, it was interesting to see how little the wort temp changes. My inkbird ITC-310 temp controller is set to 30C (panic not, it's a Saison) and causes the beer to waiver only slightly.

I'd be interested to see what happens to beer temp if I have the ITC-310's temp controller probe in the fridge and not behind the polystyrene. One for another day perhaps.

Overall, I quite like this product. It provides a great way for monitoring the fermentation temps over time to provide some insight into how the brew is progressing. I could also see this being useful for recording mash temps and using it to really hone in on efficiency etc. Of course there's not a mass of practical benefit - it's passive, historic recording at the end of the day - but a good little gadget to have.

I'll keep using this for a bit and post updates if and when I find anything else interesting.

Feel free to ask questions and I'll do my best to answer them.

I assume I'm not meant to send this back now because I don't particularly want to!
 

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I was provided with the Inkbird IBS-TH1 Plus Temperature & Humidity Smart Sensor by @Inkbird in exchange for this review. I have not been asked to provide a favourable review and this reflects my honest assessment of the product.

Great review and thanks for your honesty i am sure Inkbird will be pleased with the review .
 

Inkbird

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Thank you very much for your share.athumb..
About these questions, please let me explain:
1. Why software needs location permission?
We updated the app according to the requirement of Google play store, the code SDK needs to be modified. Because of this change, location permission is required if want to use Bluetooth scan. Please do not worry, we will not collect your location information.
2. How many measurements can be stored?
It can record 30000 ponits capacity. If the limit is reached, it will overwrite oldest points. By the way, please note if change the interval, historical data will be cleared.
We will consider your suggestions, maybe we will improve it in the future.;)
Sincerely.
 

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Thank you very much for your share.athumb..
About these questions, please let me explain:
1. Why software needs location permission?
We updated the app according to the requirement of Google play store, the code SDK needs to be modified. Because of this change, location permission is required if want to use Bluetooth scan. Please do not worry, we will not collect your location information.
2. How many measurements can be stored?
It can record 30000 ponits capacity. If the limit is reached, it will overwrite oldest points. By the way, please note if change the interval, historical data will be cleared.
We will consider your suggestions, maybe we will improve it in the future.;)
Sincerely.

Thanks for confirming and thanks again for sending me the gadget. Just noticed the 30,000 data points in the spec on Amazon, which also confirms the recording intervals:

Specifications
Dimensions: 63.5mmx20mm
Weight:53g
Wireless Range: 50 meters
Temperature Range: -40~60°C (inner sensor), -40~100°C (External probe)
Temperature Accuracy: Typical: ±0.3°C / ±0.5°F, Max: ±0.5°C / ±0.9°F
Humidity Range: 0~99%RH
Humidity Accuracy(25°C/ 77°F, 20%~80%RH): Typical: ±3%RH, Max: ±4.5%RH
Humidity Accuracy(25°C/ 77°F, 0%~100%RH): Typical: ±4.5%RH, Max: ±7.5%RH

Record capacity: 30000 ponits(MAX)
Record interval: 10s、30s、1min、2min、5min、10min、30min adjustable
Magnetic Back: Yes​

I've also remembered one potential bug I have encountered in the software that I thought I should flag. If you click the link the share the csv file, you get the usual screen popping up asking how you would like it to be shared (email, gmail, Whatsapp etc). When I choose one of these options, it doesn't send the file, rather is sends the file path on my phone: file:///storage/emulated/0/Download/Brew Fridge-B4994C51BEEC.csv which isn't a great deal of use when sending to another device! Not sure if this is something with my phone (Samsung Galaxy S8), Android or the sharing method I selected (Gmail) or something that can be fixed in the software.
 

Inkbird

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Thanks for confirming and thanks again for sending me the gadget. Just noticed the 30,000 data points in the spec on Amazon, which also confirms the recording intervals:

Specifications
Dimensions: 63.5mmx20mm
Weight:53g
Wireless Range: 50 meters
Temperature Range: -40~60°C (inner sensor), -40~100°C (External probe)
Temperature Accuracy: Typical: ±0.3°C / ±0.5°F, Max: ±0.5°C / ±0.9°F
Humidity Range: 0~99%RH
Humidity Accuracy(25°C/ 77°F, 20%~80%RH): Typical: ±3%RH, Max: ±4.5%RH
Humidity Accuracy(25°C/ 77°F, 0%~100%RH): Typical: ±4.5%RH, Max: ±7.5%RH

Record capacity: 30000 ponits(MAX)
Record interval: 10s、30s、1min、2min、5min、10min、30min adjustable
Magnetic Back: Yes​

I've also remembered one potential bug I have encountered in the software that I thought I should flag. If you click the link the share the csv file, you get the usual screen popping up asking how you would like it to be shared (email, gmail, Whatsapp etc). When I choose one of these options, it doesn't send the file, rather is sends the file path on my phone: file:///storage/emulated/0/Download/Brew Fridge-B4994C51BEEC.csv which isn't a great deal of use when sending to another device! Not sure if this is something with my phone (Samsung Galaxy S8), Android or the sharing method I selected (Gmail) or something that can be fixed in the software.

Thanks for your feedback. We tested some phones (Android & IOS) here but no problem. Technical department of us will do further testing, I will let you know the solution as soon as possible. Sorry for the inconvenience caused.
 

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A quick update on this.

Inkbird have been in touch and had their developers fix the app so that it now exports the data fine directly into gmail. clapa

Also a quick screen shot to show the full history of fermentation and cold crash. I do love a good graph!

Screenshot_20180901-120642_Engbird.jpg


Next brew I'm going to log the mash temperature.
 
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but would this be any good for measuring temp directly inside a mash tun (coolbox version)? Not sure if it is ok directly inside liquid. If not, could anyone suggest one that would work for that purpose?
 

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Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but would this be any good for measuring temp directly inside a mash tun (coolbox version)? Not sure if it is ok directly inside liquid. If not, could anyone suggest one that would work for that purpose?
Hi Yes you can do that. The Inkbird IBS-TH1 temperature and humidity sensor comes with an external probe, which is designed for measuring the temperature of liquid (other than sea water) and sealed place such as reptile terrarium and brewing containers.
 

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