Ambient Temperature Monitor

This project will allow you to read temperature from a digital sensor, display it on the OLED Expansion, and also push the data to Ubidots IoT Platform for logging and monitoring!

temperature monitor running

Visualize and track the data on Ubidots:

temperature monitor multiple readings


Skill Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Time Required: 20 minutes

We’ll be using a software 1-Wire bus to read the temperature from a sensor. The code will then write the value on the OLED Expansion and push the data to your Ubidots account. We’re also using Onion’s pyOledExp module to provide control of the OLED Expansion.

This project also shows how, with a little bit of craftiness, it’s possible to use the Omega’s GPIOs to control external circuits while still using the OLED Expansion.

The complete project code can be found in Onion’s temperature-monitor repo on GitHub.




Follow these instructions to setup the Ambient Temperature Monitor project on your very own Omega!

1. Prepare

You’ll have to have an Omega2 ready to go, complete the First Time Setup Guide to connect your Omega to WiFi and update to the latest firmware.

Do not plug in your OLED Expansion just yet.

2. Install Software

Connect to the Omega’s Command line and install Python as well as some of the packages we need:

opkg update
opkg install python-light python-urllib3 pyOledExp ubidots-client git git-http ca-bundle

The python-urllib3 package will allow us to make HTTP requests in Python, while the pyOledExp package gives us control of the OLED Expansion.

The ubidots-client package will allow us to push and pull data from the Ubidots IoT Platform.

The git, git-http, and ca-bundle packages will allow us to download the project code form GitHub.

3. Download the Project Code

The code for this project is all done and can be found in Onion’s temperature-monitor repo on GitHub. Use git to download the code to your Omega: navigate to the /root directory, and clone the GitHub repo:

cd /root
git clone

4. Setup Ubidots

First, sign up for a Ubidots account. At the time this was written, you should have 5000 credits in your account available for trial and testing. This is more than enough to get this project running!

Then go to the account homepage, and click on Devices at the top, and click on the grey Add Device button. Call it 1-wire-project like so:

temperature monitor create ubidots device

Now we need to add a variable to store our data. Click on the device’s blue card to go to its device page. Then click on the grey Add Variable button, then click Default. Call the new variable temperature (case sensitive) like so:

temperature monitor create ubidots device

Now we need to create an API key for this project. Click on your username in the top right of the screen, then click My Profile. In the profile menu, click on API Keys on the left. Then click on the blue Create Token button to generate a token; click on the newToken text to rename it to 1-wire-project.

temperature monitor create api token

In order to authenticate your requests to Ubidots, you will need to put this long string of text into the config.json file in the project directory on the Omega. Replace the yourTokenhere placeholder with the key you just created:

temperature monitor edit api token

Your software is now ready to run!

5. Prepare the Wires

Next you will need to prepare the wires. The OLED Expansion does not have female headers to connect wires or Expansions because they may block the screen. To deal with this, do the following for each of the 3 wires:

  1. Using the wire cutter, cut one connector of the jumper wire off while leaving a male end intact.
    • One male end is needed to connect to the breadboard!
  2. Using the wire stripper, strip about 10mm of insulation from the freshly cut end.
  3. Pinch the exposed wire with one hand and twist it several times until the threads are thoroughly wound around each other.
    • This is so they don’t fray.
  4. Take the twisted wire and bend it 180 degrees backwards in half to make a thin hook-like shape.
  5. Twist the hook again so it closes and doesn’t fray.

Your wires should look like this:

temperature monitor assembly 01

6. Connect the Sensor

Use this diagram for reference when wiring up the sensor:

temperature monitor ds18b20 pinout

We will treat the flat side as the front.

  1. With the front of the sensor facing the middle gap of the breadboard, insert the three pins across 3 adjacent rows.
  2. Connect the 5.1kΩ resistor to both DQ (pin 2) and Vdd (pin 3).

Your sensor should look like this:

temperature monitor assembly 02

7. Sensor -> Omega

Our sensor is now ready and we need to connect it to the Omega using the wires we just prepared. The male end of the wire will plug into the breadboard while the bare ends will go into the Dock’s Expansion pins.

  1. Connect GND (pin 1) to the Omega’s GND pin.
  2. Connect DQ (pin 2) to the Omega’s GPIO19.
  3. Connect Vdd (pin 3) to the Omega’s 3.3V pin.

Insert the bare ends of the wire into the Expansion Dock like this:

temperature monitor assembly 03

Your circuit should now look like this so far:

temperature monitor assembly 04

8. Connect OLED Expansion

The OLED Expansion will then plug in on top of the wires; it might be a little bit of a tight squeeze but you will definitely be able to successfully plug in the Expansion. Plug it in and it should look like this:

temperature monitor assembled

Good work! You’ve just done a little bit of physical hacking to use a sensor alongside the OLED Expansion.

9. Run the Code

On the Omega, launch the program:

cd /root/temperature-monitor

You should see something like this:

temperature monitor complete

Now go to your Ubidots account page and check on your temperature variable in the 1-wire-project device. You should see your new reading:

temperature monitor new reading

10. Automate the Program to Run Periodically

The program will read the temperature, display it on the OLED, push the value to Ubidots, then promptly exit. We’ll use cron, a super useful Linux utility, to have the program run periodically.

Enter crontab -e to add a task to the cron daemon, it will open a file in vi, enter in the following:

* * * * * python /root/temperature-monitor/

This assumes that your project code is located in /root/temperature-monitor

Now, we’ll restart cron:

/etc/init.d/cron restart

And the code will run once every minute, pushing data to your Ubidots account so that you can view the changes over time!

temperature monitor multiple readings

Check out the Omega documentation for more info on using cron

Code Highlight

This project makes use of two main interfaces: 1-Wire and Ubidots.


The 1-Wire protocol is a bus-based protocol that, as the name implies, uses one data wire to transmit data between devices. The script uses some functions from the module to automatically do the following:

  • setup a 1-Wire bus on the Omega
  • scan for the temperature sensor’s address
  • use the sensor in subsequent calls without you having to probe it yourself!


The Ubidots requests are handled by the ubidots-client command line utility that the Ubidots class calls. This is the same as running the command below:

ubidots -t (TOKEN) -d (DEVICENAME) set '{"variableOne":12, "variableTwo":10, ...}'

In the case of this project, the equivalent command would be:

ubidots -t (TOKEN) -d (DEVICENAME) set '{"temperature": (VALUE READ FROM SENSOR)}'