Making a DIY Thermocouple

A thermocouple is a device that can be used to measure temperatures. They can be used for anything from measuring a cooking turkey’s temperature to a home heating system. You can buy thermocouple connectors at the store if you expect to need a lot of them. However, if you need one, you can make your own. This is also a good science project for when the kids are bored. If nothing else, it will provide some entertainment and a working thermocouple probe.

The key to making your own is preparation. Once you have successfully gathered your materials, you can begin construction. Yes, your neighbors will look at you funny. But it will be pretty cool when you have a thermometer you built yourself. Read on for materials and instructions.

1. Materials

You will need a thermocouple wire. Sometimes, you will be able to use cheap wires. However, a more expensive version will give you the best results. You will also need a method to spot weld.

2. Manufacturing

First, you must remove the outer insulation. Then, strip each of the individual wires inside the insulation. Bend the wires so they touch. Weld them into this position. Now, you have a functioning thermocouple. However, you will want to calibrate it first.

3. Calibration

You will need the appropriate tools to use your thermocouple. Once you have these, it is time to calibrate it. To do this, gather your tools. Then, fill a bowl with ice water and another bowl with boiling water. You may want to add salt to the ice water bath. Then, use a normal thermometer to measure the temperature. Then, use your thermocouple to measure the temperature in the air and the cold water bath. Write down the readings and take the temperature of the boiling water bath.

Thermocouples can be a fun science project with the kids or something you want to do if you only need one. Either way, following these steps gives you a working temperature sensor.