The HomeSitter HS-700 (by Protected Home) connects to your phone land line.* In the event of a detected power outage or water spill (a wired water sensor is supplied), the device will call up to three telephone numbers with an automated message notifying you of the type of alarm that’s been set off. All you have to do is input the phone numbers you’d like the HomeSitter to call in case of a tripped alarm. That’s it! There’s no monitoring fees, no ancillary components to install, and no internet settings to program. It’s really a monitoring device anyone and their technophobic parents can learn to use in five minutes.
The HomeSitter is not designed specifically for aquariums. This much is evident when you see that it also features an air temperature alarm that is either triggered by a low alarm of 45°F/7°C or a high alarm of 85°F/34°C. This feature has limited utility for aquarists, but a DIY enthusiast may be able to modify the HomeSitter with a temperature probe – in which case the high alarm would be very useful for aquariums. It would be nice to see an enterprising individual or company market a modified version for aquarium use.
Retail price is a reasonable $99 USD although we’ve found market prices around $70 (sometimes as low as $60 on sale). In our opinion, this is a very nominal cost for all the peace of mind the HomeSitter buys.
In the past decade, remote monitoring devices from the likes of neptune Systems, Digital Aquatics, et al. have been developed for the aquarium market. While these aquarium monitors are more advanced (more types of alarms, data-logging, etc.), the HomeSitter is hard to beat for its ease-of-use and low price for what it does.
*A more expensive cellular version is available for those who don’t have a land line.