create new tag
view all tags
Start Presentation

Lecture 4: DHT11 Temperature and Humidity Sensor

CSC 321: Embedded Sysytem

First Semester 2020/2021

Slide 1: The DHT11


The DHT11 has only

3 pins:

  • Vcc
  • Ground
  • one data pin


The DHT11 is a basic, low-cost digital temperature and humidity sensor.

It uses a capacitive humidity sensor and a thermistor to measure the surrounding air, and

spits out a digital signal on the data pin (no analog input pins needed).

Its fairly simple to use, but requires careful timing to grab data.

The only real downside of this sensor is you can only get new data from it once every 2 seconds.

Slide 2: A single GPIO pin

We have seen how we can drive an LED from a single GPIO pin

programmed as output pin or how we can read its state

through another GPIO pin, programmed as input pin.

Can one do more with a single pin?

Slide 3: Serial Protocol

How can we, with a single pin

  • initiate a measurement
  • read humidity and temperature data
  • make sure the data are correct?
The answer is: a serial protocol
and the DHT11 implements its own serial protocol

Slide 4: Reading and understanding the data sheet

Letís have a look at the DHT11 data sheet:

Most of the following information is just a copy from the data sheet.


Slide 5: How does a resistive humidity measurement work?


Slide 6: Resistive Humidity Measurement(2)

  • Variations in relative humidity produce changes variations
    of resistivity,which is measured.
  • The resistance of certain hygroscopic materials such as
    hygroscopic salts have such a property
  • These materials are mounted as thin films on
    the substrate with metal contacts
  • The devices can be very small

Slide 7: The NTC Thermistor


Slide 8: A processor on chip

In order to convert these measurements into numeric values

and send them to the end user through a serial protocol,

a preprogrammed micro-controller must be implemented on the chip.

In the case of the DHT11 this is an 8 bit micro-controller,

which does the conversion into binary and which creates the serial protocol

Slide 9: Text from the data sheet

This sensor includes a resistive-type humidity measurement component and an NTC temperature measurement component,

and connects to a high-performance 8-bit microcontroller, offering excellent quality, fast response, anti-interference ability

and cost-effectiveness. Each DHT11 element is strictly calibrated in the laboratory that is extremely accurate on humidity calibration.

The calibration coefficients are stored as programmes in the OTP memory, which are used by the sensorís internal signal detecting process.

The single-wire serial interface makes system integration quick and easy. Its small size, low power consumption and

up-to-20 meter signal transmission making it the best choice for various applications, including those most demanding ones.

The component is 4-pin single row pin package.

Slide 10: Measurement Precision


Slide 11: How to connect the device


Slide 12: Powering the device

As we can see from the specs below, the DHT11 power line

can be directly connected to the cobbler 3.3V (or the 5V) line


Slide 13: Single Wire two way interface


Slide 14: Overall Communication Process

Communication Format can be seperated into three stages

1) Request
2) Response
3) Data Reading

Slide 15: Request Reading


Slide 16: What does this mean for our program?

We must:

  • Program the GPIO pin onto which we connected our DHT11 as output
  • We must pull this line done (send a login level zero) and
    keep it low for a minimum of 18 ms
  • We must pull it high again and wait for another 20-40 μs
  • Finally we must re-program the pin as input and wait for the DHT11 to respond.

Slide 17: Response from DHT11


Slide 18: Data Reading


Slide 19: Logic Analyzer


Slide 20: What the user of the device wants

The user of the device would like to have a library which hides

all these details. He wants functions to

  • Send request
  • Read response
  • Read each data segment and save it to a buffer
  • Sum the segments and check if the result is the same as CheckSum
  • If the CheckSum is correct, the values are correct so we can use them. If CheckSum is wrong we discard the packet.

    To read the data bits can use a counter and start count uSeconds of High level. For counts > 24uS we replace with bit '1'. For counts <=24 we replace with bit'0'

Slide 21: Reading the final data

The dht11 library uses a custom 1-wire protocol to get the measurements from the sensor.

The payload consists of a humidity value, a temperature value and a checksum.

Then measure and read their values with:

  • measure()
  • temperature()
  • humidity() 

Slide 22: Starting the measurement

The data pin has to be programmed as output

d = dht.DHT11(machine.Pin(16))

And read data as

d.temperature() # eg. 23.6 (įC)
d.humidity()    # eg. 41.3 (% RH)

-- Isaac Armah-Mensah - 2021-05-27


Topic attachments
I Attachment History Action Size Date Who Comment
JPEGjpg dht11.jpg r1 manage 55.2 K 2021-05-27 - 04:43 IsaacArmahMensah  
PNGpng dht11_bitidentify.png r1 manage 314.1 K 2021-05-27 - 05:16 IsaacArmahMensah  
PNGpng dht11_comm.png r1 manage 147.9 K 2021-05-27 - 05:01 IsaacArmahMensah  
PNGpng dht11_datareading.png r1 manage 213.5 K 2021-05-27 - 05:15 IsaacArmahMensah  
PNGpng dht11_endframe.png r1 manage 334.8 K 2021-05-27 - 05:16 IsaacArmahMensah  
PNGpng dht11_features.png r1 manage 102.8 K 2021-05-27 - 05:01 IsaacArmahMensah  
PNGpng dht11_logic.png r1 manage 701.8 K 2021-05-27 - 05:15 IsaacArmahMensah  
PNGpng dht11_power.png r1 manage 64.7 K 2021-05-27 - 05:01 IsaacArmahMensah  
PNGpng dht11_request.png r1 manage 469.7 K 2021-05-27 - 05:16 IsaacArmahMensah  
PNGpng dht11_response.png r1 manage 436.0 K 2021-05-27 - 05:16 IsaacArmahMensah  
Topic revision: r1 - 2021-05-27 - IsaacArmahMensah
This site is powered by the TWiki collaboration platform Powered by PerlCopyright © 2008-2024 by the contributing authors. All material on this collaboration platform is the property of the contributing authors.
Ideas, requests, problems regarding TWiki? Send feedback