Air Quality Monitoring – Recently I had a discussion with someone from the South Riverdale Community Health Centre on Air Quality monitoring in Ontario (AQI). I learned a number of things, there are only 40 Air Quality Monitors in Ontario and they test for six key indexes. Toronto runs a slightly different test, the Air Quality Health Index (AQHI) which is a pilot programme and reports on how the Air Quality will affect your health. The AQHI test for three key indicators. Detecting three indexes sounds pretty reasonable.
Mobile Air Quality MonitorBy building my own Air Quality project I hope to be able to reproduce the AQHI results at a fraction of the price and provide instruction to enable anyone across the province a chance to build their own.
To the left is a photo of the final (but always in a state of flux) result. It is a GPS enabled device powered by two AA’s which senses Air Quality and Ozone. I am currently running tests in a variety of ways. This is a more complex setup than it has to be. Below I’ll detail both a simple setup and a complex setup.
Simple Air Quality Monitor:
- USB-Serial Connection (~$15)
- Air Quality Sensor & Ozone Sensor ($6 each)
- 2 Resistors ($.15 – I’m using a 15k Ohm)
Connect the sensors as illustrated on the Wiring.org website. Attach to a computer and upload the data to a provider such as Pachube to share with the world. (Need an invite? Message me.)
Mobile Air Quality Monitor:
- Arduino (~$45)
- GPS Sheild ($16)
- GPS ($60)
- SD-Card ($20-60 depending on size – the SD-Card library uses a FAT-16 environment, so 1GB is all you’re going to need)
- MintyBoost ($20 – 12 Hour lifespan for 2 AAs, 3 for a 9V battery)
- Air Quality & Ozone Sensor ($6 each, see above for links)
- Batteries (~$5 – I’d suggest rechargables)
- 2 Resistors ($.15)
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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