How you can build an air quality sensor and download data 2021 tips

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This tutorial explains how to create an air quality sensor and download data. We will do our best to make sure you understand this guide. I hope you will like this blog How you can build an air quality sensor and download data. If your answer is yes, please share after reading this.

Check out how you can build an air quality sensor and download data

Become a Citizen Scientist by building your own air quality station and uploading data to the Sensor.Community site.

Are you concerned about air pollution in your neighborhood? So why not create your own air quality station? It doesn’t take much to assemble from a few standard components and a few sensors to measure particle levels, as well as temperature, pressure, and relative humidity.

You can also join thousands of others by uploading your data to the Sensor.Community citizen science project. We’ll show you how to set up an air quality station, install the software, and get it live in no time.

1. Source components

To build the air quality station, you will need a selection of electronic components and other standard components.

What you will need:

  • NodeMCU v3 or v2 microcontroller
  • SDS011 dust collector
  • BME280 6-pin temperature, pressure and humidity sensor
  • 8 female to female riders
  • 5V 2A power supply and USB to micro-USB cable
  • 2x plastic downhill curves
  • Putty or sticky bands
  • Cable ties
  • tape
  • Flexible plastic tube (inner diameter 6mm)

2. Install the driver

Connect your NodeMCU card to a computer with a USB cable. On a Linux machine, the serial connection should work by default; On a Windows PC or Mac, you will need to install a driver. The controller links are as follows:

The Windows:

  • NodeMCU v2 Windows 10
  • NodeMCU v2 Windows 7/8 / 8.1, 32-bit version

Open the CP210x folder and double-click on the CP210xVCPInstaller_x64 (or x86) application.

  • NodeMCU v3 (CH340 / CH341) for Windows

Open the CH341SER folder and double-click on the SETUP application.

Mac:

Unzip the CP210x folder and double-click on the CP210xVCPInstaller_x64 (or x86) application. Restart your Mac.

Unzip the CH341SER folder and double-click on the SETUP application. Restart your Mac.

3. Update the firmware

Then you will need to update the Sensor.Community firmware on the NodeMCU. To do this, download the Airrohr firmware update tool; choose the version appropriate for your computer’s operating system.

Run the app, select last_en.bin (or another language version) from the firmware version drop-down menu, and click Download to update your connected NodeMCU card.

4. Connect your sensors

It’s time to connect your sensors to the NodeMCU board. If your BME280 does not have male pins, you will need to solder some.

5. Configure the terminal

When you turn on the air quality station for the first time, it creates a wireless access point with the name airRohr (or Particulate Matter or Feinstaubsensor) followed by the NodeMCU chip ID (for example, 12980979) . Write this number down as you will need it to register the station later.

Connect your computer to this wireless access point and point a web browser to http://192.168.4.1 to access its web panel. From there, go to Settings> WiFi Settings, select your wireless router and enter the password.

Click the Save settings and restart option to save the settings and restart the station. It will then connect to your wireless network and will be accessible on the IP address assigned to you; To find out, look in your router’s device list for a device named “Airrohr-” followed by its chip ID.

Visit your IP address in your web browser, then you can complete the setup. In the Settings> Sensors tab, make sure the sensors you are using are checked. Click the Save settings and restart option to save the settings.

Log back into your web-based control panel and click Current Data to verify that everything is working. Note that the first readings may take a few minutes.

6. Register the device

To allow your station to upload data to the Sensor.Community website, you will need to register it there. Go to the devices login page and create an account.

Log in and go to My Sensors> Register New Sensor. For sensor identification, enter the chip identification number you wrote down; for Sensor Board, select ‘esp8266’.

Complete the basic and additional information, and then verify that the correct sensors are selected in the hardware configuration. Choose the location of your station on the map and click Save settings.

It will take a few minutes for the station to start uploading data to Sensor.Community; You can check this by clicking the Data button on the My Sensors page; you can also display it on the map.

7. Weatherproof housing

To protect your station from the elements when placed outdoors, you can place it inside a pair of interlocking plastic drop curves.

Insert the electronics into one of the elbows of the tube. Depending on the type of hose used, you may be able to position the dust collector higher and connect the flexible plastic hose to its shiny metal air inlet. You can then pass the pipe to the end of the pipe, with the BME280 sensor.

Our square tube elbows weren’t wide enough to push the dust catcher up, so we placed it closer to the end and didn’t really need the coiled tube, although we did add a short length.

Place the NodeMCU card higher up, near the junction with the second elbow of the tube, and route the USB power cable through the end of this section of tube. Secure this and the sensors to the sides of the pipe with tacky putty or tape.

Once you are satisfied and made sure the station is working, wrap the masking tape around the junction of the pipe elbows. If you want to keep bugs and other critters out of the station, you can also place a fine mesh on the ends of the pipe.

8. Outdoor mounting

It is recommended that you place your weatherproof air quality station in a suitable location outdoors, preferably 5 to 12 feet above the ground and well ventilated. We secured ours under a gutter with three cable ties connected by a chain. Alternatively, you can attach it to a downpipe.

To power your air quality station, you may need a long USB cable to reach an indoor outlet. If your station is too far from your wireless router to maintain a good signal, you may also want to consider placing a WiFi range extender closer to the station.

9. Check your data

By visiting the Sensor.Community world map, you can check your station (and all others) and see your current readings and recent data in graphs for the past 24 hours and the moving average for a week.

Particulate levels can be viewed for PM2.5 (fine particles with a diameter of 2.5 m or less) and PM10 (coarse particles). You can also use the menu at the bottom left to view temperature, pressure and relative humidity.

Building an air quality station: success

You have now assembled your own air quality station and can view your data on a world map, along with thousands of other stations around the world. Not only is this a great project, but it will also bring valuable data to the Sensor.Community citizen science program.

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