Hello from Sweden!

4 years 8 months ago #4721 by larkar
Replied by larkar on topic Hello from Sweden!
Nice build.
I want something portable, with radiation, CO2, PM2.5/PM10, temperature, humidity, CO and maybe something more and I realize that building one is not all that difficult, just ordering parts and making them fit together in a 3D printed enclosure but my programming skills suck. That would take to much time to finish, I may end up buying something.

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4 years 8 months ago #4726 by Simomax
Replied by Simomax on topic Hello from Sweden!
Thank you :)
Its all doable for sure. I was asked about building a device for monitoring a local fracking site just down the road from me and everything (on spec) was going well. List of parts, sensors, 16bit ADCs etc etc. But the project fell apart when I approached a couple of companies for calibration and simply put, they wouldn't do it. They said that because there was no 'manufacturers procedure for calibration' they couldn't guarantee the calibration and thus didn't want to. One of the companies said they were happy for me to go there with the units and make the necessary adjustments with them (which I thought very decent of them) but they wouldn't supply a certificate of calibration as it wasn't a 'proper' bought unit. So the project fell apart and never happened.

Sorry to digress a little. But the upshot is a lot of gas sensors don't just work out of the box like a Geiger Muller tube does. However, if you did build something and you verified the sensors working with the relevant gasses there would be nothing to stop you using it over time to get a baseline and using your baseline for results. Also if building a portable unit be aware that some sensors have heaters built into them that may hinder battery performance and generally for proper use (as in required for legal submission of results) some of the sensors have to be calibrated every 90-180 days, depending on the type of sensor. Some sensors require a small pump to pump the air over it at a specific rate and sensors like PM2.5/PM10 use a laser that has a finite life span so generally for those you turn it on every 5 minutes or so, let it run a 30 seconds take a reading then turn off again. It's quite a mine field, although a very interesting one at that. I don't want to put you off doing so just make you aware that there is an awful lot to gas sensors than meets the eye.

As far as programming goes there is a wealth of information, examples and projects on the web and a lot of people give their code for free so programming shouldn't be too hard if farmiliar with arduino or something similar.

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