CCCamp15: How it all started

A project log for Particulate Matter Sensor Network

Gathering more data on PM in our environment

tiefpunkttiefpunkt 05/04/2016 at 15:130 Comments

Back in summer last year, me and a bunch of friends went to CCCamp, an hour outside of Berlin, Germany. As one does, we packed tons and tons of stuff, electronics and other, to play around with during that time. Part of that were some Arduinos, and a Grove Starter Kit for LinkIt One.

I've had the idea to play around with air quality sensing for a while, especially since hearing about the AirCasting project or the Air Quality Egg. Now I didn't just want to copy those, for reasons that could fill another blog post, but wanted to get into this field, and that starter kit contained a bunch of sensors that seemed usefull (and surprisingly cheap for that matter).

So at camp, I decided to finally through all of this together and start to build a small weather and air quality station. Hardware wise, t was a pretty simple task of plugging a bunch of sensors (the PPD42NS, a DTH22, a barometer, and a UV sensor) into the Grove shield, and that then onto the Arduino, which in turn was connected to a laptop via USB. A little bit of coding in the Arduino IDE and some Python later, I had my own air quality station, which stayed up for the entire camp, located on a pole in a "weatherproof box" (aka a paper box with some foil around it), and collected data, before vanishing deep into some old-project-box after the camp.

The logging and display part of the project was done using OpenSenseMap. It wasn't all that easy to get that setup, since they have a pretty fixed setup for 2 different kinds of sensor boxes, but it was still the easiest to set up without having to build some self-hosted service.