Portable environmental monitor

A handheld, battery powered, sensor array unit for environmental monitoring focused mostly on air quality using a global infrastructure.

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The portable environmental monitor addresses pollution, the kind that we are unable to see but directly affects our health and can cause life threatening diseases. Airborne toxic chemicals, radioactive dust and radioactive radon are correlated with cases of pulmonary cancer and asthma.
Since our biological senses can do little to warn us of such possible dangers, we plan to design the Portable environmental monitor as a first line detection and warning system.
This is not the regular detector: packed with powerful sensors capable of detecting both the chemical and the physical harmful factors, these devices are designed with Internet connectivity thanks to a 802.11B/G wifi module, and will share all readings to the Global uRADMonitor network.
Online data allows us to build graph, stats and send automated notifications when certain thresholds are reached. The infrastructure has been developed for the uRADMonitor project, semifinalist of HaD 2014

Note: this is a complex project with many details. For the short version, please see:

Portable environmental monitor presentation

Production ready design document


Last year (2014) I put my spare time to some really good use: I designed my first hardware product from scratch, and after prototyping and fixing software and hardware bugs it moved to production. This is how uRADMonitor was born, the first automated global radiation monitoring system, materialising in a short term a very ambitious goal!

The efforts have been recognised, and uRADMonitor went into semifinals in the 2014 competition. I didn't conquer the space, but did a good job at ground level, spreading the network across several continents.

Now, the stakes are high: build something that matters! I like challenges, but even more I like putting my knowledge into the service of my fellows, for making life at least a fraction better. Using the previous uRADMonitor experience, the plan is to use the current global network infrastructure and create a new mobile unit device, handheld - but packed with powerful sensors to measure pollution parameters, both chemical (toxic substances) and physical (radioactive substances). All data will be fused to the current uRADMonitor radiation data. Users will have the option to see trends in particular areas (far better then isolated / absolute measurements), or receive alerts when certain limits are reached.

Alternative uses include car exhaust checking, soil prospecting, or basement radon monitoring. The units act both as low power handheld dosimeters, but can be also deployed as monitoring nodes.

The rich collection of sensors cover alpha, beta and gamma detectors, and air quality sensors including basic parameters but also flammable and toxic gases. The new devices (called generically uRADMonitor model D) have a generous large colour touchscreen, a rechargeable battery and WLAN 802.11B/G/N connectivity, huge improvements over the radiation-only model A unit, featured in the previous project entry.

A totally new device, pushing the environmental surveillance to the next level, by using a veryfied global infrastructure of fixed detectors.

About innovation, obstacles and design details

Soon after building the Radiation Network I realised there are other problems, with higher occurrence than nuclear incidents. Friends suggested extending the capabilities of this infrastructure to cover pollution, something we're all facing daily, in our crowded cities. These were the first directions. I also wanted to go for another durable construction, so I had to drop any form of plastic enclosures in favour of rugged aluminium. After all, that's how the last year's uRADMonitor units were built as well. It also had to be small enough to fit the palm of the hand for easy use. These initial requirements shaped the general guidelines of the upcoming product, but identifying the right sensors was still problematic. Particularly air quality was a vague term, implying many physical and chemical factors. The available sensors are either prohibitive because of cost or are energy hungry. Yet, a solution became available with the MiCS-VZ-XX sensors developed by a company in Switzerland, capable of detecting CO2 and VOC conveniently. Next step was finding a way of measuring dust and ensuring a dynamic flow through the air channel. That was done by using power dissipated by a regulator to heat the base region of the dust sensor and put air in motion, via a copper sheet. No energy wasted in vain, and everything was packed as compact as possible, including the LND712 sensitive geiger counter and its high voltage inverter. We're set to detect all three popular types of ionising radiation and this adds alpha and beta to the previous gamma only detectors, to open the way for sensing other damaging factors like the Radon gas, an alpha emitter. The PCB was designed to support both BMP180 or the BME280 sensors from Bosch. Here's Beta vs. Production variants:...

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  • 1 × atmega128 Microprocessors, Microcontrollers, DSPs / ARM, RISC-Based Microcontrollerst
  • 1 × esp8266 esp-04 WLAN802.11 module
  • 1 × 320x240 ILI9341 TFT LCD with touchscreen colour qvga lcd with touchscreen
  • 1 × WLAN Antenna detachable antenna
  • 1 × Aluminium enclosure rugged compact enclosure

View all 62 components

  • Going for the feedback

    Radu Motisan07/10/2017 at 21:01 0 comments

    Committed to the Hackaday Prize 2015 recognition and the IndieGogo crowdfunding campaign, the long uRADMonitor D development was pushed continuously until reaching its goals. Some on the ups and downs here.
    Finally, the first model D units have started to ship. I created a dedicated thread on the forum to try to learn what the model D users think. It goes both ways, I get the feedback and learn what needs to be improved, while they get the most out of their new gadget. Should there be model D users among the HaD users, you're all invited!

    I got used to my own model D unit , taking it everywhere. Here's a picture while I visited Alba Iulia, one of the first #smartcities that embraced the uRADMonitor technology

    Of course that going underground, in the Turda salt mine resulted in a healthy air and radiation readings close to 0 thanks to the excellent cosmic radiation shielding:

    As it happened with the other hardware units comprising this big project, constant work is being put into constantly improving the software. This is one of the great things in current electronics: you make the design, and then you improve the software, making the most out of it.

    While I'm here, I should add that Hackaday played a big role in this entire story. The exposure I got after the Hackaday Prize 2015 helped with developing the new directions, including the new uRADMonitor A3 device that is now being used to monitor 4 cities. Thank you!

  • Finally there!

    Radu Motisan05/10/2017 at 19:12 0 comments

    Back in 2015 when this all started, the complexity of this work was acknowledged and the project was one of the 10 finalists in the Hackaday Prize 2015 and also a BestProduct finalist. The year comes back to my mind with so many beautiful memories. By the time I was working on this project, it was the hot summer of 2015, my daughter was a few months old and while learning to be a dad I was also investing energy into making this project happen. Life unfolding itself right before my eyes, with only determined will to guide its outcome. Then thanks to @Sophi Kravitz and the other amazing people at Hackaday I had the chance to be a speaker at the #Hackaday SuperConference 2015.

    My message there was about the need to move from a hobby to something that actually has a purpose. This is an issue with makers in general, as most of us love to start many things, and finalise none.
    Personally, I am a very determined person. My final goal goes beyond the little things, and probably this works as the perfect motivation. Some on that here.

    The "Portable Environmental Monitor" didn't win any of the fabulous prizes of the competition, yet this didn't stop me from finalising it. It took a lot of time as it's 2017 already, I had to find the resources for what it became a highly complex project, while keeping my startup company going. With enough will , the work finally came to a result.

    The Hackaday Prize helped a lot! The feedback of the jury, expressed publicly, boosted the exposure to Mars and back. Here's Dave Jones' mailbag:

    Then Ben Krasnow & Pete Dokter as part of the Hackaday Prize 2015 Jury feedback:

    The amazing HaD people which I was delighted to meet in person, after their amazing articles on my previous work:

    Mike, Brian, Adam, and all the rest, thanks for your support over all this time.

    People at Atmel and Bosch were also supportive during all this time.

    You made things so much better and I am grateful.

    But, this is a project log, so let me show you the other technical details that kept me busy.

    1.Hardware updates

    Following the successful indieGogo campaign I was telling you in the previous log, the promised stretch goals were added to the design. This included a slot for an SDCARD to save huge amounts of data offline, a GPS module to map location and a RTC IC. As a result, there were 5 revisions of the PCB, see them here:

    The Wifi antenna was changed to an internal, ceramic one, and it was interesting to find solutions on getting the RF field out of the aluminium enclosure. With some carefully designed openings, this became possible. If you read the comments section below, you'll see this feature was initially requested by Ben, and I loved the idea as it makes the design more compact.


    Hardware needs software. From about 3000 lines of firmware code at the end of 2015, the firmware got up to about 9000. The rushed code written before the Hackaday Prize challenges was properly rewritten, so it would handle sensor readings, an UI, user touch readings and data synchronisation over the Internet. All this on an 8bit microcontroller, upgraded from Atmega128 to the better Atmega2561.

    To configure the Wifi settings, I implemented a software keyboard. Reminded me of the good old embedded development years on Windows Mobile.

    3. The server frontend

    Don't forget this work is linked to the bigger uRADMonitor project, where several IOT devices are used to do measurements and centralise all data online. As the #Portable environmental monitor is a mobile unit, support for mobile units had to be added. This happened nicely, in a good moment, coming to complement the...

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  • Adding the SDCard

    Radu Motisan03/11/2016 at 15:17 8 comments

    As a result of the previous indieGogo campaign, we not only got the funding but also a few stretch goals. One was adding SDCard support to the uRADMonitor D, and can tell you - this wasn't easy. First it involved redesigning the PCB and making enough space for the card slot. Then it was the software: spi communication, card physical layer then the file allocation table implementation.

    Finally, after many tests, we have the basic card functionality up and running. The pictures shows one of the latest uRADMonitor D iterations, using a 16GB SDCard.

    Now how much data will we be able to hold on those? Easy answer: all of it :)

  • Model D updates

    Radu Motisan12/13/2015 at 20:15 0 comments


    Some of the remaining changes for uRADMonitor model D included finalising the firmware and identifying a few better alternatives for the LCD bezel. Should the indieGogo campaign reach it’s stretch goal, we’ll also see a GPS module added to this unit, and an internal antenna for a more compact design.
    But getting back to the firmware, one important achievement was increasing the display speed:

    A less bulky LCD bezel had to be designed, but this wasn’t an easy process, since several iterations had to be tried out, and the printer pushed to its limits with thin plastic layers:
    Finally the results, making model D take maximum advantage of this new iteration:
    More work is required on the firmware side, so make sure to follow our progress to see what we bring next.


    Radu Motisan11/20/2015 at 20:36 0 comments


    The uRADMonitor model D, or the Portable Environmental Monitor, has entered this year’s Hackaday Prize competition, throwing in a complex hardware design, backed by a matching software infrastructure implemented with thousands of lines of code. What started with a simple hand drawn diagram was followed later by the Beta prototype and finally led to the production unit but not without a very intense creative process, done under a lot of pressure:
    The uRADMonitor is a global network of interconnected hardware devices that work as detectors for various chemical or physical pollutants impacting human health. The current detectors can measure air temperature, barometric pressure, humidity, dust concentration, VOC but also Alpha, Beta and Gamma radiation. The latest uRADMonitor model D, uses the BME680 sensor from Bosch to assert air quality. This is an ambitious project that didn’t get intimidated by the difficulty of a global scale solution implementation. In the end, there’s an important goal that keeps it in motion, and that goal is to improve the life of all people on Earth, by increasing the quality of our environment, in homes, work offices or whole cities.

    The winners of the 2015 prize awards were to be announced at the Hackaday Superconference which was held in San Francisco, last weekend. I got there on Friday, after a long flight from Budapest. It was absolutelly thrilling to meet all the great people behind the Hackaday articles. I remembered the excitement of having my first project featured on their website. Surely I didn’t forget to take photos with everyone and I also made new friends among the fine people attending the conference, which was a successful event:
    The motivation to take part in the Hackaday Prize was to solve a problem a large number of people is facing. uRADMonitor helps by identifying pollution with its array of network connected detectors spread all across the Globe. But to achieve that, progress had to be made to add more features to the new hardware units: portability in terms of a rechargeable lithium battery, a power management system to charge the battery but also invert its voltage to system needs, a separate 500 volt inverter for the Geiger tube, a dust sensor, a Geiger tube and air quality sensors all packed in so little space, wireless connectivity successfully talking with the central server in real time, which required a predefined protocol and more complexity on the software side since it also includes encryption for data security, and finally drivers and real time functionality in software to handle the sensors with good accuracy. All this, almost doubled by server side software, handling big data on the back end, and dynamic charts on the front end, to deliver informative environmental updates for a real time user experience, despite the complexity of the entire system.
    The challenges were endless, given the ambitious size of this project: research in sensor physics, design hardware units from scratch, put them into production, develop a robust firmware code (3000 lines of code and counting), configure and develop server side software, capable of supporting big data. Seeing this list of words I can’t believe how simple it sounds, remembering all the challenges along the road: for instance, to meet the Best Product deadline of the Hackaday Competition, I was still uploading code on the three demo units to be shipped, while the shipping company was already knocking on my door, to pickup the package, all this after a few sleepless nights. Also various hidden bugs, both in hardware and software, part of any development process and these were also time consuming. Speaking about time that is a total of almost half a year of continuous work and even more of background research. This came at a cost which sometimes I find too big: working continuously instead of having walks with my daughter and wife, going to sleep only to wake up working again in the morning, not seeing summer’s warm sun as by the... Read more »

  • Bosch BME680

    Radu Motisan10/29/2015 at 23:43 0 comments

    bme680_headerThe BME680 is an integrated environmental sensor developed specifically for mobile applications and wearables, where size and low power consumption are key requirements (source). While not yet available on the market, several BME680 samples have been provided under NDA to assist the development of the uRADMonitor-D project and support the monitor’s air quality assertion. The part of the uRADMonitor-D code handling this new sensor is currently under development , but the first tests have shown promising results:


    The gas sensor within the BME680 can detect a broad range of gases to measure indoor air quality for personal well being. Gases that can be detected by the BME680 include: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from paints (such as formaldehyde), lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, furnishings, office equipment, glues, adhesives and alcohol.
    The humidity sensor features a best-in-class response time supporting performance requirements for emerging applications such as context awareness, and high accuracy over a wide temperature range.
    The pressure sensor is an absolute barometric pres- sure sensor featuring exceptionally high accuracy and resolution at very low noise.
    The integrated temperature sensor has been optimized for very low noise and high resolution. It is primarily used for temperature compensation of the gas, pressure and humidity sensors, and can also be used for estima- ting ambient temperature.


    The BME680 comes fully calibrated for all sensor components. Its impressive features make it a great addition to the uRADMonitor-D line of products to improve the performance of the portable environmental monitors even further.

  • First prize at West Romania's regional Innovation Fair

    Radu Motisan10/21/2015 at 21:55 3 comments


    The Regional Innovation Fair 2015 aims to promote innovative technologies and solutions and brings together business and research professionals allowing you to open new business channels, exchange contacts and discuss potential cooperation in West Region, Romania. uRADMonitor is honoured to take the first prize, and is committed to continue delivering monitoring solutions, to track pollutions and help improve the quality of our environment.
    2015-10-21_13-17-23Thank you to the judges for giving us their vote and trust and to ADR Vest, Tehimpuls Timisoara, Innovation Norway and UniCredit Bank for making this event possible.

  • Pollution Monitor meets 3D Printing

    Radu Motisan10/10/2015 at 10:47 1 comment


    The portable environmental monitor is finalist in both categories of the Hackaday Project, Best Product and the GrandPrize but the development doesn’t stop here. We’ve managed to put together a complex piece of equipment that also has an appealing design. One thing missing was a proper bezel to protect the LCD and to hide the bottom connector. A custom 3D-printed component by Ovidiu, the designer of Lighty, did the trick and now uRadMonitor looks more professional than ever.
    uradmonitor_lcd_bezel-2The plastic component was first designed in 3D, very much like with the rugged aluminium enclosures. And for part itself, a full metal Delta printer did the rest:

    More pictures are available on the uRADMonitor FB pageuradmonitor_lcd_bezel-1

  • uRADMonitor featured on Digi24 TV

    Radu Motisan09/26/2015 at 20:44 0 comments

    The portable environmental monitor fights to solve one of mankind’s greatest problem: pollution. As it tries to improve the life of a large number of people, the uRADMonitor-D was featured on TV, and so the Hackaday project was broadcasted to the national audience in Romania.

    Air pollution, particularly matter that goes unseen by the human eye, ranks high among the leading causes of chronic illnesses and terminal diseases (source). The Portable Environmental Monitor (uRADMonitor-D) can increase our awareness and help us with our pollution detection capabilities.
    With its sensor array and the capabilities to map the measurements to geographic areas, it has the potential to offer an easy overview of the more affected areas, so action can be taken. Read more on the uRADMonitor model D here


  • Production Ready!

    Radu Motisan09/19/2015 at 12:01 0 comments

    The portable environmental monitor addresses pollution, the kind that we are unable to see but directly affects our health and can cause life threatening diseases. Airborne toxic chemicals, radioactive dust and radioactive radon are correlated with cases of pulmonary cancer, asthma and heart disease. Since our biological senses can do little to warn us of such possible dangers, we have designed the Portable environmental monitor as a first line detection and warning system. This is not the regular detector: packed with powerful sensors capable of detecting both the chemical and the physical harmful factors, these devices are designed with Internet wireless connectivity to share all readings to the Global uRADMonitor network.

    September 2014, almost one year ago, the “production ready” of the Model A series of radiation detectors was announced. Interest was excellent and as a result the uRADMonitor network got were it is today, continuously committed to offering open environmental surveillance data. There was also generous feedback from the community, helping to understand how to shape the next steps better. And some of that we see today, embedded in the new uRADMonitor-D units. Features like built in WiFi connectivity, rechargeable battery, LCD display were all highly wanted. But hardware is just half the story as the many software layers also come to complement the solution, a recent example being the network’s webportal, updated to support all the new features.

    The many improvements also include a high quality LND 712 Geiger tube, perfect for detecting alpha, beta and gamma radiation. The new uRADMonitor-D monitors not only ionising radiation, but also air quality to address pollution at a global scale. The new units are portable, meaning they are well suited for field use. There’s a huge 2.4″ color LCD with touchscreen for all user interactions. The wireless connectivity and the built in flash storage can be used to synchronise the readings with the server, when wireless Internet is available. There’s been a long road getting from there to here, and this was possible only thanks to the interest and support manifested by the entire community. This was after all, a crowd project built to serve the interest of us all.

    Putting the numbers in the hands of people will directly impact pollution awareness, leading to a more rational attitude in regards to the environment – and as a direct result – improved quality of life. uRADMonitor is just a tiny component of the big plan to get us there.

    Getting a unit

    To get a uRADMonitor device and join the network, see Join the network or build your own, as uRADMonitor-D is 100% open source and fully documented on More hi-res photos of the model D production units are available on the FB page or on

    [top Air Pollution image credit:]

View all 27 project logs

  • 1
    Step 1

    Fabricate the PCBs according to the latest project Gerber files available on Github: . The folders are organised as incremental numbers, use the latest. Be careful about the milling layer, as the PCBs need to have a large rectangle area cut out, to make space for the sharp dust sensor:

    Fabricate the Aluminium enclosure using the CAD files on the repository

  • 2
    Step 2

    Populate the board. You will need some good experience with 0805 SMD soldering, and some tools like soldering iron and hot air rework station. Start with the bottom side, with the microcontroller, the other ICs and finally the small passive components. Solder everything except the MICS-VZ-89 module, which is very sensitive and should be added last thing before mounting the PCB in the enclosure. Use the hot air station to solder the BME280 sensor. Add the sharp dust sensor.

  • 3
    Step 3

    Populate the top side. There are fewer components here, both SMD and trough hole. Start with the 18pin 0.8 pitch LCD connector. Use hot air station for it.

    Be extra careful with the LND712 tube, as the mica window is fragile. Use double adhesive to fix the battery to the PCB. Solder the dust sensor connector. Add the soft power switch, LEDs and SMA connector.

    Add fixing isolated wires for the LND712 geiger tube, and tape to make sure it is well insulated against touching the top aluminium enclosure.

View all 5 instructions

Enjoy this project?



ryeteur wrote 10/11/2021 at 09:24 point

I'm working on the same screen of monitor. I have read some good reviews of it online on some blogs like this

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ben biles wrote 10/08/2015 at 11:35 point

Hi Radu, just reposting my comment in the proper place!...  ""Thats a really great project ! was thinking is there nowhere to hide the antenna in the box? I think the smaller it is
with the least bits hanging off it  the more likely people would
actually carry it about ! GPS positioniing and auto data upload on open
wifi networks would be cool..  like a global pollution survey !!! you
could have the GPS sleep most of the time.. might add to the cost
though.. it could grab gps / polution levels and store data until next
open wifi access.. or have it connect to you phone and sync from
just wondered why you went for the atmega128 ,  enough
computational power and low power enough ? are they for sale ready made
yet ?

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ben biles wrote 10/08/2015 at 11:39 point

I'm thinking the GPS tag is kind of essential for the auto-upload idea in open wifi network areas.. the idea being, you hit scan, the device get GPS tag, then scans location / stores data,. then next time device is on wifi ( at home or the next open wifi spot ) it uploads to your server the data.. maybe theres a limit in the amount of scans but i'm thinking a small eprom could hold a lot of data !! I dont think it matters if the screen update is slow,. its more important the device is low power.. thats why I think GPS is only on for the scan when someone hits ' scan location '

maybe in the next version ! :)  [edit] thinking about this more, its the GPS that would be an advantage, when the data gets uploaded is less importamt :) I think you can add a simple arduino GPS module, although the price of the unit would go up a fair bit.. I'll post here if I find a cheap small GPS module , ben

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Radu Motisan wrote 10/09/2015 at 06:08 point

Well, it has to be SMD, and the ublox neo-6 / neo-7 are nice alternatives, but I was considering something smaller like the GTOP PA6H, however this also requires an external antenna, since the enclosure is full metal.

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Radu Motisan wrote 05/10/2017 at 17:42 point

Ben, some time after, happy to report that your suggestions went into the final variants of these units. So... thank you!

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Radu Motisan wrote 10/09/2015 at 06:08 point

Yup, this is exactly a global pollution tracker tool. Auto data upload on free wifi is a very cool idea! There will be a GPS too, in the future, although not sure if for this model (it is planned for model C). Also the syncing idea will get implemented, very much like you presented it. The Atmega128 was chosen due to a lot of code I wrote for the AVR platform, and the very little time. Its computational power is sufficient, except for handling the big LCD where speed could be better. Not ready for sale yet, I'm planning an indiegogo campaign to help get there. Hey! this is a very good feedback

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ben biles wrote 10/09/2015 at 06:24 point

maybe you could have a hole cut in the metal housing with a rubber or plastic insert.. i think GPS / GLONASS radio signals can get through either? not really sure how that would work, glue? I'm no case specialst :) I would check the power requirement on modue start up.. I think they use quite a bit of battery to aquire lock on sattalites.. although you could set this up to happen only when the user hits 'scan enviroment' another carazy idea , how about including a sweep scan of radio waves , say 1mh - 6ghz and an RF polution report .,,. only joking, you would need a full on SDR., stick with gerneral poultion data :)

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Mark Jeronimus wrote 10/06/2015 at 19:43 point

Does this unit make a difference between PM10 and PM2.5 airborne particles? My jerk government only seems to be interested in providing the public with nationwide PM10 readings while PM2.5 readings are many times worse for your health. Japan for example does provide nationwide PM2.5 readings, even linked ( from the front page of their meteorological agency.

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Radu Motisan wrote 10/07/2015 at 16:49 point

Hi Mark, the units rely on the Sharp sensor to measure dust concentration in air. It's a photoelectric sensor, with convenient size given everything that had to be packed together in the tiny space. As it is now, it doesn't differentiate between particle size and computes the combined dust concentration instead.

I think the software can be modified, to use the pulse amplitude to compute particle size. However this will require additional calibration work, and more time.

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Mark Jeronimus wrote 10/10/2015 at 11:02 point

See for more ideas/details and maybe part numbers

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Radu Motisan wrote 10/10/2015 at 12:40 point

Thanks for the link, I checked the internals and apparently the egg uses the DSM501A sensor. It is similar to what I'm using (GP2Y1010AU0F), another photoelectric dust sensor, but bigger. So it's definetely possible to achieve the same functionality, by changing the software.

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robheffo wrote 09/21/2015 at 23:36 point

Have you considered a "D-" version? Without the LCD, Battery plus associated circutry and Wired Ethernet instead of WiFi for mounting in a fixed location like the older uRadMonitor models?

Also, the LCD really needs a Bezel to cover/protect the edges, flex cable, etc. It is the last little bit of polish it needs to be complete!

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Radu Motisan wrote 10/07/2015 at 16:45 point

That is a very good advise, I'll see to make it happen. About the Bezel, I'll have a nice  3d printed one, there was not enough time to do it earlier.

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Radu Motisan wrote 10/10/2015 at 10:56 point

@robheffo you asked, and here it is. The bezel is in place, see the latest log.

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C. Prichard wrote 08/24/2015 at 17:37 point

It would be nice to provide capability to somehow test water, even if it means evaporating it in a controlled volume.

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Radu Motisan wrote 08/25/2015 at 17:01 point

I always listen to the good suggestions I get, this is how we now have air pollution detection capabilities, wifi and alpha sensitive geiger tube - all these suggested by others. I'll think of what can be done for checking water as well.  

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C. Prichard wrote 08/29/2015 at 15:15 point

For radon it will be feasible to spread water into some type of material near the sensor, ... was thinking you had a portable spectrometer sort of device capable of alerting to pollutants. Fun there is limitation on developing that in handheld, fashionable device. 

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x-labz wrote 08/14/2015 at 10:56 point

Hi Radu,

your project is amazing!!! Just a question, You've mentioned, that the (blue) PCB's are from china, please give me a link to the manufacturer company! 



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Radu Motisan wrote 08/14/2015 at 12:23 point

Thank you, yours is also very well put together. Drop me an email so I can give you a few direct contacts to speed up things. My email is on

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Blecky wrote 08/14/2015 at 00:35 point

Looking pretty snazzy!

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Radu Motisan wrote 08/14/2015 at 13:03 point

thanks mate, I did my best to keep my hand steady while milling with the Dremel :)

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Gregory wrote 07/30/2015 at 02:26 point

i think this idea could be the next thing in home electronics

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Noman wrote 05/17/2015 at 18:03 point

Dear Radu, wish you the best for such useful project. I can see a MICS sensor breakout board among other gas sensors, can you please tell what sensor is this and more about board/availability? Thanks

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Radu Motisan wrote 05/17/2015 at 19:46 point

Thank you Noman. It is the MiCS-VZ-86 and I got it to research its suitability for a battery operated application, given this is a sensor for fixed monitoring.  As you seem to know it, may I have your input on it?

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electrobob wrote 05/12/2015 at 08:41 point

I wanted to make such a device for the HAD prize last year, but i ran into the same problems: the device i want would be way too big to consider carrying it all the time. However, I did find this kickstarter which managed to stuff things in quite compact, minus the radiation sensors:

You could always go for photodiodes for the radiation measurement, but they will be a lot less sensitive. 

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Radu Motisan wrote 05/12/2015 at 10:49 point

Thanks Bogdan, this helps!

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sean.alling wrote 04/23/2015 at 19:59 point

So I used an app in college called AirCasting. You are able to stream and log any data that you send to it. It was perfect when I did my senior design it made data collection super easy. Only problem is that it is for android. 

Link to the source:

Link to webpage.

For my senior design I worked on increasing and calibrating off the shelf dust sensors. I could help you our in that area. 

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Radu Motisan wrote 04/24/2015 at 09:37 point

I'd be interested in knowing more on your work on dust sensors. I seem to be yet unable to find one of reasonable size! As the entire device should be portable, size is quite an impediment!

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Frank Vigilante wrote 04/15/2015 at 05:35 point


awesome project. An iteration of this idea will be owned world-wide within 30 years. I think you could really cut your costs by removing some unnecessary components. A mobile phone already has a great LCD screen, battery, wifi antenna, SD card, and female usb port. What if you scrapped all those items, and focused on isolating and maximizing a sensor unit? You could then have your sensor hardware plug into your phone, and display the sensor data on a mobile app?

Imagine going to sleep at a hotel in a high pollution area, and knowing that your phone will sound an alarm if toxicity levels are too high. Let me know if you want to collaborate on this project as I was planning something similar for mold detection.

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Radu Motisan wrote 04/24/2015 at 09:38 point

This is a very good idea and I will consider it at least for a future / low cost variation of the device. 

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gmwatbot wrote 03/31/2015 at 08:24 point

Keep it light and have it monitor and log at 1Hz and I could fly this on a drone to monitor the output from factories.

Great work!!

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Radu Motisan wrote 03/31/2015 at 08:29 point

Thank you - right now I am trying to find a better alternative for the filament based semiconductor gas sensors is currently the biggest issue. All the rest is easily doable. Model A, addressing Radiation only, was less then 150grams.

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Radu Motisan wrote 03/29/2015 at 13:11 point

Hi Blecky, thanks for the feedback. Most likely I will get to use a small fan . The most difficult choice at this step is identifying better alternatives for the gas sensors, others then the short-lived , filament based, chemical sensors that are also big consumers.

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Blecky wrote 03/29/2015 at 04:02 point

How are you going to get decent airflow through the air tube to get accurate and up to date readings? I guess you could spin around with it or shake it or something, but the holes might not be large enough to sample enough air. You might need a fan or something to draw air in, but then you would need to move your air pressure sensor.

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