Particulate sensor

Ran into a Citizen Science project where anyone can contribute with their own data. In the end it should provide basically real time monitoring of several environmental values around the world. Specifically the level of particulate matter, which might affect people with allergies or asthma is visualized in this.

I have ordered all parts I need and more or less followed what’s on Pimoroni as a tutorial. I got it all working, but that’s just a start 😉

January 2020: I am playing around with it now, learning Python, changing/tweaking the sample scripts and when the data is good enough, I can wrap it up. Had the script sorted out and made a temporary enclosure and placed it outside. Temperature seems OK, humidity somewhat low. Will check tomorrow if the script needs tweaking to get the right values or that I just need to be patient.

January 2021: Version 2 is now outside in the backyard and looking a lot better. I monitor data from several sensors now:

SDS011Particle matter sensorMeasures fine dust particles in the air and shares this to the Sensor Community project.
Measures the data for local use and shares this to the Sensor Community project and to WeatherObservationsWebsite (WOW) ran by the British Met Office. Terribly slow site, beter use to view the data.
DS18B20TemperatureExtra added sensors to measure water temperature in the pond, both at the surface and bottom.
NetatmoMost of the aboveI pull in API data from my Netatmo weather station to validate and add wind and rain data.

All this is managed by an older Raspberry Pi 3 I had collecting dust. The data itself is saved to an InfluxDB database and visualized via Grafana, both running on that same RPI. In time, I want to move the data to an centralized solution.

Things to improve still are trying a different temp/rh sensor, feels like the BME280 reports too low humidity. For this I have ordered the Sensirion SHT3.

This is how it looks now. I have soldered a 20+ meter extension cord to the middle of the garden as power supply.

Inside of the sensorbox.
Surviving the first snow.

Relevant Links

Below links I already gathered for myself as reminders, inspiration, etc for this specific project. Click at your own risk and please report any broken links.

Project page for the Lufdaten project that got me started. The sensor used here is Arduino based.
Tutorial how to create a particulate matter sensor with their Enviro+ board. This is in combination with a Raspberry Pi.
hackernoon.comExample using RPI + SDS011 sensor.

Below my sensor is shown. As long as it’s still gray, the sensor is still marked as indoor sensor (read: I don’t have a casing yet).

If there’s no hexagon there, the sensor is off-line. Probably because I killed the script and forgot to reboot 😉

last update: 27-02-2021