New York Times Thursday, April 25, 2013
Citizens from around the world are looking for ways to determine the PM2.5/PM10 levels in their environments.
I'm a researcher and hobbyist. I've always been interested in microprocessors, Internet sensors, weather and air quality sensors. Over the past year I have tested and documented several Arduino based air quality particle sensors . I have found a sensor that provides feedback similiar to what your eyes and nose detect. It also correlates well with more expensive particle detectors. The challenge has been the prices of the computer and network components and the need for a programming environment.
Recently an interesting little processor (Electric Imp) has arrived on the scene. It provides a reasonable mix of WIFI, computing power and digital, analog, PWM I/O. It's development architecture is interesting. You set the WIFI SSID/password with a iPhone/computer. It "phones home", and you then program and manage it via a web browser.
The other change has been the availability of low-costs 3D printers and Maker groups. This allows initial prototype boxes to be easily modified as the community learns and makes improvements.
I use the Shinyei PPD42NS Sensors which are available from Seeed Studio. The Electric Imp is available from Adafruit or Sparkfun.
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