Two PCBs from earlier projects were used in this project:
- LoRa breakout board
- Sensor PCB with Si7013 humidity sensor from multisensor LoRa project
- … and particle sensor.
Particle sensors could be cheap and easy to use. Disadvantage of lowest cost PM sensors is lack of “calibration”. The best method to measure particle content dispensed in the air is to collect the air sample and analyse it off-line in the laboratory with proper equipment (not cheap at all). Optical particle counting sensors use the light scattering method to detect and count particles in the operating concentration range in a given environment. A laser light source illuminates a particle as it is pulled through the detection chamber. As particles pass through the laser beam, the light source becomes obscured and is recorded on the photo or light detector.
The light is then analyzed and converted to an electrical signal providing particulate size and quantity to predict concentrations in real time. The described particle sensor provides information on the particle concentration for given particle concentration range with statistical methods compared to distribution of some common pollutants, like cigarette smoke. The result depends on position of the particle flying by the light beam, its speed and shape.
I used the Honeywell HPM sensor, which is somehow “calibrated” to the tobacco smoke concentration. The result is not accurate, but is good enough to detect the trends and sudden concentration changes. The HPM sensor is not expensive and gives usable results as far as we know how to interpret the output values.
Almost all materials are shown in the following photo:
- Lo Ra breakout board
- Sensor board from multi sensor project with cut away all sensors except Si7013
- One 8-wire cable with connector Molex 51021-0800 or equivalent (I found cheap Chinese cables on ebay – they are available from 2 to 10 wires, with 1,25mm pitch connector)
- One 4-wire cable with same 1,25mm pitch (search ebay for “1.25mm Pitch Electronic Cable Single Header Connector Wire 20cm 2P-10P“)
- Two ventilation grills, diameter 70mm (see photo above, check your local hardware store)
Read more: Particle sensor with LoRa