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Simple Air Sensor
simple-air-sensor

The Simple Air Sensor is a prototyping and onboarding kit for study design around air sensing. It is also part of an effort to develop an open source project and community that functions similarly to #PurpleAir, so that, over time, people can transfer the expertise they've developed as #PurpleAir users regarding installation, organizing, communication, etc to an open source ecosystem. In this way, this kit offers an "offramp" from a corporately controlled, closed source project that lacks public forums for asking and answering questions, or for organizing and advocating around the data collected. **NOTE: The colored light displayed by this sensor is not related to the [Air Quality Index (AQI) colors](https://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=aqibasics.aqi) in any way.** **** ## Uses * to see immediate qualitative differences in air quality at low cost; by displaying a realtime colored light readout, this kit supports explorations into how the particulate sensor used in the closed source #PurpleAir responds to varying air conditions * to build familiarity with the electronic components used in air sensors without having to program * to use in groups (with 3+ sensors) to plan out placement of a #PurpleAir or other more expensive sensor, for example with consideration for wind direction and spacing ### Context This project emerged from observations that while many people share an understanding of the importance of "right to know" laws and of the purpose that transparency serves in a society, here is much less awareness of the fragility of technology, and the (inadvertent) gate-keeping role of expertise that leaves people without a pathway to "knowing how they know." This project is part of a longterm effort to encourage a culture of empiricism. ### More about what's in the Simple Air Sensor This sensor circuit uses the same type of particle detector as the #PurpleAir sensor, but only one as compared to #PurpleAir's two; does not include a temperature, humidity and pressure sensor as the Purple Air does; and instead of logging either to the cloud or to the device itself, it displays a red/yellow/green light that illustrates the PM2.5 levels it detects without converting into an Air Quality Index (AQI). ### This project is part of an ecosystem Quite a few people have built simple open source, Arduino-based devices around the cheap #plantower particulate air sensor [datasheet](http://www.aqmd.gov/docs/default-source/aq-spec/resources-page/plantower-pms5003-manual_v2-3.pdf), see: * @julieta's work on https://github.com/rlyehlab/eter (and [blog post](https://medium.com/read-write-participate/a-green-approach-to-open-source-in-buenos-aires-3331861a1bc1)) * @guolivar's work: https://github.com/guolivar and blog https://cona-nz.blogspot.com * https://www.rigacci.org/wiki/doku.php/doc/appunti/hardware/raspberrypi_air This is a version that is easy to assemble (no soldering, just push wires into a breadboard), and comes pre-programmed. We also offer it [assembled and ready to plug in in the Public Lab Store](https://store.publiclab.org/products/simple-air-sensor "https://store.publiclab.org/products/simple-air-sensor"). **Parts List** 1. 1 [Arduino](https://www.amazon.com/KeeYees-Module-Soldered-ATmega328P-Arduino/dp/B07H57TLRW/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=arduino%20nano%20soldered%20usb%20cable&qid=1551459803&s=gateway&sr=8-3) 2. 1 [RBG LED Light](https://www.amazon.com/EDGELEC-Tri-Color-Multicolor-Diffused-Resistors/dp/B077XD5T8P/ "https://www.amazon.com/EDGELEC-Tri-Color-Multicolor-Diffused-Resistors/dp/B077XD5T8P/") 3. 1 [Sensor](https://www.ebay.com/itm/PlanTower-High-Precision-Laser-Dust-Sensor-Module-PM1-0-PM2-5-PM10-PMS5003-G5/183583507609?hash=item2abe6e0499:g:i6IAAOSw~D5cEjKZ:rk:5:pf:1&frcectupt=true "https://www.ebay.com/itm/PlanTower-High-Precision-Laser-Dust-Sensor-Module-PM1-0-PM2-5-PM10-PMS5003-G5/183583507609?hash=item2abe6e0499:g:i6IAAOSw~D5cEjKZ:rk:5:pf:1&frcectupt=true") with cable[](https://www.ebay.com/itm/PlanTower-High-Precision-Laser-Dust-Sensor-Module-PM1-0-PM2-5-PM10-PMS5003-G5/183583507609?hash=item2abe6e0499:g:i6IAAOSw~D5cEjKZ:rk:5:pf:1&frcectupt=true) 4. 1 [Breadboard](https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01KKE602W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o00__o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) ## Activities [notes:grid:activity:simple-air-sensor] Add an activity or request an activity guide you don't see listed ## Questions [questions:simple-air-sensor] **** [![IMG_20190304_170244_490.jpg](/i/30002)](/i/30002?size=original) [![55894473-266f0280-5b88-11e9-9714-f945378af5fc.gif](/i/35143)](/i/35143?s=o) ...


Author Comment Last activity Moderation
zolfikarali5 "Perhaps the most now important and personally good place you’ll see on the system, it tells you what time you want to get to bed in order to make a..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
ritewayhtowing "optical emanation spectrometers (OES) which are either versatile or stationary. The entirety of our OES models offer a significant level of exactne..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
stevie "Hi! The EPA also has an Air Sensor Toolbox here: https://www.epa.gov/air-sensor-toolbox Someone mentioned the PurpleAir, there's more info on that..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
mimiss "I wanted to share this research note from @jiteovien on how to evaluate low cost air monitors. I've also been looking into this Pocketlab air sens..." | Read more » about 2 years ago
lizdahl "We use purple air monitors. You can find them at Purpleair.com. " | Read more » about 2 years ago
sarasage "Thank you so much for this detailed response! " | Read more » about 2 years ago
johnwick99 "Very Well Explained. " | Read more » about 2 years ago
warren "OMG this is the best, Scott :-) Hey i'll be in NOLA next friday for a week!  -- ig: @unterbahn | he/him/his On Thu, Jan 30, 2020 at 5:10 PM \&l..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
eustatic "I did this with a Lighter and a Public Lab card, thanks to Stevie. Set the Public Lab card on a tiny fire, put it out, let it smoke up the sensor,..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
566303 "We are having some issues with our sensor. It does turn green around clean air, but it only turns blue around unclean air (smoke, etc.), not red or..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
justcare "Thank you for sharing useful information. " | Read more » over 2 years ago
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imvec "Thanks Jeff. The question was not correct. The wiki page exists but has not cover o the methods page.If going to methods you need to click on purpl..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
warren "yay! Awesome! https://publiclab.org/wiki/simple-air-sensor " | Read more » over 2 years ago
imvec "Here some variations to the original code incorporating Openlog data logger, an arrangement of the CSV format of the values and a third one with rt..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
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natevw "Nice kit! Main constructive feedback I would offer is that the cable that came ahead of the "Make" livestream event would have been hard to breadb..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
liz "i'm definitely going to this! " | Read more » over 2 years ago
warren "Hi @mimiss, in case this is helpful! Hoping to add more docs here as time goes on, like photos with different types of plugs, etc! " | Read more » over 2 years ago
mimiss "We could have more than one of those larger LED's that we're currently using, but it might be bulky. One bulb on could be green, two bulbs on could..." | Read more » over 2 years ago
warren "true! might it be harder to read a bunch of sensors near each other? depends how theyre positioned i guess... " | Read more » over 2 years ago
mimiss "Moving to something that isn't color based might also help to clear up AQI confusion " | Read more » over 2 years ago