Simple Air Sensor

**The Simple Air Sensor is an arduino-based prototyping kit for studying air quality.** The SAS is a bare-bones air sensor, roughly modeled off of the [Purple Air]( system. This sensor circuit uses the same type of particle detector as the #PurpleAir sensor, but only one as compared to #PurpleAir's two. It does not include a temperature, humidity and pressure sensor while the Purple Air does. Instead of logging results to the cloud or to the device itself, the Simple Air Sensor displays a red/yellow/green light that illustrates the PM2.5 levels it detects, but it does not convert these results into an Air Quality Index (AQI). This is a version that is easy to assemble (no soldering, just push wires into a breadboard), and it comes pre-programmed. We also offer this kit [assembled and ready to go, straight out of the box]( ""). **Parts List** 1. 1 [Arduino]( 2. 1 [RBG LED Light]( "") 3. 1 [Sensor]( "") with cable[]( 4. 1 [Breadboard]( ## Air Quality Monitoring The Simple Air Sensor can be used: * to see immediate qualitative differences in air quality by displaying a realtime colored light readout. * to examine 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, with consideration for wind direction and spacing, for example. [![55894473-266f0280-5b88-11e9-9714-f945378af5fc.gif](/i/35143)](/i/35143?s=o) **NOTE: The colored light displayed by this sensor is not related to the [Air Quality Index (AQI) colors]( in any way.** #Design Goals Public Lab’s Simple Air Sensor is part of an effort to develop an open source project and community monitoring network that functions similarly to #PurpleAir . Our goal is to create an open-source repository of Purple Air user’s knowledge and expertise regarding installation and troubleshooting, while creating a space for Purple Air users to communicate their findings and organize with others within the air quality monitoring network. 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. 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 long term effort to encourage a culture of empiricism. Quite a few people have built simple open source, Arduino-based devices around the cheap #plantower particulate air sensor [datasheet](, see: * @julieta's work on (and [blog post]( * @guolivar's work: and blog * ## 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) ...

Author Comment Last activity Moderation
warren "This is great, thanks @kkoerner -- and interesting to see that they'll flag sensors. I wonder how much two would have to not correlate before it go..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
warren "thanks, Chris, i haven't seen any LEDs burn out yet, and we've been running them for weeks in some cases. If they do, i'll definitely add in a resi..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
warren " Actually i just found if you force in the white connector on the side of the sensor, it's often the loose part and you can get the light to turn r..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
cfastie "According to the link at your wiki the RGB LEDs are rated for 2 to 3.2 volts. Your instructions for connecting the LED indicate connecting the LED ..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
warren " The #simple-air-sensor is supposed to show red-yellow-green, but I've seen them turn white when malfunctioning. Try unplugging it and plug it back..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
warren " shows an image like this, using a color mapping which is often used in thermal photography: " | Read more » almost 4 years ago
Jorgelopez " This looks very interesting though " | Read more » almost 4 years ago
barakkasan " Some say "partial color blindness" actually has more color intelligence than normal people you can see here: frontiersin " | Read more » almost 4 years ago
kkoerner "So from my experience they're used primarily as a sanity check. I'm not sure of the math behind it, and since PA removed the R2 values that used to..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
warren " @julieta @nanocastro have either of you used 2 sensors in your DIY #plantower -based devices? #maca etc? " | Read more » almost 4 years ago
warren "And just linking to here, where the wiki page documents the 2 channels, which i would guess are from the 2 sensors?" | Read more » almost 4 years ago
warren "@CBarnes9 @samr @Tomp @OrionAllgaier @wu_ming2 @guolivar @BrandonFeenstra @kkoerner, any thoughts or info to share on exactly what the #purpleair d..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
guolivar " The particle size distribution (mass, volume or number) is very variable and even though "on average" it's fairly stable, the day-to-day variabili..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
warren "Thanks for this! I guess you're also implying that the mass distribution also doesn't follow any simple or predictable trends? Like, is there no ge..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
guolivar "Short answer ... No. Long answer ... Absolutely no! I'll try to explain why, even though it sounds possible, the uncertainties are so large that t..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
liz "Hi @Tomp, and thank you for replying @jeffalk. Chiming in with a link to additional documentation that @jiteovien provided on another question: htt..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
jeffalk " @Tomp, I'm not sure I understand your question but "particle counters" are basically counting particles and converting the counts to densities. T..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
cfastie "Hi jeffalk, Thanks for pointing out that the PM10 index includes all particles smaller than 10µm. If that is true, you are correct that PM10 shoul..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
jeffalk " Thanks @cfastie for your comment. Some of it however is not clear to me so I'd appreciate some clarification. You write: "To be reminded that the..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
mimiss " Building on this in the thought of a classroom setting, students could wear simple air sensors, manually log their data, then compile it on a map ..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
mimiss "I wonder what the experience would be like if you wore a simple air sensor for the day? Just plugged it into your power bank, put it on a lanyard, ..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
cfastie "If a device based on a Plantower sensor includes hardware that allows either live numerical display or data logging, it can be a very useful tool. ..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
nshapiro "Just relying quickly as its late in Newfoundland. Thanks for your response! It would be great if the limitations of the device and what is still un..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago
warren "Ah, and regarding What kind of particulate matter do these sensors work best in (ie they tend to preform worse in traffic-dominant pm than wood smo..." | Read more » almost 4 years ago