Our first air quality monitor

I’ve been super busy this week with the end of term, and I haven’t been able to write as much as I would like. I haven’t been entirely idle, however: while I should have been marking, I flailed about at computer programming so badly that my friend Mohammad took pity on me and made this:

It’s Weston’s first backyard air pollution monitor!

Regular readers will recall that I applied for a grant from my employer to create a network of low-cost air quality monitors. I’m sorry to say that my application was declined, so I won’t have the money to roll many of these out. But I have rolled out one—so far!

The chart shows air quality information for the past seven days. The green band indicates very good air quality, and the yellow and red bands show what you would expect: middling and poor air quality, respectively. I should point out that this is far from scientific—after all, it’s a $50 sensor that I made. But it’s a start!

The details are not exciting, but the price is: I built it for about $65 (and $3000 of Mohammad’s time).