It’s been a slow new week, but your correspondent read years ago that if you don’t like the news, you should make some of your own.
Accordingly, I haven’t been (entirely) idle. I’ve been working on a low-cost particulate-matter sensor that we could deploy around Weston and Mount Dennis. And I’m delighted to report that I’ve got it working!
I’ve built the pollution monitor with an ultra-cheap computer called the Raspberry Pi, to which I’ve added a $25 sensor, some junk from around the house, and some Tupperware. The total cost was about $120 (don’t tell my wife)—but I think I can get that down a bit by using an even cheaper computer.
What do they mean? Your guess is as good as mine! (And please, feel free to tell me: adam at WestonWeb.ca.)
The red line is µg of 2.5 micron particulate per m³; the blue line is for 10 micron particulate. These results are likely not very accurate, but they’re a start—and honestly, for $120, I think it’s brilliant that I can measure anything at all!
The next step is to apply for a grant from my employer, to see if we can build some of these for the community. I’m cautiously optimistic. With a network of them, I hope to be able to create a widget to run on WestonWeb that would report the noise and air pollution in our community. If you’re interested in taking part, let me know.