Introduction: DIY HowTo Monitor Your Air Quality With AirBeam Air Quality IoT Sensors
Air pollution is a huge problem all around our world.
- Pollution kills more people than war
- 7 million people die every year worldwide because of pollution-related illnesses
- Hasta la vista baby, I’ll be back
Bad and dirty air quality impacts your health, causing asthma or even cancer and heart disease.
How can you, your organization, and your community effectively monitor air quality?
Step 1: Watch the Video!
You’ll learn in this video how to connect AirBeam air quality sensors to Tools.Valarm.net a.k.a. Valarm Tools Cloud. The AirBeam air quality sensor monitors you pollution exposures in real-time. It’s the black box you see in the photos that kinda looks like it has Mickey Mouse ears.
For each of your AirBeam air monitors, you’ll need a sensor hub and serial sensor adapter from Shop.Valarm.net . Your sensor hub connects to http://Tools.Valarm.net via WiFi, ethernet, or GSM mobile cell network. You can also include a GPS sensor from Shop.Valarm.net if you’d like all of your air quality information to be geo-tagged so you can view it on 2D and 3D maps like you’re seeing in screenshots here of Tools.Valarm.net.
A heads up reminder for you to note that all of these steps are detailed thoroughly on our blog so if something doesn’t make sense here then have a look at our Blog Post Write-Up on Tools.Valarm.net with AirBeam air quality sensors. And please don’t ever hesitate to Contact Us at Info@Valarm.net and we’ll help make sure your air quality monitoring needs are met.
You’ll also see other air quality sensors in the images here like the Alphasense OPC-N2 Optical Particle Counter. Since Tools.Valarm.net is an open platform your organization can connect Industrial IoT sensors made by just about any manufacturer around the world. Let’s get into more details on how to automatically and remotely monitor your AirBeam sensors.
Step 2: Arduino AirBeam Air Quality Sensor Setup
First off download Arduino from www.arduino.cc for your operating system. You’ll see we’re using the Apple Mac OS X version in this HowTo Tutorial.
For the second step you’ll download the DHT Sensor Library from the Dropbox link you see here or go to our Blog article to get the direct link.
Now we’ll set up some configurations in your Arduino software so we can upload a new code base to your AirBeams so they’ll output air quality sensor measurements in a format ready for Tools.Valarm.net. Under Sketch, Include Library, click Add .ZIP library and select the DHT Sensor Library ZIP file you just downloaded in the previous step.
Under Tools -> Board make sure you’ve got Arduino Leonardo selected since that’s what’s running inside your AirBeam air quality sensors.
Next under Tools -> Port select your USB port where you’ve got your AirBeam sensor plugged into your computer. This tells the Arduino software where to deploy the Arduino code we’ll be updating on the AirBeams.
Using File -> Open and open the Arduino source code that is available here from Valarm.
The code will look something like what you’re seeing here with a note at the top of how this is custom code for AirBeam air quality sensors to connect to Tools.Valarm.net.
You’re now ready to upload your new Arduino source code that’s compatible with Tools.Valarm.net . Upload your code by clicking the arrow that’s pointed at with a big, bright red arrow in this screenshot. After you click this arrow that’s pointing right then Arduino will tell you it’s uploading your code and then when it says it’s done then you’re all done reprogramming your AirBeam to be compatible with Tools.Valarm.net .
Step 3: Wiring Your Air Quality Sensors Via USB and Serial TTL Sensor Adapters
Double check and make sure you’ve got your cables and wires set up just right.You’ll need 2 wires, like the red and brown ones you see in the photo to connect to the pins closest and farthest from the micro USB port.
Now make sure these wires correspond and connect to the RD (Receive Data) and GND (ground) connectors on your Yoctopuce serial sensor adapter.
The Red wire goes to RD on the serial sensor adapter and receives air quality sensor data from the AirBeam. The other end of the red wire is connected to the pin farthest away from the USB port on your AirBeam.
The Brown wire goes to GND or ground on your serial sensor adapter and connects to the pin socket closest to the USB port on your AirBeam. Use any color of wires you want just make sure they’re all hooked up as specified here and in the blog story write-up.
Step 4: Configure Code Script for Your Serial Sensor Adapters - Get Ready for Industrial IoT Air Quality Monitoring!
If you haven’t already connected your sensor hubs from to Tools.Valarm.net then be sure to follow the 4 minute step by step video tutorial on How To Use Valarm Tools Cloud. Next up we’ll configure the serial sensor adapters that are connected to your sensor hubs from http://Shop .Valarm.net .
You’ll have the virtualhub software installed on your computer from configuring and linking your sensor hubs to http://Tools.Valarm.net . Plug your serial sensor adapter into your computer for initial configuration and click the serial name of your serial sensor adapter, like YSERIAL1-49680 you see in this example. After you click the serial name you’ll see the Conversation window. If you don’t see anything make sure to set your output mode to Line-Based and set your baud rate to 115200 or whatever is specified in your custom Arduino code you just uploaded.
This screenshot is just 1 example of custom code where we’ve edited the code to put out just the sensor variables we want like temperature in fahrenheit, relative humidity percentage, analog total, and hppcf and ugm3 air quality sensor measurements. You can change the order and which of these are output by editing the Arduino .ino file we saw earlier. You can continue the configuration once you’re seeing the air quality sensor output data in comma separated value style like you see in the screenshot.
Under your serial sensor adapter configuration screen you’ll make a new job and a new task that looks something like the screenshot you’re seeing here. You’ll Receive a CSV record and then you can select which values you want to upload and what variable you want to store them in. In this example we’re taking the first 5 sensor measurements reported between the commas and storing them in genericSensor 1-5. If you only need 3 values then select those, or if you need more like 6 or 7 then use the checkboxes to configure exactly what AirBeam data you want to upload. Perhaps you have another temperature sensor and you want to use that so you can choose not to upload that field here. The order is based on the conversation that you saw previously in the Conversation window.
Step 5: Map, Graph, Analyze, Party With Your Industrial IoT Air Quality Sensors!
Now your Serial sensors are ready to be plugged into your sensor hubs! Under Configure Hardware and Configure Yocto Hub on Tools.Valarm.net you’ll map sensor columns for each of the genericSensor fields you just set up. Here we’ve added genericSensor1 through 5 and mapped them to the User 1 through 5 columns.
We used the custom field renaming and column aliasing feature on Tools.Valarm.netto rename the columns to TmpF, RH, hppcf, and ugm3 like you’re seeing in this screenshot. See our blog write-up on custom sensor naming and aliasing for details on how to rename your Industrial IoT sensor columns or fields.
Now your AirBeam air quality sensor information is available all throughout Tools.Valarm.net. If you’ve got a GPS sensor attached then all of your mobile air quality information will be geo-tagged and visible on 2D and 3D maps.
That’s the overview of how to connect your AirBeam air quality sensors to Tools.Valarm.net.
Note that Tools.Valarm.net is an open platform so you can use sensors made by any sensor manufacturer. Our customers use air quality sensors manufactured by Alphasense (example here), Dylos (example here), Yoctopuce (example here), and other sensor hardware companies.
Do you have any questions?
Please don’t hesitate to Contact Us at Info@Valarm.net if you’ve got any questions about air quality monitoring, backpacking around the world, saving the multi-verse, yodeling, or anything else!
And Thank You for Instructabling! :)
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