Introduction: Gas Detector / Indicator (USB Powered) With Arduino

Picture of Gas Detector / Indicator (USB Powered) With Arduino

This Instructable shows how to build a gas detector / indicator using an arduino.
The finished product is USB powered and displays the amount of detected gas on a led display.
In this design the reset button on the arduino is also working.

This project will cost you between €25,- and €65,- depending on the quality of the parts you want to use, the links to order the parts are included in step one.
Luckily, the arduino (which is the biggest investment here) can be easily reused for other projects.

Step 1: Materials & Tools

Picture of Materials & Tools

The first thing you need to do is gathering the required materials,
for starters it is advised to use the electronics described here.
Ofcourse when you are more experienced you could display the data in a completely diffent way,
the arduino has great oppertunities for this.

- hot glue gun
- sharp knife
- metal ruler
- some drawing tools
   (depending on your personal preference)

- arduino nano
   or €11,44 (this includes cable!)

- usb cable

- usb powerplug (optional)

- gas sensor

- led display

- cardboard or other material for the exterior (you can use the included drawing and print it on thick paper)
   or order the 3D printed exterior

    * parts are also available at *

Step 2: Mounting the Parts

Picture of Mounting the Parts

Next, you have to mount the parts into the housing.
Use the drawing provided in the previous step or create something yourself,
The 3D printed exterior has a mounting clip for the arduino built in.

The pictures illustrate how to mount the parts using the hot glue gun.
As you can see I used some small pieces of cardboard glued together for spacers and mounting supports,
this is particularly important if you want the reset button on the arduino to work properly.
Make sure to securely glue the parts into place but still keep the electronic contact points and button clean.

Step 3: Wiring

Picture of Wiring

Once you have all the parts in place you can wire them.
connect the arduino to the sensor and led display according to the documents below.
If you have doubts, feel free to send me a message.

In the picture I used quite long wires that have female headers on them,
for a permanent version you could choose to solder the wires.

Sensor wiring

Led display wiring

Step 4: Uploading Code

Picture of Uploading Code

The arduino needs to be programmed,
this is very easy to do.

Use the software provided on
- go to the site
- click on 'download'
- download and unpack the 0023 version (needs no installation)

Now you can open the included code file and upload it to the arduino.
The file needs to be in a folder with the same name tag.
(the arduino software will create this for you when you try to open the file)
For instructions check the arduino website.

Step 5: Testing

Picture of Testing

Now you can test your gas detector!

Change the thresholds in the code if you are not satisfied with the reaction of the sensor.
Instructions can be found on the website.


russeljamesragmac (author)2015-08-22

I have a question. can arduino uno is capable to replace the arduino nano in this project? reply me please. I really need the answer for our project. thank you so much.

Yes its works.

slwthr (author)2015-03-22

does this sensor detect refrigerant r410a gas leak?

ssevalingam (author)slwthr2016-03-21

you need to change the gas module for that

russeljamesragmac (author)2015-09-04

Excuse me sir, I'm about to modify this project and I add some other materials like buzzer and LED. can you help on how to put the schematic of these materials? I badly need it. :( thanks.

ashwa lohit (author)2015-05-19

KOTSOS5 (author)2014-12-01

Hi, i have a rookish question, i made the circuit and it works but anytime the sensor senses gas and let's say number 4 is displayed, after some secs the gas evaporates and the blinking loop starts again number 4 is displayed again!! If the gas will be heavier and let's say number 6 is on the display after a while the blinking loop comes up but this time number 6 comes up again! how can i change it? i know it has something to do with the sum-break routine. P.s. the same happens to your video because you haven't put any delay before breaks it's not visible but if you pause it you will see that you have the same problem!

GianlucaS1 (author)2014-11-20

Hi ! your project looks great but I made this with an arduino uno and I have a problem with the display:

When I connect all pins to the arduino starting by the first on the left bottom (of the display) to the digital pin 2 until the tenth to the pin 9 and the third and the eighth to the positive and ground, the arduino doesn't work and it turns off. Are all the connections right ? Can you help me please ? The display needs a resistor? Thanks.

Sorry for my bad english but I'm an italian student and I don't speak english very well.

StijnID (author)GianlucaS12014-11-25

sounds like you are short-circuiting something. does this help:

gstrafile (author)StijnID2014-11-25

I have this kind of segment display is this different from your display ? I understood that my display works only with 5v connection and a 330 ohm resistor in the two wiring display connections. Please can you help me ? If you want could you help me by email ? Thanks for the link but the wiring doesn' t work but I could learn a lot of informations with that link. I appreciate your attention to much. :)

gstrafile (author)gstrafile2014-11-25

I am GianlucaS1 and I posted that comment on the top

kiara2398 (author)2014-11-25

Can you send me something how to wire the gas sensor?

vaitot (author)2014-11-18

The 3D printed exterior is broken!

StijnID (author)vaitot2014-11-25

sorry, the link is not working anymore since this is an old project.

kiara2398 (author)2014-11-18

Can you send me a video of how to do the wiring?

kiara2398 (author)2014-11-17

Can you send me a video of how to the wiring

kiara2398 (author)2014-11-02

How did you make the reset button?

StijnID (author)kiara23982014-11-03

Hi, arduino's have a standard reset pin. Connect a button to both the reset pin and ground, pushing the button will completely reset the arduino.

kiara2398 (author)StijnID2014-11-03

So do I have to buy a button for reset?

StijnID (author)kiara23982014-11-04

On the arduino nano there already is a reset button, you can use this as shown in the template.

kier_great (author)2014-09-25

is the vcc of the sensor connected to the 5v power source of arduino...? if yes,,,,, does the current produce by the sensor wont burn the arduino?

StijnID (author)kier_great2014-10-26

Hi, if you take a look at the link in step 3, there needs to be a 10K resistor going from the sensor to the ground. Hooked up the right way, this sensor will not burn your arduino.

carl.tumala (author)2014-09-18

hi? can you give me the schematic diagram for wiring's for this project please


StijnID (author)carl.tumala2014-10-26

Hi Carl, the links in step 3 explain the wiring, look at the arduino code to connect the right pins to it. I have no complete schematic of this exact project, but it is quite simple.

Aravindan Sridhar (author)2014-07-14

Hi! Great work. Can you tell me how to create a gas detector with the same components but with a arduino uno. How to build it without any connection to computer(i.e using a battery pack to power the board.

Thanks in advance

Hi, the arduino Uno works the same, just upload the provided code to your board. The pin configuration remains the same. (you can change it manually) Using a battery pack is quite simple, use the DC power connector to plug in a 9V battery, or use the Vin pin and the GND pin to hook up a 5V battery.

Good luck with your project!

naglasnats (author)2013-03-26

Sir, nevermind it. What is the pin configuration of gas sensor? Is it symmetry? Thanks.

StijnID (author)naglasnats2013-08-20

Pin configuration can be found using the link in step 3.

SSBurton (author)2013-08-19

Does this code work the same with the CO sensor?

StijnID (author)SSBurton2013-08-20

I'm not sure about that. Maybe there's a code on Arduino Playground you can use? If i get a chance to try it out i'll post it here.

nodoubtman (author)2013-08-01

no schematic?
thank you!

StijnID (author)nodoubtman2013-08-03

You're welcome, schematics can be found using the links on page 3.

nodoubtman (author)2013-07-13

Thank you! :)

naglasnats (author)2013-03-23

sir, can I use shortcuts here? Can I use lower resistor? Thanks.

StijnID (author)naglasnats2013-03-24

What do you mean with shortcuts?
The manufacturer of the sensor module reccomends a 10K resistor,
it might work with another one but try to stay close to 10K.
(Maybe you can use multiple smaller resistors in a serial circuit?)
good luck, have fun

jatinbatra (author)2013-01-02

creative! yea i suggestion put it to pocket size contest

jatinbatra (author)2012-12-28

What is the advantage..i mean where it can be exploitated

StijnID (author)jatinbatra2013-01-02

Be creative! It can be used in anyway you like, that's what is for man. :)

jatinbatra (author)2012-12-23

Can it made with uno?

StijnID (author)jatinbatra2012-12-28

sure, the arduino uno is too big to fit the exterior i posted though. the coding should work the same.

StijnID (author)2012-12-23

because the threshold values can be altered very easy in the code, this is a very easy way to calibrate the detector. Also, because it is a detector/indicator it does not have to be super accurate. But feel free to write your own arduino code...

jatinbatra (author)2012-12-21

man u didn't do anything to calibirate the sensor ....why?

Tomahawk92 (author)2012-10-23

if only it told us what type of gas as well. lol.

Husham Samir (author)2012-06-17

cool project!!!!

About This Instructable




More by StijnID:tilt switch activated, glowing paper model, LED lightGas detector / indicator (USB powered) with arduino
Add instructable to: