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How To Smell Pollutants
by liseman on April 5, 2008

Table of Contents

How To Smell Pollutants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1

Intro: How To Smell Pollutants . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Step 1: Gather Your Supplies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

File Downloads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Step 2: Set Up Your Arduino . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

Step 3: Create Your Circuit . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

File Downloads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Step 4: Test Your Newfound Sense of Smell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Step 5: Build Away! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

File Downloads . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Related Instructables . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Comments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-To-Smell-Pollutants/

consult your state or local health department or professionals who have experience in solving indoor air quality problems in non-industrial buildings.instructables. My cost to make this actual device was under $100. gardening. including the full Arduino kit. Author:liseman author's website bicycles. Links explaining what VOCs are and why you might want to care: -Some symptoms of overexposure to VOCs -an OSHA regulation on formaldehyde levels -information on sick building syndrome: 'A 1984 World Health Organization Committee report suggested that up to 30 percent of new and remodeled buildings worldwide may be the subject of excessive complaints related to indoor air quality (IAQ). and other important stuff Intro: How To Smell Pollutants This Instructable explains how to use a gas sensor with your Arduino. including ethanol. measurements are most appropriate when there are either health symptoms or signs of poor ventilation and specific sources or pollutants have been identified as possible causes of indoor air quality problems. Before monitoring your home for pollutants besides radon. but here's the guide that I followed. and a bunch of other volatile organic compounds.com/id/How-To-Smell-Pollutants/ . This lets your Arduino smell (and hence you program responses to) overall gas levels for a variety of nasties. formaldehyde. Testing for many pollutants can be expensive. I won't put a shirt on:-) I've got kits / finished versions of this and some other projectsfor sale @ my website The closest comparable commercial products I can find are: -a commercial-quality detector: $2500+ -a lab monitor: $295 -a one-off test kit for volatile organic compounds: $234 I learned about this after hearing about some guys who added VOC sensors to toy dogs. And no. Not sure where/if the docs on that project are. Here's a video: .' -The Inside Story: A Guide to Indoor Air Quality: "For pollutants other than radon." http://www. methane.

. i bought 2 and they cost like $22 each. Image Notes 1. voc sensor: figaro sensors 2620 3. anywhere from 500-1k ohms should work -the gas sensor: a pain to buy in small quantities... The pdf included with this step is the price list from the sensor manufacturer as of March 2008. 1k potentiometer 2. the specific sensor i used was figaro sensors's 2620.instructables. Image Notes 1.com/id/How-To-Smell-Pollutants/ ..net kit) Step 1: Gather Your Supplies You'll need: -an Arduino (or equivalent) -a cable to hook the Arduino up to your computer / provide power -a computer to read values -a potentiometer or resistor of known value. Here's what I used: -the arduino kit I used -the different sensors available from Figaro (use different sensors to 'smell' different things) It' useful but not necessary to have a multimeter and wire stripper handy. but volume orders get way cheaper. arduino (from ladyada. careful w/ these: they're not cheap and don't seem particularly hardy:) http://www. tgs2620 voc sensor.

Image Notes 1. incoming resistance (either one of 2 outer pins) http://www.com/id/How-To-Smell-Pollutants/ . 1k potentiometer 2. ground (either one of 2 outer pins) 3. variable resistance 4.instructables.

delay(100).com/id/How-To-Smell-Pollutants/ . } If you're using this as your first excuse to play with an Arduino.File Downloads Price 01_08 USA. Get your Arduino connected to your computer and functional This should be pretty straightforward.pdf ((612x792) 191 KB) [NOTE: When saving. http://www. // select input pin for gasSensor int val = 0. // read the value from the pot Serial.tmp as the file ext.instructables. if you see .pdf'] Step 2: Set Up Your Arduino 1. } void loop() { val = analogRead(gasSensor). rename it to 'Price 01_08 USA.println( val ). // variable to store the value coming from the sensor void setup() { Serial.begin(9600). Program your Arduino to read the value from an analog input and display this on-screen. This guide worked for me. I used -this guide for using a potentiometer with an arduino and basically just modified the frequency with which it reads input value (delay(100) = read 10 times per second) to get the following code. which works for me: //this outputs pot value to screen in ohms int gasSensor = 0. 2. especially with any newer Arduino. you might want to try just wiring up the potentiometer and reading the value from it before adding the sensor.

pin2: sensor - 2. the values I read in my house were (which is reasonably free of chemical use): -sitting in the open air. Also try holding the sensor over a high- concentration chemical that it should detect: my value jumped quite a bit doing this.com/id/How-To-Smell-Pollutants/ . The numbers on the screen should change. I tuned my potentiometer to ~right around 450 ohms. potentiometer 2. check out the figaro guide for the specific sensor you choose.Step 3: Create Your Circuit The picture attached is an image of the circuit from above (meaning that the sensor's leads are pointing towards the ground. view of sensor from above Image Notes 1. the datasheet specifies at least 450 ohms resistance needed. blow slowly for at least a few seconds over the top of the sensor. Image Notes 1.pdf ((612x792) 109 KB) [NOTE: When saving. in ohms. with some example circuits. there's a little metal tab protruding from the sensor to let you understand which pin is which. In plain english.pdf'] Step 4: Test Your Newfound Sense of Smell With everything connected. for the 2620. pin4: heater + 5. To test. With ~4 days burn-in and ambient temperature of 63F. rename it to '2620pdf. Don't forget (like I initially did:)) to hit the 'monitor serial input' button in the arduino software.tmp as the file ext. and start reading values. you're ready to hook the arduino up to your computer. Also. pin3: sensor + 3. but a breadboard is good enough for my purposes. For the 2620. protruding metal thing letting you see which pin is which 4. Attached is the datasheet. being read from the circuit. if you see . here are the connections you'll want to make: -sensor pin 1 to an outer pin of potentiometer and ground (arduino ground) -sensor pin 2 to other outer pin of potentiometer -sensor pin 3 to arduino +5 v and sensor pin 4 -middle pin of potentiometer to arduino analog 0 input You can solder this (read Figaro note on which type of solder and temperature exposure of sensors). fire up the arduino environment.instructables. after sensor warms up for ~1 minute: 52 -breathing slowly over the sensor for several seconds: 73 -holding sensor directly over an open bottle of grain alcohol: 235 http://www. pin1: heater - File Downloads 2620pdf. These values are the resistance. You'll then begin to see values scrolling in the black space at the bottom of the arduino program.

maybe with an LED 'Mr. and have fun! File Downloads Semitec D Thermistors. better version of this project. there are nasties (and probably some VOCs: I don't know) that this doesn't detect. you could hold this over different open bottles of paint (in a room of constant temperature) and reasonably feel a bit safer using the paint that registers the lowest value. but it's definitely a bit better than nothing:-) Attached is a pdf Figaro Sensors provided. A cool expansion I want to see is to display the approximate level in parts per million (ppm) of air pollution on my back as I ride my bike through traffic. if you see . Image Notes 1.pdf ((613x842) 638 KB) [NOTE: When saving. don't get it wet (or drink this stuff: it's pretty nasty!) Image Notes 1. detailing the response of thermistors at different temperatures. Let me know what you build. readings while over the alcohol: lotsa vocs! 2. this is really only good for reading relative concentrations of chemicals: eg. if you want a 'lower-VOC' paint.com/id/How-To-Smell-Pollutants/ . Yuck' sign that turns on above a certain concentration as well.instructables. holding the sensor over the grain alcohol. Definitely not the only thermistor you can use.tmp as the file ext. but may be useful as you explore your own. rename it to 'Semitec D Thermistors. don't forget to hit this button to start outputting the readings in the black box below:) Step 5: Build Away! Without burning in this circuit for a week and adding a thermistor. Obviously.pdf'] Related Instructables Air quality Arduino Basics: balloons by Make a basic Ard-e: The robot coin slot K'nex AK-47 electromagnet with an Arduino PIR Sensors by Model (Photos) staceyk detector by by sacred as a brain by frenzy by semiotech imadami TwistedParadox http://www.

2:32 PM REPLY Here is a better place to get the sensors. 2008.a low cost way to inspect accident sites. hope this helps! -luke Coffee bean says: Dec 5.futurlec. consider borrowing a fancy. 2011. and promptly drop dead.com/id/How-To-Smell-Pollutants/ . 8:46 AM REPLY Actually I've heard of this being done. professional gas sensor to calibrate your arduino-based one.shtml http://www. 2009. So then you'll know in the future .Maybe a sniffer for explosives.. If you breathe something. 3:14 PM REPLY hi tmort. godscountry says: Sep 22. 1:50 PM REPLY can i buy arduino online please tell me the site for buy a want to do this but i haven't got a arduino i m from macedonia guitarmonk15 says: Sep 27. 4:12 PM REPLY could iit be modified to smell any chemical? yeagerxp says: Jan 10. 2009. 2009. it's usually a sign of polluted air. if you need accuracy in terms of actual gas concentrations. 7:49 PM REPLY http://www.. that should be pretty easy to do. 2011.instructables. http://www. search for it.nenvitech. Spaceman Spiff says: Dec 20. 2010. yeah. 12:25 PM REPLY can this circuit be modified to add more sensors for mulitple gases and a datalogger? liseman says: Jul 14. 2008. bojanmanev says: Jan 3. it is available in EUROPE.to a quad rotor.com/gas-detection-heads/type-3-heads/?searchterm=acetylene This is For acetylene There's all sorts of Gas sensors though polar bear6 says: Apr 7. 6:08 AM REPLY why dont you have a shirt on lol ReCreate says: Mar 2. without the risk to humans or animals . 5:48 PM REPLY I know a better way. 2011.train wrecks.Comments 19 comments Add Comment the ultiment master says: Mar 7.chemical spills etc. not people. 2010. 8:25 PM REPLY weird timmy1234s says: Aug 8. tmort says: Jul 14. 2009. 12:15 PM REPLY you should be able to buy arduino from WEB. 1:16 PM REPLY nice! think it could recognize welding gas leaks? magganrchy says: Jun 26.oh wait. with birds in cages. 2008. 2010.drugs cdousley says: Jul 7.com/Gas_Sensors. 8:20 AM REPLY add this board and sensors. 6:57 PM REPLY haha your brothers cool! so are you. 2010.

Nice instructable!! LinuxH4x0r says: Apr 5. 2008. 2008. 12:41 PM REPLY Woah! I just use a fan when in doubt! Great job! GorillazMiko says: Apr 5. davidprosser says: Apr 6. 2008. joejoerowley says: Apr 5.. lol would it go crazy or what :O LOL Rob K says: Apr 6. 2008.com/id/How-To-Smell-Pollutants/ . complicated. I think I read that article your talking about in Make magazine. 12:26 PM REPLY Looks.instructables. http://www. 2:50 PM REPLY Great Instructable! Wow! Well Done! I just voted even though votes don't count for this contest but this should win! Great work. 9:38 PM REPLY I had the same idea. 2008. 3:04 PM REPLY Could u upload a vid of u fartin on it and the reaction on PC..