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Hardware Hacking Science Build

DIY Air Quality Balloons 44

An anonymous reader writes "A few students at Carnegie Mellon University outfitted weather balloons with air quality sensors, resulting in huge glowing balloons that respond to surrounding air quality. Their Instructables page shows that pretty much anyone can make these using a PIC, a tri-colored LED, and some off-the-shelf air quality sensors (about $10 each): 'This Instructable will show you how to make giant, super cool, glowing balloons that react to surrounding air quality. Inside each balloon is a tri-colored LED. This LED reacts to data from an air quality sensor, turning green, yellow or red based on low, average, and high values.'"
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DIY Air Quality Balloons

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  • Re:So... (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 07, 2010 @12:23AM (#33171614)

    99 red balloons, floating in the summer sky.

  • by Menkhaf ( 627996 ) on Saturday August 07, 2010 @05:15AM (#33172190)

    From the summary:

    and some off-the-shelf air quality sensors (about $10 each)

    From the article (sorry, Instructable):

    - Air Quality Sensor from Figaro (I recommend the VOC or the diesel/exhaust sensor, $10/$20 each)

    I guess it was just too hard to copy/paste two prices.

    The article is just as bad. I mean, this is Carnegie Mellon University. How's this for science:

    Data sheet for both sensors suggests 48 hours of preheat to make the elements most stable. I've run them for about 24 hours and it seemed to work fine.

    Oh, so your sensors "seem to work fine". Here's a quote from the datasheets:

    [solvent vapor sensor] Standard test conditions: Conditioning period before test: 7 days
    [gasoline and diesel exhaust sensor] Standard test conditions: Conditioning period before test: 2-7 days

    No calibration whatsoever. Dumbasses.

    I hope these wankers create an air pollution scare and the local population starts wearing gas masks to defend themselves from horrendous air quality because the people who'll build this kind of thing has no clue, follows the Instructable without question and makes the same mistakes as the UNI-FUCKING-VERSITY people.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller