Air-Quality USB sensor dongle with configurable output format (JSON, CSV, etc)Designed by Ohmtech.io in Germany
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--- Shipping situation --- Due to COVID-19 shipping to US is temporarily tied up long shipping times. Sorry :/ Features Measures ambient temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, VOC gas and 'eq...Read More…
Due to COVID-19 shipping to US is temporarily tied up long shipping times. Sorry :/
uThing::VOC™ is a USB dongle useful to quickly integrate or evaluate the Bosch BME680 air quality sensor.
The gas sensor within the BME680 detects a range of gases to measure indoor air quality (IAQ) index. Gases that can be detected include Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) from paints (such as formaldehyde), lacquers, paint strippers, cleaning supplies, furnishings, office equipment, glues, adhesives and alcohol.
The integrated STM32F072 (STM32L412 in Rev.B) MCU capture raw data from the sensor and use the Bosch's proprietary Air Quality calculation algorithms to obtain equivalent air-quality, temperature, relative humidity and atmospheric pressure values. These values are then output over a simple Virtual Serial Comm on the USB connector in different configurable formats (JSON, CSV, Human readable or binary).
We've seen over and over situations where companies, engineers or tinkerers are working in a relatively complex proof-of-concept IoT project involving several hardware and software components (sensors, actuators, embedded boards, connectivity, backend, analytics and so on) and they need to allocate plenty of resources in the sensors data acquisition part to get the sensor's data into a gateway.
If you need to sense air-quality data and decide to use the Bosch BME680, you will find that integrating the Bosch proprietary algorithms is not a trivial task, and that the code size limits its use in constrained platforms like many Arduino boards.
This dongle will save you plenty of firmware development time and struggles when your priority is just to get the raw + processed environmental data into a gateway or embedded PC.
The VCP (Virtual Comm Port) interface makes trivial to export the data to a CSV file without the need to install any software and import in Excel for instance, or use the real-time values in JSON to integrate the sensor into a cloud-connected system, saving several hours to days of integration effort. For example, in Mac/Linux a simple command like cat /dev/ttyACM0 > log.csv will start saving the sensor data into a CSV formatted file, making super quick and simple to collect air-quality data even for people with no coding skills.
NOTE: A new hardware version (Rev.B) has been released on Jun 2021. The VCP interface is fully compatible with the previous version (firmware for rev.B can be found here. The new revision uses a STM32L412 MCU, and the PCB is slightly smaller (41.9 vs 45.08 mm long).
Rev.B has an improved thermal design due to the lower power consumption of the MCU and the trench milled on the PCB in order to reduce the heat transfer from the USB Hub.
Please find the latest documentation here.
Either for a quick datalogging solutiom, or for painless software integration, check the open source uBridge server .
uBridge is a modular application that can log uThing's data into CSV files, publish into InfluxDB databases and MQTT servers with minimum configuration needed.
The module can be extended with custom plugins, client libraries for various languages will be available soon.
Here there are a few demo projects showing how the device can be used. The first explains how to store the data into an InfluxDB database and quickly build a Grafana dashboard:
This tutorial shows a 5-minutes example on how to store data in a CSV file for a quick evaluation on a Google Sheets or Excel:
For Chrome (and Chromium) users, here it's a real-time demo dashboard that can be used without any configuration to initially evaluate the dongle behavior, just plug-in the dongle and start seeing data:
(1) Note from the BME680 documentation: Indoor-air-quality (IAQ) gives an indication of the relative change in ambient TVOCs detected by BME680. The IAQ scale ranges from 0 (clean air) to 500 (heavily polluted air). During operation, algorithms automatically calibrate and adapt themselves to the typical environments where the sensor is operated (e.g., home, workplace, inside a car, etc.).This automatic background calibration ensures that users experience consistent IAQ performance. The calibration process considers the recent measurement history (typ. up to four days) to ensure that IAQ=25 corresponds to typical good air and IAQ=250 indicates typical polluted air.
(2) Please note that this is the BME680 accuracy. As the board will be connected to a USB port, the PCB temperature could rise due to the heat transferred from the host device, and therefore it will be an offset between the ambient temperature and the temperature seen by the BME680. The uThing::VOC was calibrated connected to an external 4-port USB hub.
In case you have access to a 3D printer, here it's a 2-parts 3D model for a case. The design uses "snap-fit" features, so the parts click in place without the need for screws.
The 3D models in STL format, along with the source project in FreeCAD v0.19 for both revisions of the PCB can be found here
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|Shipping Rate||Tracked||Ships From||First Item||Additional Items|
Stephen | March 3, 2021
John | Jan. 16, 2021
Christian | Sept. 25, 2020
Sampsa | Aug. 20, 2020
Daniel | Nov. 4, 2019
Steve | Oct. 9, 2019
Stephen | July 31, 2019
Jorge Iii | June 7, 2019
Jan | April 30, 2019
Thomas | April 17, 2019
Klaus | March 28, 2019
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