C3//Neuroid walk-through, pt 1

C3//Neuroid walk-through, pt 1

This version of modular//neuroid was made specifically for the C3 project, a collaboration with the New York Hall of Science.  It was essentially a m//n Bluetooth, however it is not modular, and specifically used with carbon monoxide and ambient noise pollution sensors. It also featured an analog connection to a PM2.5 sensor, which we rented (more on this soon).  The module communicates (via Bluetooth) with a custom Android application, developed in close collaboration with Mike Edwards. This was actually completed nearly one month ago, however, I haven’t had time to post up about it yet.

Because this is a one-off production (actually two-off), I decided to return to the DIY aesthetic of the project and house everything in a plastic enclosure, with holes drilled specifically for my sensors and connections.

The circuit, built on Adafruit‘s Protoshield for Arduino, looked like this:

C3//Neuroid Build
click to see notes on this image!

Fully assembled, inside of the enclosure I used (bought from the container store), you can see all sensors and the Bluetooth modem installed. What is missing is the connection to the PM sensor.

C3//Neuroid Build
click to see notes on this image!

A note on the MQ-7 Carbon Monoxide sensors — and the switch

Now that I have been using these extremely low-cost CO sensors, I learned quite a bit about how they work and how they need to be approached in the circuit. I will discuss the circuit in a later post, but what needs to be understood in using this module is that the sensor must be “heated-up” for at least 48 hours before it begins ouputting sensible readings.  This “heating” continues for the duration of the use of the sensor, and entails a power cycle of 5v to 1.4v in 60 and 90 second intervals, respectively.  While the sensor is ONLY heating, and not transmitting data there is no need for the Bluetooth modem to be on, and when this is the case, the switch is to be in the “CHG” or “charge” mode. In this situation, it is best for the module to be plugged in. When the unit is mobile and transmitting, the “GO” mode should be selected, and you will notice the BT modem is on.  Once “GO” mode is enabled, the BT modem is Discoverable and ready to be Paired with a phone. (See post about Android Application)

C3//Neuroid Build

Here is what the unit looked like finished up:

C3//Neuroid Build

In part 2, I will go over how to connect the device to the phone, and what readings look like.  Part 3 will cover what the data looks like online and in augmented reality using LAYAR.