Great news! The VMM (Flanders Environment Agency) decided to support the further developement of the bcMeter for improved accuracy and usability. This is another leap forward in the right direction for worldwide citizen science measurements of black carbon. It is planned to release it in early 2024.
New Update uploaded to github! The main concern was the connectivity. So now we adapted and modified the method used by telraam sensors to boot the raspberry as access point when no WiFi is available. You can set up a WiFi then or keep it running as is. The next big thing was the control of air volume, which is now possible. Additional Airflow sensor or calibration from us is needed for that.
The software update includes the following changes:
* Optional Access Point Mode
* Correct the timestamp if no internet connection (=no correct time)
* General improvements and bug fixes of the Interface
* PWM 5V via Software to control pump airflow
* The datasheet suggests using a Tantalum for filtering VCC for the ADC, so it was added.
* Since we’re clear which pump we intent to use, we modified the case to be bigger. The old case is still perfect if you dont bother an external pump and want to save resin/pla.
New Gerbers for PCB manufacturing are uploaded to github! If you dont know how to build your bcMeter Pi Hat, we can provide assembled PCBs. Let us know.
The update includes the following changes:
* Header for heating-plate (necessary for temperature control)
* Port for DSB18B20 temperature sensor (necessary for temperature control)
* 1602 Display Connector (Still to be implemented by software – stay tuned)
* Software controlled 3V3 Header for small pumps
* General purpose i2c, 3V3 and 5V Header
* more tolerance for better fit
* Updated structure and content.
First release of the bcMeter citizen science black carbon measurement device! The DUH (Environmental Action Germany) made it possible to develop the device with drastically reduced costs compared to other aethalometers by maintaining the same accuracy in 1hr averages. Thats a great start for citizen scientists to get data of air pollution from wood stoves or other black carbon emittents.
Download preconfigured file image
Write this image to your microSD-Card after extraction. Use Balena Etcher for convenience if you want. Select the image and the microSD Card and wait for the image to be written.
Upon startup of the bcMeter, it will create the WiFi “bcmeter” with password “bcMeterbcMeter” within 2-3 Minutes. You can then setup the bcMeter for further operation by accessing it, being logged into the WiFi bcMeter, at http://bcmeter.local
This Hotspot mode is a fallback when no WiFi is available to configure the device for operation. If no known WiFi is in reach or no configuration is made, for security reasons, the bcMeter will turn off after 10 Minutes.
You can override this in Parameters when you want to run the bcMeter without being connected to your personal WiFi. Just set the clock right and set the first parameter to “True” to disable the timer for shutdown.
What is bcMeter?
Since we do not have much sites worldwide where information about the concentration of black carbon is collected but we know, that it is having a heavy impact on our health and the climate of our planet, we developed bcMeter.
bcMeter is a do-it-yourself black carbon measurement device (after the same principle of aethalometers) released open source under GNU/GPL to be freely used by anybody (working principle). This website provides any ressource needed to build the device. If any information is missing, please tell us so we can improve the website and update the Wiki.
We’d love to build a community of citizen scientists and NGOs to have a regularly updated network of black carbon emissions. Thanks to the cooperation with CompAIR and optional integration of your measurements in their dashboard, this goal become more real.
We compared our device against common Aethalometers below.
Once you’ve built your own bcMeter, let us know 🙂
New version in the making! We took your feedback serious and are beta testing an updated bcMeter with temperature compensation, more intuitive user interface and generic ports on the pcb to connect your own i2c devices. Testing and releasing will be finished early 2022.
Black carbon measurement
We developed the bcMeter to be as easy as possible to assemble and the case to be 3D-Printed by any SLA or FDM Printer.
Easy to use
You can build your own configuration or copy our preconfigured image file to your SD-Card or create your own image.
Everything is released under GNU GPL to let the community have the profit and not one company. Feel free to contribute!
Evaluation / Comparison to common Aethalometers:
bcMeter vs mAeth 51
How to build the bcMeter?
The bcMeter PCB is a Pi Hat – so beside that, you need the Raspberry Pi Zero W, an Air Pump, the 3D printed Case and basic electronic Components as well as Filter Paper.
Then you write the image provided to an microSD-Card, change the WiFi credentials and after that, the bcMeter is logging into your WiFi and visible as http://bcmeter01 or http://bcmeter01.local
Detailed info about the process on the Wiki of bcMeter
We’re having a small stock of all parts, assembled PCBs (SMD and THT) and Filters available. Contact us if interested.
Order Kit or missing parts
We’re about to offer kits and/or build service. If you’re interested, let us know via the contact form below or by mail.
Contribute your data
We want to build a network with regularly updated black carbon measurements.
Until we implemented an optional automatic upload (which you may always enable or disable at any time) we’re happy if you want to send us your logs directly.
Use the form below to if you want to share upload your data (csv or excel)
If you want to contribute to the source files, feel free to do that at our Github repository
Questions, comments, requests, bugs? We’re happy to hear from you. Use the contact form or write us an email (german/english):
About the WHY
Axel Friedrich: email@example.com
About the HOW
Jonas Dahl: firstname.lastname@example.org