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 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. We compared our device against common Aethalometers below.

Once you’ve built your own bcMeter, let us know 🙂

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.

Open source

Everything is released under GNU GPL to let the community have the profit and not one company. Feel free to contribute!

Which parts need to be bought?

The Raspberry Pi Zero, a stabilized Air Pump with known airflow (we tested with Thomas 1410 and Diaphragm Pump 2002 but are still looking for cheaper alternatives).

Detailed info on the Wiki:Bill of Material

What do you need to 3d print and assemble your own bcMeter?

bcMeter circuit Board – Gerber files for PCB Manufacturing

There are two versions of the pcb available for download in our github repository. there is a general purpose pcb for use with 12v and one smaller which is powered by the raspberry pi directly. If you need assistance to find a supplier for the circuit board, we’re happy to help.

We’re having a small stock of PCBs (SMD and THT) available. Contact us if interested. 


bcMeter Case – STL files for 3D Printing

Right now there is one case for the general purpose circuit board (PCB) but the smaller PCB fits as well. Download 3D printable files from our github repository. We will create a smaller case as well to reduce the costs to print, if the big case is not necessary. If you dont have access to a 3D printer or 3d printing provider, contact us and we try to find a solution.

How to build your own bcMeter?


After receiving the Circuit Board and printing the Case, the soldering is straight forward. The Board is designed to be easily hand soldered. See the complete walkthrough here (Wiki:Assembly)

We’re having a small stock of PCBs (SMD and THT) available. Contact us if interested. 


Script / Interface

To tell the Raspberry Pi that it is a bcMeter now, the file image can be downloaded as part of bcMeter.img.tar.gz from below and cloned to a microSD card – only change WiFi credentials and you’re ready.

The image is preconfigured with everything you need to start.


For manual/commandline installation refer to the Wiki:Software configuration!

See Demo of the interface.

Download preconfigured file image


Download | Copy Link |
970.47 MB11. July 2021


Download source files

Complete bill of material, build instructions and other information

Evaluation / Comparison to common Aethalometers:

bcMeter vs AE33 in Berlin over two days


bcMeter vs mAeth 51

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

    Contact us

    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:

    About the HOW
    Jonas Dahl: