Is Your CO2 Sensor Really a CO2 Sensor?

Posted by on Apr 21, 2023 in Environmental | No Comments

Lesson learned: a metal oxide (MOX) sensor cannot detect CO2. If you read the thick, boring part of the data sheet they go in to detail about calculating “eCO2”. It kind-of makes sense and it’s also kind-of bogus. Before we could reliably detect volatile organic compounds we could detect CO2. So we used CO2 as […]

Clean(er) Air in Allegheny County

Posted by on Apr 21, 2023 in Design, Environmental | No Comments

This past winter I was in a couple of cohorts for the ROCIS program.  They loan you air quality sensors to use inside and outside your home and teach you quite a bit about internal, residential air pollution. I learned a lot about how bad the outside air is and that we’re one of the […]

…and back to the sensor box project

Posted by on Nov 28, 2022 in Design, Environmental | No Comments

Some days I think I should write a book on how to handle a deceased family member’s estate with what I’ve learned and then realize I never looked for one to read when my mom was diagnosed with two stage four growths. So here we are, a few months later, and I’m almost done with […]

My return from an unplanned not vacation

Posted by on Aug 26, 2022 in Administrivia | No Comments

Some severe family health problems hit us by surprise and I’m just now getting back to things like the sensor box and some other projects I put on hold. Also, something went wonky in the WordPress software and there are stray “” characters at the ends of sentences and some punctuation.  I’m having to clean […]

Sensor Debugging

Posted by on Jan 11, 2022 in Design, Environmental | No Comments

This has been a back-bench project for a couple of months but I thought I’d share some progress on how difficult physical computing can be. Here’s an example of sensors going bad: Notice all the bouncing of CO2 and tVOC?  That’s not good.  Is the CCS881 dying?  Did a software update to linux break something? […]

Another Self-configuration Example

Posted by on Dec 7, 2021 in Design, Environmental | No Comments

Two sensorBoxes in my office, located about 6″ apart in a low-air-flow part of my office. My office sensor, not reset in the past three weeks vs. sensordev resetting baseline every 10 minutes. I’m really not sure why the office one is bopping up and down every minute, but resetting baseline every 10 min fixes […]

Self-configuring sensors self-configure, and that’s a problem

Posted by on Dec 7, 2021 in Design, Environmental | No Comments

Little backstory on the sensorBox project.  Things were going well until early in the Summer when the sensors threw out what I’d call garbage data.  CO2 levels so high I should have headaches on a day whet the windows were all open is when I thought, “maybe I’m getting exactly what I’m paying for: sensors […]

Properly Securing a Pacsafe

Posted by on Nov 13, 2021 in Physical, Security | No Comments

I’m a pretty big fan of Pacsafe gear, I use their wallet, a laptop bag, and motorcycle bags.  I use their laptop bag when I’m on the road because hotel safes are not secure. Suffering cabin fever I decided to pick locks and see how quickly I could open the cheap locks we use around […]

More natural gas (bad) news

Posted by on Oct 7, 2021 in Design, Environmental | No Comments

We’re designing a new house and talking a lot about a functional kitchen.  I think we’re leaving the world of gas stoves, and while we’re at it, gas ovens.  The electric stoves from the past are awful but the induction stoves available now are great.  We also want to go solar as much as possible, […]

The Unexpected Long Term Effects of a Pandemic

Posted by on Oct 7, 2021 in Design, lasersaur | No Comments

How’s your life going?  Are you where you thought you’d be now if you look back to a couple of months before the 2020 elections?  Or to the early days of 2020 when America First thought China had declared biological war? It’s made a mess of my sideline business, but I’m recovering and adapting and […]

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