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DIY Portable Environmental Hazard Detector

Environmental health hazards like toxic chemicals, radioactive dust, and other carcinogens can cause serious diseases. These threats are not always visible; in fact, they cannot be detected with our natural senses. So if you want an extra eye to watch out for such pollutants, here is a simple DIY portable environmental hazard detector. Or you could just do it for fun.

Possible Uses

  • Dust detection
  • Toxic chemical detection
  • Air quality measurement
  • Temperature measurement (thermometer)
  • Pressure measurement (barometer)
  • Alpha and gamma radiation detection

Here’s how to do it

Step 1. Components

Or ingredients if you may. This DIY PEHD project involves 64 components including our very own low-cost processor esp8266. You can find the complete list of components here. Feel free to navigate our other product list and complete hardware kits to find what else we can get you.

Step 2. Hardware Assembly

As you can see in the hardware diagram, every electrical component has to be placed in a perfect manner to get the best out of the sensors and put the information on the detector’s 2.4” touchscreen display. The entire scheme authorizes a single toggle button that turns the PEHD on/off. Additionally, a reset button will restart the device in case it hangs up or something goes wrong. Rest of the functionalities will be operated via the touchscreen buttons provided on its UI interface.

Step 3. The Software

The complex Portable Environmental Hazard Detector isn’t going to work without a cleverly-designed program to run the logical steps all the way from reading information from the sensors to displaying it on the detector’s monitor. But don’t worry, you don’t have to go on writing the hundreds of hours-worth of code from the scratch. You can access the OpenSource code from project’s GitHub account.

Step 4. Packaging

You can use any material to package the skeleton of the device, but aluminum enclosure shown in the picture is both strong and durable. It would not only reliably protect the sensitive sensors and other components but also give it a quality finish.

Finished Product

The final piece should like the above picture, boasting 110x70mm aluminum enclosure, a 1500mAh lithium battery. Additional features include an antennae, a USB connector, and LEDs to correspond charging status of the battery. The speakers will trigger when the detector measures a reading and the alarm will go off if an environmental hazard is detected.

Watch the video below for detailed explanation of each component and how the DIY PEHD works. (embed video)


Surely, this article isn’t enough to cover the making of the DIY Portable Environmental Hazard Detector, but it will give you a headstart about the entire project and whether you should take on it alone or get some help. So after reading this if you are sure this is your cup of tea, you can find the detailed documents here to get your hands dirty. The design manual is also open to suggestions and edits.

If you are a tech geek and really want to do something awesome that can help others, it is a great concept to kickstart your ambitions to Save the World.

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