Antoinette J. Citizen

A miner’s canary(‘s) cage

Posted in Arduino, Bird Cage, experiments, Motors, Sensors by antoinettejcitizen on 07/14/2011

The gas sensors and stepper door control are now together, sensing high levels of Carbon Monoxide or Methane will open the bird cage door (See previous post). I put in a small push button to act as a test switch- like on smoke detectors. I don’t think it is quite ready for a bird just yet. Need to take it off the breadboard and put it onto something more permanent and clean up the wires. Thought it would also be good to put clear acrylic behind the electronic components- so the canary can’t attack the exposed parts.

Canary in a Coal Mine: In two parts

Posted in Arduino, Bird Cage, experiments, Motors, Sensors by antoinettejcitizen on 07/11/2011

I am taking a miniature break from my Sims Needs Meter, to make a carbon monoxide and methane gas sensor unit for a canary cage.

Today it is in two parts, hoping to put them together tomorrow. First part is the arduino powered cage door:

Above is a unipolar stepper being driven by a darlington array. I am just using the stepper example in the arduino ide. There are a few different versions- one step, full rotation etc. Arduino reference for wiring a stepper. The stepper has a small robot wheel attached to it’s shaft- which i have glue some fishing line to. The groove in the wheel is designed to fit a small rubber tire into it- but here it is perfect for the fishing wire to be wound up onto it. And that is about it. Super simple. Now to find a way to attached it to the bird cage that does not involve gaffa tape.

And the second part is the:  Carbon Monoxide (Top) and Methane (Bottom) sensors:

These sensors are soldered to the sparkfun gas sensor breakout boards, and using a simple analog read to extract data. There are very limited tutorials available for gas sensors, unless you are making a breathalyser or fart-meter. So after I put these two parts together, I will attempt to create a comprehensive tutorial. Still searching for some more info on calibration and interpreting the readings.