Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Putting everything together: Gas Sensors: Part I

I chose to first wire up all the gas sensors, as they have been heated for a while, and the code for reading out their values is simple. (I'm just reading out a "raw" number between 0 and 1023 that corresponds to the range of 0-5V. It has nothing to do w/ ppm.)

The setup looks like this: (look at that wire forest!)

The gas sensors are wired in parallel. Nothing has changed in the individual wiring of each sensor. They just link to a common ground and power source (except the CO sensor - it gets its own power from pin 11). The code I used reads out all the "raw" numbers for each of the sensors, and also monitors the PWM wave for the CO sensor. 

The numbers on each sensor are all fairly consistent. After repeated runs, I got these numbers:

CH4: 250
LPG: 9
CO: 320
H2: 116

The only problem is that the sensor's don't seem to respond at all to changing gas levels.... I've checked my connections twice already, but there doesn't seem to be a mistake. So I'm assuming it has something to do with either my code or a bad connection. I suspect it might be a connection issue, actually, because the H2 sensor and the LPG sensor are both really hot, while the other two sensors are ice cold (as if I didn't even plug them in). Interestingly, while "burning in" the H2 sensor, the sensor was ice cold. But the power source I used to burn the sensors in displayed that the H2 sensor had a current... So I'm not sure what the temperature means in terms of connections. 

All 4 sensors together use a total current of 0.43 A max at 5.0 V. 

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