Setup a AQI(Air Quality Index) Monitoring System with Dylos and Raspberry Pi 2

I have been using air purifier for years in Beijing, China. So far so good except the only problem troubles me, is that effective? is my PM2.5 or PM10 reduced? the answer is probably obvious, but how effectively is it? Nobody knows.

At the morment, Dylos is the only manufacturer that provides consumer level product with accurate air quality index, so, not many choice. I got a Dylos air quality counter from Amazon, there are many products, if you want to export the index data from the black box into your desktop for later process , you'll need at least a DC 1100 pro with PC interface or higher version. Strongly not recommend buying from Taobao or the similar online stores, as far as I saw, None of them can provide the correct version, most of them exaggerate for a higher sale.

Now, half done. You need to Raspberry Pi, at the time of writing, Raspberry Pi 2 is coming to the market. I got a complete starter kit with a Pi 2 Model B, Clear Case, power supply, WiFi Dongle and a 8GB Micro SD.

In order to make the Raspberry Pi up, it's better to find a screen monitoring, or it will take huge pain to you.

After turning Dylos and Raspberry Pi on, the left process is quite simple. You need to connect the Dylos and Raspberry Pi with a serial to USB interface, the serial to USB cable is uncommon these days, if you are a network engineer, you should be quite familir with the cable, else, you can get one from online or somewhere else.

Now, write a tiny program to read the data from Dylos. You can make use of Python's pyserial module to read the data with a few lines. Here is mine. Besides that, you can use other language to implement, such as PHP. The interval depends on your Dylos collecting data interval, the minimum is 60s, ususally 3600s is enough.

Once got the data, you can feed them into different metric systems like Munin, or you can feed them into highcharts to get a more pretty look.

Installing Debian jessie on Loongson notebook(8089_B) with Ubuntu keyboard suits

I got a white yeeloong notebook last year, and it costs me 300RMB which ships with a Loongson 2F CPU, 1GB DDR2 memory bar, and a 160GB HHD.

The netbook has a pre-installed Liunx based operating system, I can't tell its distribution, and it looks quite like a Windows XP. Since then, I put it in my closet and never use it again.

Yesterday the untouched toy crossed my mind, so I took it out and spent a whole night to get Debian Jessie working on my yeeloong notebook. Here are some procedures you may need to note if you want to have your own box running.

At the beginning, I download the vmlinux and initrd.gz file from Debian mirror. I set up a TFTP server on my mac, ensure it's working from local. later I power on the notebook,  enter into the GMON screen, using ifaddr to assign a IP address manually, and it can ping to my mac, this means the networking works now. Problem comes since then, I execute load directive to load the vmlinux file, everytime after several minutes waiting, it shows connection timeout, after some time debuging, nonthing exceptions can be found since the tftp server and the connectivity between my mac and yeeloong both normal.

I give it up and find a USB stick, this time I'm going to put vmlinix and initird file into USB and let the notebook boot from USB. You have to check that the filesystem is formatted as ext2/ext3. Most importantly, the single partition must not be larger than 4GB, say, you have a 8G USB,  you need to format at least 3 partiitons, 3-3-2 is a good choice. If the partition is larger than 4GB, you can't even enter into PMON, and it just stalls here after you power on with USB attached to your notebook with "filesys_type() usb0 don't find" showing on the screen.

After entering into PMON, you should find your USB using devls directive, then type:
> bl -d ide (usb0, 0)/vmlinux
> bl -d ide (usb0, 0)/initird.gz

Don't copy directly, you need to figure out partitions location in your USB, maybe yours is (usb0, 1), and your vmlinux file is called vmlinux-3.14-2-loongson-2f.

Be patient, I waited about 10 minutes before both files loaded into memory successfully, press "g" to let it run. Haaaaam, there're fews steps to get a brand new toy.

The installation process now begins, press Yes/No, answer questions as your normal. at the end, I choose to install LXDE desktop environment. For me, I waited about 2 hours to finish the installation.

Now, reboot, and finally, it enters into LEVEL 3 without X because of some buggy tools.

Download the xserver-xorg-video-siliconmotion package from here, don't upset with the tool's version, you need some modifications to make it work on jessie.

Using dpkg to unpack the deb file, remove xorg-video-abi-12 from its control file in "Depends" section, repack the file, before dpkg -i, using apt-get to install the xserver-xorg-core file.

startx, you will get the final screen. The default network manager for LXDE is Wicd Network Manager which is fine, what if you want to use command line, you need to modify the interface file and some other steps before connected to internet. 

Wow, with Ubuntu keyborad suits, it's definitely a good combo.

How about the performance? No matter what I run, it always ends with CPU bound, and the average load with LXDE is around 1. That does not hurt, since it does not bother me too much, but It takes more than 3 minutes to boot up, probably slower than the majority of Windows users ;-)

Since the dummy box is terribly slooow, Why you buy the box? well, just for fun.