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Environmental Monitoring with Arduino: Building Simple Devices to Collect Data About the World Around Us 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1449310561
ISBN-10: 1449310567
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Building Simple Devices to Collect Data About the World Around Us

About the Author

Emily Gertz is a correspondent for OnEarth Magazine. She has been covering DIY environmental monitoring since 2004, when she interviewed engineer-artist Natalie Jeremijenko for Worldchanging.com. Her latest, on citizen radiation monitoring in Japan, was published by OnEarth Magazine in April 2011. She has been hands-on with internet technologies since 1994 as a web producer, community host, and content strategist. Her articles have appeared in Grist, Dwell, Scientific American, Popular Mechanics, and more.

Patrick Di Justo is a contributing editor at Wired magazine, where he writes the magazine's monthly What's Inside column, and the author of The Science of Battlestar Galactica (Wiley, October 2010). His work has appeared in Dwell, Scientific American, Popular Science, The New York Times, and more. He has worked as a robot programmer for the Federal Reserve, and knows C, C++, Java, and Processing. He bought his first Arduino in 2007.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 100 pages
  • Publisher: Maker Media, Inc; 1 edition (February 12, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449310567
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449310561
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.2 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I am an electronics hobbyist and have been one for years. Bought this book with the hopes of teaching some basic uses of Arduino to some high school students. I was totally disappointed. There's very little to recommend this book other than it has a cool title. If the book hadn't been so inexpensive to begin with, I'd have asked for my money back. Here are my main objections.

1. There are no projects here that have a "gee whiz" factor. The first few chapters don't cover any more than any book about Arduino would.
2. The title is somewhat misleading. It's not really about "environmental monitoring." Yes, there is a chapter on how to hook up a temperature/humidity probe, and one chapter on hooking up a Geiger counter to the Arduino. The other chapters are on how to hook up an ethernet shield, how to measure conductivity in water (stick two wires in it), and how to measure sound (use a microphone).
3. The projects do not appear to have been designed by people who do electronics or Arduino on a regular basis. There's a chapter on using a "4 character LED display" and then it's never used again. Worse yet, WHO would use a 4 character LED display when a 16 character 2 row LCD display can be purchased for the same price and provide a very nice display? It's no more complicated than the LED display they advocate and has much more functionality.
4. There's no explanation on why ANY of the circuits work. It's basically a cookbook that says "hook up these wires, download this code, and run it." So do not expect to understand why the circuits work or why the program is written the way it is.
5. I would find it hard to get anyone excited about these projects.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Ok, so this is a cheap book that I bought as an e-book for just a couple of pounds, so why do I feel that it is still of low value?
Well the fact is that it does not live up to the promise of the title or even the sample pre-view. Just too much sizzle and not enough sausage. Much more can be found for free on the web that is better laid out and far better explained.
This book is a valuable lesson in the ...you-get-what-you-pay-for... school of life.
Most of the project 'construction' involves sticking maybe 4 wires from a commercial sensor into a shield then running the code downloaded from GitHub.
The code is reasonably well commented and available free for anyone to download.
The projects promise far more in their titles and descriptions than they deliver in practice. The EMI monitor for example is a 3ft length of wire and a resistor. Noise pollution monitoring turns out to be a microphone stuck in a breadboard. The most sophisticated project is the Geiger counter which basically involves ..er... buying a Geiger counter and hooking up another couple of wires to an 'opto-coupler' using an LDR from Radio shack. The section on using Pachube is basically: read the instructions at Pachube.
Just the title itself offers more than is found in the actual text.
Maybe the authors could add some more content such as: A human interactivity physical bio-feedback monitor-(a switch) or a wide spectrum human auditory canal tester-(a buzzer)or maybe a UFO detector-(requires UFO for calibration)... and then sell the 'upgraded' version for more.
The end of the book has an offer to pay $4.99 to get the same content again in other DRM free formats such as PDF and EPUB which I doubt anyone will ever take up.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been using Arduino (Mega 2560) for a few months now. I have several books on programming, but this book is the antithesis of programming. That's what makes it so great! This is a book of IDEAS. Practical projects that leave the typical "blink an LED" ideas in the dust.

If you are looking for practical, useful, down to earth projects to do with your Arduino, this book is your destination.

One caveat, though. Figure 1-4 on page 8 shows an LED connected to pin 13 and ground, with no resistor. You should ALWAYS use a resistor between an LED and ground. Your LED's and your Arduino will both thank you, and both will enjoy a longer life.
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Format: Kindle Edition
This is a sophisticated and intelligent book describing interesting projects in a way that even newcomers to Arduino, electronics, and programming should be able to create and get running without problems.

PROS
No need to have a lot of skill with electronics - the book uses prebuilt modules
No need to know programming - the book provides working code
Up to date - written to use the recent Arduino 1.0 update

CONS
None that I have found

"Environmental Monitoring with Arduino" explains how to use the Arduino to detect or monitor various physical conditions in the environment around you. It is an inexpensive, short, focused, project-oriented book that has a variety of interesting projects, some of which you may find useful as a permanent device. Unlike a certain project-oriented book I reviewed recently, there is no fluff.

Some aspects are explained in a modular approach, allowing you to use ideas from the book for other projects you think of, but obviously it does not have as many "recipes" as a book like Arduino Cookbook, Second Edition.

I think this book is reasonably well suited to someone with little or now experience with Arduino, programming, or electronics. It builds up the reader's understanding of various components, starting very simply and moving to an implementation of radition monitoring and sharing data on the Internet (all with Arduino) that was inspired by the work of individuals in Japan after the 2011 earthquake and resulting nuclear power plant problems.

CONTENTS
1. The World's Shortest Electronics Primer
2. Project: Noise Monitor / LED Bar Output
3. New Component: 4Char Display
4. Detecting Electromagnetic Interference (and making bad music)
5.
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