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Enviro Urban (Pico W Aboard)

by Pimoroni

A wireless outdoor air quality monitoring board with environmental and particulate sensors and a microphone.

Enviro Urban is an all in one board for checking up on all the airborne nasties that can occur in built up areas. There's a BME280 sensor for measuring temperature, humidity, and pressure, a microphone for noise monitoring and a pre-installed PMS5003I particulate sensor. Particulate matter is made up of tiny particles that are a mix of sizes and types, like dust, pollen, mould spores, smoke particles, organic particles and metal ions, and more. Particulates are much of what we think of as air pollution. 

Accumulate data in a database (we like InfluxDB) to campaign for cleaner air in your area, or use the wireless capabilities of the Raspberry Pi Pico W to contribute to citizen science projects like sensor.community.

You can buy an Enviro Urban on its own, or in a kit that includes a weatherproof enclosure and everything else you'll need to get started.

Enviro x Pico W Aboard

Our new Enviro (Pico W Aboard) range is designed with environmental monitoring / logging in mind. We wanted to make a range of Pico/RP2040-powered, all-in-one sensor boards that are compact, easy to install in places and straightforward to program. The wireless capability of Raspberry Pi Pico W lets Enviro integrate with other systems - so you could post your data into databases, home automation systems, or online citizen science efforts - the Internet's your lobster!

Because the least fun thing about adding lots of sensors to your environment is figuring out how supply power to everything without tons of trailing wires, they are all designed to work well off battery power.  Each Enviro board has an onboard RTC (Real Time Clock), so that they can periodically wake up from deep sleep, take a reading (and, optionally, connect to wifi) and then go back to sleep - giving you months of untethered battery life.

We've also put together some handy accessory kits to go with our Enviro boards, that include an appropriately sized AA or AAA battery pack, a USB cable and other essentials for each board, so you can get going super quick.

Enviro Features

  • Raspberry Pi Pico W Aboard
    • Dual Arm Cortex M0+ running at up to 133Mhz with 264kB of SRAM
    • 2MB of QSPI flash supporting XiP
    • Powered and programmable by USB micro-B
    • 2.4GHz wireless
  • Deep sleep/wake function using RTC
  • 1 x POKE (user) button
  • Reset button (because we're not monsters)
  • Battery connector (JST-PH connector, 5.5V max voltage)
  • User/activity LED (dimmable via PWM, can only be lit when board is awake)
  • Warn LED (attached to RTC)
  • Qw/ST connector for attaching breakouts
  • Fully assembled
  • No soldering required.
  • Enviro firmware
  • Schematic

Enviro Urban Features

Enviro Urban + Accessory Kit Includes

Software

Enviro ships with some super slick provisioning software that makes it really easy to set it up and connect to things, even if it's your first foray into environmental logging/IoT. Power it up and connect to the network called 'Enviro Urban Setup' with your phone, tablet or other wi-fi enabled device - your Pico W will walk you through the rest!

Connecting Breakouts

The Qw/ST connectors on Enviro boards make it super easy to connect up I2C Qwiic or STEMMA QT breakouts. If your breakout has a QW/ST connector on board, you can plug it straight in with a JST-SH to JST-SH cable

Breakout Garden breakouts that don't have a Qw/ST connector can be connected using a JST-SH to JST-SH cable plus a Qw/ST to Breakout Garden adaptor. Want to use multiple breakouts at the same time? Try this adaptor!

Notes

  • Measurements: 69 x 36 mm (L x W, approx)
  • Enviro boards can enter a deep sleep mode where the Pico W, on board sensors and sensors connected via Qw/ST are completely powered down. The only thing left running on the board is the RTC which can wake up the board again at a set date and time or on a timer. You can also wake up the board via the POKE button, or by connecting the USB cable (the board will never sleep if connected to USB power). Power consumption when asleep is 20uA.
  • The RTC can also be used to keep track of the time and date (which means we don't need to waste power by making a wireless call to find out the time/date each time we log a sensor reading!)
  • The Warn LED is connected to the RTC, so it can be lit even during deep sleep to notify you of problems. It is limited to three states - on, off, or 1hz blink (it's not possible to control the brightness).
  • We'd recommend using a 3 x AA battery pack with Enviro Urban as the particulate sensor uses quite a lot of power. Any battery pack that can supply between 2V and 5.5V will (work though - 2 or 3 alkaline AA or AAA cells, 4 rechargeable NiMH cells or a single cell LiPo. If you're using a LiPo, bear in mind there's no battery charging included on Enviro boards, so you'll need a separate LiPo battery charger (like a LiPo Amigo) to be able to charge it. 

About Pico W Aboard

Our new Pico W Aboard products come with a built in Raspberry Pi Pico W. This means you get all the advantages of a RP2040 microcontroller - a speedy fast dual-core ARM processor, a dynamic, growing ecosystem and a choice of different programming methods to experiment with. Most excitingly though, Pico W has wireless connectivity, so your Pico/RP2040 devices can communicate with each other, and the internet! 🌍

Wireless is very new to Pico/RP2040 - be aware that things will move fast and change! Software support (wireless examples, tutorials, CircuitPython support etc) will take a little while to catch up. If you're an absolute beginner to Pico/RP2040, you might have a better experience with wireless if you wait until everything is a little more settled.