Categories
air quality

Qingping CGS1

Qingping Air Detector (AKA ClearGrass Air Detector) is one of the best portable devices reviewed yet.

Impressive tech specs and design. Can be used both: as portable and not portable. And in a mixed way too. Good sensors for tvoc, t/rh, co2. High-resolution touch screen, Wi-Fi (that remember all Wi-Fi you were connected to), ambient light sensors, android and ios mobile app. And all that for a bit more than 100$ (incl. Delivery). For this price tag, it is a kind of flawless device. So the minor issues are not critical at all. Like it might have a different CO2 sensor (SenseAir S8 instead of Sensirion SDC30 for example) inside. But since S8 is not bad. It is still ok.

Pros

  • 1800 mAh battery (~4 hours of battery life)
  • Compact (9x9x7cm, 218g)
  • Calibration (tvoc, CO2) may be done manually
  • Correct t/RH and CO2 measurements
  • High resolution display with good viewangles
  • Touchscreen and good UI usablility
  • Keep multiple Wi-Fi AP settings
  • Weather and time sync from Internet
  • Ambient light sensor
  • Good thermal design and active airflow
  • Mobile App and 3-rd party app support
  • Wireless (OTA) update w/o app needed

Cons

  • CO2 high level is starting 2000ppm.
  • Disassemble is not trivial.
  • There might be other sensors inside.
  • No alarm clock (but should it be there?)

Device inside: https://wiki.liutyi.info/display/CO2/Qingping+CGS1+inside

Device App: https://wiki.liutyi.info/display/CO2/Qingping+plus+app

Device Thermal: https://wiki.liutyi.info/display/CO2/Qingping+CGS1+Thermal

Manufacturer link: https://www.qingping.co/air-monitor/overview

AliExpress price ~110$

Categories
air quality Devices

Protmex PTH-5

Yet another highly portable standalone CO2 Meter. This one with great battery life. One of the recommended devices. It is not absolutely flawless but is ok to buy. It got fast, accurate, and low power t/RH sensor (Sensirion SHTC3). Its CO2 sensor is kind of average (Cubic 1106 probably). Charging 5v 1A

Pros

  • 2400 mAh battery (~20 hours of battery life)
  • Small and relatively lightweight (8x3cm, 145g)
  • Calibration can be done manually
  • Correct t/RH during normal operation

Cons

  • Leading zero in CO2 display
  • CO2 measurements might sometimes be wrong
  • CO2 measurements delay is on power on
  • CO2 measurement interval is 16/4 sec (10 sec average)
  • t/RH measurements during charging is a bit incorrect
  • Display view angles are not perfect

Device inside https://wiki.liutyi.info/display/CO2/PTH-5+inside

AliExpress Price: ~60$ (may change)

Categories
apple

What is wrong with MagSafe Qi 15W

That is quite a long story of smartphone makers are trying to create powerful Qi charging devices. And usually, they are all fails. Wireless chargers are still noticeably slower than wired. And also less power-efficient. And also not reliable. With some previous wireless charging docks, you someday waking up with your phone not charged at all. And there are a couple of reasons for that. First is coils misalignment, which reduces all (speed, efficiency, and reliability). The second is power loss and related overheating (affects speed and efficiency). So what is good about Apple MagSafe 15W Qi charger. It solves the first issue. Coils are now aligned. So you can be more or less sure that you will get your phone charged. But it mostly ignores the second. Qi charger is still overheating. And that is slowing down the charging process. Yes, it is an aluminum body, and that is kind of good news. But that is definitely not enough. So for a period of 3-5 hours of wireless charging, you will get 15W only for a short period of time. Usually, it is about 5-7 minutes. And the most interesting part there is 7.5W charger may charge faster than the 15W charger just because of less initial overheating.

So the usual charging may look like graphs below

That is just about 4 hours. But results may vary a lot. That is highly dependent on temperature (room temperature, phone temperature, table temperature), on do you charge with a charger below or above the phone. Do you use a case or does the phone do some background tasks. Do your air moving in the room. It impacts Qi charging speed much more if compared to wired charging.

Wired charging from same 20W power adapter:

It is for the same conditions, same case, same temperature, same table. Just about twice faster. And power consumed is 14.5Wh instead of 22Wh to charge an iphone 10.78 Wh battery (while phone is on, but not in use). That is about 3 times more energy lost on generating heat.

So How to get 15W we pay for? That is easy :). You need to place the phone (without a case) in some cold place with airflow for at least the first 30 minutes of charging.

And if you got proper cooling you will get something like:

Still a bit worse than wire charging in the room. But anyway we got our 15W Qi. It exists and it is fast. (That is kind of sarcasm).

So what is wrong with Apple Magsafe Charger?

  • it is slow
  • it consumes more power
  • it is expensive

One more thing.. about power consumption. Idle power consumption is also might be an issue. Lightning cable inserted in 20W AC adapter consume much less power (0.0025W) in idle mode (when you do not charge anything) than MagSafe charger (0.34-0.5W). So if you kind of eco-friendly person you better plug out the MagSafe charger every time you are done with charging.

Categories
air quality

AWAIR Element

A new device from one of the best manufacturer of home air quality monitors – AWAIR Element (AWAIR REV3E)

This one is less expensive, but keep best feature of AWAIR 2.

What changed in Awair Element (in compare to Awair 2)?

  • Plastic case
  • Little bit smaller
  • No microphone and no speaker (no sound)
  • No Sub-1GHz wireless
  • Integrated antennas
  • Less expensive

So I would say nothing critical was removed to achieve better price. It is still a good design, both internal and external. Same air quality sensors:

  • t/RH (Sensirion SHT30)
  • TVOC (Sensirion SGP30)
  • PM2.5 (Honeywell HPMA115S0)
  • CO2 (Telaire T6703-5K)

Automatic firmware update, fast new device setup, ambient light sensor, 24h clock mode, and other good features are still in place.

Device support some integrations like: IFTT, Amazon alexa, Google Assistance (not tested).

See what is inside Awair element.

Amazon: 149$ (~175$ with taxes custom and forwarding to Ukraine)

Awair site: 149$

Categories
air quality

Air Quality monitors

It is several years already I trying some Air Quality monitors. And I think it is time to post some of the results. So here it is. Overview of some Air Quality monitors tested so far.

For me perfect device is the one:

  1. measure correctly
  2. measure multiple parameters
  3. display information locally
  4. has a battery and can be used as a mobile tool
  5. is an IoT device with Wi-Fi connectivity and mobile app
  6. not cost a fortune
  7. quiet

Some of the requirements are cannot (or at least not easy to) be met simultaneously. A lot of advanced sensors with Wi-Fi connectivity and good mobile application make the device expensive. Battery and battery charging circuits usually affect temperature and relative humidity measurements. Active airflow improves measurement speed and quality but makes devices noisy. So there is no single perfect device yet to cover all Air Quality Monitor use cases. That is why I choose some devices I like more by category.

IoT Air Quality Monitors

Best IoT Air Quality Monitor “award” goes to AWAIR 2

  • ✔️Good design
  • ✔️Local data display
  • ✔️IoT device with a nice mobile application
  • ✔️Good hardware design (airflow, antennas, etc.)
  • ✔️ CO2, PM2.5, VOC, temperature, humidity
  • ❌Not all sensors are perfect
  • ❌No iPad application
  • ❌No battery
  • ❌Noise
  • 170-200$

So as you can see above the device is not perfect. It is noisy, that is how good airflow and better measurement quality and speed achieved. Some Sensors are not the best in class, that is how the price is lower than 200$. For more details see AWAIR 2 Review.

IoT Alternatives

uHoo

✔️ quiet, more parameters (CO, O3, NO2), iPad app
❌ expensive (330$), cheaper sensors, no local display

AirVisual Pro (Node)

✔️ large display, outdoor data for PM2.5, battery, iPad app
❌ more expensive (280$), fewer parameters (no VOC)

Netatmo Smart Home Weather Station (Urban Weather)

✔️ quiet, weather station (external t/RH module), iPad app, 180$
❌ fewer parameters (no PM2.5, no VOC), poor CO2 sensor

Air Mentor 2s

✔️ quiet, more parameters (HCHO), iPad app
❌ Bluetooth or additional hub, single color status LED, 330$

Airthings Wave Plus

✔️ quiet, Radon sensor, work from 2xAA, iPad app, 200-270$
❌ fewer parameters (no PM2.5)

Portable Monitors

Best Portable Air Quality Monitor “award” goes to K6-D

  • ✔️Several hours of battery life
  • ✔️Good Sensors
  • ✔️ CO2, PM2.5, VOC, temperature, humidity
  • ✔️ Low price ~100$
  • ❌Humidity measurements not perfect
  • ❌No connectivity
  • ❌Noise

Again, as it was with the best IoT device, this one is not perfect. It is noisy, it has no Wi-Fi/Bluetooth/etc, humidity measurements may show -10% RH on high humidity tests, but still, it is better than some others and good for the price.

Portable Alternatives

D9-H

✔️ additional HCHO Sensor
❌ less temperature/humidity accuracy, 110$

AirVisual Pro (Node)

✔️ less noisy, large display, outdoor data for PM2.5, battery, IoT
❌ more expensive (280$), fewer parameters (no VOC)

DM601A

✔️ large display
❌ wrong temperature and humidity, cheaper sensors, ~110$

HT-401

✔️ small
❌ CO2 only, ~124$ , battery sold separately, auto power-off

HT-501

✔️ PC app for data logging
❌ wrong temperature and humidity, no VOC, no PM2.5 ~80$

Airthings wave plus

✔️ quiet, Radon sensor, months of work from 2xAA
❌ fewer parameters (no PM2.5), 200-270$, single LED local status display.

Other Air Quality Monitors

Best in Most Trusted device category is Green Day AZ7788

  • ✔️Correct measurements
  • ✔️Old, but a good type of sensors
  • ✔️ Relay output
  • ❌Only C02
  • ❌No connectivity
  • ❌No battery
  • ~110$

Old school device with separate analog temperature and humidity sensors, Old model of CO2 sensor. No other air quality sensors present. Need to be always plugged. But still one of the best in measurement quality.

Categories
air quality

DM601

Dienmern DM601 is a portable air quality monitor with two options available DM601A and DM601B. The difference is in additional HCHO sensors. Model DM601A has no HCHO sensor onboard.

The device has SHT30 temperature and humidity sensor but measures temperature wrongly due to device self-heating and poor thermal design (see thermal photos of DM601A). The battery is 3000 mAh that gives about 5 hours of both charging time and battery life (see details).

Most of the sensors inside DM601 are unbranded. No Wireless connectivity. Usability is average. Measurements (except temperature) are more or less ok.

Aliexpress price: 70$-100$

Categories
air quality

Air Mentor 2s

Multi-sensor (CO2, PM2.5, TVOC, HCHO) air quality monitor with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Applications are available for iPhone, iPad, Android phones.

Air Mentor 2 iPad application

By its design Air Mentor is not a portable IoT device. It has no battery. It has no display. So it is an alternative to uHoo (and to some extent to Netatmo). If compare Air Mentor 2s to uHoo: Air Mentor 2s have HCHO sensor. But uHoo measures CO, O3, NO2, pressure instead. Netatmo is actually a weather station with an external t/RH sensor, that also measures air quality by CO2 parameter only. Air Mentor 2s got a more expensive CO2 and t/RH sensors than both Netatmo and uHoo.

Temperature and Humidity sensor (SHT30) is both good itself and placed correctly on the bottom of the device with some gap from the mainboard. More or less as it is recommended by the Sensirion guide.

There are some issues with the current versions of mobile applications. For example, you cannot connect the device to Wi-Fi access points using iOS devices (it works using the Android version). Russian localization is not complete. Trend data from cloud not always loading (for both iOS and Android).

Categories
air quality

Hti HT-401 CO2 Meter

Hti HT-401 is the most portable CO2 meter I have. It is small and simple. It is only 75 mm in diameter and 25 mm in depth. Weight is 62 g. That is including 14250 (1/2AA) 300 mAh battery. Its only button is power. It count 30 seconds before actually show the CO2 level. And it automatically power off after 30 minutes.

HT-401 CO2 Meter

Four-digits LED display only shows CO2 level and 3 emoticons ?<600ppm ?600-1200ppm ?>1200. That is it. No settings for emoticons limits. No setting for the power-off timer. Not display temperature and humidity, nor time and date. Just one sensor inside and that is well known SenseAir S8 LP. That provides correct readings. Changing the environments not impact accuracy. The device is relatively cheap (I bought it for about 75$ without battery on Aliexpress)

Categories
USB meter

WITRN U2 USB Power meter

WEB-U2 or WITRN U2 is one of those advanced power meters with a big screen.

  • Both type-A and Type-C input/output.
  • Multiple display modes.
  • An external temperature sensor support.
  • The device has an auto screen rotation.
  • Fast charge protocols detection.
  • PC Software
Categories
power bank

Power banks with MTK-PE

Since USB 2.0 became a standard for charging port there are a couple of things happens. Devices got more and more battery capacity and that is why many fast charging protocols appear to overcome USB 2.0 default 2.5W (5v 0.5A). Those protocols were necessary to keep the same charging time with larger batteries. Some of those protocols were part of USB standard (like USB Battery Charging and USB Power Delivery) and some were not (like Apple 2.4A, Qualcomm QuickCharge, Mediatek PumpExpress+, and a lot of others).

Most chargers and power banks support only some of those fast charging protocols. So usually you will not get the fastest posible charging for all of your devices from the same source. For example power banks with Mediatek PumpExpress support is exceptionally rare devices. There are a number of power banks with Qualcomm Quick Charge or USB Power Delivery available, but not with Mediatek PE+. So below is three 10000 mAh power banks I found with MTK-PE support.

Power BankInput, WQCPE+PDotherprice
Tqka KA05820W QC2.03.01.1details14$
Unitechi UTI01PD20W QC2.03.02.03.0details40$
rock space P6518W QC2.03.02.02.0details20$

All fast charging protocols that can be detected by WITRN U2

Power bank/protocolTqka KA058Unitechi 01PDrock space P65
USB Power Delivery (18W)PD3.0PD 2.0
Apple 5v, 2.4A+++
Samsung 5v, 2.0A+++
USB Battery Charge 5v, 1.5A+++
OPPO VOOC, DASH
VIVO Dual Flash 5v,9v,12v +++
QC2.0 5v,9v,12v+++
QC3.0+++
Samsung AFC, 9v+
Huawei FCP 5v,9v,12v+++
Huawei SCP
Mediatek PumpExpress+PE+1.1PE+2.0PE+2.0

Tqka KA058 Apple 5v 2.4A