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Is this forum alive?

OK, I joined this forum one month ago.

I read a lot, wrote some comments, indicated some issues, also wrote them in the firmware repository (no reaction at all). Asked for help also.

I received some answers from two persons (TWO), both involved in the project I suppose. No other users seen.

Even a week passed between two messages in the entire forum.

I do not know if this project is still alive, most of the SCK kits in the map are offline by years. The forum, however, seems deserted.

Hi!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

I can tell you some facts so you can take your own conclusion:

700 devices were sold in the last 6 months. Around half of them to individuals and another half to research institutions. Last hour 194 devices published data. The SCK 2.1 is the fifth version of the hardware since the project launched in 2012.

194 devices online, in the whole world, to be compared with about 2500 offline.

Maybe many of them are used outside with SD card?

Anyway, most forum discussions are old, it was way more active years ago. Usually, active projects also have active communities supporting them.

Really not willing to dump or criticize, only perplexed.

I was too but as I understand this is a project sponsored by a university and the EU. Our small city (Hasselt, Belgium) bought some 20 kits. Only one is online because it’s easy for a city to buy such an amount. What’s difficult is to put these online and keep them running. I guess we have to live with that.

Hi personal user here,

I’ve a 2.1 kit that is online.
I took this kit for my home, it’s working nice. So big thanks to the team !
Also, I’ve had quick response on issue I had… :+1:

When I’ll have some free time, I’ll modify the firmware for redirecting the MQTT directly to my home automation. So the kit will no longer be online…

Personally, I look more into git push to know a project activity. No big updates soon in the github. So it’s possible that they’re no longer big development on this but also the code and hardware is quite mature… (even if it isn’t perfect)

Finally, it’s an open source project. That do not mean that people do things for you for free, that means than you can make it active by yourself.

Hi all,

My 2.1 is also online and working perfectly. Using it for raising pollution awareness in my street by communicating the data trhough the platform and twitter. Going well so far… anyone interested, check @fumutsrosolano at twitter (though only in catalan).

I have no idea on IT or programming, otherwise I would be more active in the forum, but glad to have been helped some times by others here.

Keep up with the good work!

Xavi

@guillaume_smartcitiz it is clear that there is a lot of work done on this project.

And SCK works, generally speaking. But if you look closer, several aspects are far from robust and optimized.

Apart from peripherals declared as working but not working at all, like the OLED display, web site really unfriendly and impossible to use on mobile devices, and other issues that could be considered not critical, the single most important flaw of present firmware is calibration. It is simply not foreseen, at all.

As most measurements depend strongly on boards assembly, position, and enclosure, you are granted that measurement accuracy is much lower than It would be if you could load correction factors for your specific setup.

With 2.1 Kit, you easily can have 1 °C of error in temperature, and 10 points error in humidity, depending on setup. As these values are used to correct other measurements, for example TVOC measurements are corrected for humidity, and it is a strong correction, also those measurements are messed and unreliable.

I spent days to find the best layout which was able to provide, at least, a correct temperature measurement. No way for humidity, it was wrong in any case. If you look at the code, you find that there are fixed correction factors inside, not parameters, hard numbers written in the code lines, and to change them you should modify the code and then recompile the whole firmware! Those correction factors are probably valid only in a single situation, with a particular enclosure, but this is not documented at all! I cannot imagine a worst way to manage this aspect.

Just give the user the possibility to calibrate the kit in his application setup, at least temperature and humidity, modifying a text file to be loaded in the SD card, and the quality and usefulness of the thing would have a huge improvement.

I suspect that all those offline and probably unused kits are simply kits that gave unreliable and wrong measurements, impossible to fix for the average user, interested in environment monitoring but not willing to mess with firmware and development tools, so they were disconnected and left in an angle.

About open source and to be active. Well, I wrote some software for Arduino using its IDE software, but never used the tools that are mandatory to change SCK firmware. If I mess it and the kit does not work anymore, who will help me? Looking at the level of support offered by this forum, I am not risking to brick a product that costs 150 Euro. I am sure that many other people think the same.

It is really a pity because the hardware itself is really good.

I’ve 3D printed the provided open support model and it’s works fine.
Temperature and humidity measurements for me are coherent with my other sensors.

Although I’ve to agree with most of what you say.

Hi!

If you want to visualise the active sensors throughout the projects history, you can have a look at them here:

https://oscgonfer.github.io/smartcitizen-map-data/

:heart:

1 Like

That’s a great graphic.
On this discussion its true many registered kits are now offline. I suggest that once they have been offline for a while they be removed from the map.
I am just guessing but maybe people build the kits perhaps some specific purpose in mind. When their need is fulfilled they turn off the device and put it in the cupboard.
Some might also wonder about the value of citizen science given in some countries governments have taken up the idea and built their own networks (they may publish the data but the network itself is not open to the public.)
I know Taiwan has some 13000 devices in their government network and its used for all sorts if things, shared by several agencies.
To my mind there is value in citizens building and owning their own devices on an open network. After all governments are often not transparent and have been known to cover up some inconvenient truths. Whistle blowers are worthy of preservation. Sadly not everyone agrees that altruism is worthwhile unless you are Bill Gates.
My own approach given the dearth of other kits out there (I am in Australia) is to make mine mobile with a big battery. I can take it where I like and extend it however seems useful and pertinent. The main limiting factor seems to he the enclosure, which issue is addressed by the Smart Station.
No pressure guys but it would be great to see that soon, it looks almost finished. Need any help with it ?

2 Likes

Hi all,
I am new here - and I would like to ask for a short guideline: how can I get a list of all active kits (in this chat 194 are mentioned - how can I find them?). My kit/sensors is/are active in Berlin - are others active in Germany?
Greetings from Berlin

Welcome!

Do you mean how to filter them on the platform?

You could use the Filters option in the top left side of the map

Cheers

Thank you for quick response. Ok, I set Filters (outdoor and online) and see… nothing (also my kit is not visible on the map). How can I find active kits around the world? Thanks in advance for further information…

You could try
1/ tap ‘locate me’. Which will display nearest sensors to the location of your device (allow the web page to view your location).
2/ try logging in (top right corner). Go to ‘profile’ then select ‘kits’.
Your kit should be listed along with its status.
Is it listed ? If not, a problem with your kit registration.
If listed, Does it show ‘online’ ? If not then perhaps your kit is not actually on line, need to check your WiFi details and status led on the kit. The main led should be blue or flashing blue

With the map display visible tap the filter button and deselect ‘offline’ leaving ‘online’ selected. Return to map display and after a little delay it should show yellow circles with a number. Zoom in on one and it will break up into smaller circles showing individual kit locations.