Do it yourself noise and dust monitoring

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The Planning Assessment Commission is approving projects based on monitoring. Well thanks to new technoclogy, two can play the monitoring game.

For local communities it is important to get control of the data and really drive the “monitoring” by increasing the level of detail. Here are some cheap ideas to get you underway.

Noise Monitoring – Iphone App

Basic iphone Apps such as  “Sound Level” are available for only 99 cents. Turns out most of the apps are  99 cents although they do ratchet up in feature and price.  Soundmeter for example Is $29.99 and it  can do sharing of data via email or twitter. All it needs is a back end server to collect and collate the data. This would be a great activity for the eco nerd.

There are plenty of others

e.g. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/advanced-decibel-meter/id419886085?mt=8
http://www.healthyhearing.com/content/articles/Hearing-loss/Protection/47805-The-best-phone-apps-to-measure-noise-levels

Apparently these apps are good for anything under 90 decibels so that is fine for mining as 40 db is the threshhold. It is possible to add an external microphone for better monitoring although the inbuilt mic should be OK for our purposes

What we would really like is something that logs the noise unattended and emails the file every “x” minutes, we could then gather the data and put into Excel, a web page and copy the EPA or whoever. It must be out there… or maybe we could request a modification to an existing app.

Air Quality Monitoring

Air Quality can also be monitored at a slightly higher charge. Take a  look at these hand held air quality monitors starting from $6,500. Something the MCCC is considering. We could have our own air quality monitoring network, slightly manual but they do measure PM2.5’s.