About Pollution

I've published a summary of all the measurements for 2014 in a pdf called "2014|OYON - One Year Of Noise" (only in italian language .. sorry). If you are interested you can download the document with all the data here http://www.brainworks.it/OYON_2014.tar.gz


If you live in a suburban area (like me) you have to deal every day with pollution.
In my case one of the issues I had to deal with was "noise pollution".

I live in Cremona, and in particular I live very close to highway A21.

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Unfortunately in the last few years the local traffic of Cremona was changed and another route was added (going west to east) and this route did increases even more the level of background noise around my house.

You might think that the usual noise barriers that we see near to high traffic areas would be "ok", and indeed there are few of them. But the level of sound isolation is soo poor(!), and (unfortunately) the slow burocracy of my country is not something you can really trust for fast improvements to the environment you are living into.

As you can see from the picture there are three roads crossing at about 100mt from my windows. One of them is crossing well above the ground and there is no sound proofing at all. The funny part is that the useless barriers installed are too low and too short (they don't even cover the whole distance) to protect from any kind of noise wave impact.

To add insult to injury there are official documents from 2007, from the local governemt that already measure and classify the area based on SPL levels, without taking any action to reduce the stress for people living on this corner. Here is the official link: http://www.comune.cremona.it/GisArea/sfogliaPGT.do?file=/prg/zonizzazione_acustica/Tavola_4.pdf

My house is set in "zone IV" i.e. 55 to 65 dB (Curve Type A) of "intense human activity". It seems a lot easier to set the limits to measures on the field instead of taking counter-measure to bring those levels down to acceptable values for human beings.

To be crystal clear: you cannot keep your windows open (day or night) or you'll have to shout to call your kids (well ... probably you have to do that anyhow..) or raise the volume of your television just to listen the news!

So what to do?

Being an engineer I decided to build a "cheap" but "very accurate" environmental monitoring station, by using common "off-the-shelf" components. I hate to be "blind" on regulations and I want to be able to "certify" that my area is exposed to constant high SPL levels for long periods of time. This, to the smart reader, is also a indirect (but effective...) measure of the poor level of noise protection of the current barriers installed by the local government.

My goal was to make this unit simple but reliable, to make it self-sustained by solar cells, and to make it such that I could have "live updates" on my website in realtime ... and this involves the "swiss-knife": a RaspberryPi.

Of course there is always an "Easy Route" or "The Long & Winding Road", but sometimes the first one takes out some of the fun, isn't it? ;-)

This website  is here to document all my steps to make this little project ... "real".
Here is a "prototype" running on the front of my window:

Live Data

(updates every hour or so...)