We are sorry you are having difficulty with your Air Quality Egg. We test all the eggs before they ship to make sure they are working properly, but sometimes things get past us. There's also the chance that something happened in shipping. We are glad to replace the unit if it's not working-- I will start calibration on a new egg today, and it should be ready to ship by the end of the week.
Please have a look at the troubleshooting steps below, and if you feel like looking inside the egg, follow the instructions provided. Let us know if you see anything that might explain the lack of response from your unit.
Because the egg is designed for experimentation, it's easy to open and examine the insides. In the spirit of troubleshooting the problem, you can try a few things:
1) unplug your egg from its power source.
2) (carefully) separate the two halves of the egg so that you can see the electronics inside.
3) put the egg on the table so that the LCD display is face-down on the right hand side (fig. a)
4) on the right side of the egg, you can see the 2- red, 2- black and 1- yellow wires going into the green circuit board (fig. b) It's possible that one of these wires has come loose.
5) on the left hand side (the particle sensor) the wires terminate in two plastic connectors (fig. c) You might check to see if the connectors are both seated properly.
6) Close the egg by carefully positioning all the wires inside the housing, making sure to seat the small fan and usb cable in their places (fig. d). Note that the label on the fan should face out. It sometimes helps to get the bottom part of the egg seated first, and work toward the top.
7) Once the egg is fully closed, you and plug it back into its power source.
The particulate sensor is designed to detect dust, smoke and other small particles as air is drawn into the optical sensor. There is a small heating element inside the sensor that causes air to move within the unit. The fan is an exhaust fan, meaning that air is pulled into the plastic housing from one side only, and is pushed back out of the egg at the bottom via the fan.
The sensor is very sensitive, and you should not blow smoke directly into the unit (or, for example, hold a cigarette near the openings) because that could damage the sensor. Instead, you could burn incense a few feet away, and should see the readings rise as the dispersed smoke particles are detected by the egg. You can also see the readings change slightly when crumpling brown wrapping paper over the unit, or any other material that has small fibers that will separate and float on the air.
fig. a: open Air Quality Egg with sensor on left side:
fig. b: closeup of right side of the egg (electronics):
fig. c: closeup of left side of the egg (sensor):
fig. d: closing the egg