Most of us are concern about energy usage. This helps to reduce bills, have a little impact on saving planet and be conscious about things you never thought being important. For the right task you need right tools. Brian Dorey have been successful on building energy metering. His previous Raspberry Pi based solar data logger gave him enough experience to move on with new idea of mains energy meter. This time he decided to use ESP8266 wireless module to do the main load. It has enough processing power to deal with sensor data also there are plenty of Arduino based libraries to make development easier.
His energy meter was designed to do three measurements: mains current, mains electric usage and gas usage. All three data streams had to be gathered in three different ways. First of all mains current. He used iSnail current sensor which simply outputs 0-5V for 0-100A current range. All he had to do is to read sensor output voltage with ADS1115 16-bit ADC from Texas Instruments. The data could be read using I2C interface. Continue reading
ESP8266 module is a great wireless module with some processing power and I/Os. Especially if you are new to it you may find some things not clear enough or struggle while programming, uploading firmware or simply configuring. Rui Santos have written a troubleshooting guide on how to avoid those common obstacles. He talks about where to download NodeMCU flasher, how to configure its settings.
Other most common pitfalls also are covered that might frustrate you. Even unbricking of FTDI programmer is covered. If you find yourself in desperate situation when trying to run ESP8266 this troubleshooting list may save you tons of time.
If you ever tried to build weather station, you probably know that wired solution sucks. For something more serious always go with wireless – this way you are not limited by distance and setup looks clean. Rui Santos have been working on wireless weather station where he implements server-client solution with two ESP8266 modules. Client module takes care of reading temperature from DS18B20 sensor and reads ADC value on one pin. Server side module receives data and transfers to PC using serial interface using FTDI adapter.
He used Things Gateway – software written by Roberto Valgolio. It allows reading and writing data from/to microcontroller using excel, csv, send emails and display charts. All you need is to configure Things Gateway to accepts serial data and point it to excel spreadsheet tabs. Once you have it working, you can start adding more sensors like barometric pressure, light, humidity, wind speed, rain and so on.
WiFi camera can be handy in many areas where you don’t want tracing wires. They are not expensive if you are looking for complete solution. If your application isn’t critical then why not building one by yourself. Johan simply took two well known modules – arducam and ESP8266 module. He built a baseboard to fit hem both including power supply solution and couple other features like optional SPI flash, FTDI connector.
He called his development esparducam – the combined name of both modules. He wrote a demo application where it is possible to get images by using HTTP GET method. If you would like to give it a try, follow his project Github page.