It seems that ESP8266 WiFi module is successfully building a community around itself. And there are dozens of reasons for that. First of all – module is really cheap, then it can connect things to internet via WiFi and lastly it can be programmed as stand alone microcontroller by using Lua language. So it dives quite some opportunities.
Ray recently discovered its potential. In the beginning he was playing with this module like with any other unit which accepts AT commands from host controller and does bring WiFi connectivity. But then he gave a try to its programming capability. Of course there is an initial hustle to flash it with Lua firmware that enables it to be programmed with scrips (there is even an Arduino IDE for scripting). Then he thought that this module could be wrapped with some hardware to make things much easier for starters, so he built ESPToy board which plugs ESP8266 module with programmed Lua firmware, then it carries USB to serial converter for easier interfacing to PC, additional there are button and RGB LED.
The big part of your comfort feeling is related to room temperature and humidity level. And not even comfort, but also a risk of getting sick of viruses, bacteria and fungi. Martin took a little research and found out that too dry or too wet environment is risky. Too dry air can cause allergies, tracheal infections while to wet air is great environment for fungi, mites, bacteria and so on. When summing all factors the golden interval lies between 40% to 60% of humidity. Well temperature in this also plays a significant role because comfort level is directly related to both parameters. If there is higher surrounding temperature we fell better in less humid environment while in cooler area more humidity doesn’t hurt.
Having those factors in mind, Martin have built smart humidifier which also connect to internet. His setup is based on his earlier built three channel WiFi relay board based on ESP8266. The control unit is connected to ultrasonic humidifier which doesn’t have much automatics just on/off and intensity settings. Controller takes readings of temperature and humidity from DHT22 sensor. Humidifier trigger points and other settings like schedule can be set via web interface.
Bitcoin is an online currency which uses peer-to-peer technology for payment transfers. Its price is varying over time and if you have some investments in Bitcoins, you should keep an eye on it. Rui Santos suggests using ESP8266 programmable WiFi module to check Bitcoin price. The idea is pretty simple. He programmed WiFi module as HTTP client which regularly requests Bitcoin price by using JSON API.
ESP8266 is fairly to program. All you need is to flash it with NodeMCU firmware which then allows programming module with LUA script which is somewhat similar to Arduino concept. With only few lines of code you can connect to internet, control GPIO and do other crazy things. This following script can be used as base for other HTTP client projects like weather, finances or other extraction.
I bet there are many things you can automate at your home, starting with simple lighting solutions till automatic heater controllers and thermostats. No matter what type of controller you install, you might need convenient way to access to it. Peter Scargill have built really attractive solution for home automation controller which is based on famous ESP8266 board called ESP-12 which has several IOs and is still dirt cheap.
He built motherboards for controlling mains loads that have following features:
- Mains-powered WIFI controller board
- FTDI-compatibility with auto-reset function
- Accommodation for solid state or mechanical relay output
- Temperature sensing using either popular type of sensor
- All signals brought out to edge connector
- Fits in an inexpensive box available on Ebay
- Uses inexpensive power available on Ebay
- Debounced input also acts as manual over-ride for main output
- 2 spare outputs
- RGB WS2812b output able to handle 300 or more serial LEDs
- Thermostatic control commands including 2 sets of on-off times and frost fallback
- More on the way
- Flashing status indication that the unit is functioning and has the correct time which it maintains internally in between updates