Pulling the plug on the ESP8266 project

IMG_0001Look at all that dust!

I had my ESP8266 capsule plugged in and sitting in a corner of my room where I just sort of forgot about it. I decided to check up on it today on ThingSpeak and discovered it stopped transmitting data a week ago. After about two months powered up and 9735 recorded entries, I’ve decided it’s time to take it offline.

I haven’t been fully attentive on what’s been going on but I’ve been seeing a few things here and there about some new things being done with the ESP8266 module that I’d love to check out. I still need a new project idea so we’ll see what happens.

A significant chunk of my blog’s traffic has been for my ESP8266 posts so I hope everyone is finding what they’re looking for. Check out my Github for code! Thanks for visiting!


ESP8266 Capsule now live, OUTSIDE!

Yesterday, I put the ESP8266 project into an enclosure. It uses a 9v battery style connector for power so it can be powered directly with a 9V battery or with a wall power supply. It’s too cold to run wires through the window (not that I would do it in the summer either, because bugs) so it’ll go battery powered whenever I want to put it outside.

It’s short notice, but my ESP8266 project will be put outside and will send data live starting at 1PM EST today until the battery runs out. It will be using a 9v battery that I’ve been using while prototyping other things so I’m not sure how long it will last. The project will be placed in a bag to protect it from moisture, even though it’s not raining today. I don’t want to take any chances.


View the data at Thing Speak and my ESP8266 webpage.

ESP8266 Project Powered Up

As I said in the previous post, I wanted to get a power supply for the ESP8266 project instead of using batteries. I decided to go to the nearby electronics store today to get one.IMG_0001This power supply is 9VDC 1A and actually comes in a branded box for the Atari “Lynx”, an old portable gaming system from the 80’s. I’m curious to know if the newer (I’m assuming) and smaller power supplies that were also in the store are any better than this one in terms of efficiency. I bought this one because of the cheaper price and it has the CSA and UL listings which is nice to have.

I also picked up a new soldering iron tip, and the 9V battery clips came in the mail today. I used all of these things to get the power supply into the project.IMG_0003I soldered the power supply wires to one of the 9v battery clips backwards so it would clip into another battery holder that would be the power input to a project. This way, the project can still go battery powered if I wanted to move it somewhere away from any power outlets temporarily. The power supply can also be shared around to other projects if it even needs to be.

With the project powered up from the wall, I have it uploading information again. You can view my Thing Speak channel here. The code is available on GitHub if you’d like to try a similar project.

I am waiting for some switches in the mail, along with other things I don’t really need anymore (parts for the temperature sensor that was supposed to be for this project). Anyways, I want to add a switch to the LCD backlight so I can essentially turn off the LCD when I don’t want it on. That would be the last connection in the prototype. From there, I’ll need to decide what will be soldered where and try to get it into an enclosure.

Thanks for reading!

Look ma, no Arduino!

IMG_0001I’m one more step closer to finishing up the hardware for this project. I’ve migrated everything over to my ATmega328p and AMS1117 boards.

I said in the previous post that I didn’t want to power this project with batteries so I should mention that the battery will be swapped out with a 9V power supply so it can stay powered 24/7. This was just to test the configuration of the boards.

Thanks for reading! I’ll get it back online soon enough!

Information everywhere

Not only is the information from my ESP8266 project on the internet, but it’s now also displayed locally at the sensor station. I’ve added the LCD that I recovered from a previous project.

IMG_0001I’ve completed a few projects that had enclosures, but they were always make-shift like cardboard boxes or plastic food containers. I’m considering getting a solid plastic enclosure, but my biggest problem is not having any tools to cut into it. It will probably be cardboard again…
IMG_0003The first line of the LCD displays the temperature, humidity, and brightness. It changes between the three values every five seconds. The bottom line counts down to when the data will be send through the ESP8266 module to Thing Speak. I’d set it to send every 120 seconds, or two minutes.

There’s just a few more things left to do with this project:

1. Migrate everything over to my AMS1117 voltage regulator and ATmega328p boards.

2. Get a power supply.

3. Find and stuff everything into an enclosure.

I probably won’t be sending any data to Thing Speak until I complete this list so apologies for that.

You can get the code for this project on GitHub.

Thanks for reading!

Progress on the internet

IMG_0001Remember that New Years Resolution post I made that talks about getting my Box project on the internet? I decided to do it.

I actually purchased a DS18B20 temperature sensor for the wifi project but it hasn’t arrived yet. I decided to take the old Box project apart and get the DHT22 temperature and humidity sensor out of it. I’ll probably keep the incoming temperature sensor for something else since this doesn’t need it anymore.IMG_0003I’m thankful past me used a socket for the ATmega328p microcontroller as I was able to recover it, along with the real time clock and the LCD. For whatever reason, the real time clock started to lag and is now like 15 minutes behind. I’ll have another use for it eventually.IMG_0002I added the DHT22 sensor alongside the photoresistor I was using before as a test. With some code modifications, I got it to send all three pieces of data.
graphs You can view my Thing Speak channel here. I’m still playing around with the hardware configuration so sometimes the graphs show some weird values. I also don’t leave it powered overnight at this point. I’d like to package up the hardware so that it can be a little more portable. Like I said in the previous post, I’d like to use my custom PCBs (ATmega328p and AMS1117 voltage regulators) with the wifi module. They will help with bringing down the size of it.sunsetThere’s one satisfying graph. This is the light in my room as the sun was setting. The jump at the end is when I turned on the room light. It’s pretty cool to see how consistent the room light is, and how much natural light varies.

One last thing: I’m finally on GitHub. You can get the code for this project from there. It took me a while to get on it because I always found it easier to just throw things on Dropbox and share files that way. People are very interested in the code for this so I finally took the plunge and got on GitHub. I’m thinking of putting some of my Eagle files on there too. It’s good motivation to take documenting my code more seriously.

Thanks for reading!

The Box: The Soldering Plan

Planning is underway to get the temperature/humidity monitor (The Box) project soldered and into the final box.IMG_0938 When I do larger soldering projects, it’s usually hit and miss because I end up trying to plan out the board as I’m going along. This time, I have a piece of grid paper and have tried laying out the components. This way, I can start soldering anywhere on the board without having to think as much.IMG_0939This is a rough plan of the layout of things on the box. Everything mounted on the box will be connected to the board with jumper wires (one end soldered to the board).

I’m a little hesitant to get started so I’ll take a couple more reviews of the plan before I start soldering anything. Hopefully that won’t take too long!