Making electronic devices today seems to be hard work. As soon as you got a solution planned out, something new, faster, more versatile and cheaper comes up. As I mentioned in my last post the library I was planning to use for the wireless data transfer was outdated. While researching the new solution I came across the ESP8266, which obsoleted the old solution completely.
Enter the ESP8266:
The ESP8266 is nothing new really, it has been on the market for a few years already. It was released without any documentation in english, and hackers around the globe has slowly figuring out its capabilities. Today the possibilities with the device seems endless, giving true WiFi to any project. And this is the thing that will power my weather station.
The ESP8266 has, for my purposes, the same capabilities as an Arduino, but with the added benefit of integrated WiFi. This means the outdoor device will update the database with log data by itself. I can have several indoor devices to log data from multiple rooms. And the base station can just pull all the data from the database to display all kinds of stuff.
As much as I want to learn C/C++ I do like Python a lot better. According to this YouTube video running Python on the ESP8266 is no problem. And this is really good news, since it will ease the code-writing part. A detailed guide for making this work can be found here.
I mentioned in an earlier post that I already got one of these devices. At the time I obviously didn’t know the possibilities. I have done some quick tests with it, though without much luck. There seems to be a few quirks to sort out. I also ordered a bunch more from eBay, which will arrive i 2-8 weeks or so.
A few resources.
Mostly for my own benefit, a few links to sites about the ESP8266:
- Board comparisons
- Wiring diagrams for flashing and normal booting (and a ton of other info as well)
- Another site with more wiring diagrams and some troubleshooting
- Firmware for using the Arduino IDE
- Firmware for using MicroPython
- Tutorial for installing and using MicroPython
- ESPEasy, a firmware for sensor reading
I might update the list with more links as I find more.