Turn-key PCB assembly services in prototype quantities or low-volume to mid-volume production runs

Ensuring comfort climate with smart humidifier

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… Continue reading

ESP8266 based Bitcoin price checker

Bitcoin is an online currency that uses peer-to-peer technology for payment transfers. Its price varies over time, and if you have some investments in Bitcoins, you should keep an eye on it. Rui Santos suggests using the ESP8266 programmable WiFi module to check Bitcoin price. The idea is pretty simple. He programmed the WiFi module as an HTTP client who regularly requests Bitcoin prices by using JSON API. ESP8266 is fairly easy to program. All you need is to flash it with NodeMCU firmware, which then allows a programming module with an LUA script similar to the Arduino concept. With only a few code lines, you can connect to the internet, control GPIO, and do other crazy things. This following script can be used as a base for other HTTP client projects like weather, finances, or other extraction. Continue reading

Home automation based on ESP8266 WiFi

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… Continue reading

Using ESP8266 as WiFi enabled switch

ESP8266 module is versatile WiFi solution to be used as standalone or a module in other microcontroller project. In this following project developed by Razvan, module works as standalone controller which can be accessed through internet ti turn on and off devices. The load is controlled from GPIO02 pin. It can drive single led directly or any other load through relay or SSR. GPIO00 pin is left for button which can be used to turn on and of load locally and even restart ESP8266 module if held for more than 3 seconds. Controller works by using GET and POST methods where control port can be set high and low also by using GET method it is possible to check pin status. Continue reading

Simple robot by using ESP8266 as controller

ESP module is a great choice for cheap WiFi connectivity. But with this you get not only about $5 worth module but also a pretty good controller which can be programmed with Lua programming language. These modules accept AT commands when shipped, but you can reflash it with NodeMCU and then start writing your own scripts that can make this module work as standalone controller with WiFi functionality. OF course you are limited with four GPIOs but this is enough to do basic control and sensing. If you need more Ios, you can always drop in an IO expander. jscottb has constructed pretty interesting robotic platform by using only ESP8266 module as controller. Programming of this module with Lua is somewhat similar to Arduino coding. TO drive robot motors he used L9110s h-brige IC and as sensors he’s chosen HC-SR04 ultrasound sensor. Continue reading

MSP432 – powerful but yet low power ARM-Cortex-M4F from TI

There are thousands variations of microcontrollers but each manufacturer offers something new and different on their brand. For instance Texas Instruments with its MSP430 family was leading in low power applications. In other hand with ARM-Cortex microcontrollers it is a bit harder to compete, because in many ways micros don’t differ that much. Bu still TI decided to use their success with low power technology and introduced MSP432 microcontroller which is an ARM-Cortex-M4F running at 48MHz. If compared to MSP430 microcontrollers MSP432 gives power boost to existing applications. TI promises that there is an easy port from 16-bit MSP430 to 32-bit MSP432 by following their guide. If you would like to give a try, there is an MSP432 Launchpad available for $13. As always, it is nice to have more choices. Continue reading