Introduction: ESP8266/Arduino MQTT Memo Minder W/LCD (AKA Teenage Gamer Attention Getter!)

Have teenagers who lock themselves away playing their online games with headphones on? Tired of them not hearing you yell for them or not answering their text messages or calls? Yeah...US TOO! That is what the motivation for my latest gizmo is driven by (Plus it was just fun to build). Park this little gem right in front of their screen. While it's quiet, it is just sitting there minding its own business. But...when you send it a message, it gets a little OBNOXIOUS and beeps and blinks LED'S along with your message on the LCD...DEFINITELY getting your precious teen's attention. So read on, check out the vid above, and build yourself one too.

Step 1: Hardware Required and Hookup


ESP8266 NodeMCU 1.0 (Any ESP should work)

1602 or 2004 LCD with Serial/I2C Interface

Momentary Push Button





ESP8266 -----------LCD-----------BUTTON-----------BUZZER-------------LED

Grnd-----------------Grnd----------1st Pole------------Grnd------------------Grnd



D7-------------------------------------------------------------2nd Pole

D4--------------------------------------2nd Pole



Step 2: Software Required and Configuration

Assumptions: Knowledge and practice of using Arduino IDE and libraries.

Software Required:

Software Configurations:

  1. Android App MQTT Dash
    Use same client.subscribe (Also called Topic) details as below. Remainder of default 'should' be OK.
    Use the details found at website above for port# and server host name:

  2. Arduino Sketch (Programming that needs changes is also commented in sketch)
    • I2C Address of your LCD
    • WiFi Creds
    • MQTT Broker Info (random/personalized choices you provide)
      1. String clientId = "YOUR_CHOICE_HERE";

      2. client.subscribe("YOUR_Topic_HERE")

Step 3: Operation

Upon Opening MQTT Dash App:

  1. Click PLUS sign in upper right.
  2. Choose Type 'Text'.
  3. Name is your choice.
  4. Enter your Topic name here as mentioned in previous step.
  5. Click Disk in upper right to save.
  6. Open Tile listed by name chosen in step 3 above.
  7. Enter free form text on line presented. Click SET.
  8. Message should appear on LCD if all works as expected.
  9. To clear message send a blank message.
  10. OR...Press button attached to ESP for a moment to clear.

Step 4: All Boxed Up and Ready to MQTT

Picked up a craft box and a nicer momentary button and put it all together in this.