Introduction: IOT Connect

IoT Connect is a open source project for helping the IoT based startup. IoT Connect will provide you with libraries of ESP8266, AutoCad Eagle libraries, board files, schema and Cloud platform for receiving sensor data and controlling power relays remotely from anywhere. IoT Connect is configured with popular AI's like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Using this project, we will guide you to process of creating your own IoT Connect devices based on ESP8266 and how to sync them with the IoT Connect cloud platform. Lets get started.

Step 1: Prototyping Your IOT Connect Board.

These are the steps to create your own board. You can skip step 1 and 2, if you order the board from here

  1. first open IOT Connect official website and click on "Help and Contents" tab in navigation bar.
  2. You will find two types of board design available.
    1. Revision 1 is the design in which no sensors are attached. It consists of 8 relays to control 8 devices from one esp8266 board.
    2. Revision 2 is the design in which you will find two sensor i.e. DHT11 and LDR, for sensing Temperature, Humidity and Light from the surrounding and the 8 relays.
  3. I will be using revision 2 board in this instructable, but the revision one board process will remain same except you don't require any sensor and the firmware you need to flash is different.
  4. Download Eagle board file and Eagle schema file of revision 2.
  5. Download Autodesk Eagle and install.
  6. For installation follow the instruction in the images.
  7. Click and open rev2-board.brd.
  8. Now go to a PCB Manufacturer website. I will be using Lion Circuits for manufacturing. As they provide good service and quality products.
  9. Download the .cam file from the manufacturer site.
  10. Go to eagle and click on cam process button in the top bar.
  11. Click on load cam file, select the file you have just downloaded, click on the zip the file and click process job and save the zip file on the local directory.
  12. Go to Lion Circuits and create a new account and new project by uploading the zip file you have just created.
  13. Verify the diagram and then order the PCB.
  14. You will receive updates regarding manufacturing process regularly.

Step 2: Get All the Material for Completing the Board.

Once you receive the board you have to gather all the below items for soldering. You can find the item list below.

Once you receive all the component, you need to solder it on the IoT Connect board that you have ordered from your manufacturer. All the components marking will be there on the board. You may also refer the schema and board layout on eagle while soldering. Take your time and make sure all the through hole and SMD components are soldered correctly and have good solder joint.

Step 3: Flashing the Firmware.

To flash the firmware you would requires the following tools.

  1. Before flashing the firmware you need to install and setup your Arduino IDE for ESP8266. In order to do that install IDE and the click on File -> Preferences. In "Additional Boards Manager URLs" paste "". Now extract the Arduino Library zip into Documents->Arduino->Libraries directory.
  2. Now in Arduino IDE go to tools->boards->board manager and install "esp8266 by esp8266 community".
  3. Once the board is install go to IOT Connect and download Arduino Firmware.
  4. Now connect the FTDI programmer to the system and install the driver. Once you get the port number in tools -> port, in Arduino IDE, select the port.
  5. Before flashing add a jumper in the two male header on IOT Connect board, which set esp8266 to flash mode on power.
  6. Set power supply to 3.3 v (Very Important) on your programmer and insert the pins in the board where the labeling "programmer" is printed.
  7. Make sure that esp blinks just after getting the power.
  8. Now click on upload in your Arduino IDE to flash the esp8266.
  9. Now your IoT Connect board is ready to sync with IoT Connect cloud.

Step 4: Connecting the Board to IOT Connect Cloud

  1. Once your board is flashed and ready to connect, attach a wire to input AC jack (Refer the videos).
  2. Press reset button on the IoT Connect board and power on the device. You will see the blue led is turned on which indicates that the device is not connected to the internet.
  3. As the device gets the power the LED will blink which indicates that the device is in setup mode. You will find that a WiFi Access Point name "IOT Connect" is created.
  4. As per the video, take a phone and connect it to the "IOT Connect" access point. As you connect your phone, you will be prompted with a configuration page.
  5. Go to info tab, copy the chip id and save it to some notepad.
  6. Now disconnect the WiFi and reconnect to "IOT Connect". In the prompt go to configure WiFi.
  7. Select your home Access Point for internet connectivity. Give the password and click on save.
  8. Now the prompt will be closed and the blue LED on the device will turn off as soon as the internet is connected.
  9. Now go to IOT Connect, create an account, and then go to "control panel".
  10. Add a room and then click on 'add device".
  11. Give custom name to the device and then paste the chip id which you have copied earlier.
  12. Make sure the device is turned on and connected to the internet, then click "ok".
  13. You will be prompted with a message saying "Your device is successfully linked with your account".
  14. That's it. Now select the device which you have recently added and click on different relay toggle button. You will listen the specific relay will make tick noise.
  15. You can also rename the relays with the device name which you have connected to it. This will help you to call Alexa or Google Home to control it.
  16. You can share the device access among your family and friends just by sharing the chip ID. As you are the first person to add the device so you are the owner. You will recieve an email as well as a notification in you phone, when ever someone tries to link the device to their account.
  17. You can set trigger to turn on or turn off the relays at specific time using control panel as well as Amazon Alexa and google assistant.

Step 5: Syncing Amazon Alexa to IOT Connect.

  1. You can buy Amazon Alexa Echo Dot from here.
  2. Setup your Amazon Alexa device and install Alexa app on your android phone.
  3. Now visit skill store and add "IOT Connect" skill to your Alexa account.
  4. As soon as you activate the skill you will be redirected to IoT Connect authentication server. Login and select the device you want to control using Alexa.
  5. Click on control this from Alexa.
  6. That's it, Your Alexa account is synced with IoT Connect account.
  7. No go to IoT Connect "control panel" and rename the relay's with the appliances which you will connect to them.
  8. Now you can ask Alexa as "Alexa, Ask IoT Connect to turn on the fan.". If you have built revision 2 board with sensors attached, you can also call Alexa as "Alexa, Ask IOT Connect what's the Temperature?","Alexa, Ask IOT Connect what's the Humidity?", "Alexa, Ask IOT Connect what's the Light?".

Step 6: Syncing Google Home to IOT Connect.

  1. Google home is not available in India, but you can use google assistant on your phone to control IOT Connect devices.
  2. Get an Android phone and setup google assistant on it.
  3. Now call "Ok Google, talk to iot connect.".
  4. You will get a reply to link your Google account to IoT Connect account. Tap the link and you will be prompted to same authentication page. Login and select the device to control from google assistant.
  5. That's it. Now say "Ok Google, ask iot connect to turn on the tube light", "Ok Google, Ask IOT Connect what's the Temperature?", "Ok Google, Ask IOT Connect what's the Humidity?", "Ok Google, Ask IOT Connect what's the Light?".

Step 7: Thanks for Reading.

Now you can control any device using IOT Connect applicaion, Google Assistant and Amazon's Alexa from any where in the world.

You can install these devices directly to your wall sockets and transform your existing, boring manual appliances in to a smart house solution.


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