howdy all ! ive been meaning to do this for months now but didnt have the perfect know-how for it to all come together !
The project is the title, i have 3 rooms upstairs, 3 rooms downstairs, excluding the bathroom/toilet plus 1 needed for outside
There's a cheaper way of doing this that my good friend Lazy Old Geek made, msuzuki777, using the Arduino as a base module and an NRF24L01 as the tranceivers but these were limited
This new idea of using ESP modules AND repeater modules, increases the operating efficiency !
So here's the issue's and outlines of this project, and it is not a completed project - i just needed to make a start on it now as ive got pretty much 90% of the parts needed;
4 Main issue's that need addressing;
Basically, you will need four types of nodes:
>> Temp and humidity sensors. There are plenty of projects around, that implements these based on MQTT and the Arduino environment. Here the challenge is power supply: do you have permanent power or do you want to run on batteries. If so, clever power management (i.e. deep sleeps) is required.
>> esp_wifi_repeaters: to extend the WiFi range (if required). Can be used as is. They could be extended to host the sensor software as well, but this is significant app-specific coding. These nodes require permanent power supply (need 70mA all the time).
>> the central node: a RasPi in the middle that runs am MQTT-Broker, perhaps NodeRed. One could think of using an ESP8266 here as well with my MQTT broker software (https://github.com/martin-ger/esp_mqtt )
>> a mobile device or computer that gets the values or even a prepared web-page from there. Either a simple tablet or old smartphone (can get it for about 50-100$) with just a browser or an MQTT client. Or a pure custom device like the one from RudyFiero (really nice platform!!) with handcrafted new SW, but this is surely lots of work.
Ive chosen to finally buy a Raspberry Pi, this is the one i wantbecause of its tiny sized footprint, plus will add an LCD & Battery Pack to it too so that it can be fully stand-alone and wireless, so that temps can be checked from anywhere in the house
Ive Always wanted a Raspberry Pi but never had the need for it, until now !
martin_ger on that github link is the master-mind behind this awesome project, he has made a WIRELESS NAT Router-REPEATER from a simple ESP-07 or similar !!!
PLUS he knows how to flash MQTT which this is my first time doing all of this so i have a lot of reading and catching up to do LOL
Im crap with linux too and RasPi's are based on Linux, so ive got a lot of head scratching coming up LOL
So FULL CREDIT goes to Martin Ger on the github link, you can join him on some ongoing discussions for this very topic on there too :)
Okay so back to the instructabble - This will be a build-log of as i go forward with it, i can update this post as and when ive made progress
I have already got two ESP-07's that i will use for the Temp/Humidity sensors, plus being battery powered so theres no wires, no plug sockets being occupied for these but to have the option of being mains powered will be included in the design too
The Repeater WILL NEED a steady stream of power so a plug will be needed, but i do have an idea to make a sort of "Pass-Through" plug & socket for a Repeater So that i can occupy a mains socket but still be able to use it to power another device.. More on this a bit later in the instructable :)
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Step 1: Ingredients, Software, Firmware & Tools
howdy all welcome back lol !
Okay here is a list of a work in progress (Under Construction, lol) of the items i will be saving up to buy, from a reputable seller so i know it'll arrive safe and sound, the problem for ordering the absolute cheapest of these from Ebay/Aliexpress is that the could take upto 3-4 MONTHS to arrive as ive just seen some sellers stating that there postal service could be slow due to weather conditions, like heavy snow and blizzards...
>> ESP-01 modules, at least 8, so i can hook these up to Temp/Humidity Sensors, not the old DHT/SHT ones, but newer more up to date digital SMD type ones with breakout boards
>> ESP-07 modules, at least 3 to 4, as these will be the awesome NAT Router Repeaters that will extend my wireless to some weak spots in the house :)
>> ESP-07 Base PCB's - These will be how i can program the ESP-07 modules when they are soldered to this base-board to allow for ease of operation
>> A Raspberry Pi Gen 3- This will be my first Raspberry Pi, after all these years its been around, im finally going to get one haha ! This will run martin_ger's Firmware based on MQTT Broker, which im just about going to lose something lol
>> A Mobile Device either make one from another ESP module or an arduino based with ESP, will get to this solution when the time comes ! Looking into making a small hand-held/palm-sized device for checking readous, but i guess an old tablet or smart phone will do the trick too, i think..
i do have an old iphone 3GS here thaat ive been starring at for months lol, but i wwas going to turrn this into a webcam haha
Headlamp -This is a MUST !!! i cant stress how important it is to have a very well-lit working area on your desk so that one's eyes dont get strained while sorting out these issue's and make work around's for them :)
additional lighting, i use kitchen spot-lights in my room so i can adjust them to where im working as well as the head-lamp, i have another 3-LED 3 watt metal bulb shining on the ceiling which is providing alot of soft lighting that you cannot actually SEE THE BULB and you wont get light "burn-in" patterns on eyes lol
Soldering Iron - now, you dont need a super fancy £5000 soldering iron for heavy industrial use, lol, ive been using a reallybog-standard and unmodified temperature control soldering iron from Ebay, and its lasted me 8-9 years.. but here's the kicker - the damn thing still works !!!
But its collar that holds the tip in place has eroded due to years of heat damage, so i couldn't find a replacement yet, soon as i do, this thing will be back in action again but in the meantimei bought another similar soldering iron
Some Flux - Use the Grease-type if youre a beginner, or ROSIN if you can use it for more advanced folk, ROSIN doesnt particularily need cleaning off the board as it protects the PCB & Components from any water damage or rusting, if using in area's with water/high humidity