Tag Archives: Wifi

Radino WiFi: Arduino With ESP8266EX

The Internet of Things or IoT technology is booming nowadays. Almost all makers are getting interested towards this field of endless possibilities. The Arduino and the ESP8266 are strong bases of this awesome technology. But, what will happen if we merge an Arduino with an ESP8266EX under the same package? Well, the answer is “Radino WiFi”.

Radino WiFi : The Arduino compatible WiFi Module
Radino WiFi: The Arduino compatible WiFi Module

The In-Circuit Radino WiFi combines an ATmega32U4 with the popular ESP8266EX WiFi SoC to the small
Radino package. The ATmega32U4  MCU is also used in Arduino Micro. In Radino, the MCU is preprogrammed with Arduino bootloader. Hence, you can use Arduino IDE for uploading codes to this Arduino-compatible device. In-Circuit stated on their website:

It′s part of the radino-series, which provides full Arduino-compatible wireless communication devices in a small form factor, all pins are compatible with each other.

Features:

  • Arduino-compatible
  • Fully integrated WiFi Chip ESP8266EX by Espressif
  • 802.11 b/g/n protocol
  • Wi-Fi Direct (P2P), soft-AP
  • Integrated TCP/IP protocol stack
  • Integrated TR switch, balun, LNA, power amplifier and matching network
  • +19.5dBm output power in 802.11b mode
  • ESP8266 Power down leakage current is < 10uA
  • Wakes up and transmits packets in < 2ms
  • ESP8266 Standby power consumption is < 1.0mW
  • 15 GPIOS (7 PWM, 5 Analog IN)
  • I²C, SPI, UART
  • USB (HID Keyboard & Mouse, virtual UART)
  • High-Performance, Low-Power Microcontroller ATmega32U4

Technical Details:

Radino WiFi consists of two chips. An ATMega32U4 and an ESP8266EX. The ATmega32U4 is used as I/O machine for the ESP8266EX. It performs all the required tasks to control I/Os. In the other hand, ESP8266EX is the main WiFi chip and all WiFi services run only on the ESP.

The Radino comes preprogrammed with an ESP based web server. The default settings are given below:

  • Access point: RADINO-WIFI
  • Password: 12345678
  • TCP/UDP service for UART-Bridge/WiFi
  • Default IP: 192.168.2.1

The user can change these default settings anytime.

Download the Radino library for Arduino IDE 1.6 from here. Add this library to Arduino IDE and select Radino board from board manager.

This video explains how to use this amazing module.

Radino Pinout:

Radino WiFi Module Pinout Diagram
Radino WiFi Module Pinout Diagram

Radino has 15 GPIO pins. Among them, 5 pins can handle PWM signal and 5 pins can take analog signal as input. Radino is powered by a 3.6V power source. Exceeding that value will damage the device.

Important Links:

Another video on this topic:

You can purchase Radino WiFi from shop.in-circuit.de. It costs only 19.90€.

The Winkel Board, All-in-one Arduino Compatible Board

Mintbox Technologies is an Indian tech startup who build smarter connected devices for everyone. It is specialized in consumer electronics, open source software & hardware, PCB design services. Mintbox latest product is The Winkel Board, a powerful new Arduino-compatible, open source hardware platform for development and prototyping.

 

Based on the Atmel ATmega128 microcontroller, The Winkel Board is designed to be easy to use for both junior and senior makers including many popular peripherals such as WiFi, radio, and Bluetooth on board.

Check this video to know The Winkel Board features:

 

By providing an all-in-one compatible Arduino board, Mintbox team is working to solve the routine each maker does before starting a project, which they clarify in this list:

TODO for a maker while building something awesome:
-Prepare a list of right electronics components
-Prepare BOM
-Search them locally or online to fit the BOM
-Wait for the components to arrive if sourced online
-Getting started with prototyping
-Go online again studying libraries and figuring out how they can be interfaced on breadboard or etch a PCB
-Finally start building and actually working on your project and then try not to rage quit

The Winkel Board specifications

  • MCU – Microchip/Atmel ATmega128 MCU @ 16 MHz with 128KB flash memory, 4KB SRAM, 4KB EEPROM
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi 802.11 b/g/n via ESP12E module based on ESP8266
    • Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR via HC-05 module
    • RF Radio – NRF24l01 2.4 GHz ISM radio.
  • I/Os (through both Atmel MCU and ESP8266)
    • 38x Digital I/Os
    • 7x PWM Digital I/Os
    • 8x Analog Inputs
  • USB – micro USB port for programming and power
  • Misc – DS3231 Real-Time Clock + CR2032 battery slot, a few LEDS, reset button, jumper for OTA mode, ISP header, optional MPU-6050 Gyro+accelerometer mount
  • Power Supply – 5 V
  • Dimensions – TBD
Pinout Diagram

 

This board is said to be a one stop platform, that combines different communication protocols and allows a lot of I/O operations, thus you can do everything at once or choose specific on-board components to work with.

The Winkel Board is completely open source, you can check Mintbox’s Github once they upload all the source files soon. This board is now live in a crowd -funding campaign, you can pre-order your own Winkel now for around $21.

DIY Pixel Art Frame Using Raspberry Pi Zero

Have you ever wanted to get an interesting art frame? That can display and flip photos, scroll text, show the weather or display social media notifications?

Frederick Vandenbosch’s new tutorial is for building an art frame using 32×32 LED matrix and Raspberry Pi Zero.

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Electronics used in this project

You can watch a detailed step-by-step tutorial for assembling the frame in this video:


You can use the Adafruit RGB Matrix HAT like the tutorial to control the matrix and to make wiring simpler. But it is not mandatory, you can also wire the LED matrix directly to Pi’s GPIO. A USB Wifi adapter or dongle plugs into one of your desktop or laptop’s USB ports, allowing you to connect to a wireless network in the home, office, or a public place. You can use this connection to access shared files, devices, and documents, or to connect to the Internet. To connect this dongle with your Pi Zero you need a OTG USB cable. Connecting this dongle with your projects will open up for you doors of innovation, and that what made this frame cool!

The wiring is as described in this picture.

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Frederick used Raspbian Jessie “lite edition” for his Zero since the application is time-critical. Because it has more improvements, he preferred using Henner Zeller’s rpi-rgb-led-matrix library instead of the regular Adafruit library – which lately seemed an old version of the same series. He wrote a code to display and scroll ppm images, you can check it out here.

You can also use Raspberry Pi 3 in order to build this project, no need to change anything in software, and no need for the Wifi dongle since you can use the onboard Wifi. Things can be displayed on the matrix are unlimited. Since you have it connected with internet, this project could be your next IoT hack!

More details about this project and other amazing tutorials can be found at Frederick website.

Programming ESP8266 With Arduino IDE : The Easy Way

The ESP8266 WiFi Module is a self-contained SOC that can give any microcontroller access to your WiFi network. It’s an extremely cost-effective board with a huge and ever-growing community. Each ESP8266 module comes pre-programmed with an AT command set firmware. This module has a powerful on-board processing and storage capability that allows it to act as a standalone microcontroller.

Following 2 easy steps, you can upload Arduino sketches on your ESP8266 using Arduino IDE.

  • Configuring the IDE
  • Making the circuit

Parts List:

  1. ESP 8266 Module.
  2. Jumper wires.
  3. A breadboard.
  4. One USB to TTL converter, a.k.a UART converter.

Configuring The IDE:

In order to bring support for ESP8266 chips to the Arduino environment, you need to add ESP8266 Arduino Core in the IDE.

NOTE: You must have Arduino IDE version 1.6.4 or higher. The latest version is highly recommended. Download the latest version of IDE from Arduino.cc.

  1. Install Arduino 1.6.8.
  2. Start Arduino and open Preferences window.
  3. Enter http://arduino.esp8266.com/stable/package_esp8266com_index.json into Additional Board Manager URLs field. (See the first image)
  4. Open Boards Manager from Tools > Board menu and install esp8266 platform. (See the second image)

Add URL to "Preferences" in Arduino IDE

Add URL to “Preferences” in Arduino IDE

Select ESP8266 board from Board Manager

Select ESP8266 board from Board Manager

Making The Circuit:

ESP8266-01 wiring for uploading program
ESP8266-01 wiring for uploading program
ESP8266-12E wiring for uploading program
ESP8266-12E wiring for uploading program

ESP-01:

  1. Connect GPIO0 to Ground (set it LOW or 0)
  2. Connect CH_PD toVcc (set it HIGH or 1)

ESP-12(E/F):

  1. Connect GPIO0 to Ground (set it LOW or 0)
  2. Connect GPIO15 to Ground (set it LOW OR 0)
  3. Connect GPIO2 to Vcc (set it HIGH or 1)
  4. Connect CH_PD toVcc (set it HIGH or 1)

Pin Vcc and GND should be connected to power supply’s +ve and -ve rail respectively. TX and RX of ESP8266 should be connected to RX and TX of USB to TTL converter respectively.

NOTE: You can replace the USB to TTL converter with an Arduino UNO board, but you have to upload a blank sketch or “bare-minimum” sketch to the Arduino so that the MCU of the Arduino board doesn’t interrupt. Connect TX and RX of the ESP8266 to RX and TX of the Arduino UNO respectively.

Conclusion:

You are done! Now just select your ESP8266 board from Tools > Board menu, write any program, and click on Upload button. The ESP8266 will run as standalone microcontroller now.

To have a clear idea, read the article FLASH AT FIRMWARE TO ESP8266 also.

Web Controlled IoT Notice Board Using Raspberry Pi 3

The concept of web controlled notice board is getting more popular day by day for its wide range of applications in the practical field. As an IoT project, simple web controlled notice board can be made using a Raspberry Pi. Saddam at CircuitDigest designed the project where you can send the notice message through web browsers and it will be displayed on a 16×2 LCD display connected to the Pi.

In this Web Controlled Notice Board, we have created a local web server for demonstration, this can be a global server over the internet. At the Raspberry Pi, we have used 16×2 LCD to display message and Flask for receiving the message over the network. Whenever Raspberry receives any wireless message from a Web browser, it displays on the LCD.

Web Controlled IoT Notice Board : How It Works
Web Controlled IoT Notice Board : How It Works

Parts List:

  1. Raspberry Pi 3 (any model)
  2. Wi-Fi USB adapter (if you’re not using Raspberry Pi 3)
  3. 16×2 LCD
  4. Bread Board
  5. Power cable for Raspberry Pi
  6. Jumper wires
  7. 10K Pot

Circuit Diagram:

The circuit is very easy to make and uses Raspberry Pi as the brain. Few external components are used. You just need to connect the display to Raspberry Pi as per following instructions:

RS, RW and EN pins of LCD are directly connected to pin 18, GND and 23. Data pins of LCD D4, D5, D6, D7 are directly connected to Raspberry Pi’s GPIO 24, 16, 20, 21. A 10K pot is used to control the brightness of LCD.

Circuit Diagram of Web Controlled Notice Board Using Raspberry Pi 3
Circuit Diagram of Web Controlled IoT Notice Board Using Raspberry Pi 3

NOTE: If you are not using Raspberry Pi 3, you must use a USB to Wi-Fi adapter for lower versions of Raspberry Pi as they don’t have inbuilt Wi-Fi like Raspberry Pi 3.

The Coding Part:

Coding is the most important part of this project. Here you need only two codes:

  1. One is an HTML code to create the web page.
  2. Another one is a Python script, that uses Flask as mentioned earlier.

In the HTML code, a simple text box and a submit button are created so that you can enter a Notice Message in TextBox and then submit it to the server by clicking on Submit button.

The Python script is used to send data to the server (Raspberry Pi) and show the data i.e Notice Message on the LCD display. One thing to keep in mind, you should install Flask first using the command:

$ pip install Flask

Now install required libraries for Flask, and define display ports:

from flask import Flask
from flask import render_template, request
import RPi.GPIO as gpio
import os, time

app = Flask(__name__)

RS =18
EN =23
D4 =24
D5 =16
D6 =20
D7 =21
... ......
..... ......

NOTE: You need to copy-paste the HTML code in some text editor and save the file with .HTML extension. Then put this HTML file in the same folder where you have put your interpreted Python Code file.

So this is how you can send a message from your computer or smartphone to the Raspberry Pi LCD and make an IoT-based Wireless Notice Board controlled over The Web.

Getting Started with 4Duino Wi-Fi

In this project, we will learn how to get started with the ESP8266, an inbuilt 4Duino Wi-Fi module and connect to a local access point. The 4Duino display is used to print the status of the connection for debugging purposes.

The ESP8266 Wi-Fi Module is embedded in the 4Duino. ATmega32U4 communicates and controls the ESP8266 via Software Serial with a default baud rate of 115200 bps. For this purpose pins D8 and D9 are used. However, if the Wi-Fi modules is used in your project then the pins D8 and D9 cannot be utilised in your design.

Getting Started with 4Duino Wi-Fi – [Link]

WiFi-enabled Color LED Matrix using ESP8266 and WS2812 LEDs

img_20161029_234314-1024x651

ray @ rayshobby.net build a wifi enabled color led matrix using ESP8266. He writes:

Last Thursday I had a lot of fun doing a workshop at my college (UMass Amherst) where I taught students to use a WiFi-enabled Color LED matrix combined with Javascript programs to create animations displayed onto the LED matrix. The matrix is made of 5×7 WS2812 (NeoPixel) LEDs.

WiFi-enabled Color LED Matrix using ESP8266 and WS2812 LEDs – [Link]

$3.6 GPRS GSM Module from Ai Thinker

ShenZhen Ai-thinker CO.,a leading enterprise in the Internet of Things (IoT) industry and the maker of the ESP-12E module, had launched a new killer module: $3.60 GSM GPRS A6 Module!

Providing a chip cheaper than the popular ESP8266 seems to be promising and opens doors for future IoT inventions. This module seems to be a big competitor for SIM900 series module.

This chip is considered the cheapest platform that connects to the internet via GSM/GPRS and at the same time works as a traditional GSM module.

a6-ai-gsm-module-my-electronics-lab

a6-gsm-gprs-ai-thinker-breakout-board-with-antenaThis module is coming in market as a SMT package, like ESP12E, but there are many vendors already making breakout board with antenna out and SIM card slot, for an extra dollar.

Technical Specifications
  • Dimensions 22.8 × 16.8 × 2.5mm;
  • Working temperature -30 Celsius to + 80 Celsius;
  • Working voltage 3.3V-4.2V;
  • Power voltage> 3.4V;
  • Standby average current 3ma less;
  • Support GSM / GPRS four bands, including 850,900,1800,1900MHZ;
  • Support China Mobile and China Unicom’s 2G GSM network worldwide;
  • GPRS Class 10;
  • Sensitivity <-105;
  • SMT 42PIN
  • Support voice calls;
  • Support SMS text messaging; can use SMS to config module
  • Support GPRS data traffic, the maximum data rate, download 85.6Kbps, upload 42.8Kbps;
  • Supports standard GSM07.07,07.05 AT commands and extended commands;
  • Supports two serial ports, one serial port to download an AT command port;
  • AT command supports the standard AT and TCP / IP command interface;
  • Support digital audio and analog audio support HR, FR, EFR, AMR speech coding;
  • Support ROHS, FCC, CE, CTA certification;
  • Support up to 8 channels network connections
  • Low power consumption: standby least is 3mA
  • A6 semi-hole technology, enabling rapid production modules through standard SMT equipment, providing customers with highly reliable connection, especially for automation, large-scale, low-cost modernization of production methods.

It can be used with AT Commands like the commands for other GPRS/GSM modules SIM800/SIM900. Thus, it is possible to use the same libraries

How to use A6 GSM GPRS module:
  1. Connect UART_TXD to RX of the FTDI
  2. Connect UART_RXD to TX of the FTDI
  3. Connect GND to the GND of the FTDI
  4. Connect VCC5.0 To the PWR_KEY pin
  5. Connect a Micro Usb for the power(with any smartphone charger)
  6. After 4-5 second you can remove the connection between VCC5.0 and PWR_Key
A6 GSM GPRS Module Pinout
A6 GSM GPRS Module Pinout

You can use it with the Arduino software, just choose a port and open the serial monitor with 115200 baud. To set up the connection send ”AT”, and if you see “OK” then everything works.

A project using the module, download the software, documents, and codes from here. Also watch a test demo.

The module is said to be the smallest available industrial grade quad-band GSM / GPRS module. You can order A6 module for $3.20 from ElectroDragon store.

Datasheet is only available in Chinese. More details about the A6 – A6c – A7 family can be reached at this document and at the A6 module documentation.

ESP8266 16MB Flash Handling

wifi-serial-transceiver-module

Piers Finlayson shares his adventures in programming the ESP8266 to access 16MB flash:

To put this in context, the original ESP8266 modules (such as the ESP-01) offered 512KB of flash, with the more recent ones (ESP-07) 1MB and then 4MB. The maximum addressable flash memory of the ESP8266 is 16MB according to the datasheet. (The ESP32 offers up to 4 x 16MB of flash.)

I don’t have a particular need for > 4MB flash (otb-iot currently only requires and supports 4MB) but my interest was tweaked in the larger flash chips, so I thought I’d give it a go. I’ve experience of replacing flash chips from older modules to upgrade them from 1MB to 4MB, so figured 16MB would be the same.

ESP8266 16MB Flash Handling – [Link]

ESP8266 GMail sender

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Borya shows us how to send emails using an ESP8266 wifi module.

I will show you how to send emails from any ESP8266 wifi module using Gmail server.

This instructable relies on Arduino core for ESP8266 WiFi chip,

which makes a self-contained microcontroller from it (no need of AT commands and master devices).

ESP8266 GMail sender – [Link]