…but for NETMF!
I love those little ESP12 modules. I’ve been busy with then lately to replace a number of my old and ageing Zwave HomeControl modules that have started to become troublesome and don’t work too well with Node-red at present. So I decided to re-engineer them based on some work by a friend and using his HomeControl 2016 software I am moving everything over to WiFi based. Far more reliable and fast. The best part is that everything is internal to the house and no need for anything like IFTTT etc to make things work. All my Wemo Lamp modules also work with Node-Red.
I use VS2015 with vMicro to programme them for those units I need custom versions for (My AC control for example is custom and so is my weather station) They all talk MQTT which is just so easy to use with no need to poll devices for status etc.
It also works with NETMF where I have an oven controller with a G120 and a 5" LCD. I am adding WiFi to it to be able to control this by voice from my Amazon Echo. Soon I will be able to put a chicken in the oven and say, “Alexa, turn on oven to cook chicken” or “Alexa turn on oven preheat for 180 degrees”.
@ Dave McLaughlin - tell me more about what’s in those pictures, please. What I’ve been wanting to make is an ESP8266 (or ESP32 in the near future…) based relay controller that can go into a wall switch/outlet box. Yes, there are some of these available now but what I also want is current sensing so they can tell me how much energy the device is using. I need version for 110V (20A) & 220V (30A). I’m thinking you may be working on something like this.
@ Dave McLaughlin - Dave those look pretty cool. How is the chicken?
So are they battery operated? If isn’t wifi a energy hog compared to some of the other radio tech (rfm95 etc) ?
@ Dave McLaughlin - Really nifty. It tells me I need to be a lot less timid about spinning up prototype pcbs (not that I have your mad skills at ecad) … and that I need to stock a LOT more generic parts. Wife is not going to be happy about that.
Don’t do it! It won’t be long before you can’t get anything done because all the spare parts are taking up every corner of your office.
@ ianlee74 - Corners? Who said I still have corners? My office is the one place that is allowed to be in disarray, but only so long as the door still closes ;D Out of sight, out of trouble.
Agreed. Except my addiction has reached a point where I can no longer push stuff back far enough to have room to start the next project Time for a yard sale…
In the pictures you see 2 different modules. The square PCB’s fit into the original Home Control housing and same size PCB’s. It is 2 stacking boards with the ESP12 on the top board. The lower board has the power supply and the relay. This one is rated for 10A. You need to consider creepage when you design with mains inputs on the same board as low voltage. Because the relay coil is 5V and close to the high voltage contact pin, I have the PCB slotted around that area and this increases the creepage and lessens the chance of moisture bridging at the same time.
Yes, energy monitoring is something I am considering for the next run.Right now I have a separate power monitor on the main fuse panel.
This one works on 86 to 264V input so will be fine for 110V and 220V
For your 20A and 30A capability you will need a decent relay or possibly a solid state one. That’s a lot of power to switch and probably best done with a zero crossing solid state relay. To switch my oven on and off I will use an external solid state relay in a small metal enclosure to help dissipate the heat.
The chicken is fine and tasty but still manual process until I complete the new software.
They are powered by the mains that they are plugged into. The attached show the lamp module I am using. I simply replace the electronics with a more reliable version. So far the one on test in the kitchen works faultlessly. I have a movement sensor that triggers the lamp on and off when you enter the room. Because there is no windows in there, you need the light at all times of the day.
On the test bench with the relay off it sits are around 25mA at 5V so only 0.125W in standby. When it transmits over the WiFi, the router is in the same room, power is about 70mA so only 0.35W so not what I would consider very high. If I had 100 units in the house it’s still only 350W so the same as having 3-4 of the the old style 100W bulbs in your house on all the time. With these you can put power hogging devices to sleep at night by powering them off altogether. I plan to power off the TV and the DVD player etc so they are no longer using standby power. The savings from this will alone negate the power drawn by these little devices which will be always on.
Sure there are other radio technologies with lower power but WiFi is so easy to integrate without writing any code as such.
Not too hard to do this but be careful with mains inputs to the PCB’s. Pay attention to creepage distances and slot the boards as need but above all, have fun with it.
PS… Do what I do and sneak them into the house and just tell her that you have had them for ages in one of the boxes at the back of the room.
So, when’s that going to be so I can buy/make some?
Thanks for the info. I’m motivated to get started with my home automation project.
Not until this lot is completed and working.
By the way, I will be posting the design files for this on my blog soon so once it’s up, I will link it here for you.
The switch housing arrived from Itead Studio this morning. I used their 3D printing service and the quality is beautiful. The outer surface is super smooth. Price for the body and the 2 switch rockers was just under $30. I will make some minor changes to this and then get more of them made. They look and work well with the Enocean modules. Pops over the top of the existing switches with some sticky pads so easy to remove when if I leave this place and easy to use again.
The switch housing arrived from Itead Studio this morning. I used their 3D printing service and the quality is beautiful.
Agreed! Very nice.