Reworking the AI Thinker T5 – Part IV.V

The board should now be capable of running a somewhat useful program.  I’ve used the Arduino-ESP8266 core to bang this together, not because I’m an Arduino enthusiast (I’m not …I’ve never owned one, borrowed one or even stolen one), but because I found it the easiest environment to program in, given my cack-handed use of C and preference for the “vi” editor.  It just happens to handle libraries and compile code in a way which is easy to install, use and understand and it fits things into the ESP8266’s overly-complex memory footprint without requiring the user to edit SDK files.  It’s just a pity that the IDE sucks so much. 🙂

Any-hoo (see, I can speak Canadian, too!), this mini project uses the ESP8266 to interrogate the DHT11 sensor for temperature and humidity and then spits those readings out, together with a VCC voltage reading and a unique module ID, to MQTT.  After the MQTT publish is confirmed, the ESP8266 will drop into deep-sleep mode, waking itself up (assuming you remembered to connect GPIO16 to the RESET pin) after 10 minutes to start the whole process over again.

The code contains a ton of Serial.print’s, surrounded by #ifdef DEBUG #endif’s.  So as long as you have “DEBUG” defined to something in user_config.h, you’ll also see all of the data on the serial output, too.

Also in the user_config.h file are a few other settings which you must configure for your specific environment.  They include the SSID and password for your WiFi access point and static IP addresses for the ESP8266, gateway and DNS servers, as well as your MQTT server hostname, port number and topic IDs.  Everything else in that file can be tweaked too, but the items mentioned above are pretty much essential changes to get the ESP into operational mode on your specific network.

The code is available from GitHub:- PuceBaboon/ESP8266-AIT-T5

Do you need a T5 board to use this code?  Heck, no!  You can use just about any of the ESP modules out there, from the ESP-03, ESP-07, ESP-12 through to the WROOM-02.  The ESP-03 (and some of the other, older modules) may give you a bit of trouble when it comes to connecting GPIO16 to RESET, but it is doable.  The original ESP-01 is just about the only module I can’t recommend for this project.  You’ll need a DHT11 (or DHT22) and an LED to replicate the original T5 project, but all in all it’s probably easier going with a new ESP-12 than trying to rework the actual T5 board.

Libraries – The code makes use of the Adafruit DHT library and the “esp-mqtt” library from Ingo Randolf, which is a version of TuanPM’s library modded for the Arduino-ESP environment.  You’ll need to add those to your local, Arduino “libraries” directory to be able to compile the code.

A big “Thank you!” to all of those folks above for making their work available to the ESP community.

In the next instalment, we’ll do a simple update to convert one of the switches to a “program” switch (hold it down while powering on to put the ESP into programming mode) instead of having to fiddle with that jumper every time.



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