Starting to do smart-home appliances with ESP-Mesh

ESPMesh reduces the loading of smart light devices on the router by forming a mesh with the smart light device.”

I’ve started months ago getting some smart lights for home and I’ve chosen Osram since it was about half the price than Phillips VUE. But the thing with this systems, though they work nice and with very little configuration, is that you need always a “Gateway”. A central point that receives signals and then send via Radio frequency to the lights what they have to do.

The Espressif ESP-Mesh took a different approach: Every device is a network member making a Mesh of interconnected devices. There is no gateway because there is no need for one.

There is also a very important point that is very interesting if you are a maker like me. It’s open source. That means you don’t need to buy a 60€ light to test it, you can just go to the ESP-Mesh github repository and download ESP-Mesh-Light example to compile it in one of your existing ESP32 Boards. Then you can get easily something like this working :

So what I’m working on the free time to take a rest from another pending projects is to take this PWM output and amplify it using a 74HC125 Quad Bus Buffer to power more than one led.

For those interested in reproducing this example:

https://github.com/espressif/esp-mdf/tree/master/examples/development_kit/light

Command lines to execute the compilation are only 2:

make menuconfig
make erase_flash flash

Compile this into your ESP32 and then download Espressif official Android App or if you are using I-phone / I-Pad just search for “ESP-Mesh”
The Mesh devices are configured using Bluetooth so keep in mind to have this enabled on your device. Instead of taking the “WiFi Manager” Approach, using an App, you have the benefit that you can just send the WiFi Credentials plus configuration directly to the ESP32.

Simple IoT image logging using BigIot.net

Since beginning of 2019 I’m participating in a project called “Low cost / low power sleep / WiFi Camera” so I purchased a couple of low cost boards, between them the LilyGO ESP 32 Camera.

ESP32 Lilygo 800×600 pix SVGA Camera. If you need a case, made one here

BigIot.net is an interesting IOT API site

Not only an API but a very interesting infrastructure that is also possible to link BIGIOT with WeChat allowing to “chat” with your device and use it for Smart home or just to check what was the last image uploaded.
In my fork of this ESP32 Camera, since the original looks a bit unmaintained without even an issue board, I added some better display information:

https://github.com/martinberlin/ESP32-Camera BIGIOT_UpdateImage.ino

This example shows how to set up an automatic camera that takes pictures every 20 seconds and sends them like an API Post push to BigIot.
So far so good, it works at first glance. The issue is that BigIOT is all in Chinese and there is no english. So if you consider that a problem then you can stop here. I didn’t because I think the Chinese know hell about this and they are leading the IoT world for a good reason.

So I translated it as I could just to register and get this pieces of information:

#define BIGIOT_API_KEY "KEYHASH" ( 智能设备 Devices -> APIKEY)
#define BIGIOT_DEVICE_ID "INTEGER"
#define BIGIOT_INTERFACE_ID "INTEGER"

BigIOT Registration -> 注册



A

After registering you just have to open the activation Email and you are good to go. Just log in the Admin Panel and try to feel at home. Most important parts are:

智能设备列表 List of your Devices -> Add a “Camera device”

数据接口列表 List of your Inputs -> This is the Interface, so just make an “Upload interface”

And that are the two IDs you need, device ID and interface ID. After that and compiling this, the small camera is going to start pushing pictures to BigIOT and you can just click on the stats on the interface area and start checking the pictures when you are away.

Very good to control for example a 3D printer that you leave at home finishing something. This is the result:

Interface statistics
BigIOT Interface statistics
ADDITIONAL INFO 

https://gitee.com/hejinlv/ESP32/blob/master/ESP32_bigiot_LED/
Here there is a great example on how to Listen to Commands to interact with WeChat