Category Archives: Featured

Controlling relay switches with an infrared remote

Controlling multiple relay switches using an IR remote

The infrared (IR) communication technology, which existed long before WiFi and Bluetooth, is still a key component in implementing major components of a typical home automation system. For example, IR technology is still used in cordless headphones, for intrusion detection in home security systems, and in handheld remotes for controlling home entertainment systems (TV, DVD, soundbox, etc), air-conditioning units, and other household appliances. Because IR technology requires a line-of-sight between the transmitter and receiver units, it can only be used for connecting devices in short range, like in a same room. In one of my previous articles, I wrote about a simple IR

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How to post data to Google sheets using ESP8266

Soil Moisture to Google Sheets

In the past couple years, the ESP8266 platform has flourished dramatically and emerged as one of the most popular hardware tools among electronics hobbyists and IoT enthusiasts. Packed with a 32-bit RISC CPU running at 80 MHz, a fully integrated WiFi radio with TCP/IP protocol stack, serial peripherals (I2C, SPI, and UART), an ADC channel, and general purpose I/O pins, the ESP8266 is the most integrated and affordable WiFi solution available in the current IoT market space. An ESP8266 hardware, like NodeMCU and ESP-01, can directly interface with sensors using its peripherals and upload the sensor measurements to a local

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Making an Ultrasonic Anemometer


An anemometer is a common instrument at a weather station. It is used to measure the wind speed and wind direction. The most common type of anemometer uses mechanical sensors consisting of three or four hemispherical cups mounted on horizontal arms on a vertical rod. As the wind blows, the cups are pushed causing the arms to rotate at a rate proportional to the wind speed. In addition, a wind vane connected to the anemometer can give the direction measurements. While the cup and vane anemometers are very popular due to their very simple design, they can be susceptible under cold and humid conditions

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Making a simple weather web server using ESP8266 and BME280

Weather web server using ESP8266 and BME280 environmental sensor

Since its launch in 2014, ESP8266 has revolutionized the IoT space by offering an extremely cost-effective and programmable WiFi-enabled microcontroller to hobbyists and professionals, thereby opening the doors to all kinds of everyday objects and sensors to the internet. In addition, with it’s built-in WiFi capability, the ESP8266 can also serve as a standalone web server on a local network, and can respond to the http GET commands received from an internet browser. This project illustrates how to construct a simple standalone weather web server utilizing NodeMCU development board for ESP8266 and Bosch’s BME280 environmental sensor chip. On receiving the web requests, the ESP8266

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ChipKIT Project 6: BME280 Weather Station

BME280 weather station

BME280 is a fully integrated environmental unit from Bosch that combines sensors for pressure, humidity, and temperature in a tiny 8-pin metal-lid LGA package of size 2.5 x 2.5 x 0.93 mm³. Because of its compact size, ease of use (BME280 supports standard I2C and SPI interfaces), and availability of supporting open-source Arduino libraries, BME280 is very popular among weather enthusiasts. This project describes how to read barometric pressure, relative humidity, and temperature measurements from BME280 using chipKIT Uno32 to make a standalone weather station. The sensor readings are acquired over an I2C bus and are displayed on a Nokia 5110 LCD display.

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