Manual (EN)

Necessities

This workshop requires the following components: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next to the components that are given above, the following more basic tools and parts are required:

  • Computer: I cannot garantee that this assigment can be fulfilled with a Macbook.
  • Micro USB cable (data+power). 

Assignment 1: HELLO WORLD!

In this assignment we are going to blink an LED with a minicomputer. After programming, the minicomputer will put power on one of the pins named D0 for 1 second. Thereafter the power will not flow for one second. The end result is a flashing LED.

This assignment is done to investigate whether it is possible to put a piece of code on the minicomputer. In addition, we will learn the layout of a minicomputer and learn how to work with the polarity of a LED.

Part A: Hardware

Use the available components to make the a circuit as given in the illustration below. Make sure that the current flows from the pin D0 on the minicomputer, through the LED, to the pin that is named GND (Ground). Do not forget: The polarity of the red LED (long leg is +, short leg is -)

 

 

 

Part B: Software

In this step we will program the minicomputer with the help of a computer. In order to program the minicomputer we will use the software ‘Arduino IDE’ on the computer. With the help of this software we will place some lines of code on the minicomputer with the help of a micro USB cable.

Step 1: Open software Arduino IDE

  • Click on the desktop on the icon ‘Arduino’ and enlarge the window. You will see the following screen:

After opening, the user will see a screen that can be used to type some lines of code. Beneath the text (function) ‘void setup’ the user can write that code that is necessary for the minicomputer to start up activities. The minicomputer will go through this code once. After the text (function) ‘void loop’ some lines of code can be written that will be endlessly repeated by the minicomputer.

Step 2: Open the example code (Blink)

Instead of writing the code ourselves we can use some prewritten code that is embedded in  the software. The software consist of several examples that can easily be adjusted.

  • Open the code ‘Blink’ by clicking on ‘file’ >> ‘Examples’ >> ‘01.Basics’ >> ‘Blink’

Step 3: Preparations before uploading the code

Before the code can be written on the mini-computer, we must tell the software first which type of mini-computer is used and which USB port of the computer can be used.

  • Select the minicomputer: Hulpmiddelen >> Board >> SCROLL in the list by clicking on the arrow to NodeMCU 1.0 (ESP-12 E)

Now that the right minicomputer is selected, we can indicate whichUSB port is connected to the minicomputer.

  • Connect the minicomputer to the computer by using a micro-USB cable. To do so, plug the small side of the cable into the USB port of the minicomputer. Plug the big side of the cable into the computer.
  • Select the USB port from the list. Tools >> Port: >> COM4 (or any other available port)

 

Step 4: Upload the code on the minicomputer

  • Upload de code by clicking on the green arrow in the top of the screen.
  • Check the progress in the green bar AND wait until the code is 100% uploaded.

No success?

  1. Switch to another USB port if available (step 3C) and try uploading again.
  2. Place the USB cable in annother port of the computer.
  3. Ask for help.

Did you like Assignment 1?

 

Assignment 2: IOT Weather station

Now that we manage to put a simple piece of code on the mini-computer, we will connect a temperature and humidity sensor in this assignment. We will program the minicomputer so that the data obtained with this sensor is sent via WiFi to a website. We are then able to view the temperature and humidity anywhere in the world!

Part A: Hardware

Use the available components to make the a circuit as given in the illustration below. Make sure to disconnect the parts you used in Assignment 1 first.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part B: Online Setup

In this part you will learn how to transfer the temperature and humidity data collected by the weather station to an online platform named Thingspeak >> www.thingspeak.com

Step 1: Log in on Thingspeak.com

 Please make an account and log in.

Multiple channels can be created on this account. Each minicomputer can send data to one of these channels.

  1. Create a new channel
  2. Provide a Name, Discription and additional information under the tab ‘Channel Settings’.
  3. Fill in ‘Temperature’ in field 1 and ‘Humidity’ in field 2.

 

Step 4: API Keys

Select one or make on channel. Copy the API key (a fancy word for password) from this channel. The website requires that minicomputers send this key together with the data. By doing so the website recognizes the user and can limit the amount of entries.

  • Copy the key that can be found in the tab ‘API Keys’ and go further with Part C

 

Part C: Software

In this part of the assignment we will transfer the code from the computer to the minicomputer.

Step 1: Open the code

  • Click on ‘ Bestand’ (‘file’) and thereafter on ‘Open…’
  • Select the .ino file named ‘IOT weather station sketch’ which is place inside the folder with the similar named folder: ‘IOT weather station sketch’.

Step 2:  Adjust the code

  • Adjust the following lines of code:
    • API Key: copy the API key from Part B, Step 4. Leave the quotation marks.
    • SSID: The name of the WIFI hotspot of your mobile phone
    • Password: The password of the WIFI hotspot on your mobile phone

Attention! Do not make typos. Be aware of capitals in your hotspot name and password!

Step 3: Upload the code on the minicomputer

  • Upload de code by clicking on the green arrow in the top of the screen.
  • Check the progress in the green bar AND wait until the code is 100% uploaded.

Step 4: Open Serial Monitor

When the minicomputer is connected by USB to the computer it is possible to analyse which data is sent to Thingspeak. We will use the so called ‘serial monitor’ to do this. A serial monitor is often used to debug code.

  • Check if the temperature and humidity show up in the serial monitor. To open the serial monitor click on ‘Hulpmiddelen’ >> ‘Seriële monitor or use the hotkey ‘Ctrl+M’

The following image provide the temperature and humidity readings in the serial monitor. As one can see: the minicomputer can make connection with the WIFI hotspot and sends data to thingspeak. 

  • Go back to the webpage Thingspeak and click on the tab ‘Private View’. If everything is working correctly you should see the data appear in a graph.

Step 5: Test the sensor

This is the fun part: Take the sensor in your fist and see what this does with the humidity readings. The sensor needs at least three reading before is shows the actual temperature and humidity.

Who of you has the most sweating hands!?

Did you like Assignment 2?

Did you like this DO workshop/tutorial?

Did you like the level of difficulty?

go back to the top