Hello World

A project log for Remote Smoke Detector

Playing with ESP8266 to try and detect cigarette smoke

scott.brustscott.brust 04/08/2017 at 20:380 Comments

Well here is my first post. I want to use this website to organize my thoughts and document my progress and decision making on this product. Before I dive in ill give you some quick background about myself: I've got a CS degree and work as a Firmware Engineer. I'm kind of tired of my day job so I've decided to start working on some projects here to learn a bit more about the things I dont get to do at work.

For the most part, i've not had to get my hands too dirty with hardware so I was a bit worried about not having an EE background going into this but after looking at Arduino and some of the products out there for the hobbiest market im amazed at how easy they make this stuff. Imagination is really the limiting factor these days. Luckily I had an idea to start with, hence this project.

To start, I basically just bought a bunch of stuff off of Adafruit and Sparkfun. I've heard about Arduino for years and after coming from a professional world of baremetal development on other Atmel 8 bit CPUs, its amazing at how much the Arduino IDE does for you. It is a bit frustrating to have so much hidden under the hood, but for its intended purpose (quick, easy programming) it is pretty incredible. I'll stick with it for this project but definitely see myself moving onto other hardware platforms/tool chains/IDEs, etc.

The next component I wanted to figure out was Bluetooth. Again, there are so many off the shelf hobbiest bluetooth modules available. I ended up picking two from Sparkfun that are intended to be serial cable replacements. I'm amazed at how easy they make it and so far they suit my purpose. They unfortunately (fortunately?) hide a lot of the Bluetooth implementation so I havent learned as much as I would like about how BLE works, but ill save that for another day (perhaps migrate to a nordic based solution or something).

The last major part of this project is battery power and low power CPU strategies. I'm not quite at this part yet but this will also be an interesting challenge.

In any case, thanks for reading this far, I hopefully will keep this updated with my progress. Stay tuned.