Live Wire - ESP8266+Envi

Add remote monitoring and cloud data storage to a Current Cost Envi Energy Monitor.

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Hotrod a Current Cost Envi with an ESP8266 and post energy usage and climate details to cloud services like thingspeak and firebase, process and serve data locally, and create custom notifications.

Since the Envi outputs serial ASCII data in XML format, it is easy to add an ESP8266 to its output port. It should also be possible to use a HopeRF transceiver module directly with an ESP8266 to emulate Current Cost transmitters and receivers.

Another useful addition is a voltage monitor circuit.

  • 1 × ESP-13 Espressif Wireless
  • 1 × RJ45 Plug
  • 1 × 5V/ 500+ mA Wallwart Power Supply
  • 1 × AMS1117 3.3V Module Power Regulator
  • 1 × LED chicks dig 'em

  • 1
    Step 1

    The ESP8266 can be powered with its own supply, or from the Envi output connector. My Envi power supply is only rated at 3V/100mA, which is not enough to supply the ESP8266. I used an old 5V /800mA phone charger, an AMS1117 3.3V module, and the original plug to make a new power supply.

  • 2
    Step 2

    The RJ45 connector uses pins 1 (3.3), 4(Gnd), 7(Tx) to interface to the ESP8266. If the ESP is powered separately, just 4 and 7 are needed. Pin 6 is (probably) Rx, but it seems to have no use during operating mode.

  • 3
    Step 3

    I got 5 bare ESP-13s for under $20 so it was time to man up and try some soldering tricks. They have 1.5mm castellated (partial hole) pins, but I was surprised that they were not that hard to solder. I used a 1/64" tip and pre-soldered the bottom of the pads. I then used 3-4" pieces of AWG30 (wirewrap) wire bent at 90 degrees at the end and soldered to the edge of the pins using the existing solder. Even with lots of playing around with the chip and board I never had a wire come loose. I did hot-glue the chip upside down early on to keep it in place.

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flynnwt wrote 05/14/2016 at 13:02 point

I added this (OLD!) code to github.  It is still running since last Fall but is missing niceties like SPIFFS for configuration and static file serving.   At some point, I may add that and change the Envi data parsing to handle multiple consecutive messages.

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