Global Cache Wireless Emulator (ESP8266)

Use an ESP8266 for wireless I/R, sensors, and relay control. Emulate Global Cache protocol for compatibility with existing products.

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This is an introductory project to the ESP8266. Adding some small bits of hardware and programming creates a wireless bridge to infrared-controlled devices. I wanted to emulate the Global Cache protocol since I have an ITach Wifi2IR and other software (Homeseer) that understands its protocol. Some simple GPIO hardware and coding allows discovery and device control over udp/tcp/http for infrared, closure sensing, and relays.

The ESP8266 also has plenty of power to add new capabilities like distributed control, sensing, communication and scheduling for many kinds of mancave automation.

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  • Trying Arducam Mini!

    flynnwt06/04/2016 at 14:49 1 comment

    I was playing with an Arducam ESP8266 UNO board ( with 2MP and 5MP modules and since I now had an extra camera module, I built an ESP8266 board to use one of them. I even went crazy and used SMD resistors, which actually were easy to solder (once you found them after dropping and got them where they needed to be). I'm using a ~6.2V power supply and 3.3V/5V 1117 boards.

    This board has status leds on G0 and G2 and uses the same GPIO as the Arducam board for the camera header on the back side. I also added a 3-pin header for a PIR device, which is connected to A0 (with 10K/4.7K divider).

    Somehow the wiring is correct first time and the camera is capturing! I'm using the Arducam library and 2MP example right now (modified to use smaller buffer size to avoid TCP data loss).

    I still need to try the PIR device to verify analog read is working. I may add a new camera connector type to this library to handle this setup, and allow stuff like capture-to-file, PIR-triggers-capture, etc.

    Family portrait (relay bro and serial sis) captured by this guy...

  • Infrared Blasters/Connectors

    flynnwt06/04/2016 at 14:17 0 comments

    I built a couple versions of the infrared devices. I need to finish packaging this version using the top from one of the old X10 powermids. This one has a blaster and two IR connectors.

    I also added some useful stuff to the software like TCP logging (connect to port 23 with PuTTY, etc. instead of needing physical connection to the UART).

    I still haven't done a tremendous amount of IR device testing, but I use one daily to control Panasonic and Yamaha devices over http (browser bookmarks). I would still like to scope the infrared output to find the best component values. I may try to get IR learning working at some point; I did have it working with an Arduino, but it's not too useful anymore except for really oddball devices.

  • Serial Version

    flynnwt06/04/2016 at 13:47 0 comments

    I built a serial test setup to add the code to handle tcp and http serial control, using a cheap serial board (®-MAX232CSE-Transfer-Converter-Module/dp/B00EJ9NAKA). I haven't hooked it to an actual device yet (don't have many left with serial ports, except for a TI103 X10 interface which is still working well and will eventually be switched from Homeseer to this device). It appears to working fine when connected to a USB-Serial COM port.

  • 2-Relay Version

    flynnwt06/04/2016 at 13:16 0 comments

    I built a 2-Relay version using one of the cheap relay shields (®-Channel-Shield-Arduino-Raspberry/dp/B00QGUFVWU) and an RGB LED. I wanted to power it with 12V so the same supply could also be used for motorized ball valves for house water control. To get reliable operation, I needed to use two of the little 1117 5V boards, one for a nodemcu board and one for the relays. I also needed a power resistor to drop the supply voltage to the regulators. A 12 ohm 5 watt resistor is giving 10.8V to the boards with both relays off and 9.4V with both relays on. Might be able to use a single regulator board with a bigger resistor to lower the voltage even more, but I haven't tried.

  • The Start

    flynnwt11/02/2015 at 01:47 0 comments

    Started with my only ESP-01. With limited I/Os, just did a single IR blaster. But it does successfully appear as a GC Wifi2IR, plus adds http IR commands.

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Double Aught wrote 04/20/2016 at 05:37 point

Thanks for that. I'll have a tinker around with it and let you know how I go.

  Are you sure? yes | no

flynnwt wrote 04/11/2016 at 23:08 point

I finally got back to this project and have finished converting to SPIFFS and doing web stuff, etc.  I put the github link on the project page.  It's been running on an ESP12 (AIThinker board) and an ESP-01.  Still more stuff to do but it is fairly complete now.

  Are you sure? yes | no

flynnwt wrote 12/16/2015 at 14:36 point

Sure, I will try to post the relevant code.  I went off starting to convert everything to libraries since a lot of code is usable across projects, and SPIFFS is working now so I need to re-do the webpage and persistent config stuff.  But the GC piece is already split out and shouldn't have many dependencies.  I will take a look...

  Are you sure? yes | no

Double Aught wrote 12/15/2015 at 01:01 point

Any chance you could post some of your code? I'm interested in emulating some GC iTach flex units.

  Are you sure? yes | no

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