Lately, we've been putting a lot of effort into making beginner-friendly videos on YouTube for all things DIY Electronics (https://youtube.com/acrobotic). It's been great seeing the channel grow from a handful of viewers to having almost 10,000 subscribers.
And so, after our recent development efforts using the WeMos family of development boards for the ESP8266 (cf. ESPecter and ESPicker), building a simple internet-connected device for displaying statistics related to our channel!
The main goal is to have a dedicated, inexpensive, device that would help us avoid repeatedly checking websites, apps, email, writing scripts, etc., in order to monitor the stats of our YouTube channel.
In terms of what's required, we challenged ourselves to use the minimum number of parts, and require no special tools/skills such as soldering.
As we're not the only tinkerers out there interested in a little desktop companion that displays YouTube stats for any channel, we're documenting the parts list and build instructions on this project page for anyone to use. To make it even easier for those wanting to give the project a try, we'll have a kit available on our site (ACROBOTIC Industries) when we're done with the design.
As with all our projects, the software is free and Open Source!
To build a personal YouTube stats tracker we simply needed two pieces of hardware: an internet-capable microcontroller to gather the data, and a screen to display it, we tried to find the best solution considering ease of use and cost.
Given our main goal of having a device with a small form factor that could sit on our desks, the first choice was to use a 0.96" OLED screen to display the channel stats.
Not only are these displays small (and bright!), but they're very easy to control over i2c merely having to connect 4 wires to our microcontroller or single-board computer: 2 for power and ground, and 2 for the data and clock lines.
ESP8266 microcontroller (SoC)
What can we say about the ESP8266 that hasn't been said about the wheel, sliced bread, or the iPhone... we love it! It's the most convenient, inexpensive way to have a microcontroller running code while connected to a Wi-Fi network.... Read more »