I just recently discovered the ESP8266 family of modules. This project will follow my learning experiences and implementation.
Well I've been working on this project for a while, but it seems to be almost done. PCB is working, Enclosure is designed and printed. Everything is up and running: https://hackaday.io/project/10614-laundresp
Onto another ESP8266 project, I just haven't decided what that is yet
Here's my project page for my laundry notification sensor: https://hackaday.io/project/10614-laundresp
It was a lot of fun to make. I'm currently trying to learn how to use Eagle so I can design a very simple PCB that will accept a micro USB, convert 5v to 3V, and include a couple traces for the LDR.
I plan to get a small board made, and make this a more permanent fixture on the washing machine.
I did all my initial testing with the NodeMCU boards and decided to try and program the chips themselves without dev boards. Although the boards are retired, Baoshi was kind enough to send me a few pcb's and smd components to build this myself: https://www.tindie.com/products/Ba0sh1/esp8266-esp-0712-full-io-breadboard-adapter/
I haven't ever worked with SMD components and I hand soldered 2 Baoshi breadboard adapters. Once I built the board adapters I wanted to start programming.
I had two FTDI adapter's from china and they both provided different results, and neither of them would successfully allow me to program my esp-12e's in arduino ide. I thought maybe my first-go at soldering the smd components had failed. I thought I would spend some extra money and get a better USB adapter.
I ended up purchasing this off tindie, https://www.tindie.com/products/ddebeer/usb-to-serial-uart-5v-or-33v-695-/, and it worked with my Baoshi adapter boards and a regular esp-12e with breadboard adapter (the white one commonly seen on eBay).
I lost a bit of time but I'm moving ahead again. I'll be starting my laundry notification setup shortly :)
With my eventual goal, once some more parts arrive, to use the ESP8266 to send me notifications when my washing machine is uneven or finished I wanted to be able to have a sensor get triggered and send me an email. I figured I have a PIR motion sensor in stock so why not use that!
I was able to piece together some codes from different example sketches and get the ESP8266 to send an email notifying me that the motion detector was triggered. It took a few iterations. During attempt 1, once the esp8266 was on it just sent emails non-stop. That was really annoying.
After testing my HC-SR501 PIR Motion Sensor and figuring out the proper GPIO pins I finally got it to work properly. I will post the example sketch later. For now the sensor sends an email alert saying it detected motion. I think this would work well for my communal mailbox out in the street. There's no way to tell if there's mail unless you walk out and check. I would love to hook up a battery and set it in the mailbox but I will have to make the sure mail person doesn't plan on stealing it :)
I've received two NodeMcu Lua WIFI Dev Boards to start playing around. To date I was able to get some Blynk code working with the built in LED's. I followed up by setting up a DHT22 sensor and building a small webserver on the esp8266, it stayed connected and reported temp/humidity on my LAN for 3 days straight before I re-programmed it. I've had fun troubleshooting the code and programming the modules, and I use that term loosely for now as programming for me is in it's infancy, it's more combining different sources of code from google searches and trying to make them work and compile in Arduino IDE haha.
Two nights ago I got the module to send emails using smtp, and last night I finally was able to combine the sending the temp and humidity in an email. That's exciting for me as it involves setting up WiFi, setting up the sensor, getting the temp and humidity and placing it in the body of an email, and sending the email. I haven't automated the process yet, that's my next step, it is manual right now by typing "e" in the serial monitor to send an email. I haven't found how to send emails in intervals or when certain events happen. Those are my next two goals.
Eventually, my first live sensor project will a laundry notification system. Our laundry machines are in the basement and the washing machine will turn off halfway through the cycle if it's uneven. We don't often hear the chime and by the time we check the laundry smells and needs to be re-washed. So I will build a sensor that reports to us when the washing machine stops running.
I have a few options:
1) using vibration or movement with an accelerometer
2) current sensors
3) using a photo resistor and some LED's on the washing machine.
I think the laundry locked LED will be my best bet since it unlock's when it's uneven or finished. I want to use an email notification to tell us it's done.