The many comments left after my latest video on this device left me in no doubt that to make it useful we need to reprogram the ESP8266.
It was only when I discovered how overly complex it was to get this device going that I resorted to the rather “faffy” solution in my video (just to prove it would all work!). No more faffing this time, though.
So how easy is it to reprogram this ESP8266 and still get it to do what we want, exactly, Ralph, I hear you ask? As it turns out, pretty easy, certainly something a beginner can do with a bit of guidance.
I’m reprogramming the ESP8266-01 so that the (currently unused, yes, really) GPIO-0 and GPIO-02 pins will be used in the usual way to drive the onboard J3Y transistor that then opens or closes the relay. Even more fortunate is that there are a couple of unused pads on this board which we can use, almost as though the manufacturers expected me to do all this!
So, expect a follow-up video in a few weeks that describes the steps required. That gives you enough time to purchase one (or more, they are really cheap, see the video) and at the same time make sure you have an FTDI or CH340G USB-to-Serial converter, as we’ll need this to program the ESP8266. We’ll avoid going down the route followed by some others of using an Arduino to do this, there’s really no need!
When this project is finally finished I expect to be able to use the manufacturer’s original phone app (for Android) and be able to turn the relay on and off without any further faffing about! Stay tuned!
By the way, as you’re here, if you haven’t subscribed to this blog (or my YouTube channel) I invite you to do both now – that way you keep up to date with my latest Arduino (and similar) µcontroller experiments, and I can gauge how this (new) blog is doing. Constructive comments, suggestions and praise always welcome.