Using the 4 pins of the ESP8266-01

esp8266_henhouseThe limited number (4) of GPIO pins on the ESP8266-01 may seem like an obstacle, for any serious application.

Yet if one uses the pins in a smart way it is very well possible to do a lot with only those 4 pins.
In some of my recent postings, I have shown the use of a DHT11 a DS18B20, an OLED, an RTC and a BMP180 with the ESP8266-01.
In this posting I set out to use 4 sensors and a display, while also uploading the acquired data to Thingspeak. It actually is expanding on a project of monitoring the atmosphere in and around my chicken coop. Yes, you could call this a weatherstation, but it is just to illustrate the use of the 4 pins, you could easily make something else this way

I will be using 2 pins for I2C (BMP180 and OLED)
1 pin for 2 DS18B20 sensors via the OneWire protocol
1 pin for the DHT11
Although the ESP8266-01 now has all its pins used, I can still add more sensors (or actuators) through the OneWire protocol and/or via the I2C protocol.

So, what do we need:
BOM

  • ESP8266-01
  • 2x DS18B20
  • 1x DHT11
  • 1x BMP180
  • OLED (optional)

and ofcourse a breadboard, a 3.3 V PSU and some breadboard wires and a Thingspeak acount

Just some remarks regarding the BOM:

  • ESP8266-01
    Obviously the project is about utilizing the limited pins of the ESP8266-01, but if you still need to buy one, you could consider an ESP8266-12 that has more pins
  • DHT11
    A cheap all purpose humidity and temperature sensor. It is not hugely accurate but it will do. If you still need to buy one, you could opt for the DHT22 that is supposedly more accurate, but you could also opt for the AM2321. That is a sort of DHT22 that is suitable for I2C, thus freeing another pin
  • BMP180
    measures temperature and Airpressure. It is the successor of the BMP085, but it also now has some successors itself. There is the (cheaper) BMP280, but you could also opt for the BME280 that measures temperature, airpresure AND humidity. That way you can save on the DHT/AMS sensor
  • OLED
    I just used that so I quickly could see whether the sensors were read, but you could just as well check it on Thingspeak. The OLED is too small anyway to print all the read values

The circuit

weerstationThe 4 pins of the ESP8266 are not indicated as such on the PCB, and most images only clearly state GPIO0 and GPIO2.
However the ESP826-01 has a a GPIO1 pin (the Tx pin) and a GPIO3 pin (the Rx pin).
i will be using those pins as follows

  • GPIO0 -> SDA pin of the I2C port
  • GPIO1 ->DHT11
  • GPIO2-> SCL pin of the I2C port
  • GPIO3-> OneWire Bus

As my I2C modules already have pull up resistors, I will not add any I2C pullup resistors there. The DS18B20 still needs a pull up resistor for which I used a 4k7, but it is really not that critical, a 10k is also good. The DHT11 supposedly also needs a pull-up resistor but I found it to work without one as well. adding a 4k7 resistor didnt change any of the readings, so I left it out. Many of the 3 pin DHT11 modules, already have a 10 k soldered onto the module.

I just realized that I didnt draw the connections for the OLED. That is because I only hooked it up for a quick check, but should you want to add it, it is just a matter of connecting SDA to SDA and SCL to SCL… and ofcourse the ground and Vcc pins to their counterparts

The program is quite straightforward. First it sets up the libraries and the sensors.
It attaches the DHT11 to pin 1 (Tx) and the OnWire bus for the DS18B20 to pin 3 (Rx). In order to use more than 1 DS18B20 sensor on the OneWire bus, you need to know their ‘unique adress’. If you do not have that then you need a program to read those addresses. Do that on an arduino for ease.

In the program you still have to provide your WiFi credentials as well as the write API for your Thingspeak Channel

 

/*
   Field 1 temp roost (DHT11)
   Field 2 humidity roost (DHT11)
   field 3 Coop temperature (DS18B20)
   field 4 soil temperature (DS18B20)
   field 5 Airpressure (bmp180)
   field 6 Outside temperature (bmp180)
 * */
#include <DHT.h>
#include  <OneWire.h>//  http://www.pjrc.com/teensy/td_libs_OneWire.html
#include <DallasTemperature.h> //   http://milesburton.com/Main_Page?title=Dallas_Tem...
#include <Adafruit_BMP085.h>
#include <ESP8266WiFi.h>
#include "SSD1306.h"
SSD1306  display(0x3c, 0, 2);

#define DHTPIN 1  //GPIO1 (Tx)
#define DHTTYPE  DHT11
#define ONE_WIRE_BUS 3 // GPIO3=Rx

const char* ssid     = "YourSSID";
const char* password = "YourPassword";
const char* host = "api.thingspeak.com";
const char* writeAPIKey = "W367812985"; //use YOUR writeApi

//DHT11 stuff
float temperature_buiten;
float temperature_buiten2;
DHT dht(DHTPIN, DHTTYPE, 15);

//DS18b20 stuff
OneWire oneWire(ONE_WIRE_BUS); //oneWire instance to communicate with any OneWire devices
DallasTemperature sensors(&oneWire);// Pass address of our oneWire instance to Dallas Temperature.
DeviceAddress Probe01 = { 0x28, 0x0F, 0x2A, 0x28, 0x00, 0x00, 0x80, 0x9F};
DeviceAddress Probe02 = { 0x28, 0x10, 0xA4, 0x57, 0x04, 0x00, 0x00, 0xA9};

// bmp180 stuff
Adafruit_BMP085 bmp;

void setup() {
  //I2C stuff
  Wire.pins(0, 2);
  Wire.begin(0, 2);
  // Initialize sensors
  //dht 11 stuff
  dht.begin();
  //ds18b20 stuff
  sensors.begin();//ds18b20
  // set the resolution to 10 bit (Can be 9 to 12 bits .. lower is faster)
  sensors.setResolution(Probe01, 10);
  sensors.setResolution(Probe02, 10);
  //bmp180 stuff
  if (!bmp.begin()) {
    //   Serial.println("No BMP180 / BMP085");
    //   while (1) {}
  }

  //OLED stuff
  display.init();
  display.flipScreenVertically();
  display.setFont(ArialMT_Plain_10);
  delay(1000);

  //  Connect to WiFi network
  WiFi.begin(ssid, password);
  while (WiFi.status() != WL_CONNECTED) {
    delay(500);
  }
}

void loop() {
  //ds18b20stuff-------------------
  sensors.requestTemperatures(); // Send the command to get temperatures
  temperature_buiten = sensors.getTempC(Probe01);//
  temperature_buiten2 = sensors.getTempC(Probe02);//
  //dht11 stuff--------------------
  float humidity = dht.readHumidity();
  float temperature = dht.readTemperature();
  if (isnan(humidity) || isnan(temperature)) {
    return;
  }
  //bmp stuff-------------------------
    String t= String(bmp.readTemperature());
    String p=String(bmp.readPressure());
  //OLED stuff--------------------------
  display.clear();
  display.drawString(0,10,p);//bmp pressure
  display.drawString(0,24,String(temperature_buiten));//ds18b20
  display.drawString(0,38,String(humidity));//dht11
  display.display();

  // make TCP connections
  WiFiClient client;
  const int httpPort = 80;
  if (!client.connect(host, httpPort)) {
    return;
  }

  String url = "/update?key=";
  url += writeAPIKey;
  url += "&field1=";
  url += String(temperature);// roost (DHT1)
  url += "&field2=";
  url += String(humidity);// roost (DHT11)
  url += "&field3=";
  url += String(temperature_buiten);//coop temperature (DS18B20 nr 1)
  url += "&field4=";
  url += String(temperature_buiten2); //soil temperature (DS18B29 nr 2)
  url +="&field5=";
  url +=String(bmp.readTemperature());//Outside temperature (BMP180)
  url +="&field6=";
  url +=String(bmp.readPressure());// Airpressure (BMP180)
  url += "\r\n";

  // Send request to the server
  client.print(String("GET ") + url + " HTTP/1.1\r\n" +
               "Host: " + host + "\r\n" +
               "Connection: close\r\n\r\n");

  delay(1000);

}

Currently this program only monitors, but what is to stop you from adding a BH1750 I2C light sensor to measure if it is evening or morning or an RTC to know the time of day and to open and close the door of the coop automatically with aid of a PCF8574 I2C I/O expansion card, or as it is already in the garden, add a PCF8591 or ADS1115 AD converter to measure soil humidity and activate a pump when necessary. Or maybe switching on the water basin heater when the temperature falls below zero
if there is an I2 C chip for it, the ESP8266 can probably use it.

NOTE: the Adafruit DHT library contains an error that may show up in bigger programs on an 8266. If the majority of readings result in “failed to read”, it is time to comment out two erroneous lines in the DHT.cpp file as in the picture below:
adafruiterror

Note: The Rx and Tx pins sometimes can be a bit unruly when used as GPIO. If you want to use them e.g. as an output, you may want to check here.

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Adding an RTC and OLED to ESP8266-01

dsc_0024Adding an RTC and OLED to ESP8266-01 is fairly easy with I2C. The ESP8266-01 has 4 I/O pins that can be used forĀ  I2C. using the GPIO0 and GPIO2 for sda resp scl is more or less standard.

esp8266-rtcoledI presume you do know how to program the ESP8266. In short: Connect Tx<->Rx (meaning the Tx of your ESP to the Rx of your USB-TTL converter)
Connect Rx<->Tx Connect CH_PD<->Vcc Connect GPIO0 <->Grnd
As both modules already had pull up resistors, I didnt need to add those. If your modules do not, add 4k7 resistors as pull up on the SDA and SCL lines.

/* ************************************
 Read the time from RTC and display on OLED
 with an ESP8266<br> sda=0, scl=2
* *************************************/

// Libraries
#include <Wire.h>
#include "SSD1306.h" // alias for `#include "SSD1306Wire.h"`
#include "RTClib.h" //  Lady Ada
//Object declarations
RTC_DS1307 rtc;            // RTC
SSD1306  display(0x3c, 0, 2);//0x3C being the usual address of the OLED

//Month and Day Arrays. Put in Language of your choice, omitt the 'day' part of the weekdays
char *maand[] =
{
  "Januari", "Februari", "Maart", "April", "Mei", "Juni", "Juli", "Augustus", "September", "Oktober", "November", "December"
};
char *dagen[] = {"Zon", "Maan", "Dins", "Woens", "Donder", "Vrij", "Zater" };


// date and time variables
byte m = 0;    // contains the minutes, refreshed each loop
byte h = 0;    // contains the hours, refreshed each loop
byte s = 0;    // contains the seconds, refreshed each loop
byte mo = 0;   // contains the month, refreshes each loop
int j = 0;     // contains the year, refreshed each loop
byte d = 0;    // contains the day (1-31)
byte dag = 0;  // contains day of week (0-6)

void setup() {
  Wire.pins(0, 2);// yes, see text
  Wire.begin(0,2);// 0=sda, 2=scl
  rtc.begin();

// reading of time here only necessary if you want to use it in setup
  DateTime now = rtc.now();
  dag = now.dayOfTheWeek();
  j = now.year();
  mo = now.month();
  d = now.day();
  h = now.hour();
  m = now.minute();
  s = now.second();
  DateTime compiled = DateTime(__DATE__, __TIME__);
  if (now.unixtime() < compiled.unixtime())
  {
    Serial.print(F("Current Unix time"));
    Serial.println(now.unixtime());
    Serial.print(F("Compiled Unix time"));
    Serial.println(compiled.unixtime());
    Serial.println("RTC is older than compile time! Updating");
    // following line sets the RTC to the date & time this sketch was compiled<br>   // uncomment to set the time
    // rtc.adjust(DateTime(F(__DATE__), F(__TIME__)));
  }

  // Initialise the display.
  display.init();
  display.flipScreenVertically();// flipping came in handy for me with regard 
                                                                // to screen position
  display.setFont(ArialMT_Plain_10);

}


void loop() {
  display.clear();
  DateTime now = rtc.now();
  dag = now.dayOfTheWeek();
  j = now.year();
  mo = now.month();
  d = now.day();
  h = now.hour();
  m = now.minute();
  s = now.second();

  display.setTextAlignment(TEXT_ALIGN_LEFT);
  display.setFont(ArialMT_Plain_16);
  String t = String(h) + ":" + String(m) + ":" + String(s);
  String t2 = String(d) + ":"  + String(mo) + ":" + String(j);
  display.drawString(0, 10, t);//
  display.drawString(0, 24, t2);
  display.drawString(0, 38, maand[mo - 1]);
  String d = dagen[dag];
  d = d + "dag";//adding the word 'dag' (=day)  to the names of the days
  display.drawString(0, 52, d);
  // write the buffer to the display
  display.display();
  delay(10);
}

The code is fairly straightforward but it does contain some peculiarities.
I make a call to ‘Wire.pins(sda,scl)’. That seems redundant and in fact the call was deprecated, but apparently if any other library would make a call to ‘Wire()’ the proper definition of the pins for the sda and scl can get lost. So I left them both in for safety.
If you still have an old RTCLib you may get an error on ‘dayOfTheWeek’. That is because it used to be called ‘dayOfWeek’ but it got changed: update your library.

The last line, with the day on it, may be just a bit too much size for your OLED: set the font smaller (say ‘Plain_10’) and alter the print positions (the second digits in the display.drawString(0, x, string); statements)