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ESP8266 and BME280 sensor for a minimalist weather station to put on your terrace
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README.md

MiniWX Station

ESP8266 IoT and BME280 sensor for a minimalist weather station

This work started as a fork from F4GOH code, so you can visit his blog for infos about how to compile and configure this firmware through his menu. This instead is his github repository: F4GOH GitHub. I've added some features that, at moment, you can set at compile time using #defines. Many thanks to Antonio EA1CDV for his support, beta testing and encouragement, you can read a detailed article in spanish language about this project in his blog In a future version maybe i'll change the source code to use native ESP8266 ntp calls instead of using NTPTimeESP, but for the moment the source code needs this library, so you have to add it to your environment, NTPtimeESP Obviously you need the BME280 Library too:

For the moment this project is running without problems over four flavors of ESP8266:

  • NodeMCU V0.9 (ESP-12)
  • NodeMCU V1.0 (ESP-12E)
  • Wemos D1 mini (ESP-12F)
  • Lolin new NodeMCU V3

This is a simple schematics to help connect items to the board, the pinout name is still valid for NodeMCU V0.9 and Wemos D1 mini, the "phototransistor" part can be completely omitted, continue reading if you wanna connect something of analogic to the ADC (A0 pin).

fritzing_Image

These instead are the #defines that you can find in the beginning of the sourcecode, with a brief explanation of what happens if you choose to use them, it's a bit rude as method, but there is place for a config webpage hosted completely by the ESP8266....it's in my todo list, not in near future, i need to better test some other features.

//**** How the station is named in your NET
const char* WiFi_hostname = "IU5HKU-13";

Change with the name you wish.

//**** APRS PASSWORD (use -1 if you are using a CWOP callsign)
//**** APRS COMMENT, you can set this string as you want (max 43 chars)
//**** APRS_PRJ, Telemetry Project Title (max 23 chars)
const char* AprsPassw = "YourAprsNumericalPASS";
const char* APRS_CMNT = "ESP8266+BME280 MiniWX Station";
const char* APRS_PRJ = "MiniWX Station"

For a CWOP callsign you need to register, it's free and easy, refer to instruction at http://wxqa.com/ to obtain one.

//**** Comment this for ESP.getVcc() value in telemetry
//**** getVcc function (system_get_vdd33) is only available when A0 pin17 is suspended (floating), 
//**** this function measure the power voltage of VDD3P3 pin 3 and 4 (in the ESP8266 chip)
#define HAVE_BATTERY

This is for reading analog values connected to A0, for the proper value of the resistor to put in series refer to this thread

//**** uncomment this for weatherunderground upload,remember to set ID and PASSWORD of your account
#define USE_WUNDER
//* change ID and PASSWORD with yours
char ID [] = "YourWunderID";                      
char PASSWORD [] = "YourWunderPASSW";

Major upgrade, sends data to Weahter Underground.

//**** show BME280 registers in Serial Output;
//#define DISPLAY_BME_REGS

Uncomment for printout of registers values in serial console.

//**** show BME280 values in Serial Output;
//#define DISPLAY_BME_VAL

uncomment for printout of temp/press/hum values in serial console.

//**** blinking led to show that into the 10 minutes the system is still alive (1" blink)
//**** NOTE: WEMOS D1 Mini doens't have this led, NodeMCU V0.9 & V1.0 have it.
#define BLINK_RED_LED

WILL BE ELIMINATED IN BATTERY POWERED VERSION, this is a "i'm still alive" signal.

//**** blinking led to show that ESP8266 is transmitting  (0.5" blink)
#define BLINK_BLUE_LED

WILL BE ELIMINATED IN BATTERY POWERED VERSION, this is a "i'm sending data to servers" signal.

//**** show (annoying) animated clock in the serial output 
//#define SHOW_TICKS

Left commented to eliminate the clock in serial console.

// Sync the soft clock every 12 hours
#define NTPSYNC_DELAY  12

This #define sets how many times will pass between each NTP sync request, 12 hours is enough but i think you can have longer delay too, the internal softclock is quite precise.

//**** Set credential for OTA firmware upgrade <<--->>
//*uncomment the #define if you wanna use this handy feature
//#define USE_OTA_UPGRADE
#ifdef USE_OTA_UPGRADE
const char* OTA_hostname = "MINIWX";
//PLEASE CHANGE THIS PASSWORD WITH YOUR OWN FOR SECURITY REASON
const char* OTA_passw = "esp8266";  
#endif

If you wanna use this handy feature then uncomment the #define and change the passw with your own, after that, following a simple procedure you can flash your MiniWX Station™ remotely

//**** use static ip instead of dns one
//#define USE_STATIC_IP
//* change to reflect your net configuration
#ifdef USE_STATIC_IP
String stat_ip="192.168.0.200";        // STATIC IP
String stat_gateway="192.168.0.1";     // GATEWAY
String stat_subnet="255.255.225.0";    // SUBNET MASK
String stat_dns1="8.8.8.8";            // DNS1
String stat_dns2="4.4.2.2";            // DNS2
IPAddress ip,gateway,subnet,dns1,dns2;
#endif

Self explanatory, this settings are needed if you want a static ip for the station.

ArduinoIDE SerialMonitor config

WARNING: some users are experiencing issues in filling the required fields in the provided menù. Due to a lack in the sanity check in the user input routine, is MANDATORY to use only 'newline' as method, don't use two chars as EOL marker!

SerialMonitor_Image

This is the correct setting if you are using ArduinoIDE's SerialMonitor till v0.9 included, since v1.0 you need to set Serial Monitor baudrate at 74880bps, see V1.0 README for more infos. In a future revision the user input will be checked against errors or different serial settings, but for the moment...

V1.0 BMP280+DHT11 NOTE:

The first official mod for this project, this version can read temperature and barometric pressure from BMP280 and relative humidity from DHT11, refer to the README inside his proper folder for a more detailed description about how and where to connect DHTxx sensor to you esp8266.

V1.0 NOTE:

At least v1.0 comes to life, this version still have the basic "core" of v0.9, with some bug corrected and some slightly changes in code, aimed to the robusteness of the station, refer to the README inside the V1.0 folder for a more detailed description. The more important, for me, is using ArduinoOTA for flashing new firmware, this means no more needs to dismount the weather station, bring with me cables, laptops etc. you can flash sitting in front of your develpment pc. Only caveats is that the pc must be in the same subnet where the station is, this for security reasons. Other improvments is the use of a webpage for config the main parameters of you station, and a more pleasant main page where you can see the read values in realtime, with some other infos too, through the web settings page you can set most of the parameters you need for have your station on map without digging in the serial menu, that is still present, who knows, maybe can result handy in some situation. As added bonus you can do a wifi scan for surroundings networks and send single packets to aprs.fi and to weather underground, if enabled (otherwise the button will be shown grayed). Now there is the possibility to use a localization switch:

//**** CHOOSE WEBPAGES LANGUAGE
#define LANG_ENGLISH
//#define LANG_SPANISH
//#define LANG_ITALIAN

thanks to Antonio EA1CDV and Stefano IZ5MMH, uncomment only the desired language left the others commented, in a near future the language will be choosen from the settings webpage. You can read the V1.0 README for fourther detailed infos and to have a look at the new webpages.

V0.9 NOTE:

Big improvements for this version who deserves a '0.9', that i consider the most stable at moment. The most important mod is the capability to update the firmware OTA, yes, you can left your MiniWX Station™ where you have choose to place it, and update the new firmware remotely through TCP/IP instead that by Serial COM as you have done 'till now. Refer to this site: ArduinoOTA where i've found the necessary code, it's very well explained indeed. The whole procedure is symple, flash your station with new firmware, at least V0.9, first remember to change the default password for security reasons, after done quit and relaunch ArduinoIDE and go in the "port" voice of the "Tools" menu, you will find something similar to this:

FirmwareOTA_Image

from now on, if you select this network port, (this is a tcp/ip port actually) you will flash the esp8266 by means of his ip address.For security reasons this procedure can't work if your PC isn't in the same subnet of the MiniWX, and i think it's well done. WARNING: if you are using Linux and you don't find the "Network ports" voice in menù, a possible cause should be the lack of the AVAHI service, that must be up and running in your system, ArduinoOTA uses mDNS to present himself on the net, and avahi is the Linux alterego of Windows's Bonjour service, you need it. Setup is just a matter of write this command in the shell:

sudo apt-get install avahi-daemon avahi-discover avahi-utils libnss-mdns mdns-scan

At moment of flashing you will be prompted for password, insert your previously hardcoded password and wait, first esp8266 downloads the firmware, after that it "auto flash itself" and after that it reboot, easy, simple and clean...and very handy, no more ladders, screws, trip to the garden....maximum relax :-) Other mods are related to the webpage: a more pleasant and formatted one (hope more readable than the previous one) and a new button in the control panel "WiFi Scan" who do exactly what you expected, but in a more verbose way than the previous routine in serial menu (modified in this way too). I've added channel number and mac address to the infos, so you can control what's happen in the sorrunding of you station and search a proper, most free, channel if necessary.

V0.8c NOTE:

This release is a deep revision, now you can set the delay between each NTP Sync, and now there is a SoftClock who ticks quite precise....enough for our purposes. I've set the ntp sync delay every 12 hours, but i think that you can set it without problem to 24 ore more, i don't think this can be a problem at all. Now the MiniWX station delivers his aprs packets with the "realtime" marker, as a tracker do, so there's no need to put a timestamp and all that we need is a timer who count the delay between packets, no more than this. Everything is more robust and nice in this way. I've added also a nicer webpage....nicer...the best that i've can do, if you are an html expert any comment/advice will be greatly appreciate. Only a webpage with some infos and a small control panel who need to be finished, the subpages have a button to come back to the main page, a more sophisticated "site" will came in the near future. The way the webpages are served is completely changed, now there isn't any sprintf() to deal with, everything is stored in flash and retrieved at moment. The pages are also rendered dynamically through a "placeholder" system, very easy to understand and to change to suit your needs. I've revised some internal functions too, now the code is more readable. Many thanks to Antonio EA1CDV who keep to point me in the right direction with advices and hints. He noticed a difference in decimals from aprs and Weather Underground, this is due to the way aprs work. Weather Underground accept floating point values and do his internal roundings, aprs instead accept data only as integer values, so i need to cast float to int before sending tha packet, and the two roundings are different. This is a more stable release than the previuos ones, in poor wifi signal still works without issues, with my friends Stefano IZ5MMH we test the MiniWX Station at signal variable from -90 to -96dbm, without loss of packets, hope you enjoy it. Next step will be a circular buffer to hold the last 20-30 values and make a chart with those values, i know, there is aprs and wu already doing this, but hey...is just for fun :-)

V0.7f NOTE:

Thanks to a talk with Antonio EA1CDV we have this minor upgrade to the project, the possibility to have a 43 chars wide comments. As reported at pag.20 in APRS101.pdf draft, every packet can have his comment simply adding it at the tail of the packet, but this rule isn't valid for wx reports packets, so i've used a dirty workaround, i send a position report packet with the same coords of the wx station (this kind of packets can have a 43 chars comment) and just after that i send the "real" weather info packet. As result you have a WX station with the possibility to insert a decent comment. APRS101.pdf report the possibility to insert the altitude in feet too, but unluckly after sending the wx packet the server delete this parameter, i don't know why, but a WX station can't display its altitude, and this is in the standard, so don't blame me, isn't my fault. To change the comment refer as usual at the beginning of my source code, looking for APRS_CMNT string. There is also an APRS_PRJ one, this is a separate comment that goes in the telemetry page.

V0.7e NOTE:

In this new version i've slightly modified the NTP sync routine that crash the ESP in case of poor signals. I've tested mine till -90db and seems to be quite stable (seems....), let me know if you encounter some issue. Now the hardcoded 3.7V value in telemetry has left space to ESP.getVcc() routine, in this way you read the cpu voltage, not so useful, i know, just to fill the telemetry packet if you haven't connected A0 to some sensor.

ABOUT BME280 sensor:

Someone ask about the possibility to calibrate this sensor, but honestly i don't think that it needs some sort of compensation, it's factory calibrated and really affordable and precise, and causes of inaccurate readings could be found in bad placement (direct sun, next a wall, etc.etc.) or, as Mr Kandrsmith says "...manufacturers of cheap integrated modules not having followed the Bosch Sensortec soldering profile properly and contaminated or damaged the device. The reconditioning procedure might resolve that....". You can read his amazing article about BME280, related to temperature calibration. I've added the datasheet from Bosch to this repository, a really interesting lecture, the accuracy of BME280 is at high levels of precision, great buy for the money. Anyway in the datasheet is well explained the possibility to read and write the calibration registers used by the sensor to return a correct measure, and the SparkfunBME280Library offer methods to operate with them:

//ReadRegisterRegion takes a uint8 array address as input and reads
	//a chunk of memory into that array.
    void readRegisterRegion(uint8_t*, uint8_t, uint8_t );
	//readRegister reads one register
    uint8_t readRegister(uint8_t);
    //Reads two regs, LSByte then MSByte order, and concatenates them
	//Used for two-byte reads
	int16_t readRegisterInt16( uint8_t offset );
	//Writes a byte;
void writeRegister(uint8_t, uint8_t);

my advice is to keep unchanged those values, really, the SparkfunBME280 Library already use the calibration registers values to output temperature, relative humidity and pressure with high precision, greater than what is needed for this kind of applications, the functions are the specular copy of what Bosch reccomended in his datasheet.

lwIP

If you are using ArduinoIDE for development, then you can choose between some linkage options, one of the most important is the "lwIP" one:

lwIP_Image

lwIP is the "lightweigth TCP/IP stack" ported to the ESP8266 embedded platform, and is the library that permit the ease of use of the whole internet related system. Everything seems to be ok with the more advanced port, V2.0 as you can see, if you are experiencing strange behavior you could try to change in favor of the old V1.4. NOTE: you can set here the serial speed for upload your firmware to ESP8266, i had no problem at all with maximum speed, but if encounter some issue you can lower the value, as someone reported in some forum. Remember: this isn't the serial speed that you will use later for console serial communications, and the ESP8266 doesn't have problem to manage maximum speed (usually).

HINT: the system save in flash memory the last successful connection parameters, and because we are in a multitasking environment, it try to connect before you send the connect() command, this may resolve in some trouble if your wifi is gone or if you try the system at home and then you change place...you can resolve this problem using the "Sketch+WiFi settings" flashing set (Erasing Flash voice, just under Upload Speed).

WiFi_Image

Someone experienced difficulties in connection to home WiFi, in some cases, if you aren't use the same ssid, the above hint can resolve. Someone have commented this call into source code:

WiFi.persistent(false); // WiFi config isn't saved in flash

but i don't think that can be related in some way to the effective resolution, anyway give it a try, who knows...

NodeMCU V0.9 schematics

This schematics is useful for reference in hardware connections if you own an ESP-12, also know as NodeMCU V0.9, refer to this for pinouts. ESP8266 GPIO's names and NodeMCU pin naming are different, as example GPIO16, who is used for wakeup the SoC from deepsleep() mode, in ESP-12 is called 'D0'. This pin is connected to the onboard red led too. When you are using deepsleep() D0 must be connected to 'RST', in this way the RTC who keep tickin' in deepsleep (is the only thing active when you are in this mode) can wakeup the chip when time is expired. Useful, ins't it?:-)

Schematics_Image

Adding a phototransistor

A cheap way to expand the capability of our poor-man weather station is adding a phototransistor, and for who have the possibility, to characterize it to obtain a more or less precise value of the lux. I've remembered that wandering around my lab there is an old FPT100, so i decided to connect this analog device to the ESP8266 10bit ADC (Pin A0). This is the simple scheme:

phototransistor_Image

and following the rules explained here, you can read a voltage value proportional to the light who hit the phototransistor. The resistor determine the sensitivity of the device, who is claimed to be linear in his response, but for a more precise work you MUST use a luxmeter as reference. The following table is from this site, where fpt100 is compared against bpw34, if you use 10Kohm the old FPT100 is still the more sensitive, with is 0.5lux of resolution, but i guess that nowadays there are other (and cheaper!) devices who perform surely better. I know, there are an i2c version dedicated for IoT, but hey, i wanna reuse my precious fpt100, i think that it's more or less 25 years old :-)

Resistor Value Resolution Full-scale (lux)
50 Kohm 0.1 1000
10 Kohm 0.5 5000
1 Kohm 5 50000
500 ohm 10 100000
Reference values (lux)
Sun at midday 100000
Surgery table 10000
Office from 500 to 2000
Art Gallery from 100 to 500
Full Moon 1

So play with the resistor based on where you wanna put the sensor, and adjust the value in the ReadVBAT() function accordly to have a valid full scale value, look:

unsigned int ReadVBAT (){
  raw = analogRead(A0);
  volt=raw/1023.0;
  //volt=volt*4.2f; //100Kohm resistor
  volt=volt*3.3f;   //10kohm resistor
  return ((unsigned int)(volt*100)); // two decimals after the comma
}

NOTE: if you are using 10Kohm you can connect the Vcc to 3.3V to obtain a 0.003V resolution from the internal ESP8266 ADC

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