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Thread: Remote temperature project help

  1. #1
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    Remote temperature project help

    I need to monitor the temperature in my shop via a network connection of some kind. The heater will sometimes quit due to a design flaw and I need to know if the shop temperature drops below 40 degrees so I can go out and reset the heater. Shop has plumbing and I do not want it to ever freeze. I keep it at 50 degrees when I am not in it and depending on what I have going on in the winter months I may not go out to the shop for weeks at a time.

    I have a system working with a Teensy 2.0 that talks to a computer in the shop. The computer is tied into my home network and will send me an email if the temp drops below 40. I would like to maybe eliminate the computer.

    I purchased an ESP8285 add on for the Teensy 3.2 and a couple Teensy 3.2's to play with. The ESP is a WiFi adapter for the Teensy and hoping I can figure out a way to use it to somehow send a message of some kind over the network to a computer that is in the house but is always on. I can write almost any king of Windows app to run on the computer to receive the messages and even include a browser if necessary.

    Where I lack knowledge is what to do with the Teensy/ESP combination to get it to send some type of message over the network. An email would be wonderful but doubt that is possible, really do not know at this point. Guess what I am asking is if using the Teensy/ESP combination will even do what I am asking and if so where do I start? I do not fully understand the capabilities of the ESP and other than setting up a P2P network, networking in general. I have used sockets to communicate between computers but don't think the Teensy/ESP combination will do sockets.

    Any ideas?
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    It's easier if you make the Teensy/ESP a fixed ip address web server on your wifi network and then have the PC poll it via http.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, that little tidbit will give me something to start looking into. Just ordered the Teensys today and will be a little while before I can start playing.

  4. #4
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    I know you have already purchased the ESP8266 module and don't know if its permissible to plug none competing products but you could check out Adafruits Airlift product and see if any of the examples give you a hint on how to pass over the data to the main PC. If your coding is good you could have it pass JSON messages to the pc which it can decode and act on.

  5. #5
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    What is involved in resetting the heater? If you just power it off and back on again, perhaps the Teensy could do that for you too. One of this sort of thing might work. I've never used one but looks possible. The Teensy would still need to message you when it resets the heater. It would also have to have some code to determine whether the reset failed and send you a more urgent message if it fails.

    Pete

  6. #6
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    I think using two computer boards is a bit over the top.
    Since the ESP8266 has the WiFi capability and the ability to read a temperature sensor, there is, unfortunately, no need for the Teensy.

    There is a WebSite called Random Nerd Tutorials which has a lot of tutorials covering the ESP8266 and the ESP32.
    Here are two tutorials, the first using an ESP8266 to send temperature data to a web server and the second to send an SMS message using an ESP32 when a temperature goes outside preset values.

    ESP8266 NodeMCU Web Server using Server-Sent Events (Update Sensor Readings Automatically)
    ESP32 SIM800L: Send Text Messages (SMS Alert) with Sensor Readings

    This latter tutorial from the ElectronicsHub uses an ESP8266 to send an email message.
    How to Send an Email using ESP8266 WiFi Module?

    Keep us updated as to how the project works out. I would be glad to hear.

  7. #7
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    Having looked through the code for the ElectronicsHub tutorial there in no reason why you could not change the ESP8255 for a HardWired Teensy ethernet system. Sending the email from Teensy would be similar to using an ESP8266, except that you would have to log into your hardware router to send the message.

    Also there is no reason why you could not use a GSM module attached to a Teensy to send a Test Message when the Temperature dropped, or started dropping.
    Of course the text message route would require a regular payment for your GDM (mobile/cell phone) fee.
    The module would cost about $6 with shipping see here.

    If you go for the GSM route check the distance to your cell/mobile phone mast and check if the module has that range.
    Last edited by BriComp; 11-25-2020 at 03:31 PM.

  8. #8
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    Good stuff and just what I was looking for. Ordered the ESP8285 without really knowing what I was doing, should have came here first. Had the Teensy on my mind as I was already using one in my present setup.

    The heater has a safety feature that uses a pressure switch to confirm the forced air exhaust isn't blocked. It has a tube that attaches to a small nipple taped into the exhaust port that activates the switch. Problem is for some unknown reason the nipple will get plugged up and to fix it I use a small drill bit to clean out the nipple. This happens a couple times a year during the cold season. Common problem with this heater but of course I didn't find out about it till the heater bought and installed. Easy fix but no way to do it remotely. I was being lazy and used Reset in my explanation above instead of explaining it.

    Off to do more research, thanks.

    EDIT: Like the idea of being able to send an email as in the above link posted by BriComp. Ordered the DFRobot FireBeetle ESP8266 used in the example and using a TMP36 sensor to get the temperature. Will end up with two Teensys and the WIFI add-on but what the heck, I'll find a use for them down the road.
    Last edited by BReeves; 11-25-2020 at 03:44 PM.

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