Do you go to the mailbox every now and then in vain? That’s over now! This project sends you a Telegram message to your smartphone as soon as the letter carrier has delivered the mail. For this we use a Wemos D1 Mini and a PIR motion detector. But of …Read More
It’s great to work at home – and it’s even better to show off your projects to friends and family. But sometimes you want to compete with other makers and find out who has created the most exciting, interesting and inspiring project. On this page you will find current competitions …Read More
You have a LEGO Lunar Lander, but you still lack the right lighting? In this project, you build an LED ring under the lunar module, which you switch on with an ESP8266 as soon as the moon rises – and switch off again after the moon has set. Beginner 1 …Read More
In this project you create a kind of intercom. However, this is not limited to one single building, but can send messages from home to your smartphone – and also receive messages from there and display them on an OLED display. In practice, the project consists of two buttons that …Read More
In this project you will learn how to switch a light source on and off from your smartphone. You can also use it to check whether the light is on or off. For a first test, use an LED connected to your ESP8266. If you want to do this later …Read More
You want to read the latest headlines directly in your Serial Monitor? Then it’s time for your own news ticker! In this project you connect your ESP32 to the internet, retrieve the latest news via an API call, parse JSON data and display the headlines in your Serial Monitor. In …Read More
Have you ever left your apartment and then stood on the street in the rain? With this project you will make sure that this does not happen again. With an ESP8266, you retrieve the current weather situation via an API and show on an OLED display whether it is raining, …Read More
You post photos and videos on Instagram? But notifications about new likes on your smartphone are too boring for you? Then try something new! With this ESP8266 project you regularly request the number of your Likes for your latest Instagram Post online. Depending on how many Likes have been added …Read More
Push the door to the Internet of Things wide open! If you need a connection to the Internet for your project, the two controllers ESP8266* and ESP32* will serve you well. All you need is a Wi-Fi network, the appropriate access data and a few lines of code. Before you …Read More
If you work with an ESP8266* and are on the internet anyway, there is an easy way to find out the current time: With the library NTPClient.h Note: Of course this also works with an ESP32 or an Arduino with WiFi Shield – but here we’ll focus on the ESP8266 …Read More
The ESP8266* microcontroller is not only perfectly suited for retrieving and processing data from the Internet. With just a few lines of code, you can create your own web server with it. You can use your smartphone or computer to access current measurement data from sensors, for example, or switch …Read More
Here you will learn what MicroPython is, what advantages this programming language offers you and how to install it on your ESP8266* or ESP32*. What is MicroPython? MicroPython is based on and compatible to Python 3 and is especially designed for programming microcontrollers. The language is very similar to the …Read More
In this project you create an alarm system that sends you an e-mail as soon as something is moving near it that should only be moved by you. This can be your front door, a drawer or a box under your bed. To detect motion, you use the inexpensive and …Read More
With this ISS Tracker you always know when you can observe the International Space Station in the sky: An OLED display shows the time and duration of the next pass, and as soon as the ISS rises above the horizon, an LED signals that it is time to observe. The …Read More
In this project you create a cool gadget that lights up when the ISS flies over you. It consists of two cubes, one inside the other: The lower one houses the technology; the upper one a hidden ISS on the inside, which only becomes visible when the real International Space …Read More
How about if your LEGO ISS lights up as soon as the real International Space Station flies over it? In this project, you make that happen. You will learn how to find out the time of the next flyover so that you can program a countdown and then light up …Read More
Bluetooth is ubiquitous and your ESP32 can handle it too. In this tutorial you will learn how to use Bluetooth Classic and exchange data between a smartphone and your ESP32. For this tutorial you only need an ESP32* and an Android smartphone on which you can install the free app …Read More
In this project, you will use an ESP8266 to set up a Dash button that sends a message to your Telegram account at the touch of a button. You can receive this message anywhere on your smartphone – as long as you have Internet access. Beginner 1 – 2 hours …Read More
In this project you monitor the temperature with a sensor and your ESP8266. As soon as a certain temperature defined by you is exceeded, your microcontroller sends a message to your Telegram bot. This project is the second part of a series: In terms of content it is set up …Read More
In this project you use Telegram to contact your ESP8266 to check the current temperature. As soon as your ESP8266 receives your request, it requests the current temperature from the BMP180 sensor and sends it to your smartphone. This project is the third part of a series and builds up …Read More
If you are on the internet with your ESP8266 or ESP32*, there is a reason for that. You may want to retrieve data from an API and use it in your project. In this tutorial you will learn how to load data in JSON format and decode (or parse) it …Read More
In this project you create a motion detector that sends you a message when someone moves in front of it. In principle, this is a silent alarm– an alarm system that does not make any noise but discreetly tells you that something is in progress. The sensor HC-SR501 is used …Read More
ESP32 and ESP8266 boards together with Telegram are a great combination. You can send data to your smartphone at lightning speed and control your microcontroller from there. In this project you create a photo trap that snaps as soon as someone moves in front of the camera. Then it takes …Read More
With the ESP32-CAM you can easily and cheaply realize your camera projects like our camera trap. But it doesn’t always have to be just photos – a video livestream is also possible! In this tutorial you will learn how to set up a livestream with your ESP32-CAM, which you can …Read More
Build exciting projects with your ESP8266 and open up the whole world to the Internet of Things! These microcontrollers are inexpensive, fit (in the Amica version, more on this below) on any breadboard and can often replace an Arduino – even if you don’t really need an internet connection.
ESP8266 and Internet
The best argument for an ESP8266 is its Wi-Fi module, because with it you are no longer limited to your workshop: It’s easy to connect your project to the Internet and open up completely new possibilities!
- These include, for example:
- Send, collect and evaluate sensor data online
- Load and parse JSON data from APIs
- Control projects remotely
The advantages are obvious: The ESP8266 is inexpensive and actually very easy to program via the Arduino IDE. You will learn how to do this on Pollux Labs. Also you can implement many project ideas without too much effort, as there are already libraries for many problems that you can easily integrate. If you need more power and maybe even Bluetooth, then big brother ESP32 is probably the next candidate on your list.
The ESP8266 has a similar number of pins as the Arduino. You have the option of connecting a whole range of sensors, displays or other components via I²C (Inter-Integrated Circuit). Communication via SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) is also no problem. In addition, there are a number of digital inputs and outputs and a pin to read analog signals.
So nothing stops your creativity: How about a weather forecast? Or a counter for your followers on Instagram? Or get an e-mail sent if the air in your study is too thick. :)
Prototypes made easy
If you are familiar with the pins on your Arduino, you will have no trouble experimenting with an ESP8266 project. The controller provides you with numerous pins for digital communication. You can also read out analog data, because an analog-to-digital converter is also on board!
SPI and I²C are also no problem. So you can connect several components without having to use lots of pins and cables.
All in all, with the ESP8266 you have a microcontroller that can actually do more than a “normal” Arduino and which you might prefer soon.
Amica vs. LoLin
If you are looking for an ESP8266 on the internet, you will usually come across two versions: the NodeMCU Amica (v2) and the NodeMCU LoLin (v3). Although a v3 is actually an improvement, this is not necessarily the case. On the contrary, the LoLin version has a serious disadvantage: It fits on your standard breadboard, but then you won’t have any space left to put cables next to the pins of the ESP8266.
This circumstance makes building prototypes unnecessarily complicated. On the other hand, the advantages of v3 over v2 – the Amica version – are marginal and not so important for most makers.
We therefore recommend buying an “Amica” for your ESP8266 projects.
NodeMCU & ESP8266
These two names sometimes appear together, but sometimes only the last one. Also we at pollux labs usually only use “ESP8266”. This means always the same microcontroller.
But to be exact: NodeMCU is the operating system of this board and was developed in 2014. The ESP8266, on the other hand, is the microcontroller on which this operating system runs.