ESP8266 and 433Mhz Radio together?

Toying with ideas right now… it could be that the ESP-01 WIFI units are not ideal for acting as both listeners and for sending information off.  Before I started all this I was considering switching to one of the better (yet inexpensive) radios from China to work with the Radiohead library.  The ESP had me thinking that as well as doing away with the Ethernet card I might also do away with the radios. Perhaps that was over-optimistic..

So – the 433Mhz radios in question are RM22 compatible – 433Mhz jobs which work well with Radiohead – I have 3 of them in front of me – my “test rig”… and I was pondering one of those on the back of a board with the ESP-01 hanging off the end where needed (normally only one per household or whatever.

tmpCA92

So imagine the scenario… one of these is the main controller – it acts as a TCP listener (that already works fine with AT command set) and you can talk to it remotely. On the back it has the radio and runs the Radiohead network. (I’d need to lose a couple of indicator pins for the control signals for the radio which I seem to recall uses SCK/MI/MO). Run the lot off 3v3 so no interface components for either and put a 3v3 reg on the board with lots of copper as you could be talking 500ma peak for both radios…

tmp7B99Most of the time the unit with the WIFI acts as a listener while the radios share logging info with it vial commands – I already have that in place.  Commands such as OUT1=1 turn a light on –  3/OUT1=1 turns a light on internal unit 3 via the radio network. Done all of this with NRF24L01 and Ethernet board…  at some point in the night, reboot the WIFI – or just change mode – have it go get the time, perhaps dump off any eeprom-based logs which the unit has collected – and either switch mode or reboot the WIFI all within, what, half a minute or even less.

All of that seems eminently usable – unless someone can save me a lot of hassle and confirm you CAN keep up listener mode and send off web requests at the same time like any worthwhile ETHERNET Card could do….. the chip incidentally would be the 1284 maybe – the Radiohead library kind of eats up 328 memory.

Thoughts? Another scenario – main board is sitting there listening to a mobile app – and needs to talk to another –  if this were Ethernet – you’d simply have it open a client as well – I’ve done that many times… but I’m doubting you can do this with the ESP8266 – I have asked Espressif for their view – if you CAN – then you don’t need the 433Mhz radio and that’s a WAY better solution – we’ll have to wait and see. As you can see on the left- part of it is already on the go – I’ll be leaving this one for a while to see how it goes – right now it gets the time once on power up… the rest is just a matter of deciding the best way to go. If the display looks familiar, regular readers will know I’ve been working on Ethernet card based control for a long time- it’s all in the blog somewhere in the history.

Pete.

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5 thoughts on “ESP8266 and 433Mhz Radio together?

  1. Hi, I read your quest for the ESP8266 as a listener for a mobile app. Take a look here : https://github.com/ppossemiers/DuinoCopter. I modified an existing joystick flight app to connect to an Arduino and send data to it. The iPhone client connects to the ESP8266 which is listening as a TCP server and sends a data packet every 0,3 seconds with a timer. The ‘thrust’ data part is read in to dim a led via PWM. This was done as proof of concept, before I try to integrate this with the OpenPilot CC3D to make my own quadcopter control.
    An Android client could very easily do the same thing of course.

    • Thanks for that. I have that part running at an even faster rate very reliably. Its sending off to a website for info at the same time or sending from one arduino to another at the same time as listening to the apo that is the problem Ethernet cards do this effortlessly.

  2. The radios are getting more and more likely by the minute – no matter what I do I cannot get 2 copies of the APP to talk to the listener at the same time – one of them always bombs.. or is ignored….

  3. Hi Peter, I’m struggling a little to understand exactly what you are trying to do. Correct me if I’m wrong:

    You want a central ‘hub’ in your home automation system which is wifi enabled.
    You want several ‘nodes’ in the system which report to the hub (& receive commands from it too maybe?)
    The hub is an internet client (for setting configuration – time etc)
    You also want it to act as a server so that you can force it to (eg) turn on the heating NOW.

    I have a student project working on something like this, we’re using a google calendar. The hub is a web client & interrogates a calendar. Remote intervention alters the calendar rather than talking directly to the hub.

    I’m guessing that your approach, if I understand, requires your router to be configured for port forwarding?
    On a different note. Are you familiar with jeelabs? jcw has done a lot of stuff which might interest you.
    Cheers
    Ian

  4. Hi – well you’re not far off – of course I have all of this working and have had for some time – but using Arduino and an Ethernet card – and NRF24L01 boards. I was looking to see if a replacement might work using the ESP8266 but right now it’s not looking that good thanks to the inability to be a web listener for even more than one client by the look of it, never mind simultanously being a web client – all of which the Ethernet cards (WIZ) do no problem. Never thought of using a Google calendar… good one… And yes I’m familiar with Jeelabs. As a UK user I generally find ordering from China to be cheaper – I’ve a rig set up for example to test the Si4332 boards which are quite good.

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