Arduino projects Wi-Fi connectivity - best ratio "easy to setup and use"/cost

Hi all,

I would like to give Wireless connectivity to my Arduino UNO but I got confused regarding the several options available :frowning:

I found out loads of wifi shields, also an Arduino UNO version with wifi integrated that cost as the shield (!) but also the Esp8266-01 module, a bit more complicated to setup (it requires an added voltage regulator and some resistors...)

So I actually got very confused on what will be the best option for the ratio "easy to setup and use"/"cost". I mean, I can put some effort but I prefer something "easy" on this project (also because I am not the only one using it). if I am saving only 10 pounds it will not be worth it :frowning:

My budget is around 30 pounds (I would like to have original/good quality items, not from "Asian market" just to be clear)

Any suggestion from project maker already using these items will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a lot.

M.

If you only need 11GPIO pins, using a stand-alone ESP8266 is definitely the best solution. You could use a NodeMCU, or an Adafruit Feather Huzzah ESP8266.

If you want/need to keep the Uno, you could either use AT commands to communicate with an ESP8266, or you could write all Wi-Fi code for the ESP (server, HTTP ...) and only send the necessary data over Serial.
For example:
The Arduino reads a sensor value, and sends it to the ESP over Serial. The ESP then starts a HTTPS connection with a server, creates an HTTP request, adds the sensor data it received, sends it, waits for a response, parses the response, and sends the useful data back over Serial, to the Arduino.
I think this is the best method of th two, because AT commands are really cumbersome, it's slow and uses more memory on the Arduino. The ESP itself has much more RAM and CPU resources available than the Uno.

You can find more information about the ESP8266 in my Beginner's guide to the ESP8266.

Pieter

Thanks a lot Pieter,

At the moment I found the following items that might be suitable:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ESP8266-ESP-01-ESP-01E-Wi-Fi-Transceiver-WIFI-Wireless-Module-UK-SELLER-FAST-/182034640689?hash=item2a621c2f31:g:a54AAOSwzgRWzeRb (buy TWO: ESP8266 ESP-01)

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NEW-NodeMcu-DevKit-ESP8266-12E-4MB-WIFI-CP2102-USB-Internet-of-Things-IoT-/231983263238?hash=item360347ae06:g:CVkAAOSwnipWU62m

Do you have any thought re a couple of them that I could buy?

I just need to gather data from a sensor (Oxygen or DHT22 T/RH sensor) and make tham available online on my web server :slight_smile:

Thanks a lot

NOTE: The Ethernet is just an added option, so I am aware it is OUT of thread :slight_smile:

The ESP8266 can easily do that by itself, take a look at the temperature logger example I included with my guide: A Beginner's Guide to the ESP8266

I'm mostly using some ESP-07 modules, the advantage over the ESP-01 is that it breaks out all I/O pins. The ESP-12 has the same pins broken out as the ESP-07, but has 4 times the flash memory (4MB instead of 1MB) so that would be a better choice.

The disadvantage is that you need a USB-to Serial adapter, a 3.3V voltage regulator, and some external resistors as well.
That's why I'd recommend a NodeMCU or an Adafruit Feather Huzzah ESP8266.

Pieter

Very interesting and TBH I am starting to enjoy A LOT all these proto boards and projects!!!

I have already set up an O2 analyser, a T/RH sensor reading and I am currently working on an analytical scale connection with the UNO :slight_smile:

I will come back to the thread as soon as the items arrive and I will be able to try them.

In the meanwhile, really thanks Pieter for your help!

Write soon here :slight_smile:

Mario

PieterP:
If you only need 11GPIO pins, using a stand-alone ESP8266 is definitely the best solution. You could use a NodeMCU, or an Adafruit Feather Huzzah ESP8266.

Let me second using a standalone ESP8266 board like NodeMCU or Huzzah. A board with it's own power regulation will likely save a great deal of headache that comes with using ESP8266 modules with off-board regulation (e.g. ESP-01, . . .). Not that I would have listened when I started playing with these things, but the power surges associated with the wifi transceiver makes the unregulated modules very sensitive to power supply and layout.

Guys, I am here back.

What are your thoughts regarding this thingspeak ?