Mesh Network?

Hi All,
I would like to have 3 separate sensors transmit their data wirelessly to an arduino. What would be the best way to go about this?

The sensors are at most 15 ft away.
Arduino will be connected to a computer to display data
No home wifi router

Have a look at ESP8266.org.

The boards can be programmed with Arduino IDE (they are not Arduino products, you can support the Arduino software, site and forum by donating at the download however to avoid that nagging guilt!).

The boards have 32-bit 80MHz processors with loads of flash and RAM. They are frankenduino class boards. :slight_smile:

You can get them through eBay for about $4 from some dealers or pay $7 to a store site that gives a lot of support.

Bang for the buck they rock hard but what might be in between those 3 sensors could kill the deal for your project.

Hi GoForSmoke,
Thank you for the info. I have purchased a couple ESP8266 but have not found any tutorials on how to get multiple ESP's talking to each other without router.

My initial intention was to make one an access point while the rest transmit its data to it. If you know of a link that helps with this I would be a happy person.

Thanks

-Roy

I'm no expert on them, don't even have one.
The links on the .org site will tell you more.

Is it possible for the Arduino to make and break connections as needed?
That should only need to know Arduino to ESP communication.

Could you chain connections? Ard --- ESP1 --- ESP2 --- ESP3
Then pass comms up and down the chain?

I expect that the star topology you want is very possible.

Hi GoForSmoke,

Pffffff you are correct. I should of mentioned that I have researched countless sites on google for the last few weeks. I really would like to stick with the Arduino IDE since im most familiar with it. Also, all i found, not saying that its all that out there, is communication using wifi router like in our homes. i want to not use a router for this project.

Thanks

-Roy

roybenmo:
Hi GoForSmoke,

Pffffff you are correct. I should of mentioned that I have researched countless sites on google for the last few weeks. I really would like to stick with the Arduino IDE since im most familiar with it. Also, all i found, not saying that its all that out there, is communication using wifi router like in our homes. i want to not use a router for this project.

Thanks

-Roy

Sorry, I read your OP -again- and adjusted my post! I think I spent too long surfing for answers and lost the full question.

The Arduino should be able to make dynamic connections. The ESP modules can package data and transmit on request?

Hi GoForSmoke,

Could you chain connections? Ard --- ESP1 --- ESP2 --- ESP3
Then pass comms up and down the chain?

I expect that the star topology you want is very possible.

That would definitely work but I do not know how to do that and am sure its out there but I cant find it.

Thanks,

-Roy

How about dynamic connecting? Connect to one, talk, disconnect. Then the next and next and first again.

I don’t have one of these, the how is on the web. Join the esp8266 forum and ask.

OTOH there are many other cheap wireless modules that Arduino can use.

Totally lost here as well, but this document might help.
When the IDE is set up for the ESP8266, then there are ESP sketches in the File>Examples.
One of them is ESP8266WiFiMesh.
Please report back if you can get that working.
Leo..

I think you can set up one of the ESP8266's as an access point?

I reckon what you want to achieve would be easier using nRF24L01+ transceivers. Have a look at this Simple nRF24L01+ Tutorial

...R

The ESP can act as access point and client, supposedly at the same time even (I haven't tried that - I have used it as captive portal access point though a ready-made library). So you can definitely set one up as access point - sorry, no links at hand.

That said, it sounds like overkill to me to have an ESP8266 at each sensor. It'll be cheaper and probably easier to wire the sensors - you'd have to provide a wire for power anyway (or dig into deep sleep and other power saving modes and go for battery power).

If you can provide more info on the setup (what sensors, why wireless, how's the power supply, how often are measurements taken, etc) we may be able to give you better suggestions.

Examples for configuring an ESP8266 to be a AP and a webserver. The examples are also available in the IDE assuming the board type is set to one of the ESP8266 boards.

Hi All,
Thanks for all your help and advice. I have moved over to the NRF24L01+

Do you need mesh functionality? You'll be 15ft away at most so you'll never be out of range.

+1 for nrf24

wvmarle:
The ESP can act as access point and client, supposedly at the same time even (I haven't tried that - I have used it as captive portal access point though a ready-made library). So you can definitely set one up as access point - sorry, no links at hand.

That said, it sounds like overkill to me to have an ESP8266 at each sensor. It'll be cheaper and probably easier to wire the sensors - you'd have to provide a wire for power anyway (or dig into deep sleep and other power saving modes and go for battery power).

If you can provide more info on the setup (what sensors, why wireless, how's the power supply, how often are measurements taken, etc) we may be able to give you better suggestions.

ESP8266 is a controller and wifi for less than $5 on ebay makes it "a" cheap overkill solution.

I can't be sure but possibly the sensors move around within 15ft of the data collector.

I know the job can be done with an ESP8266 but I reckon that all the necessary web programming would be more difficult for a beginner than using an Arduino and an nRF24L01+

...R

I don't know about any web programming, I'd have to go by examples.
Given the number of beginners using ESP8266 modules, how damned hard can it be to cookbook up connections?

I'd rather have simpler radios too. Oh.. wait..,. I do have some that the youtube showed make buzzes on radios when sending and do buzz-buzz between themselves. There's a whole software just to go from buzz-buzz to serial messages but if I don't want serial text I can go with one buzz for no, two buzzes for yes and more than two buzzes for where's my soup?

I have some BT modules I didn't get working with my PC BT dongle..... maybe later.