An ESP32 Project for the masses

Last night @eyal commented that we needed to find a new application beyond sensor monitoring and reporting that we’ve been doing with the ESP8266 for a long time.

Naturally the ESP32 would be an interesting beast to build something with (at least for me.)

From what I can see, the big difference with this chipset is the significant increase in on-chip processing power. So it lends itself to some sort of wireless node that does some localised data processing or perhaps graphics. Maybe as a central node with ESP8266s feeding it data.

So any ideas?

P.S. I would be keen on some sort of ‘citizen science’ type project, or generally something that has wider applicability than IOT in my house. Might be a good thing for attracting funding for MHV as well…


I would like this one as it meshes nicely with the current sensors collection I have. It will also allow me to develop more efficient connectivity instead of full wifi.

  • a good omnidirectional antenna, to cover the whole house + outside. We can do a project in this area too.
  • probably good to have local storage for independence.
  • Ethernet connection for uplink? This way we stay away from the house wifi.

That’s very easy with sd cards. I’ve used them in several projects using Chan’s FATFS to work with a FAT32 file system. Porting it is quite an easy task, just need to implement a few functions to read and write to the SPI bus. Given the ESP32 has SPI interfaces separate to the code storage it should make it quite a bit simpler.

I’m in the process of trying to request some funding assistance for MHV - my time is a little limited, so it’s been slow progress - and I’m not technically, yet, a member:) I like the idea of MHV and think it deserves support - more so, than some of the more frivolous government `projects’. I have a science/engineering focus but I am not phased by art. I like art, albeit art that conforms to certain aesthetic and/or technical ideals. The more technical some of this stuff becomes, the more the lines are blurred.

The STEM' thing is a politically favoured thing, at present. Girls inSTEM’ is also attracting a certain focus, along with things like the girls programming network. In my experience, foundry and high-end systems admin don’t attract a lot of women/girls - not sure why but there is always room to improve. I see some potential for MHV to provide a means for a broad community.

My focus on funding was in the establishment of a foundry because Strathnairn doesn’t really cater for the use-cases that I would envisage for MHV members. And it’s quite expensive! In my case, long story short, the foundry idea grew out of i). a long term desire to pursue this project and ii) A need for a lathe for a project that was to be driven by an AVR ATmega processor (beer bottle washer, steam-punk steam engine with ATmega control unit, and a few other things I had banging around in my noggin).

My intention is to pursue funding for a foundry and associated safety gear - and with a focus on how it potentially ties back into other project, be it artistic or engineering in nature.

ESP32 for the masses - awesome! A foundry (and soon-to-be-purchased lathe) to enhance the ESP32 thing - Fantastic! :smiley:


Here’s a potential project:
An electrochemical monitor, based on an analogue I/O and using a voltage follower implemented with an opamp, and a silver/silver chloride reference electrode to measure heavy metal pollutants in the likes of Sullivan’s Creek=)

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With a bit of reading around, receiving and to a lesser degree sending raw frames appears to be supported now. I can see there should be scope to do time synchronization between nodes down to a few tens of microseconds, by syncing off some sort of 802.11 frame (depending on how much uncertainty there is in the timing of the callback.)

I can think of several applications where several nodes have closely sync’ed clocks and a decent comms speed. For example locating and tracking moving things by sound (such as animals at night.)

This was my idea for an ESP32 board.

Basically it’s a processor and then all the I/O is easily broken out so that you can plug things directly in without having to worry about wiring so much.

As I explained people in Europe thought it was a great idea and even some people in the Universities here liked it.

If there were a few people that were interested in contributing $10 each it would make it worthwhile getting a batch made. Otherwise any budget under $50 probably won’t lead to any realisation of the project going ahead.


I’d be interested in contributing. It sounds like a good investment:)

I’ll get the hardware design happening then.

Here’s the first draft of the Design:

The ESP goes in the middle and there’s some area for adding extra components.

There’s no power-suppler per say but you can plug in whatever power you want into any of the connectors around the board.

The Serial Port is on the top-left most connector.

I’ll have to look up the reset and ch_pd pins - I’ve forgotten exactly what connections they needed. Obviously a small reset switch would be good to have.

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At the meeting some slight downgrading of the Project Scope was done.

My idea reading of it was to make it for the Masses but anyway, it’s obvious that I misread the project scope somewhere :slight_smile:

Here is a scan of the paper sketch.

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