Just to start off and getting everyone up to speed on my suggestion: I have developed a control that controls the crockpot from a remote location using Blynk. You would think this is a simple task but it isn’t. The idea is to maintain the temperature in the crockpot below the point where the meat cells burst. If the temperature is too high, the cells burst and the result is a dry taste to the meat. You also want to bring this pot up to temperature as quickly as possible to reduce the cook time. So, I switched from a simple bang bang control to a PID control. This was not easy. There are about 5 heat transition points in this system starting from the heating element, the air, the thick ceramic crockpot, the liquid and the sheath on the thermistor. Together this results in a 5 minute lag between the turn-on of the element and the heat reaching the thermistor. The NANO was selected because I wish to use this configuration for other projects. Connecting the WIFI ESP-01 to NANO was a small challenge.
My wife loves it. She fills the pot, plugs it in, goes to work. At work, she can programme the start time and cook time, start it, gets confirmation that it has started and and view the temperature in the pot. When she’s gets home, it is perfectly cooked. I don’t like Blynk. Text is small and you have to pay for their services in a sneaky way.after you reach a limit.
Now… the ESP8266 has many configurations. The ESP-01 is the smallest and is best suited to fill the role of a WIFI shield for a controller. This is probably the reason why it has only two digital I/O pins. The ESP-01 comes with the AT Firmware preinstalled. Now this is very important to understand. You can serially connected (TTL 3.3V on ESP.01 RX) and send AT commands with the expected replies. What some people do is overwrite this programme with a control sketch to play with the two pins. Then try to use it as a WIFI shield and find that it no longer communicates with AT commands. You have to download that AT firmware once again. And it isn’t that easily available. So in a nutshell, don’t touch it. Leave it alone. At $2 a pop, it’s a great WIFI shield for a NANO.
I used Blynk’s .h library to connect ESP-01/NANO to their servers. Great. If you like I can reply with a sketch I used. There are two in fact. The first is completely automated. The second requires some coding but the advantage is you can control how the system recovers when WIFI/power is lost. The second is the best bet to connect to Cayenne if you don’t want to connect to Blynk’s servers.
What I don’t see is that option here at Cayenne. When I pull up Arduino and specifically NANO and look for the ESP-01 shield, I don’t see it. There is an ESP8266 stand alone but I’m not interested in that. Remember that the ESP-01 comes preprogrammed with the AT Firmware and I want to leave it intact so the stand alone ESP8266 - ?? is not an option. I have been searching this community for a “quick fix” and that hasn’t resulted in anything I could use. Almost all topics center on using the ESP8266 as a stand alone controller. Actually, all the topics do.
So, what I ask is this… is there a topic I missed that explains how to configure the Arduino with an ESP-01 WIFI shield to work with Cayenne? If not, does anyone wish to write one? Or am I on my own and have to come up with a fix?