ESP8266 WeatherStation Kit finally in US Amazon Store

ESP32 Development Board WiFi+Bluetooth Ultra-Low Power Consumption Dual Cores ESP-32 ESP-32S Board
Integrated antenna and RF balun, power amplifier, low-noise amplifiers, filters, and power management module. The entire solution takes up the least amount of printed circuit board area. This board is used with 2.4 GHz dual-mode Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips by TSMC 40nm low power technology, power and RF properties best, which is safe, reliable, and scalable to a variety of applications.

More than two months ago I started the process to have my ESP8266 WeatherStation listed on Amazon. The big online platform offers a service called Fulfilled by Amazon or short FBA which allows you to send your items directly to their warehouse. Your product will then be shipped to your buyers with the usual speed and quality as if it was a product sold directly by Amazon.

Weather Station Kit on Amazon store
Weather Station Kit on Amazon store

While the products you order from my shop come directly from China I have limited possibilities to customize the starter kit with this supplier. For Amazon I wanted an improved product: ready with instructions, packed in a convenient plastic box for storage. So I had to look for another supplier for this special batch. Alibaba helped me to get into contact with some suppliers and  picked three to send me samples. All of them sent express and arrived within a few days in Switzerland. I tested the display and the NodeMCU module rather carefully but neglected to test the USB wire since I thought it was a commodity. I picked the supplier based on language, how fast the responded and the price. I made the order and had 20% of them sent to Switzerland while the other 80% went directly to a Amazon warehouse in Texas.

While the shipments were still on the way to Switzerland and the US I desperately needed a USB cable and picked the one from the sample box. But for some strange reason I didn’t see the NodeMCU when plugged into my Mac. I slowly realized that all the USB cables I had ordered were just for charging and not for data transfer. Some harsh emails were exchanged with the supplier in China but I had to realize that it was at least partly my fault. By that time the shipment for the US had just arrived in Texas. What should I do? Removing items from the Amazon inventory is only possible with a destination address in the US and I live in Switzerland.

I remembered that a friend from grammar lived now with her family in the US and contacted her through Facebook. I asked her if her boys could help me to replace the wrong USB cables in exchange for some pocket money and she agreed. Now it took almost a month until Amazon completely removed all the items from their warehouses all over the country. When all of them had arrived at my friends place she and her boys quickly replaced the USB cables with the ones from China my supplier had sent to her. After that UPS picked up the box with the starter kits and brought it to yet another Amazon warehouse.

The moral of the story is that you should always test every aspect of your product even commodity items like USB cables. On the other hand this story also shows that there is (almost) always a way out of such a frustrating situation. Look at it as a challenge and not as a problem.

This is the very short story of my long and winding road from a Chinese supplier to a Amazon warehouse in the US. Now the next chapter has just begun and I keep my fingers crossed that it was worth all the troubles so far… You can see and order the result of that work here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01KE7BA3O

Posted by squix78

15 comments

  1. Very cool Daniel…I’ve found your font generator to come in handy, and you keep making it better! What about adding the Meteocons font to allow scaling this into sizes other than those that you’ve included by default in your weather display?

  2. This is really great. Would it be possible to add some user defined characters to the font, like umlauts and the ° sign?

  3. Arduino uno 32KB.
    For this reason the font file must be small.
    I just want to use the numbers.
    I will not use letters.
    I will use the Droid Sans 36
    How do I do this for Adafruit GFX font.

    So how can I make the letters ineffective?

    1. You can manually cut out the unwanted characters but that is not easy. You might like to try the library here which has number only fonts and is designed for the limited resources of the UNO.

      https://github.com/Bodmer/TFT_ILI9341

      The larger fonts are only available in numbers and are “Run Length Encoded” so they render quickly to screen and don’t use up much space.

      Some help also here:

      http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-TFT-display-and-font-library/

  4. Hi, Firstly, that font generator is great, thanks,

    There is a small bug in it though, I generated a font called Yellowtail in point size 32. There is no tilda character (~) which is code 0x7E, so the last character in the table is 0x7D. At the end of the file however the last character is declared as 0x7E, so if the ~ character is printed then garbage appears on the screen!

    The last character should be 0x7D for that font, or the ~ symbol should be included.

  5. Hi, as of yesterday the generator isn’t working anymore, it does not seem to load the page. Any idea when it will be running again?

    Thanks for the great tool!

    1. Hi! thank you for letting me know. I restarted the server, now it seems to run ok. I’ll have to look at the logs to understand why it didn’t respond. Please let me know if you see it again…
      Dani

  6. Hi Mr. Eichhorn

    It turns out your 3D printing case cutout is too far away from the USB port. Need to modify the hole for the USB port. Currently I am living and working in china so google map wont work, I just can see a dot without a map. Is there anyway to turn this into your weather station colour ?
    I have 12 PCBs in my hand, I wanna give them away. If you or your fans are interested let me know.

    1. Hi Fred! Thank you for the feedback and your kind offer! About the map: is the dot on blue ground? This could also mean that the positioning based on WiFi did not work. You can also hard code the location if that is the case. The library also supports maps from MapQuest, you just need to change a few lines in the code. This project is using the exact same hardware as the WeatherStation Color, so you can just upload the WeatherStation code and you are good to go. About the PCBs: very much interested to give them away to fans. How should we do that? I announce it and they contact you or you send them to me and I ship them to the winners? Can you contact me on Twitter @squix78?

      1. Hi, Thanks for your replay, I have changed the code a little bit and also changed the google api link : https://maps.googleapis.com/maps/….. ( DOES NOT WORK) . for china it should be changed to https://maps.google.cn/maps/…. . its woking well now.
        If I upload the WeatherStation Color then LCD wont light up. I cant seam to get around with it.should i change the pin?
        For the PCB if I send all of them together would cost me cost me an arm and a leg!!!
        I can send you by ordinary post (one by one) or if someone interested to pay the post I can send them all.

Leave a Reply