ESP8266: Turn a $9 Body Scale into a Smart Scale – Part 1

In this project I will show you how you can build yourself a fancy Withings-like body scale. I divided the article into two parts: Part 1 describes the hardware hack and Part 2 the software. In this project I used a cheap scale I bought in the local super market for 9 Swiss Francs (which is currently about USD $9.-) and I am optimistic that other digital scales will work for you as well. This project was a lot of fun since I had to do reverse-engineering, soldering, programming and (optiona.....

ESP8266 based Plane Spotter – How To

When I sit at my living room table I can see wonderful big airplanes in the final approach to Zurich (ZRH) airport or ascending to a far destination: Airbus A380 or Boeing B777 are ingenious proof of what we are capable to design and build. Quite often when I have visitors I start flightradar24 to get more information about the airplanes we see. But wouldn’t it be nice if this information would just be there, anytime I’m curious – without starting an app on my smart phone.....

ESP8266: Continuous Delivery Pipeline – Push To Production

The integration of the ESP8266 framework into the Arduino IDE brought ease of use for development. This was further improved when firmwares could be pushed over the local network to the test devices with the direct over-the-air feature. But what if your ESP8266 devices are no longer in your own network? How can you then update all the devices which are running an older version of your firmware? .....

ESP8266 Peripherals: Indoor Positioning with IR Camera

DF Robot IR Camera Sensor
The sensor I’m going to talk about here is a very powerful one. And you actually might have a very similar one in your home somewhere. The DF Robot Positioning IR Camera uses the same or similar module that is built into the Nintendo Wiimote controller. The sensor module is capable of simultaneously detect up to four sources of IR light and make them accessible through a I2C interface. .....

Daddy Day Science #2: Heated Air Expands

Thursday – Daddy Day – Science Day! In the second experiment I wanted to show my daughter that air expands when it gets warmer. My favourite “science” book offered a good 5 minute experiment. Take a bottle, put a balloon over the top, put the bottle into a pot with cold water and warm up the water on the stove. Honestly I didn’t expect such a quick and clear reaction! And my daughter loved it! .....

ESP8266 Peripherals: Mini PIR Motion Sensor

  The ESP8266 is all about Internet of Things, right? So lets start sensing something in the real world! What about (human) presence in your apartment? There are various ways to do that but one of the most common type is sensing with pyro electric sensors which also called passive infrared (PIR) sensors (see Wikipedia). The one I am presenting in this post is also a PIR sensor; a really tiny one.....

Daddy Science Day: The Potato Battery

I see myself as very privileged to enjoy a day alone with my daughter once per week. There are many aspects to it: it is a great thing for the relation with my wife, since I now know that taking care of the household and of our daughter is equally consuming as a “normal” paid job. And I also get to be part of my daughter’s first experiences in the world. With a little bit over three years old she is constantly asking “Why this, why that” and everytime I’m .....