ESP mailbox IOT

IoT fascination and ESP8266

21. August 2017

I recently got a Phillips Hue starter set, some extra bulbs and remotes for my birthday, since the idea of internet connected lights has always been very sci-fi to me – and I love my Philips Hues! That got me thinking about making my own IoT (Internet of Things) smart home projects.

My dad told some time ago, that he wanted a device in his mailbox that would email him whenever he’d got mail. I thought that an internet connected mail IoT device would be a great place to start, since it’s not TOO complicated to make.

My first hurdle was choosing a platform to build it on. I read up on some articles, and decided on using the ESP8266 chip, since it’s a cheap, low power, WiFi enabled developer platform. I also looked at the Particle Photon, since it seems to be highly focused on web-connected development, but since it costs way more, I ended up not choosing it. I’m still interested in getting the Particle since it looks really interesting and more capable of being controlled via the web. If you have any experience with the Particle and want to share some advice, your thoughts on the chip, or just what projects you have made with it, I would love to hear from you!

I’ve only just started my project, and since I’m starting in school next week, I probably won’t have all the time in the world to work on this project. But I’m kinda curious about the other possibilities that the ESP8266 enables. What other projects have you been making (or thinking about making)? I’m looking for inspiration for future project since I’m crazy about the idea of smart homes at the moment. I’m really looking forward for this project, as well as future IoT projects. There’s just something about sci-fi homes that I can’t resist, and to be able to say that it’s homemade…well, that just adds to the charm.


EDIT 28/8 – 17:

All of a sudden, the chip refuses to send emails. I had it hooked up to test the function (which was working fine for two days) via a battery, just to test how long it would be able to be powered on on just one charge. I don’t know what is wrong since I haven’t updated the code or messed with the wiring. If I upload the trusted old classic “Blink”-sketch, everything works as it should, so I know the chip isn’t fried.
Well, guess I just have to hun for that little annoying bug…

Edit 31/8 – 17:

I discovered that the fault was that my ISP had blacklisted my IP address. Gonna have to look for a workaround or some other way to fix this problem. So annoying, but at least it’s not the chip that’s fried.


Edit 19/11 – 17:

Sooo…Yeah, the project has kinda been on hold, since I haven’t been able to solve the IP blacklisting problem yet as well as my new study taking up so much of my time. I’ve been toying around with the idea of having the ESP make a request to a serve, which then activates a PHP script that send an email. Not a very pretty solution, but it might work. I don’t know when I’ll try this but probably not in the near future, since, again – my studies take up a lot of my time.