Archive of ‘T-Recs Camp’ category

Outline: ESP8266, Lua, MQTT, & Temp/Humid/OLED Project

Wow! What a mouthful.

Here’s the objective:
Design and build a compact devise utilizing the components listed above (title) to develop an easy to construct, stand alone, sensor capable of detecting temperature and humidity, and having it display locally and remotely on like devices.

So what does this really mean?

I’m looking to design & build a circuit board that allows for a plug-in of a ESP8266 module (don’t know which one yet), plug-in of a OLED (display) module, and have it communicate over WiFi through a MQTT broker. Each module would subscribe to every other module’s information such that each module would display the temp and humidity of other locations within the network.

With the use of an “Internet” based broker, this network need not be local…in fact it could be world-wide. I know there are project out there like this, but I’m looking to develop the hardware assembly in a form that makes it easy for kids to build.

My goal is to take this start to finish, eith the selection of components, the drawing of the PCB, the making of the board (etching and drilling), the assembly of components, the programming of the module, and the development of the broker.

Package this up as a set of directions that kids can follow and make it a segment of “Explorer Series” of the T-Recs summer camp.

Looking for ideas and suggestions, so please feel free to comment.

Thanks all!


Summer T-Recs Camp for Kids!

Usually at this time of the year we start planning technology activities for kids that attend our camp. We always include rocket building and launching, CO2 powered dragsters, sculpted from wood and powered by CO2 seltzer cartridges. We include 3D printing with design and invention opportunities. Last year we introduced both manual and computer controlled xylophones made from emt (electrical conduit) pipe, some foam, and a set of creative “jigs” that demonstrated a mass production manufacturing sequence.

Keep in mind, the campers are 3rd through 8th graders, so this is a real hoot for the teachers as well as the campers. Lots-o-fun and lots-o-work. We start and end everyday with big smiles.

We mix outdoor activities with exciting hands-on activities. I developed a number of different electronic activities that have included AVR based POV wands, an electronic 8 Ball fortune teller, robotic (programmable) cars, crystal radios, and a host of other projects kids just don’t typically get to do. They love it.

One of the best compliments I remember (The camp is entering its 16th year) is when a mother told us that she just couldn’t get her son (4th grader) out of bed in the summer. He’d wake up at 10 or 11 and not want to do anything but play video games (indoors). The second day of camp, she said he got up at 5 AM and stormed into her bedroom and asked if “it was time to go to camp yet?” She credited the activities at camp for this showing of energy and interest. Yahooo!

Looking at coming up with IoT projects where the kids can build a simple temp/humidity sensor project maybe with a cheap display that they can monitor with their phone/pc. This would be for the explorers group (7th/8th graders). Keep posted, I’ll let you know what I’m working on and will certainly have my eyes and ears out for any ideas or pointers. The ESP8266 and related projects looks like it could be a winner.

See you in a bit.