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Basic Weather Widget for SSD1306 and ESP32

HackerBoxes #15 included a SSD1306 display along with the ESP32.  One of the suggested projects was to create a weather widget, and the following is what I did to create a working albeit very basic weather widget. Please keep in mind  I am not a coder, and my code is not very pretty or bug free.  It does give a working example of the HackerBox #15 project we’ve been working on at my house, and we thought it might help some other folks out.  You should be able to get a basic weather widget running pretty fast.  The basic process is to wire up your board, grab your API key from Weather Underground, install the libraries, update the code with […]

HackerBoxes #13 – WiFi Car Controlled with Blynk Joystick and HC-SR04

The code below is what I have thus far for the WiFi car that came with HackerBoxes #13.  I hooked up a Blynk 2 axis joystick to control the car, and it works pretty good. The “tires” for the car are terrible on the surfaces around my house – wood floors, tile, concrete.  The tires slip all over the place, and it’s really difficult to keep the car moving in a line with the back end of it sliding all over the “road”.  No carpet in our house, so maybe it works better on a surface like that. The HC-SR04 sensor is the general ultrasonic sensor you’ve probably seen before.  Very easy to hook-up and seems fairly accurate for the […]

HackerBoxes #13 – Using Blynk’s 2 Axis Joystick with Arduino and ESP8266

This is the Arduino version of the code to use a 2 axis Blynk joystick widget.  It turned out to be easier to code, but more difficult to debug than the NodeMCU version.  I put the car through a few laps around the basement, and it seems to work pretty well other than the wheels are way out of alignment and the tires are sort of bald…makes it a little hooptie, but it still works much better than the 4 pushbutton control version supplied with HackerBoxes #13.  Playing around with sensors and open SDK version now.  Really fun project – we’ve enjoyed it so far. A couple other notes – be sure you check to make sure your motor leads […]

HackerBoxes #13 – Using Blynk’s 2 Axis Joystick with NodeMCU and ESP8266

Sometimes I really like the Arduino IDE.  Not so much in this case.  Instead, I’ve enjoyed using the ESPlorer IDE with NodeMCU Lua – mainly because it’s easier and way faster for me to load and debug.  I’m sure there are counter points, but this was my experience so take a noob’s experience  for what it’s worth.  I was attempting to get the HackerBoxes #13 wifi controlled car working with Blynk via both the NodeMCU firmware as well as the Arduino firmware.  I started with the NodeMCU firmware, and I ended up with something that worked decently.  I am in the process of finishing up the code for the Arduino version, and I hope to post that shortly.  I’ve also […]

HackerBoxes #13 – Basic Setup for NodeMCU and ESP8266 (ESP-12E Development Kit)

Box #13 for HackerBoxes included an ESP8266 Development Board for use with the various sensors and model car chassis kit.  The instructable posted for HackerBoxes #13 included instructions for using the Arduino firmware instead of the NodeMCU firmware.  Nothing wrong with the Arduino firmware and related IDE, but I really like the NodeMCU eLua based firmware.  I’ve used it in the past with different ESP8266 projects, and I decided to use it as much as possible with the HackerBoxes #13 projects. Part of the reason I decided to make this post is because I tend to forget stuff that I don’t use every day, and it takes me awhile to get re-familiarized with the language, IDE, and related tools needed […]