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System for controlling electronic appliances using esp8266 and/or esp32

VoffCon - How to setup the devices

Readme Device setup

Description on how to setup these two devices

The esp8266 module
The esp8266 module

Why we need to setup a device

In order to be able to communicate with the device using VoffCon, you will need to setup your computer so you can use it to send a program to the device. This program is called the Device server. The device server will allow the Node server to view and change values on the device it self. To get the device server onto the device you will need to follow the instructions below.

create the file config.json

If there is no file called config.json in the root of the Arduino project, then you will need to create it. After that you should provide a ssid and a ssid password. ssid is the name of your whifi network. the ssid is the password needed to connect to that network. These are the same values you need to connect your smart mobile phone to your wifi. These values will be used by the node server to create the program (the device server) which will be uploaded to your device.



Install the Arduino IDE

ESP32 Arduino Core

If you will be using the ESP32 Development Module you will need the ESP32 Arduino Core. The ESP32 is still fairly new so the Arduino IDE Board manager cannot be used, like with the ESP8266.

Click here to get information on how get the ESP32 Arduino Core.

ESP8266 core for Arduino

If you will be using the NodeMCU 1.0 (ESP-12E Module) you will need the ESP8266 Arduino Core.

“Esp8266 by ESP8266 community” is the library I used to write the Device server. You will need to install it. Easiest way to do that is to use the Arduino IDE Board manager.

Follow these steps to install the ESP8266 core for Arduino:

  1. Open the Arduino IDE
  2. Open the preferences window, go to File > Preferences
  3. Enter into Additional Board Manager URLs field and
  4. Click “OK” button
  5. select from menu > Tools > Board: “Arduino/Genuino Uno” > Boards Manager…
  6. type 82 into the text box to find the “esp8266 by ESP8266 Community” click it and press the “install” button.
  7. select from menu > Tools > Board: “Arduino/Genuino Uno” > NodeMCU 1.0 (ESP-12E Module).
  8. now you can have fun with a lot of examples for the ESP8266 in File > Examples > ESP8266*

Now we should be able to send our device server program to the device via a usb port.

Programming the device

We will need to send the Device server program to the device. We can do that by doing the following

  1. Browse to the the VoffCon system.
  2. Create a device, by going to menu -> Devices -> Register a new device.
  3. Save the device, to add it to the VoffCon database.
  4. Press the “> Run” button and click the “Get program” button.
  5. Save the program to you local hard disk.
  6. Open the Arduino IDE.
  7. Select the device you will be programming
    • for NodeMCU 1.0 select from menu > Tools > Board: “Arduino/Genuino Uno” > NodeMCU 1.0 (ESP-12E Module).
    • for ESP32 DEV Module select from menu > Tools > Board: “Arduino/Genuino Uno” > ESP32 DEV Module
  8. Connect the device to your computer using a USB cable.
  9. Select the COM port the device is connected to.
  10. Select from the menu File -> New to create a new sketch.
  11. Open the .ino program you downloaded.
  12. Copy all text in the downloaded file and paste it into the new sketch in the arduino IDE.
  13. If VoffCon Node server has not automaticly changed the values below for you in the device server program, you will need to change them manually.
      IPV4_IPADDRESS  : (IP) Provide an ip address (IPV4) which you want the device to ask operating system for.
      PORT_NUMBER     : (Port) Provide the port number you want the device to listen and serve from.
      IPV4_GATEWAY    : (Default Gateway) The device needs to know the default gateway it will be using.
      IPV4_SUBNET     : (Subnet mask / netmask) The subnet mask it is on.
      WIFI_ACCESSPOINT: (SSID) Service set identifier of the wifi network the device will be connecting to.
      WIFI_PASSWORD   : (SSID password) The password to your wifi network. 
  14. Compile, build and send the Device Server program to the device.

Now the device has been setup and you should be able to connect to it.

The Device server

General information

As noted above this program needs to be uploaded on the device you want to control from the node server. This server will only allow request to it, if the request comes from a client which is on the same subnet. In fact the Device server will check for the first 3 numbers in the calling ip address and if all 3 match the device ip address numbers then the caller will be considered as save and his requests will be acted upon. Exeptions to this can be made by whitelisting specific ip addresses.

Device server commands

These are possible commands a client (the Node server) can send to the device.

Todo: make timed commands. That is allow a client to send a command which is a sequence of commands made to pins. That could be shomething like this. Set pins 1 value to 1023 and set pins 2 value to 0. Wait for 500 milliseconds and set pins 1 value to 0 and set pins 3 value to 256.

Device server Documentation


In the node server is a variable called server which is of the type ESP8266WebServer

See also:


Arduino-esp32 is intended to provide an arduino compatible environment on the esp32 hardware. The basic arduino functional documentation can be found here.