The firmware ESP Easy Mega arrives on ESP32, test on the Wemos LoLin32 Lite, novelties of the firmware

The ESP Easy development team has just released a first version of the firmware adapted to the ESP32. In the previous article, we discovered the firmware MicroPython installed by default by Wemos on its new LoLin32 Lite development board. I propose today to install the ESP Easy firmware that has been adapted to work on this card. The 20000 version of ESP Easy Mega is a development version that certainly contains many bugs but the first tests are already very conclusive. At the moment, the firmware seems to work only on the new Wemos LoLin32 Lite. I tried unsuccessfully to install it on a generic Geekcreit ESP32 development board.

What do you need ?

The firmware is available for download on this page. It comes in the form of a ZIP file that contains the following files:

  • The binary file (or rather the files) of the firmware to be uploaded to the ESP32.
  • An installation script OTA (Over The Air) for wireless installation (flashOTA), untested
  • An installation script via the serial port (flashSerial)
  • Esptool and espota tools used by scripts

Download and unzip the ESPEasy32 R20000 file. For the moment, you will need a Windows PC to install the firmware. If you are on Linux or macOS, you only need to adapt the call command of the esptool.py script

will become

To learn more about the esptool.py script, read this previous article.

For the moment the firmware has been validated only on the Wemos LoLin32 Lite. I tried my luck with a Geekcreit development board … without success. The firmware is installed but reboot loop.

Installing the CH341 driver

The LoLin32 features a CH341C Serial to USB converter. It is very likely that the Wemos LoLin32 Lite is not recognized by Windows, macOS or Linux on the hook. Follow this tutorial to install the appropriate drivers for your system.

Once the drivers have been installed, connect the ESP32 card to your PC and open PowerShell or the command prompt and run the mode command to find the COM port to which the card is connected.

ESP Easy firmware installation for ESP32

Launch the flashSerial installation script. The command prompt opens. Enter the COM port (here 3) then the version number (here 20000). The installation starts immediately. At the end of the installation, press a key to restart the board.

To make sure everything is correct, open the serial monitor from the Arduino IDE. You should have a boot report that indicates that the card is started in Access Point (AP) mode with the default IP address 192.168.4.1.

Everything works, the card is waiting for a valid WiFi configuration. We find ourselves in known terrain!

Setting up the WiFi connection

Open the Windows WiFi Connection Manager and connect to the ESP_Easy_0 network. The default password is configesp. The configuration window opens. Choose the WiFi network to connect the ESP32 and enter the password. Confirm. The countdown starts.

The map reboots automatically and the IP address is assigned by the router is displayed. Close the window and connect to the LoLin32 Lite from a web browser.

espeasy mega esp32 configuration wifi mode ap

What’s new in ESP Easy Mega

If you have not yet tested ESP Easy Mega (or v2), this is the opportunity to discover what’s new in this new version. We will quickly review the different pages. The first change is aesthetic. ESPEasy Mega gains clarity, the panel access buttons have been replaced by tabs. Black has been replaced by a less aggressive gray.

Main page

The first page with a lot of information was simplified.

ESP Easy ESP Easy Mega
espeasy main page

Configuration page (config)

On this page you will find the Main Settings section that was present on the Main page of the v1. Interesting option, it is now possible to force the module to sleep if a connection to the WiFi network fails. This option will avoid draining the battery in case of power failure or WiFi router failure. If you have several projects based on ESP Easy, you can network them and exchange messages (commands, measurements, reports). To do this, assign a Unit Number to each module. We find the number on the summary of the main page.

 ESP Easy ESP Easy Mega
espeasy main settings

New Controller Page

A new Controller page is appearing. It is now possible to manage up to 3 different controllers. For example, you can communicate with Domoticz, Nodo, OpenHab, PiDome, FHEM, Generic HTTP for Jeedom, for example. At the same time, we will be able to send data to an online server such as Emoncms (for monitoring energy consumption) or ThingSpeak for recording and displaying measurements.

Standalone mode lets the ESP32 run in stand-alone mode. Enable must be checked to enable each controller individually.

Hardware Page

New options have been added. It is now possible to initialize the SPI bus and specify the CS (chip select) pin for SD card readers. As in the first version, it is possible to force the operating mode of each pin of the ESP32 (Default, Input, Output HIGH, Output LOW). Unlike the ESP8266 version, spindle registration is easier. GPIO-4 corresponds to pin 24 of the ESP32. The wiring is much easier!

espeasy hardware settings

Device page

It is still possible to manage up to 12 devices with ESP Easy Mega. Cala may seem like a lot for a connected object project, but some Device (Dummy Device) is needed to create rules as we’ve already seen in this tutorial or this one. There are always 3 pages of 4 devices. To move from one page to another, use the arrows in the upper left corner of the table

The configuration page is almost identical to the previous version. The changes are aesthetic and ergonomic. New modules have been added:

  • Senseair CO2 sensor
  • MQTT Import that retrieves MQTT messages and triggers actions
  • MQTT output for Domoticz.
  • NeoPixel indexed LED light point. 3 modules (basic, candle, clock)
  • System Info. now makes it easier to retrieve card info: Uptime, available RAM, IP address, WEB activity …)
  • Thermocouples MAX6675 or MAX31855

Sensors, analog or digital inputs

The novelties are in bold in the following tables

tcr5000 Pulse counter

  • TCR5000
dallas-ds18b20 Temperature

BMP180 Barometer

  • BMP085/BMP180  : temperature from -40 to + 85°C, atmospheric pressure from 300 to 1100hPa
  • BME280 : temperature from -40 to + 85°C, humidity from 0 to 100%, atmospheric pressure from 300 to 1100 hPa
  • BMP280 : temperature from -40 to + 85°C, atmospheric pressure from 300 to 1100 hPa
  • MS5611
bh1750 Luminosité

  • BH1750 : from 0 to 65535 lux, 16 bits.
  • TSL2561 : from 188 μLux to 88000 lux
Broches DHT22 Temperature and Humidity

Environment

 

 pn532 RFID

hc-sr04 Distance

bouton-poussoir Switchs
ESP8266 analog input
ads1115 External analog input

mcp23017 Digital inputs

ir keyes ky-022 Infrared receiver
gp2y10 Dust

  • GP2Y10 : size from 0,8µm. 0.5V for 0.1mg/m3.
ina219 Tension and Intensity, I2C INA219 sensor

Be careful to respect the characteristics of your sensor before any connection. You are responsible for any deterioration of your equipment. Caution, handling power is dangerous for your health. Do not make any connections if you do not have the skills

The module is now able to measure voltage, intensity and calculate power. Three measuring ranges are available: 32V / 2A, 32V / 1A, 16V / 0.4A

Actuators, screens

ESP8266 Numerical output : Led, servo, relais
mcp23017 More numerical outputs

pca9685 PWM

  • PCA9685 : I2C, 16 chanels 12 bits
oled ssd1306 ecran i2c Display

  NeoPixel, 3 modules

  • Basic 
  • Candle
  • Clock 

Page Notifications

A new notification system has been added. It is possible to create 4 different email notifications. The notify command is used to trigger the sending of a notification on an event or a threshold. For example, notification 1 will be sent when the card is started. The notify command accepts two parameters. The number of the notification (1 to 4) then the message (without quotation marks).

Tools page

The tools page is full of novelties.

ESP Easy now has an entry point that provides a JSON containing the main info on the map as well as the status (or values) of each sensor. It is accessed using the IP address followed by /json, for example http://192.168.1.85/json. Here is an example of JSON generated by ESP Easy Mega

The Filesystem section allows you to list the files stored on the SPIFFS memory. We can now download a file. For example, you can use it to load a CSS style sheet. It is now possible to save the execution log on a micro SD card (a player costs less than $3). All that’s missing is a controller that would create a data logger in minutes!

esp easy mega system file

The Rule system is always disabled by default. To activate it, always go to Tools then Advanced and check Rules (end with Submit). It is now possible to create up to 4 Rules. Each Rules can not exceed 2048 characters.

Conclusions

This first version of ESP Easy Mega adapted to ESP32 modules is a real success. During all the tests, I did not encounter any particular problem or crash of the card. It installs in minutes from Windows. Its simple and effective interface is very easy to handle even if you have no concept of programming. The Rules system will help you evolve your projects by adding a little logic. You can easily switch on a lamp (using a relay) with a motion detector. The firmware works perfectly on the Wemos LoLin32 Lite. With its LiPo battery connector and built-in charging system, the ESP32 is now a credible alternative to the ESP8266! Hope the next update will be compatible with all ESP32 boards.

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