NanoPi Neo PLUS2

PLUS2No, I’d not heard of this one either until a couple of weeks ago. With a small form factor, 2 USB sockets and a $25 price tag it has to be worth a second glance.

I’ve used the NEO and this is definitely an improvement – H5 processor,  the Ethernet connector is giga-speed, 2 USB sockets, Bluetooth and WIFI (with external aerial which I hate using), 1GB RAM and 8GB eMMC on-board, the board looks like it could be a little winner – but as always it’s as much the software that matters as anything else. the board also has audio out on an (unpopulated) 2mm connector and gets it’s power from microUSB. Size is 40mm x 52mm.  Starting to look good already…

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The Wall Display

ESP8266 Wall DisplayI’ve just spent time working on my hallway wall display, the amount of which would be considered commercial suicide. Good job it isn’t commercial.

Of course I’ve not just been working on the pretty colours – I’ve revamped the control codes for the ESP8266-driven controller twice, discovered and fixed an OTA flaw in the code, re-hashed the Node-Red driving code, found and fixed countless other bits and pieces… and in the process taken pause for thought as to why I ever used the Dark Skies Node… you know – in other words – pretty much revamped everything just to improve a simple display.

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Simple Scope

SPIYou may have noticed that I’ve been working on my ESP8266 home control software (see the updates elsewhere along with new diagram), specifically upgrading and adding to the number of OLED and LCD displays I can handle, either by I2c or SPI.

I’ve been doing a lot of optimising and simplifying – for example with SPI – assuming that there will only be the one SPI device at once on an ESP means you don’t need the CS line which can be grounded.  But there’s more….

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Big Timer

tmp17DBBig Timer is probably the best timing node for Node-Red, providing a general purpose timer as well as  handling summer/winter correctly as well as (importantly) lighting up time (for which it needs longitude and latitude). After all you probably don’t turn the outside lights on at 6pm!! You turn them on when it gets DARK. Now with new seconds timer mode AND updated for the latest Node-Red 0.17.0 including new help formatting and tips on input and output.

Updated to v 1.6.8 –July 12, 2017 - Recommend updatingNew features include a seconds timer and even/odd day of the month selection! See this brand new video!

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Icons

QD-TechIn case you were wondering – no, I’ve not gone off the boil, I’ve been quietly beavering away on my ESP8266 code since deciding to abandon the old ESP-01 and adding fonts for displays. Right now I’m focussing on the QD-Tech boards – 120x160 but I’ll eventually migrate the use of the various icons to the other displays now that I’m not terrified of running out of space.

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The Script

Regular reader will know about the script (original blog material now ditched though the old script is still on BitBucket) that Aidan Ruff and I originally developed to put Node-Red and several other packages onto the Raspberry Pi for our own home control purposes.

Home Control 2017

WELL - there is a new version of the script, modified to include logging and work to handle the new version of Raspbian - consider this experimental for now.

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OTA

A quick note – I have made all of my sites secure (https://) and so the original OTA site for my ESP8266 ROMS is no longer appropriate.   roms.webutu.com  is now the place to go –   sorry for any inconvenience. The files are not seen if you visit the site, just a home page - you simply enter the name of the site followed by slash and the rom name - for example...  roms.webutu.com/rom.bin

Files available are:

blank.bin

esp_init_data_default.bin

rboot.bin

rom.bin

romx.bin

blank.bin and esp_init_data_default.bin are needed for utterly blank ESP12 units.

rboot.bin and rom.bin are for my new ESP8266 code (which no longer supports ESP-01)

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Today’s Mailbag

I have to say, it felt a little like Christmas today when the Correos post-lady turned up with a plastic container full of packages from China for me.

Wemos

Among the many items in today’s post were the two you see above – a WEMOS board (i.e.  ESP-12 + power supply) which includes an OLED display. As you’ll know I’ve recently added the SD1306 display to the commands on my ESP8266 code – looks like they’ve done the same but gone a stage further and added the actual display to the board.

(While I'm here - note the site is now https:// rather than http://  - if anyone has issues (despite refreshing the browser) - do please let me know.

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