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ESP8266 Web Site Monitor


Using an ESP-01 module with the Arduino IDE to make a website monitor.

Pictured here is the breadboard which runs 24/7 to monitor this web site.

I’ll describe each part as we walk down the image to the left.

Neopixel strip.

6-Pin header I used for an FTDI

Big red button

ESP01 breadboard Adaptor

ESP01 module

BreadboardBuddy Pro , from Tindie. Used for USB to UART serial, reset button, and power supply.

More about each of these below.



ESP01 Module

Simple module with an ESP8266 module. Microcontroller with built in WiFi. There are a lot of differnet version of ESP8266 based modules but this one is the super cheap ($4) ESP-01. 

The ESP-01 interfaces via an 8-pin header providing very limited IO. You get a TX and RX pin for a UART which you use to load the firmware. For GPIO you have 2 pins to work with.

Links to more ESP8266 / ESP01 information


FTDI 6-Pin Header

I often setup a second debug serial port using a standard FTDI serial cable. The breadboard buddy adaptor includes a serial port but I like to have a separate one that does not get disconnected by the serial programming process. The header just adapts the female connector on the cable to the breadboard.

Links to more FTDI information


Neopixel Strip

This is a strip PCB with 8 WS2812B modules. Each WS2812B has only 4 pins. 2 for power, and one data in and a data out. Only one digital interface signal is needed to set the brightness of it RGB LEDs and the output data signal passes things along to the next WS2812 so you can string them out as far as you like. These strips are available in many configurations including rings and rolls of LED meters long.

In this project the LEDs are used to indicate status as follows

  • Top – Flashes once per second
    • off in the picture.
    • under the white plastic bit because I don’t like flashing lights next to my keyboard
  •   WiFi Connection. Green is good, Red for problem
  • Google Ping response. We are connected to the internet.
  • Google speed.  We get a quick connection and fast data.
  • uCHobby web site connects and delivers a web page as required.

Links to more Neopixel Info

  • Bought mine at Amazon on Prime for $8 here.
  • Adafruit has a lot of Neopixel modules and great tutorials on using them

Big Red Button

This button is held down during a reset (button on the breadboard buddy) to enable flash boot-loading of the ESP8266. I don’t use it in the code currently.

I don’t recall where I got the button. I found them in my “switches” box and they work well with my solderless breadboards.

ESP01 Adaptor Board

Very nice adaptor which makes it easy to play with the ESP01 module. The module has a 8 pin, 4 by 2 header which is not compatible with a solderless breadboard.

Tindie page for the ESP8266 Adaptor here

Breadboard Buddy

Great bread boarding tool I picked up at Tindie. It provides a reset button, 5 and 3.3V supplies, a USB UART and a battery supply with charger. I have not used the battery feature yet but the other features are always in use on my bench.

Tindie page for the BreadboardBuddy Pro here

More to Come!

This is just a quick introduction to the ESP Web Monitor project. I am having a PCB made now and will do PCB supplier review when the boards arrive, Soon.

I plan to cover the hardware design and the code soon after the review of the module. Stay tuned…

Posted in Ideas, Interesting, IoT, Microcontroller, Projects.

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