DIYMORE ESP8285 Mcu Strong board

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Martin
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Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 14:11
Location: Warwickshire

Re: DIYMORE ESP8285 Mcu Strong board

Post by Martin »

Thanks for printing one, Tobe!

The long shaft doesn't really need to be long - once the clock is assembled, the two coaxial gears are also supported by each other and the front face - but it's nice to have the long shaft so that the gears can be positioned and tested before assembling into the case.

Yes, for ESP8266, I just start with the default settings and only change things when necessary. Upload a blink sketch: if it uploads then you're probably okay. The LED_BUILTIN pin that the sketch uses isn't always the same pin, so if the sketch uploads but you can't actually see any blinking, then you can measure with a multimeter, or a LED and resistor to find out which pin is actually 'blinking'. On the strong board, it's 'pin 16' but this is unusual - normally it's on 'Pin 2' (D4).

Beware that the ESP8266 boards have a weird (and sometimes inconsistent) way of labeling the pins on the silk screen, that bears no relation to the GPIO numbers, which are what you actually use in your Arduino sketches. Also, some pins have special uses and can't be pulled high or low (say connected to a LED with a pull-up resistor) as this prevents the board booting. There's a handy reference here.
Tobe
Posts: 503
Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 06:19
Location: Varberg or Stockholm, Sweden

Re: DIYMORE ESP8285 Mcu Strong board

Post by Tobe »

Up and running!
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Martin
Posts: 635
Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 14:11
Location: Warwickshire

Re: DIYMORE ESP8285 Mcu Strong board

Post by Martin »

Fantastic. Thanks Tobe! :D

It's worth getting one of the 'strong' boards - they're only a few dollars and make experimenting with servos and similar R/C connections such as SBUS less of a hassle. Also, they fit better in the clock! I put the screw holes to mount the board in the 'backplate' of the clock, and some cut-outs to clear where the pins protrude through the PCB. Normally, I incorporate stand offs to mount PCBs but that would make the backplate difficult to 3D print without support, so I went for the 'flat back with clearance pockets' approach.

I've noticed that the really cheap Tower Pro servos I've used are sufficiently non-linear that when I set the servo travel and clock hand positions so that they're right up near the top of the clock, then they tend to indicate about a minute fast when near the half-hour. Is yours the same? I thought about trying some better specification 9-gram servos, or maybe putting in one or two 'calibration points' in the code to correct for the non-linear response. If I'm going to do that though, I need to think of a way to make entering the calibration values simple: maybe just enter how many minutes fast or slow the clock displays at half past? Or perhaps have two or three such correction points spaced around the dial?
Tobe
Posts: 503
Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 06:19
Location: Varberg or Stockholm, Sweden

Re: DIYMORE ESP8285 Mcu Strong board

Post by Tobe »

I will take your advice, this was stuff I had hidden in a "junkbox" that I ordered wrongly as i was looking for the ESP32 really.
I'm really enjoying this project as the WiFi radio I'm playing with as a "mind cleaner", I should have started cleaning and sorting the shop...but that will have to wait hopefully not too long as I need to get airplanes in the air.
Just got it up and running but will let you know what I will come up with.
My sister really appreciated the clock and the design as she said, first time ever, this is something you built that I might consider to have on the shelf and visible!
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Flynn
Posts: 34
Joined: 17 Feb 2018, 14:48

Re: DIYMORE ESP8285 Mcu Strong board

Post by Flynn »

Hello everybody.......been a while
Tobe wrote: 16 Apr 2022, 19:29
....My sister really appreciated the clock and the design as she said, first time ever, this is something you built that I might consider to have on the shelf and visible!
I know what you mean... my partner wouldn't have my first 3D printed model in the house....I don't understand! :roll:
IMG_20220417_145107.jpg
I'm also building the clock but I think I am going to use a wemos D1 as I have a couple knocking about. I have ordered a couple of the wifi strong boards just in case. I notice there are actually a few different types - esp8266, esp8285, external wifi antenna
You only ever need two tools....WD40 and duct tape.
If it doesn't move when it should use the WD40 and if it moves and it shouldn't use the tape.
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Wayne_H
Posts: 702
Joined: 17 Feb 2018, 05:26
Location: Wellington, NZ
Contact:

Re: DIYMORE ESP8285 Mcu Strong board

Post by Wayne_H »

Flynn wrote: 17 Apr 2022, 14:03 Hello everybody.......been a while
Great to have you back ;)
Flynn wrote: 17 Apr 2022, 14:03 ... my partner wouldn't have my first 3D printed model in the house....I don't understand! :roll:
It looks to me like you have most of a bespoke(?) clock already. Add a second prop & shaft plus the innards from Martin's clock and ta da, a unique timepiece that just has to be displayed inside (of course :P ).
Cheers,

Wayne
Once a Retrobate, always a Retrobate............ ;)
Tobe
Posts: 503
Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 06:19
Location: Varberg or Stockholm, Sweden

Re: DIYMORE ESP8285 Mcu Strong board

Post by Tobe »

Martin, I have 2 clocks up and running and they are exactly the same as servos etc. but they still need individual calibration!
I was thinking...as calibration takes some time!!! if you could have each hand to make at a command do like "60" steps/one revolution after which you read on the dial the actual amount of steps and compute 60/XX and set the minute/hour travel accordingly, I think this would expedite the process.
As the servos at least the cheaper ones are not linear which normally is not an issue but might become here creates the question if you should calibrate the clock in 15 steps segment but to be honest I don't feel it necessary as the parallax error when you look at the clock is probably higher.

Cheers and all the best Martin

Tobe
Martin
Posts: 635
Joined: 16 Feb 2018, 14:11
Location: Warwickshire

Re: DIYMORE ESP8285 Mcu Strong board

Post by Martin »

Hi Tobe, thanks for the feedback.

I'm thinking the best way to calibrate and linearize the clock servos, would be to fit a link and then have the clock power up in 'calibrate' mode. In this mode it wouldn't connect to your WiFi, but would instead serve as a stand-alone WiFi hotspot. You'd then connect to that hotspot with your phone/tablet/laptop, and see a calibration webpage served out by the clock. The calibrate webpage would allow you to drive either hand to any of the positions on the clock '0' to '12', and let you tweak the PWM value for that hand/position to get it exactly right. The PWM values would then be stored in the flash memory, so that when the clock is powered up in normal mode, it would then be calibrated perfectly. No need to modify or re-upload the sketch!

Only issue (apart from finding the time to write the code) is whether the chip will have enough room to hold both the 'normal' and 'calibrate' sections of the sketch. I think the ESP8285 version probably would, but space might be a bit limited on the ESP8266.

In any case, I won't get around to trying to do it for a few weeks at least, as right now I'm busy with other projects - not all of them coding-related.
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