How to begin
Every project has next steps:
- Get project type.
- Assemble the board.
- Prepare the router.
- Connect to SmartESP and/or Blynk services.
- Plug the devices to the board.
- Set up automatic operating modes.
1. Get project type
At first, choose a project that will be as a basis. Each project has its own personal page with documentation and video instructions. For example, Climate control. Look at the sensors and devices. You do not need to use all of them, but remember you will not be able to add other devices within the same project. However, it is a possible and good idea to use several projects (the same or different), which are united in a smart net.
2. Assemble the board
You can find a schematic and PCB to do it yourself on the project page. You will need to purchase radio components, order a board and solder them. After that, upload the firmware into the ESP-chip, this can be done by the SmartESP program, or manually (create a project in the personal account and download firmware in window "Service of the board", the "Update" tab).
3. Prepare the router
If you decide to use only the Blynk service, then you will not need any additional router settings, and you can skip this step. But for automatization with the SmartESP service, you need to configure a router. In fact, for autonomous systems, setting up a router is required in any case. Because you need to beware of emergencies and have activated protections by using WatchDog technology or plug a router through a GSM socket. You can find a diagram and description of how the board connects to the network in the section Network structure. The main target is creating a VPN connection. This is easy to do, but not all routers have this function, and it is not a privilege of expensive models. We recommend using Mikrotik routers, they have advanced functionality that would be useful in the future. For example, such a router is a good combination with a 3G or 4G modem. Additionally, in the router, you can set automatic rules that control traffic, automatic reboot in case of failures, determination of load quotas for users, and much more. It is very important that on the Internet you can find a lot of examples, documentation and videos for working with these routers.
4. Connect to services
The easiest and fastest way is to activate the "Autonomy" mode on the ESP and connect it to the Blynk service. In this case, you have got minimal automation, and it may be enough for the first time. Where there is a wish to make more challenging combinations of device operation, we suggest using our SmartESP automation service.
5. Plug the devices to the board
It's time to connect the devices to the assembled board. Please be careful, keeping in mind the safety when working with high voltage.
6. Set up automatic operating modes
You don't need to program or write hard scripts with special markup languages. Everything is configured via the web interface in the personal account. In it, you create automatic modes, where you specify different scenarios for the operation of devices, depending on the sensors. In addition, you can combine different projects into a single smart network. Then each board can spy on sensors and devices of the other board and change the modes by your algorithm.