Living on a farm I often encounter communication issues coupled with the urgency to communicate when catastrophes strike. Therefore in my quest to find suitable backups and backups to the backups I stumbled upon the LoRa system. Specifically the LoRa boards in the T-Beam configuration using the Meshtastic firmware + Android app which allows text message communication over a few kilometers in my case.
After testing them I came to the conclusion that they do work and reliability, however they can get damaged easily and the quality of boards and components used is not up to the bar of commercial motherboards such as gigabyte PC motherboards as an example.
My final opinion being: they work and I would use them as one of my “coms” layers however I would not put the T-Beam on par with a mobile phone the quality is simply just not there.
#76 ESP32 that is Arduino & MicroPython Compatible
The ESP32 has already integrated an antenna and RF balun, power amplifier, low-noise amplifiers, filters, and power management module. The entire solution takes up the least amount of printed circuit board area. This board is used with 2.4 GHz dual-mode Wi-Fi and Bluetooth chips by TSMC 40nm low power technology, power and RF properties best, which is safe, reliable, and scale-able to a variety of applications.
The ESP32-CAM, is a fine product of Espressif, and features WiFi + Bluetooth with an onboard Camera and even a built-in flash for complete solutions to IoT, so you can give your IoT systems eyes to “see”, in addition to the many Sensors that allow them to “feel”.
The camera included with this development board is the OV2640 camera, which is surprisingly high quality for the low price that it’s typically offered for. However, the board also allows use with the OV7670 camera too, allowing you to use whichever camera best suits your project – with more than enough computing power to operate a range of different tasks, and multiple sleep modes for impressively versatile power consumption.
This product is comprised of two parts, one of which is the Development Board while the other is the OV2640 camera module. This allows you to utilise these separately, or as a single unit, giving you more freedom to take your projects in whatever direction they need to go.
Since I have been using a ton of ESP8266 and ESP32devices in my projects I decided to look for a suitable server with a good track record. During my research I singled out Home Assistant coupled with the ESPHOME Add-on as my go to software.
The ESPHOME Add-on is perfect for my projects since it does not require a MQTT broker and supports both the ESP8266 and the ESP32 development chips.
Step 1: Install Home Assistant on a suitable device to act as the server ( in my case it was on a Raspberry Pi 4 B) Link to install instructions here.
Step 2: Setup Port Forwarding/Virtual Server for port 8123 and DMZ Settings + uPnP.
Step 3: Setup Duck DNS for your Home Assistant server.
Step 4: Restart Home assistant.
If you are using LTE with Telkom ( like me in South Africa ) be sure to set your APN to unrestricted …. link to tutorial here.
Once your server is up and running and using HTTPS instead of HTTP you can download the HA APP to your mobile device and insert your DuckDNS domain name into the Home Assistant URL field.