I recently started playing around with Arduinos to connect a few sensors up. I used an Arduino Nano to measure temperature, humidity, air pressure and light level.
To store the data in a database, I used another Arduino that I connected to a Raspberry Pi, and let the two Arduinos talk wirelessly to each other via 433 MHz.
That all works pretty well, but the 433 MHz communication is not exactly the most reliable (I often miss a transmission). When I stumbled upon the ESP8266 module, it seemed like the optimal solution for communication. How cool would it be if I could just pull out the information via an HTTP call from the Raspberry Pi?
After toying around for many hours, uploading many different firmwares, getting more and more frustrated because I could not get it to do anything, I finally have it working through an FTDI module connected up like this:
I use an MB102 power module to provide the 3.3v required by the ESP8266. I turns out you need to connect the ground from the MB102 to the ground of the FTDI module to get any proper response. After doing that I was able to send AT commands and get the proper responses. I could even connect it to my home Wifi.
The next thing I want to do is connect it to the Arduino. I found a very simple schema for that (http://blog.huntgang.com/2015/01/20/arduino-esp8266-tutorial-web-server-monitor-example/), where you connect RX to TX and TX to RX. Using the MB102 I connected it like this:
Apparently I should now be able to upload a blank sketch to the Arduino, and then use the serial monitor again to sens AT command, exactly the same way I did it when using the FTDI module.
The problem is that I get nothing at all this way. I don't even see my own AT commands in the console. I do see the ESP8266 flashing every time I send a command (I even see it it still connected to my router, probably it remembered the info I send through the FTDI...?)
The question is, what am I going wrong? I read some posts about the TX from the Arduino also being 5v and that you need to do something to bring it back to 3.3v, but there are also many tutorials that say it's not required.