Ventus W132 - conversion to NMEA2000 wind sensor

 

Fig .: Exterior view

  • NMEA0183 and NMEA2000
  • Only three other parts (ESP32, roll pin, CAN BUS) are required
  • Angular resolution in 0.1 ° steps
  • Data can be displayed in the browser (in AP mode even without an external network)
  • Code fully commented on GitHub

This project describes the conversion of the replacement anemometer Ventus W132 with minimal material expenditure. The entire project, including the purchase of the W132, can be implemented for less than € 50.

The detailed documentation for the conversion as well as the commented software can be found on GitHub: https://github.com/jukolein/W132.

The corresponding thread in the SegelForum can be found here: https://www.segeln-forum.de/board194-boot-technik/board195-open-boat-projects-org/81141-boots-windsensor-ventus-w132-f%C3%BCr-50-euro/.

Since existing hardware is modified here, many critical work steps such as printing the housing or post-processing for weather resistance are no longer necessary.

The wind speed is measured by a Hall sensor, the direction by a magnetic rotation sensor. This enables extremely precise information, especially with regard to the wind direction.

The size of the housing allows the use of an ESP32, which enables the creation and transmission not only of NMEA0183 datagrams via WiFi, but also, for the first time, of NMEA2000 data.

In addition, the data can be displayed graphically in the browser. The sensor can be calibrated or the transmission of NMEA2000 data activated / deactivated via a settings page.

A software update via the network is also possible.

 

Fig .: Circuit diagram

 

Fig .: List of materials

 

Fig .: Settings

Yachta wind sensor

Fig: Yachta wind sensor

The Yachta wind sensor is a further development of a wind sensor from the Yachta user at bei Thingiverse was presented. The technical principle of operation is based on one Hall sensor for measuring wind speed and on one magnetic rotation sensor for measuring the wind direction. Udo from the german sailing forum took up the idea and made some improvements to the wind sensor. The shell wheel of the wind turbine was dismantled into several parts, so that 3D printing is easier. In addition, he has revised the electronics. Another magnetic rotation sensor has been selected that is easier to obtain. The one that is popular with hobbyists as an evaluation and communication unit ESP-12E used. In addition to the Yachta wind sensor, Udo has also redesigned another wind sensor and further improved some points in the mechanical structure. The objective of Udo's constructions was that the wind sensors could be easily reproduced without the need for special metal parts. As a hobbyist, you can obtain all the necessary parts from specialist retailers and hardware stores.

Both Udo and Jukolein have written firmware for the Yachta wind sensor that has different functionalities. With both firmware, the measurement data can be saved as NMEA0183 telegrams transmitted via WiFi and processed in appropriate software such as AVnav, OpenCPN. With the firmware from Jukolein, the measurement data can also be displayed on a website. Norbert's firmware for the WiFi 1000 wind sensor can also be used for the Yachta wind sensor. This firmware is universal and supports other commercial and non-commercial wind sensors as well. In terms of functionality, this firmware offers the greatest possibilities and also has a web interface for visualization and operation.

Fig: Board wind sensor Yachta

Fig: Built-in circuit board

Udo's circuit board was revised again by Norbert and improved in some points. The board can be easily accessed via the internet Aisler can be obtained in small numbers. All the necessary manufacturing data are stored at Aisler. The ordering process is very easy.

This wind sensor clearly illustrates the possibilities that DIY projects with open software and open hardware offer. Without the openness, further development and improvement by different people would hardly have been possible.

Properties of the Yachta wind sensor

  • Measurement of wind speed 0… 75 kn and wind direction 0… 360 °
  • Angular resolution 0.1 °
  • Robust mechanics (3 ball bearings)
  • Without special metal parts
  • All components can be found in specialist shops and hardware stores
  • Simple 3D parts
  • Weight approx 210g
  • Weatherproof and UV-stable
  • No cables required for sensor signals
  • Digital signal transmission via WiFi
  • Supply voltage 6… 25V
  • Current consumption 30mA @ 12V (0.36W)
  • 12V supply possible via toplight
  • ESP8266 for WiFi and data transfer
  • Update rate 1 reading per second
  • No built-in instrument necessary
  • Visualization in OpenPlotter on a laptop, mobile phone or tablet
  • Web interface for operation
  • No extra software necessary (the display is the display)
  • Supports the NMEA 0183 protocol
  • Firmware update possible via internet

Firmware properties

Udo firmware

  • Web configuration for IP settings port 80
  • UDP port 2948
  • UDP NMEA0183 telegram MWV

Jukolein firmware

  • Web configuration and graphic visualization
  • Web server port 80
  • UDP port 8080
  • TCP port 8080
  • UDP / TCP NMEA0183 telegram MWV
  • Firmware update OTA via Arduino IDE

Wifi 1000 firmware

  • Web configuration and graphic visualization
  • Web server port 80
  • TCP port 6666
  • TCP NMEA0183 telegrams MWV, VWR, VPW
  • TCP NMEA0183 customer-specific telegrams INF, WST, WSE
  • JSON interface via http://192.168.4.1/json
  • Firmware update via internet via GitLab
  • Android app

use

The Yachta wind sensor works well in combination with a Raspberry Pi with, for example, OpenPlotter or AVnav to be used. The Raspberry Pi then provides an access point in the WiFi network. The wind sensor connects to the WiFi network and transmits the NMEA0183 data telegrams to the Raspberry Pi. All end devices also connect to the WiFi network and can graphically display the measurement data processed by OpenPlotter or AVnav.

Fig: Connection options

Direct communication from the mobile phone with the wind sensor is also possible if no measurement data processing software is used. A small web server is implemented in the firmware of the wind sensor, which can display the measurement data directly. However, the performance is somewhat lower than with a Raspberry Pi. It makes sense to only connect 2… 3 end devices to the wind sensor at the same time and display data. There is also an Android web app that can be used to display the measurement data. The WebApp is a frameless web browser that displays the content of the website and at the same time ensures that the screen of the mobile phone does not switch off automatically as long as the app is running.

Replica

A Repository at GitLab created. All manufacturing documents can be found there. The mechanical assembly instructions consist of a series of pictures showing the individual steps of assembly. It's easiest if you look at that complete repositories as zip files download The board can be ordered from any board manufacturer with the help of the Gerber data. The easiest way to order circuit boards is via Aisler, since all Gerber data is already stored there. A small series of assembled and programmed boards was launched. If you are interested, you can leave a message here using the contact form.

Caution: If you assemble the board yourself, you should make sure that the output voltage of the DC / DC converter is set to 3.3V before soldering. Otherwise the ESP-12E will be destroyed by overvoltage.

Firmware installation

The firmware can be installed on the ESP12-E before soldering in using a programming adapter or on the fully equipped circuit board.

Fig: ESP8266 programming adapter for external programming

Fig: Programming adapter for programming on the circuit board

When using a programming adapter for programming on the circuit board, make sure that the signal levels for TX and RX support 3.3V TTL levels. 5.0V TTL levels cannot be used as this can damage the ESP12-E. The programming adapter is to be connected as shown in the picture. You have to make sure that RX is connected to TX and TX to RX. Otherwise you will not be able to carry out any other program transfer.

Fig: programming circuit

Programming instructions

  1. Build the programming circuit together
  2. Connect PRG and GND
  3. Connect the USB programming adapter to the laptop or PC
  4. Connect the 9V battery block
  5. Programming software NodeMCU Flasher start on laptop or PC and load firmware
  6. Start the programming process
  7. If programming is successful, disconnect USB and switch off 9V
  8. Separate PRG and GND
  9. Disconnect the programming circuit from the circuit board
  10. Switch on 12V and check firmware via WiFi connection

NodeMCU Flasher

The easy-to-use Windows tool NodeMCU Flasher be used. The EXE file can be started directly without any special installation. The tool can be used for both external and in-circuit programming. The first thing to do is take Advanced made the following settings.

After that, under Config the current firmware file firmware_Vx.xx.wsb selected.

You open up to flash surgery and selects the corresponding interface to which the adapter is connected. Then you press Flash and wait until the firmware is loaded.

The progress of the transfer is displayed during the flashing.

If the firmware has been loaded successfully, the following screen is shown.

After the transfer, the programming tool can be closed and the adapter removed.

The wind sensor needs a reboot to start the new firmware. After the restart, the wind sensor provides a WiFi network with the name NoWa, into which you can log in 30 s after the restart with a mobile phone and the password 12345678. The blue LED then goes out briefly 3 times when the web server is ready. If you then call up the website of the wind sensor with the Android app (http://192.168.4.1), you should see the following. If the access data of an access point is entered under WLAN client SSID and WLAN client password, the wind sensor will log into this WiFi network. The blue LED then goes out as an indication of a successful connection. If measurement data are called up via port 6666 by a program such as OpenCPN or similar, the blue LED always flashes briefly when a telegram is transmitted.

The last thing that needs to be done in the firmware is the correct type of wind sensor Yachta must be selected in the configuration so that the data is displayed correctly.

Fig: Device Settings for Yachta

Fig: Measured values for Yachta

 

Universal wind sensor firmware

The universal wind sensor firmware supports various wind sensors. It is based on the firmware for DIY wind sensor WiFi 1000 and has been expanded accordingly to include further types of wind sensors. Different types of sensors, such as analog, magnetic and digital, can be connected. The corresponding wind sensor is selected in the firmware. No further settings need to be made. With the support of commercial sensors, their product properties can be improved, since in addition to wired data transmission, transmission via WiFi is also possible.

The following DIY wind sensors are currently supported:

WiFi 1000 (ESP8266, 2x Hall sensor)
Yachta V1.0 (ESP8266, 1x Hall sensor, 1x AS5600 magnetic field rotation sensor)
Jukolein V1.0 (ESP8266, 1x Hall sensor, 1x AS5600 magnetic field rotation sensor)
Ventus W132 (with changes to the wind sensor, external board, ESP8266, 1x reed switch, 1x AS5600 magnetic field rotation sensor, 1x BME280 environmental sensor)

The following commercial wind sensors are to be added in the future:

Davis Vintage Pro 2 (no changes to the wind sensor, external board, ESP32, 1x analog, 1x hall sensor)
NASA / Clipper wind sensor (new PCB board in the wind sensor, ESP8266, 1x Hall sensor, 1x AS5600 magnetic field rotation sensor)

Connection scheme

Fig: Wemos D1 mini

Input assignment

Sensor type Wind speed Wind direction temperature
WiFi 1000 GPIO5 Hall sensor GPIO4 Hall sensor GPIO12 (1Wire) optional
Yachta V1.0 GPIO2 Hall sensor GPIO5 (SCL) AS5600*

GPIO4 (SDA) AS5600*

GPIO12 (1Wire)
Jukolein V1.0 GPIO2 Hall sensor GPIO5 (SCL) AS5600*

GPIO4 (SDA) AS5600*

GPIO12 (1Wire)
Davis Vintage Pro 2 GPIO7 Hall sensor A0 (Analogue) GPIO12 (1Wire) optional
Ventus W132 GPIO14 Reed switch*** GPIO5 (SCL) AS5600* , BME280**

GPIO4 (SDA) AS5600* , BME280**

GPIO12 (1Wire) optional
NASA / Clipper V1.0 GPIO7 Hall sensor GPIO5 (SCL) AS5600*

GPIO4 (SDA) AS5600*

GPIO12 (1Wire) optional

Annotation: *AS5600 I2C address 0x36, ** BME280 I2C address 0x76, ***Pullup 10k and 100n interference suppression capacitor

Remote control for anchor winch

Fig: radio remote control

It is often the case that the anchor winch can only be operated via built-in switches and the switches are attached in such a way that one cannot properly see the anchor fall or the catching up. The use of an additional remote control is much more practical. This means that the anchor winch can be operated from anywhere and is no longer subject to any restrictions. This is a great advantage, especially for single-handed sailors.

The solution is Retrofit kits which can be purchased in different versions on the Internet. The remote control should have at least two independent switching channels and enable inching operation. It should be ensured that the remote control receiver unit has potential-free switching contacts (relay). The remote control can be added to the existing switches by simply connecting the switching contacts in parallel.

Features of the remote control

  • 433 MHz radio technology
  • 2-channel (up / down)
  • Inching operation
  • Range approx. 30 m
  • Radio transmitter with battery (12V, not waterproof)
  • 2 potential-free switching contacts as output
  • Power supply 12… 24V
  • Consumption of the receiver unit approx. 50 mA at 12V

Fig: Terminal assignment of the receiver unit

Remote control for Raymarine Evo Pilot

Fig: Remote control for Raymarine Evo Pilot

The user matztam from the sailing forum has presented a remote control for the Raymarine Evo Pilot. The remote control transmits on 433 MHz and converts the received signals into the NMEA2000 network. In this way, the settings for the Raymarine autopilot can be made very conveniently. The remote control consists of two parts. One from the hand-held control unit and the other from a QIACHIP RX480E / TX118SA radio receiver. The housing of the remote control is made of 3D printed parts. The same goes for the rubberized buttons. The front and back were lasered out of Plexiglas plates. An Arduino STM32F103 decodes the received radio signals and then feeds them into the NMEA2000 network. The remote control has a contactlessly chargeable battery (Qi) just like cell phones can be charged.

At Github you can find all the documents you need to replicate the remote control.

https://github.com/matztam/raymarine-evo-pilot-remote

The remote control has the following features:

  • Radio technology 433 MHz
  • Keys: +1, -1, +10, -10, Stand By, Auto, Wind, Track
  • LiPo battery
  • Qi charging technology (contactless)
  • Receiving unit
    • Arduino STM32F103
    • NMEA2000
    • Bus connector

Fig: Housing stack

Fig: Rubber buttons 3D printed

Fig: Housing intermediate parts

Fig: Circuit board with buttons

Fig: Qi charging electronics

RS422 converter for Clipper wind instruments

Fig .: Clipper wind instrument

Some older models of the Clipper wind instruments have a 5-pin DIN socket on the back for a daughter display. The wind data are also output as NMEA0183 via this DIN socket. Unfortunately, the signals do not correspond to the RS422 standard and cannot be used meaningfully any longer. The output signal used is 5V TTL levels with a very low current carrying capacity. These signals cannot be processed directly by RS422. With a small circuit as a level adapter, a differential signal according to the RS422 standard can be generated from the unipolar 5V TTL transmission signal.

Fig .: RS422 converter for Clipper Wind V1.0 with DIN sockets

Fig .: Clipper Wind V1.0 with DIN socket (bottom right)

The circuit consists of a voltage converter LM7805 (IC2) for a 5V power supply for IC1 and two comparators located in an LM358N (IC1). The supply voltage for the circuit is taken from the NASA / Clipper wind instrument (pin 2 and 4). The 5V TTL data signal T + from pin 3 is fed to the comparator IC1A and compared with a 1V reference signal that is generated via the voltage divider R6 and R7. Signals from T + that are greater than 1V are recognized as a high signal and a 5V signal is output at A +, which can drive approx. 20mA to the load. This amplified signal is fed to the second comparator IC1B, which outputs an inverted signal at A-, which can also drive approx. 20mA to the load. This generates the two differential signals A + and A- for RS422.

The newer version V2.0 from Clipper Wind no longer has a DIN socket and the pin assignment is slightly different. The upper circuit can also be used for the newer version.

Fig .: NMEA0183 connections for Clipper Wind V2.0

The circuit can be built on a breadboard and housed in a small housing. With the circuit, both the main display and the subsidiary display can be operated at the same time, and the transmitted signals can be fed into SignalK via an RS422-USB converter, for example.

A somewhat simpler circuit for an RS232 interface can also be found on the Internet. Depending on the RS232-USB converter used, the circuit may or may not work. Safe functioning is not always given and depends on the RS232 chip used, as some chips can also process signals that are not RS232 compliant. The disadvantage of this simple circuit, however, is that a daughter display cannot be operated at the same time, since the output driver in the main unit does not supply enough power.

Here is another interesting project where the NMEA0183 telegrams can be used via WiFi with a Wemos D1 mini:

https://hackaday.io/project/12986-nasa-wind-decoder

 

Weather fax with world receiver

Jürgen has in Sailing forum presented a weather fax receiver that I would like to introduce here. A simple world receiver and the weather fax app are used to receive weather faxes HF WEATHER FAX used. We recommend the following two world receivers from Sony, which have proven themselves:

  • ICF-2001D
  • ICF-SW7600

Fig .: ICF-2001D

Depending on the area of travel, the corresponding shortwave transmission frequency is set in the world receiver. With the app, the digitally coded broadcast is received via the microphone and displayed accordingly as an image. The coded transmission is a low-frequency signal (LF signal) in the frequency range of the human hearing, which is reminiscent of the old analog modem days. Here is an example of how that sounds:

Weather fax audio example

Fig .: Weather fax app

The paid Android weather fax app HF WEATHER FAX takes care of the following:

  • Manual or auto mode
  • Spectrum analyzer for easy frequency tuning and reception
  • Automatic start and end tone detection (in auto mode)
  • Synchronization at the beginning of the transmission (in auto mode)
  • Automatic storage of weather images on SD card (in auto mode)
  • Automatic correction functions in the event of malfunctions
  • Auto scroll mode
  • Picture zoom function
  • Black and white image with threshold setting
  • Storage of historical weather faxes
  • Timer function for automatic recording

Basically, the app takes away important functions of the reception settings and thus simplifies operation. The weather faxes are sent out over different frequencies and at fixed times, depending on the region. Below is a global overview:

Frequency and transmission plan for weather faxes

DWD weather fax broadcast schedule

 

Ultrasonic tank sensor with SensESP

Fig .: Ultrasonic level sensor

https://www.segeln-forum.de/board194-boot-technik/board195-open-boat-projects-org/p2301715-ber%C3%BChrungsloses-messen-von-tankinhalten/#post2301715

 

Fred has another implementation of an ultrasonic tank sensor with him SensESP  and a Wemos D1 mini. The Ultrasonic sensor DS1603L detects liquid levels in a tank and provides the corresponding measured values via SensESP via WiFi SignalK. SensESP is a software framework for the Arduino IDE with which different sensors can be easily integrated into SignalK. The special thing about SensESP is that sensors can be docked in SignalK without a network configuration. A SignalK server is automatically recognized by SensESP and the network configuration for data transmission via WiFi is carried out independently. The level can be visualized in SignalK.

Due to the properties of the sensor, there is no need to drill a hole in the tank, which is why this sensor can be used as a retrofit solution for existing tanks without a level indicator. Thanks to the WLAN connection, no further data cables need to be laid; a 12V supply near the tank to which the microcontroller can be connected is sufficient. The Wemos D1 mini pro module is a microcontroller based on the ESP 8266 with built-in WLAN module. The ultrasonic sensor is connected to the microcontroller. The ultrasonic sensor is glued to the outside of the tank bottom. The liquid level in the tank can then be recorded.

Caution: The sensor must be attached to the bottom of the tank, so it must "ping" from bottom to top in order to record the liquid level. "Pinging" from top to bottom does not work.

The software for the level sensor can be found here: https://github.com/frewie/UltrasonicTankSensor

We have a similar project under DIY ultrasonic level measurement to find. However, it uses its own software that can transmit NMEA0183 data sets via WiFi.

Fig .: Waterproof housing for the level sensor

Electronic modules from Espressif

For hobbyists, the world of electronics offers interesting microcontroller modules with which you can implement many demanding projects. Microcontrollers that can be programmed simply and easily are of particular interest. Atmel offers a range of 8-bit microcontrollers in which many additional functions are integrated such as program memory, data memory, counters, pulse-width modulated outputs (PWM outputs), analog-digilal converters (AD converters), digital-analog converters (DA Converter), serial interface (RS232), various bus systems (I2C) and much more, so that you can implement your own electronic projects without much additional effort. Such microcontrollers are often offered in connection with developer boards, where the microcontroller is soldered onto a circuit board and a peripheral circuit is available for the necessary minimum control. The input and output pins of the microcontroller can be reached via pin headers. The Arduino Uno is such a popular developer board that can only be operated with a USB connection on a PC.

Fig: Arduino Uno R3 (original type)

The USB connection is used for supplying operating voltage as well as for programming and debugging programs. In the past, special and expensive programming devices were required to program the microcontrollers. Today most microcontrollers have a built-in bootloader program with which the programming process takes place via a serial data connection. The serial interface is usually equipped with a USB-serial converter on the developer boards, so that you can use a normal USB connection on the PC. The user program is then loaded into the program memory and then executed. The program remains permanently in the program memory until it is overwritten by another and starts automatically when the operating voltage is switched on. With a programming environment such as the Arduino IDE, the developer board can be programmed in the programming language C or C ++ via the USB connection.

Fig: Arduino IDE

The Arduino IDE contains libraries of various developer boards that can be used to select the developer board used. The libraries provide a large number of functions with which the hardware can be addressed via a program and which relieves the programmer of a lot of work because he does not have to worry about the actual hardware control. Even complex processes such as communication via a serial interface or reading out an analog voltage via an AD converter can be carried out with simple commands. In the past, you had to have detailed hardware knowledge and program the respective functions for controlling the hardware yourself. This is largely done by the libraries, making it very easy for the user. The functions can usually also be transferred to other microcontroller chips and developer boards and can be used there in the same way. Many developer boards are constructed in such a way that the IO pins follow a standardized and defined arrangement. This makes it possible to plug additional hardware modules onto the developer boards. You can use it to significantly expand the range of functions of the circuit. Libraries are usually offered for the additional hardware modules, which also simplify the control of the hardware for the programmer.

In the age of Internet of Thinks (IoT), connected devices are becoming increasingly important. The devices communicate via networks or WiFi and can even be connected to the Internet and exchange their data with remote devices. The simple developer boards with the 8-bit microcontrollers are reaching their performance limits, although some of them can be made IoT-capable with additional modules.

Espressif is a Chinese company that manufactures low-cost 32-bit microcontroller chips for IoT devices (ESP8266, ESP32). The microcontroller chips have network interfaces to WiFi and Bluetooth. They are also much more powerful than 8-bit microcontrollers and have more additional functions. The chips have a built-in boot loader and have a Real Time Operating System (RTOS) in order to be able to implement network functionality and other time-critical program sequences. In combination with a memory chip, the IoT chips are built into small IoT modules the size of postage stamps, which can be easily integrated into your own circuits. Espressif offers variously equipped IoT modules. The IoT modules are used and programmed in the same way as the Arduino Uno. There are a variety of developer boards for the ESP8266 and ESP32. The Arduino IDE can also be used for programming.

The following table compares the two microcontroller chips ESP8266 and ESP32.

property ESP8266 ESP32
Microcontroller Single core Dual core
Register width 32-bit 32 bit
Processor type Xtensa LX106 Xtensa LX6
operating system RTOS RTOS
Max frequency 80 ... 160 MHz 160 ... 240 MHz
Flash 4 MB 4 MB
SRAM 160 KB 520 KB
GPIO 17 36
 Touch sensors -  10
 ADC channels  1  16
 ADC resolution  10-bit  12-bit
 ADC low-noise amplifier -  Yes
DAC (digital-to-analog converter) - 1
WiFi 802.11 b / g / n 802.11 b / g / n
Bluetooth - Bluetooth, BLE
 CAN 2.0  -  1
 I2C  1  2
 PWM channels  8  16
 Temperature sensor  -  Yes
 Hall sensor  -  Yes
 Power Consumption (Active)  80 mA  260 mA
 Operating voltage  2.3 to 3.6V  2.3 to 3.6V
 data sheet  link  link

Tab .: Comparison of ESP8266 vs. ESP32

Thanks to the dual core processor with a higher clock frequency, the ESP32 is more powerful than the ESP8266, but it also consumes more power. Both IoT chips are built into various IoT modules. The following table lists some modules.

picture Type chip IO ports Power supply particularities
ESP-01 ESP8266 6 3.3V smallest DIL module
ESP-07 ESP8266 14 3.3V Ext. Antenna
ESP-12 ESP8266 14 3.3V fewer IO pins than ESP-12F
ESP-12F ESP8266 20 3.3V more IO pins than ESP-12
ESP32 Wroom ESP32 26 3.3V Dual core, slightly larger than ESP-XX modules

Tab .: ESP modules

The ESP modules are built into a number of developer boards. The developer boards pursue different goals and differ in the built-in additional hardware.

picture Type chip Programming interface Power supply particularities
Wemos D1 mini ESP8266 Micro USB 5V USB Many plug-in additional modules available
NodeMCU ESP8266 Micro USB 5V USB Widespread
NodeMCU32 ESP32 Micro USB 5V USB Widespread
NodeMCU32S ESP32 Micro USB 5V USB More IO pins
TTGO OLED ESP32 USB-C 5V USB OLED 64 × 128 pixels
TTGO TFT ESP32 USB-C 5V USB TFT 135 x 240 pixels
Heltec WiFi LoRa 32 ESP32 Micro USB 5V USB, LiPo LoRa (SX1276, 868MHz), OLED 64 × 128 pixels
ESP32-CAM ESP32 Serial, 3.3V TTL 5V 2 MPixel camera, SD card reader

Tab .: ESP developer boards

If you are looking for a good introduction to ESP32 programming, you should take a look at this book: The official ESP32 manual There is a detailed description of how to implement projects with the EPS32 and the Arduino IDE. Starting with simple projects such as “Flashing LED”, all important hardware units are explained bit by bit and put into operation with software examples on a plug-in board.

WiFi battery monitor

While searching the Internet for a battery monitor for DC voltages, I came across the PZME-017. The Peacefair company is known for various inexpensive battery monitors with LCD displays such as the PZEM-015.

Fig: PZEM-017 (100A version, with shunt and USB-RS485 adapter)

Fig: PZEM-015 (300A version as a pure display variant)

The PZEM-017 has the following features:

  • Voltage measurement 0… 300V DC
  • Current measurement: 10A, 50A, 100A, 200A, 300A (from 50A via external shunt)
  • Display of the current power in watts
  • Energy display in kWh for the current day, previous day and total consumption display
  • Modbus RTU-Interface (RS485, 9600Bd, 8N2, binary data transmission)
  • Supported Modbus commands:
    • 0x03 Read memory register
    • 0x04 Read input register
    • 0x06 Write single register
    • 0x41 calibration
    • 0x42 Reset energy measurement
  • 7 devices can be used on the Modbus via adjustable ID 1… 7, ID 0 broadcast
  • USB-RS485 adapter (CH341)

In contrast to the PZEM-015, the PZEM-017 has no display and transmits the measurement data via the Modbus. The Modbus protocol is open and there are some implementations with an arduino. The website is an example here Solarduino called. There, however, a TTL-RS485 adapter is used to connect to the Arduino. In the area of home automation there are implementations with a Wemos D1 mini (ESP8266) with Tasmota firmware and a data connection via WiFi. However, it cannot be used well as a battery monitor on a boat, as you still need an external power supply of 5V for the Wemos D1 mini.

The Tasmota firmware already has all the important interfaces that you need to be able to build a boat battery monitor:

  • Supports all PZEM modules with Modbus interface via TTL signals with unsoldered RS485 chip (U5)
  • Supports temperature 1-wire modules such as the DS18B20
  • Web configuration
  • Display of the measurement data on the website

After some reengineering of the electronics I was able to modify the circuit so that it does not need an additional 5V supply and only needs a few components such as:

  • Wemos D1 mini with Tasmota firmware
  • 1k resistor
  • 4K7 resistor
  • 7 connection cables
  • DS18B20 temperature sensor

and a stand-alone boat battery monitor has been created that can:

  • Input voltage 10… 38V
  • Voltage measurement accuracy: 0.01V
  • Current measurement: 10A, 50A, 100A, 200A, 300A (from 50A via external shunt)
  • Current measurement accuracy: 50mA
  • Display of the current power in watts
  • Energy display in kWh for the current day, previous day and total consumption display (not power off resistant when completely switched off, details look here)
  • Resettable energy meters
  • Configuration and display of the measurement data via the website
  • Temperature measurement: 1… 3 DS18B20 for battery, charger and inverter (operated in parallel on the 1-Wire bus)
  • Own consumption: 16mA (without WiFi activity), 60mA (with WiFi data traffic, if connected)
  • Reduced power consumption of only 1.0mA when the Wemos D1 mini is switched off (look here)

Circuit modification

 Unsolder IC U5 (MAX485)

The IC U5 is not required because we do not use the Modbus and connect the serial TTL data signals (3.3V) directly to the Wemos D1 mini. The easiest way to unsolder it is with a hot air desoldering station. If you don't have this, you can heat up each pin of the IC individually with the soldering iron and carefully bend it up with a needle. But you have to make sure that the pin is not heated for too long, otherwise the conductor track underneath will become detached from the circuit board. This must be avoided at all costs, as we still need the pads to solder the cables. It is also important to note how U5 was soldered in, as the cables are soldered according to the pin numbers according to Table 1.

Fig: Pin numbers

Fig: Position of U5 (unmodified board)

Solder in 1k resistor

The 1k resistor has to be soldered parallel to R15. R15 is the series resistor for controlling the optocoupler U2 (CT817C Receiving side). With the resistor soldered in parallel, R15 is reduced to 320 Ohm, so that the LED of the optocoupler can be controlled from the Wemos D1 mini with a 3.3V TTL signal.

Fig: 1k resistor

Solder the 4K7 resistor and bridge

The 4k7 resistor serves as the Pull-up resistor for the 1Wire bus. It is soldered to the pads of the missing resistor R19. In addition, a small bridge from R19 to R17 is soldered as can be seen in the picture. This connects the resistor to 3.3V.

Fig: 4k7 resistor with bridge

Solder the 3.3V supply voltage to the Modbus output circuit

Since the Modbus output circuit is operated electrically isolated from the measuring circuit via the optocoupler, an external supply voltage of 5V is required in the original circuit. This is fed in via the Modbus connections. In our case, however, we do not need electrical insulation, as we transmit the data via WiFi and operate the rest of the circuit with the same 3.3V supply voltage as the measuring circuit. For the feed we need a black cable from Z2 to U1 pin 3 and a red cable from plus E1 to C7.

The optocouplers actually no longer make sense. We still need them because the signals from the microcontroller U3 are inverted and we cannot use them directly.

Fig: Supply lines

Solder in the Wemos D1 mini

The connections of the Wemos D1 mini are soldered to the free pads of U5 as follows:

Cable color From Wemos D1 mini To meaning
red 3V3 U5 pin 8 3.3V supply
black G U5 pin 5 Dimensions
green TX (GPIO 1) U5 pin 1 Receive Modbus
green RX (GPIO 3) U5 pin 4 Send Mosbus
yellow D1 (GPIO 5) R19 lower pad 1-Wire data signal

Tab. 1: Cable assignments

Fig: Pin assignment Wemos D1 mini

Fig: Cable on the Wemos D1 mini

Fig: Assignment of the cables to U5

Flash Tasmota firmware

Before the Tsmota firmware is flashed, the following must be observed:

Note! In our modified circuit, the Wemos D1 mini is not operated with the 5V supply, but with 3.3V directly from the measuring circuit. If the Wemos D1 mini is supplied with 5V via the USB connection, the battery monitor must be disconnected from the 12V supply and from the shunt. Otherwise there will be a double feed and the Wemos D1 mini or the PC could be damaged. So all 4 cables must always be disconnected from the measurement connections when working with the USB cable.

The current version of the Tasmota firmware can be downloaded here: http://ota.tasmota.com/tasmota/release/ The firmware is available in different language versions. The tasmota.bin file would be a good choice for English-language firmware. If you want to know more about Tasmota, you can visit this website: https://www.tasmota.info There you will find detailed information about supported hardware and flashing.

The easiest way to flash the firmware is with the software Tasmotizer which are available for different operating systems. It works best with the Windows variant.

When flashing via the USB cable, we must not forget to check the box next to “Self-resetting device”. The Wemos D1 mini is automatically switched to programming mode and automatically reset after flashing.

Fig: Tasmotizer settings

Tasmota configuration

The Tasmota firmware is universal and supports a variety of devices. With the configuration, the firmware is adapted to the specific hardware. After flashing, the Wemos D1 mini starts with its own access point that can be reached under the SSID tasmota_xxxxxx. A password for logging into the WiFi network is not required. The start page can be opened with a web browser at the IP address 192.168.4.1. The respective settings are made under Configuration as shown in the following images.

Fig: Configure WiFi: Enter SSID, password and host name

Fig: Configure tamplate: Select Based on Generic (18), assign the name PZEM-017 and assign GPIOs

Fig: Configure Module: Select module type PZEM-017 (0)

Fig: Configure Other: Assign Device Name Battery Monitor

This completes the configuration and we can see the measured values on the start page of the battery monitor.

Fig: Battery monitor home page

Safe installation in the housing

The Wemos D1 mini can be accommodated in the same housing as the battery monitor. I packed the Wemos D1 mini in a small zip bag. This means that no short circuits can occur with the rest of the circuit and everything is securely packaged. You could of course do the isolation with tape. With the zip bag, however, it is more convenient because you can remove the Wemos Di mini for later software changes.

Fig: Isolation of the Wemos D1 mini in a zip bag

Fig: Closed housing

Connection of the temperature sensor

The DS18B20 temperature sensor can be connected to the connections of the RS485 bus as follows:

Connection RS485 port New function DS18B20
5V 3.3V not used
B. 3.3V red
A. 1-Wire yellow
GND GND black

Tab: Terminal assignment temperature sensor DS18B20

Fig: Test circuit with shunt, load resistor and temperature sensor equivalent to the circuit diagram on the back of the battery monitor

Fig: circuit

Further information

Separate micro USB port

The separate micro USB port on the side of the battery monitor is used for power supply if the battery voltage should drop below 7V. A separate USB cable can then be used to supply an external power supply. As noted in the documentation, this is very dangerous if the battery voltage is greater than 7V. Then the feeding devices can be destroyed via the feed from a PC or a power bank, because the higher voltage is then applied to the feeding devices with the maximum current of the battery. It is therefore not advisable to use this micro USB port. It's just too dangerous.

1-wire port

Up to 3 temperature sensors can be connected in parallel to the 1-Wire port. The sensors can be used, for example, to measure the temperature of the battery, the charger, the solar regulator or the inverter. Any other application would also be conceivable. The Tasmota firmware will automatically detect the additional temperature sensors and display the temperature values below the values from the battery monitor. The assignment of the sensors to the IDs must be found out by testing the sensors.

Power supply

If the battery voltage is less than 10V, the WemosD1 mini will no longer function properly. The Wemos D1 mini gets stuck, especially when switching on with voltages below 10V. Overvoltages above 40V are possible, but should not be present for too long as the power supply heats up significantly.

Current measurement

The current measurement with the PZEM-017 shows an offset of 0.05A for a 100A shunt and thus falsifies the counting of the amount of energy. Only positive measuring currents can be processed. Negative currents through chargers are permitted, but are not taken into account in the energy measurement.

Subsequent change of the shunt value

When the PZEM-017 is delivered, the correct shunt value is entered in the firmware. If you want to use other shunt values, you can reprogram this using the Modbus commands before converting the circuit. It should be noted, however, that the shunts must be designed for 75mV and only the shunt values for currents 50A, 100A 200A and 300A are supported. Switching to other shunt values is done exclusively by software. Internally, only another conversion of the voltage measured at the shunt is carried out. The measurement accuracy is therefore dependent on the shunt used. The measured values for shunts are correspondingly more accurate for smaller currents and less accurate for higher currents.

Setting the shunt value:

01 06 00 03 00 00 79 CA 100A
01 06 00 03 00 01 B8 0A 50A
01 06 00 03 00 02 F8 0B 200A
01 06 00 03 00 03 39 CB 300A
01 06 00 03 00 04 78 09 10A (internal shunt)

01 - ID
06 - write parameters
00 03 - register no.
00 00 - Shunt value (00 00 - 100A)
79 CA checksum

Answer:

01 06 00 03 00 00 79 CA 100A
01 06 00 03 00 01 B8 0A 50A
01 06 00 03 00 02 F8 0B 200A
01 06 00 03 00 03 39 CB 300A
01 06 00 03 00 04 78 09 10A (internal shunt)

01 - ID
06 - write parameters
00 03 - register no.
00 00 - Shunt value (00 00 - 100A)
79 CA checksum

Energy measurement

The energy measurement is a measurement of voltage and current over time. The product of voltage, current and time interval is formed and the following values are added up. A Peukert factor is not taken into account in the measurement. It is a pure energy measurement.

calibration

Measurements on the PZEM-017 with a 100A shunt showed that the battery monitor has precise measurement functions. Only a voltage offset of + 0.01V and a current offset of + 0.05A could be identified as errors. This is completely sufficient for typical applications. In the case of versions with a 200A and 300A shunt, larger errors must be expected as the measurement resolution decreases. A calibration directly on the device via potentiometers cannot be carried out and must be carried out externally with special software from Peacefair. For calibration you need a stable and precise 30V supply and a very accurate 10A power source. Tests with a self-performed recalibration did not produce any better results than the factory calibration.

Storage of measured values

All measured values are lost after the supply voltage is completely switched off and the values of the energy measurement are set to zero. If you want to avoid this, you have to continue to supply the measuring circuit with battery voltage. The pure power consumption of the measuring circuit is only 1mA at 12V. So if you want to continue to receive the energy values, you can only switch off the Wemos Di mini and keep the measuring circuit supplied. This reduces the power consumption from 70mA to just 1mA. For further details see also in the chapter Reduce power consumption.

Reset the counter values

The counter values cannot be reset via a button on the main page of the battery monitor. A little detour via the console is necessary for this. The command EnergyReset 0 entered in the console and confirmed with Enter.

Display decimal places for voltage values

By default, the Tasmota firmware only shows the voltage without decimal places. Up to two decimal places can be displayed if you enter the following command in the console:

VoltRes 2

Set the correct system time

The Wemos D1 mini gets the current time from the Internet via an NTP server. The correct time for Germany can be found on the console with Timezone 99 can be set. Any other time zone can be with Time zone -13 ... + 13 can be set hourly as an offset. In the event that the battery monitor is not connected to the Internet but would like to obtain a current time from an NTP server in its own network, it is possible to redefine several NTP servers. The following commands are required one after the other:

NtpServer 0 (deletes the NTP settings, pay attention to spaces after NtpServer!)

NtpServer1 ptbtime1.ptb.de (sets NTP server 1)

NtpServer2 ptbtime3.ptb.de (sets NTP server 2)

NtpServer2 ptbtime3.ptb.de (sets NTP server 3)

More information about all Tasmota commands can be found here: https://tasmota.github.io/docs/Commands/

Embed measured values in external websites

The measured values of the battery monitor can also be output as formatted data. To do this, you connect to the battery monitor via HTTP

http://192.168.4.1?m=1

and then receives the following answer

{t} {s} Voltage {m} 0.00 V {e} {s} Current {m} 0,000 A {e} {s} Power {m} 0 W {e} {s} Energy Today {m} 0,000 kWh { e} {s} Energy Yesterday {m} 0,000 kWh {e} {s} Energy Total {m} 0,000 kWh {e

If you want to access this data on third-party websites, you have to CORS (Cross Origin Resource Sharing) in the Tasmota firmware. This is done with the following command via the console:

CORS *

Any website can then call up the data externally. If you want to use the access a little more restricted, you can also use the following command:

CORS http://my.webside.com

A small example can be found here: Demo_PZEM-017.zip

Fig: Integration in your own HTML pages

Integrate measured values in SignalK

The measured values can also be integrated into SignalK and can then be displayed via the instrument panel. How the configuration works in detail is described here:

https://open-boat-projects.org/de/wifi-batteriemonitor-in-signalk-integrieren/

Fig: Measurement data in the instrument panel

Reduce power consumption

The power consumption of the battery monitor can be reduced quite significantly to 1.0 mA at 12 V if the Wemos D1 mini can be switched off using a small switch (red cable 3.3V). The original measuring circuit then continues to run in the switched-off state and counts the power consumption. Only data transmission and display of the measurement data is then no longer possible. After switching on the supply voltage, all data are transmitted again and displayed correctly. This is very useful when you are not on the boat, so as not to discharge the battery.

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Fig: Installation position for the on / off switch

Measurement of the consumption data of the AC shore connection

If you also want to measure the consumption data of the AC shore connection, you can do this with the Sonoff Pow Power Monitoring Switch with the Tasmopta firmware do. The shore connection can also be switched on and off via the module. The newer variant is the Sonoff Pow R2. It has a larger range of functions and can display more measured values and react to limit values. An ESP8266 is already built into these two devices and is only operated with the Tasmota firmware. A modification of the electronic circuit is not necessary as with the battery monitor. The Sonoff Pow R2 is therefore a good addition to the battery monitor.

Fig: Sonoff Pow (R2)