Should I go for esp8266 or may be nRF24L01+Arduino nano



  • Hello

    First at all I would like to thank you for the great site, the software and the getting started videos.

    This is my first post in this site. I am used to work with Arduino, sensors, motors, etc. but I am new to Home Automation systems.

    I need remote access to some sensors and relays for a heating system and I am considering two alternatives to build the nodes:

    • arduino nano + nRF24L01 + sensor/relay
    • esp8266 + sensor/relay

    Let me ask my questions directly and then, later below I will give more details on my specific project.

    1. What could be easier to set up and get it working?
    2. What could work better in terms of less interferences from other systems or into other systems?
    3. What could be more durable in time (don’t want to replace parts or have to fix problems very often).
    4. Which one do you think it will be used more in the future or could have more support in the future?

    I think factors like money, distance between nodes and power requirements may not be limiting factors for my specific project because both alternatives are reasonable cheap, I leave in a small flat (small distances) and I am not planning to use replaceable batteries in my nodes (will use wall plug power suppliers for the nodes).

    If there is something else, I should be considering or a better third alternative please let me know.

    I provide below details on what I will use this for:

    I want to automate the hot water heating system in my flat. Also in the future, I would like to control some lights, motorise some blinds/curtains, etc but at the moment I am focused on heating system.
    More specifically I would like to control a motorised valve of every radiator of my house based on a predefined weekly program plus information from temperature sensors plus possibility of overwriting program manually at any time by connecting to a web site (may be using domoticz or similar).

    I think I have almost all hardware I need at the moment to start doing a prove of concept of the heating system except for the communications parts of sensors and actuators which I am not really sure.
    I followed the links of mysensors store and I have just ordered a few pieces of both esp8266 and nRF24L01+. That section of the site is very useful to make sure I get the right thing.

    Many thanks


  • Mod

    Hi @carlos. Big welcome to the MySensors community!

    Both solutions are great. And, to make it even harder for you to choose, they can be combined 🙂 It is possible to create esp8266 gateway(s) with nrf24l01+ support.

    For battery-powered nodes, the Pro Mini (or even a Sensebender micro) is the best choice. The esp8266 uses way more power. More details on battery powering: https://www.mysensors.org/build/battery

    Arduinos have more analog inputs, and more digital io pins. The esp8266 has much more ram and flash.

    My recommendation is to buy a few esp8266 (wemos d1 mini is my favorite at the moment), a few Pro Minis and 10 nrf24l01+. Then try them out and you'll probably notice that one is slightly better for some use cases, and the other is better for other use cases. In some cases they'll be equally qualified.



  • Many thanks Mikael

    I didnt know it was possible to have a gateway with the two options. That is very interesting and perhaps it may be the best solution for my project.
    May be for the actuators/relays I can use esp8266 as I will anyway have a lot of power available from the wall plug power supplier. Also wifi access is something I am more familiar. RF is something I have not used before.
    For the temperature sensors which are located close to the actuators/relays I can still reuse the same esp8266.
    For the rest of the temperature sensors I can use nRF24L01+ with batteries and this will allow me to not have cables hanging around. In general I would prefer to not use batteries so I dont need to bother replacing them periodically, however, after looking at the product you mentioned (sensebender) it seems batteries will last very long time and it looks easy to set up.


  • Admin

    depending on distance, another option (instead of NRF24) is to use RFM69, which is sub-ghz, which in general has a better radio coverage, than 2.4Ghz, like the NRF24 operates on.

    RFM69 can be combined with both arduino and esp8266.


 

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