IoT Kits

IoT Kits© are easy to build and are a great introduction to the Internet of Things, sensors, and microcontrollers. To build a kit, you should have:

  • an intermediate level of soldering skill,
  • the ability to install software on a personal computer,
  • familiarity with basic text editing (cut & paste), and file manipulation (unzipping files, moving folders),
  • WiFi and access to the Internet, and
  • some basic tools (soldering iron, wire cutters & screwdriver).

The instructions to build a kit are in “GENERAL ASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS FOR ALL KITS” on this page. Click on a section heading to go to a specific step.

Available IoT Kits:

Solar-powered, wireless weather station (single-board version)

The D1M-WX1 is a completely wireless, solar-powered weather station using your Wi-Fi for connection to the Internet. It reports barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, and light intensity to ThingSpeak, a free Internet of Things service. Licensed radio amateurs can also post data to APRS-IS.

You can view your data anywhere in the world that has Internet access and you can choose to make your data private or public. My backyard station has been online since 2016: https://thingspeak.com/channels/286120

The dimensions of the printed circuit board are 83 x 40 mm (3.25 x 1.6 inches). The solar panel is 80 x 55 mm (3.1 x 2.15 inches). Total weight with LiPo cell and solar panel is approximately 60 g (2.1 oz).

Single Board Weather Station
Single Board Weather Station

Solar-powered, wireless weather station – Stacked Version

The D1S-WX1 stacked version has the same functions as the single-board kit above in a different format. It consists of three printed circuit boards: 1) LiPo charger, 2) D1 Mini microcontroller, and 3) sensor board.

The dimensions of the assembled stack are 26 wide x 47 deep x 42 mm high (1.0 x 1.85 x 1.65 inches). The solar panel is 80 x 55 mm (3.1 x 2.15 inches). Total weight with LiPo cell and solar panel is approximately 54 g (1.8 oz).

Stacked Version
Weather Station Stacked version of the Weather Station – solar panel and LiPo cell not shown

Remote display

The D1S-Display remote display is a companion kit for the solar-powered weather stations. It receives the data from your weather station either from ThingSpeak or APRS-IS. In addition to weather information, it displays accurate local and Universal Time obtained from a Net Time Protocol Server and it automatically adjusts for Daylight Saving Time. The display is a full color, 1-inch (25 mm) square TFT device mounted on a D1 Mini-style shield. The IoT Kits firmware displays in five-second intervals:  an analog clock showing local time, a digital clock with local and UTC times, weather, and telemetry data from your D1M-WX1 kit. It will display an APRS message until acknowledged when the user presses a reset button.

General Assembly Instructions for All Kits

Follow these instructions step-by-step to order and build a kit. Click on the section title for the complete text.

1. Order an IoT Kit

To order a kit, send e-mail to:             info@w4krl.com Include the following information in your e-mail: The kit numbers The quantity of kits desired Your name Your address (foreign buyers, please avoid abbreviations for streets and neighborhoods) Your e-mail address Optional: Your callsign if you are a licensed radio amateur …

2. Suggested Tools

If you’ve built kits before you probably have all these tools. These are some suggested tools for new kit builders. Most are inexpensive tools that you will use again if you do any electronics work. Soldering iron or soldering station with good quality rosin-core solder. A 30-watt iron is satisfactory. It should have a conical …

3. Open a ThingSpeak account

ThingSpeak is a free Internet of Things service that stores and displays data received from your weather station. ThingSpeak integrates support for MATLAB software from MathWorks, allowing you to analyze and visualize your station’s data using MATLAB without requiring the purchase of a MATLAB license. Steps to open an account Open thingspeak.com in your browser. Click “Sign …

4. Prepare the Arduino IDE

The Arduino IDE is an easy-to-use C++ compiler specially adapted to programming Arduino-compatible microcontrollers. You do not actually need to know how to program because all the IoT Kits software is ready-to-run. The IDE will upload the IoT Kits firmware to the microcontroller used in the kits. There are many Arduino IDE tutorials online. Try this YouTube tutorial from …

5. Download IoT Kits Firmware

All IoT Kits firmware is hosted on GitHub. Download the entire package and then use the particular sketch appropriate for your kit. There are detailed instructions for downloading and choosing the firmware on the GitHub page. GitHub Link for all IoT Kits: https://github.com/W4KRL/IoT-Kits-Firmware Click on the green “Clone or download” button in the upper left …

6A. Assemble Single Board Solar-Powered Weather Station

Hardware Assembly Start by placing screws and spacers in all four corners of the board. The spacers should be on the underside (non-component) side of the board. Assemble the board starting with the lowest components and work up. Solder each one-by-one. Carefully inspect your solder joints before moving to the next component. It is good …

6B. Assemble Stacked Version Solar Powered Weather Station

Hardware Assembly Stacked Shield Version Use the photos as guides. The orientation of the breakout boards and LiPo cell connections are critically important. Use good quality small gauge rosin-core solder. Keep the iron tip clean and tinned. Solar Charger Shield D1S-LiSo Refer to the photo. <To Be Added> Assemble the board starting with the lowest …

6C. Assemble Remote Display

The remote display is a companion kit to the IoT Kits weather station. It will receive weather and telemetry information from your weather station over ThingSpeak or the APRS-IS if you are a licensed radio amateur. Assemble the Kit: Press the female headers with the short pins onto the pins of the display then set …

7. Configure Firmware

Configuration of ThingSpeak_config.h All weather station sketches need a ThingSpeak_config.h file. It must be located in the same folder as the sketch XXX.ino file. Open the sketch in the Arduino IDE. Select the ThingSpeak_config.h or appropriate tab and edit the information for your station as indicated by the comments within the file. Information needed: Your WiFi SSID (You must use 2.4 GHz …

8. How IoT Kits Work

The D1M-WX1 and D1S-WX1 IoT Weather Stations use an ESP8266 System on Chip microcontroller to read and interpret weather data from sensors, format the data so that it is understandable by online services, and transmit the data to the Internet over Wi-Fi. The unit is completely solar-powered. A lithium polymer cell maintains operation in darkness. …

9. MATLAB Scripts

The ThingSpeak Internet of Things platform provides access to the powerful MATLAB programming environment. MATLAB scripts let you visualize, analyze, and manipulate data from your ThingSpeak channel. Some scripts used on my ThingSpeak channel are listed below. You can add these visualizations to your ThingSpeak channel by entering your channel ID and API Read Key …