Getting data to the cloud (via an ESP8266)

One of the more common services that we carry out is data logging of signals in an industrial environment. The EDM is our main tool for this task and its 6 analog inputs do a great job of picking up a range of signals (currents, voltages etc). The data storage side of the equation has required a steady succession of improvements to keep up with our requirements.

The technologies we have used include:

  • EEPROM, 512Kbit
  • Serial Flash, 4Mbit
  • Logomatic, 8GB (micro SD card size).

We have been happily using the Logomatic lately to capture long runs of data. There are still some issues with this system though. In particular it is difficult to know if the data logger is still running or if the event we are trying to capture has occurred yet without a site visit. To this end we have been working on being able to send our data up to a cloud service.

Our latest employee, Eric, has been spearheading the effort. He has been using an ESP8266 to interface with the EDM and to send the data up to a service from Sparkfun called Phant. The chart below shows the mains power for the last 20 minutes. It is updated each time this page is refreshed with the most recent data from our office.

The other technologies that we have used to get this to work include:

  • NodeMCU, This is the base firmware we are using on the ESP8266. Eric has then written scripts in Lua to accept data from the EDM, format it and send it on to the cloud service.
  • Sparkfun Phant, This is the data service in the cloud we are using to store the data. It is free and easy to use.
  • Google Charts, Great range of visualisation options for embedding in websites.