The ESPGateway comes with two ESP32 WROVER-IB modules with IPEX antenna connector. The two ESP32’s can communicate with each other over two GPIO lines, e.g. by using a serial protocol. Each of the two ESP32 can display the status by using two WS2812b-3535 addressable RGB leds.
You can program the ESP32s over a USB-C plug connected to a CP2104/2 serial-to-UART chip. Depending on the position of a switch at the back of the device you can choose which of the two ESP32s is currently connected to the UART chip.
Our blog post here describes why and how we designed the ESPGateway. Here is just a summary:
- Two ESP32 modules give you more flexibility for concurrent communication requirements, either WiFi and ESPNow, WiFi and BLE, etc.
- The external antennas extend the reach of the gateway compared to a pure PCB antenna
- One UART Chip simplifies usage
- WS2812B status LEDs allow you to display the gateway status on each of the two ESP32 modules separately
- If you have the necessary soldering skills you can extend the ESPGateway with a RN2483 LoRaWAN chip
The ESPGatway can be used for a wide range of applications:
- PAX (person) counter based on beacon signals of smartphones
- WiFi Gateway for the ESPNow protocol to save energy in battery-powered devices
- Bluetooth gateway to communicate with BLE devices
- LoRaWAN gateway (RN2483 module not included)
We wrote a blog post describing these ideas in more detail here.
For each of the two ESP32 we made 18 GPIO pins available together with pins for 3V3 and GND. This allows you to extend the device and add your own sensors, displays, actuators etc.
- The demo project demonstrates how to address the WS2812B RGB Leds by using the inter-ESP communication over the serial line: https://github.com/ThingPulse/esp32-espgateway-demo
- This project serves as a template for ESPNow communication. One ESP32 will listen for ESPNow messages, while the other one pushes received messages to a MQTT broker: https://github.com/ThingPulse/esp32-espnow-gateway