Like the “Three Seashells” in Demolition Man, this trio of bright yellow network monitors created by [David Chatting] might be difficult to wrap your head around at first glance. They don’t have any obvious controls, and their constantly moving indicators are abstract to say the least. But once you understand how to read them, and learn about the unique software libraries he’s developed to make them work, we’re willing to bet you’ll want to add something similar to your own network.
First-time configuration of the monitors is accomplished through the Yo-Yo WiFi Manager library. It’s a captive portal system, not unlike the popular WiFiManager library, but in this case it has the ability to push the network configuration out to multiple devices at once. This MIT-licensed library, which [David] has been developing with [Mike Vanis] and [Andy Sheen], should be very helpful for anyone looking to bring multiple sensors online quickly.
We’re also very interested in what [David] calls the Approximate library. This allows an ESP8266 or ESP32 to use WiFi signal strength to determine when its been brought in close proximity to particular device, and from there, determine its IP and MAC address. In this project, it’s used to pair the “Device Wheel” monitor with its intended target.
Once locked on, the monitor’s black and white wheel will spin when it detects traffic from the paired device. We think this library could have some very interesting applications in the home automation space. For example, it would allow a handheld remote to control whatever device the user happens to be closest to at the time.
Whether you follow along with the instructions and duplicate the meters as-is, or simply use the open source libraries that power them in your own project, we think [David] has provided the community with quite a gift in these unique gadgets.