This guide will show how you can create an electronics schematic to represent elements of a circuit for Arduino, Raspberry Pi and ESP8266 micro-controllers.
Wikipedia states here: “A schematic, or schematic diagram, is a representation of the elements of a system using abstract, graphic symbols rather than realistic pictures. A schematic usually omits all details that are not relevant to the information the schematic is intended to convey and may add unrealistic elements that aid comprehension.” This guide will help you create schematics using Fritzing on OSX, you may still want to document your system requirements etc in Github or Bitbucket.
I am creating some small personal weather station on Arduino, Raspberry Pi and ESP8266 to submit data to cloud servers on Vutr (or AWS or Digital Ocean), read my guide on using Adminer to create and manage MySQL databases.
What are sensors
A sensor could detect temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, light and just about anything else.
Temperature, Humidity and Barometric sensor (bme280)
Most sensors work on low voltage have analogue or digital outputs (I2C or SPI) and require minimal wires. The real problem is having multiple sensors and wiring gets out of hand.
What is Arduino
Arduino is a low power 8bit and 32bit hardware/software product that you can rapidly wire up circuits and sensors. Sites like Adafruit sell loads of sensors and develop a lot of software libraries to drive sensors.
Non-genuine Arduino boards age mega cheap on eBay.
Arduino has slide-on shields that can be pushed onto an Arduino board to expand them.
- Loads of support
- Good analogue sensor support
- Limited monitor support
Sensors or expansions can come in shields or be connected to pins with wires.
What is Raspberry Pi
Raspberry Pi is also a single board computer but with a more powerful ARM processor that runs a Linux operating system from an SD card. Raspberry Pi’s are essentially small desktop computers. Raspberry Pi’s have USB, can plug into a monitor, have a bootable desktop have Arduino like GPIO pins that can talk to sensors (but not as many analogue sensors).
- Very Powerful.
- Desktop Operating System included.
- Can talk to sensors.
- Good GPIO pins for controlling the real world.
- Has HDMI monitor output.
- Full kits are expensive.
- Low analogue read pins.
- Failure to shut down correctly can corrupt the OS.
What is ESP8266
- Good Analog and digital puns
- Code in Arduino IDE
- Has WiFi
- Limited monitor support
Click Download and Donate
Click Download and choose the right version for your Operating System
Copy the app to your Application folder
Open the app a few times (open, wait, proceed, close, open wait proceed etc) to ensure parts updates are installed.
Fritzing Introduction on YouTube
Watch the Introduction video for Fritzing here
Fritzing Killer Tips Series on YouTube
Watch Fritzing Killer Tips 001 The generic IC
I was able to import a bme280 sensor within seconds.
If a part does not exist in the forums search google for “partname” and “.fzpz”
I was able to find an ESP8266 Node MCU from https://github.com/squix78/esp8266-fritzing-parts/tree/master/nodemcu-v1.0
It looks like Fritzing has all the parts I need to work with (Pi, Arduino and Node MCU’s).
Coming soon (Views: Breadboard, schematic, PCB, code).
Designing and Ordering a PCB
Find Fritzing Projects
You can find all community-created Raspberry Pi Fritzing Projects below.
Arduino Fritzing Projets:
ESP8266 Fritzing Projets:
Happy coding and I hope this helps someone.
More to come.
Making a PCB
Bonus: It is possible to order your own physical PCB from say
https://easyeda.com but you will need to export your schematic from Fritzing to Eagle (or manually create your PCB in Easy EDA online IDE).
Easy EDA guides here:
How to make a custom PCB in Easy EDA (Part 1):
How to make a custom PCB in Easy EDA (Part 2):
I will try and find a PCB manufacturer that accepts orders from Fritzing exports.
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V1.1 Making a PCB info
v1.0 Initial Draft