Year in Review 2020 – Random Nerd Tutorials

2020 is almost over. It’s that time of the year to reflect about what we’ve achieved (or not) throughout this year and set our milestones for next year.

In this article, we’ll share the most important highlights on the Random Nerd Tutorials and Maker Advisor blogs throughout 2020. We’ll also share some random things about our personal lives that marked this year.

Year in Review 2020 Random Nerd Tutorials

Summary of 2020 – Most Popular

Here’s a quick summary of the most popular content in 2020:

During this Year…

In 2020 we’ve published a total of 97 new projects and guides! This was by far the year that we’ve published the highest number of projects. This means that we were able to consistently publish an average of 2 tutorials per week.

Number of published projects 2020 Random Nerd Tutorials

Creating and writing new tutorials every week is not easy, it takes a lot of time and effort. We’re really proud of this. This was also the year that our website received more visitors. Random Nerd Tutorials keeps growing consistently every year and we must thank you for that.

When it comes to our video content, this was the year that we’ve published less videos (only eight videos). We’re always thinking about creating new videos, but we end up focusing more in written content.

We reflect about this topic every year and we weren’t able to improve. Nonetheless, I think the videos published throughout this year are much better quality (structure, video editing, etc.) compared to our videos from previous years. Visit our YouTube channel and see what you think: Random Nerd Tutorials YouTube Channel.

Top 5 Projects 2020

Most popular projects 2020 Random Nerd Tutorials

These were the 5 most popular projects published in 2020:

1. ESP32 IoT Shield PCB with Dashboard for Outputs and Sensors

This project shows how to build an IoT shield PCB for the ESP32 and a web server dashboard to control it. The shield is equipped with a BME280 sensor, an LDR, a PIR motion sensor, a status LED, a pushbutton and a terminal socket to connect a relay module or any other output.

2. ESP32: ESP-NOW Web Server Sensor Dashboard (ESP-NOW + Wi-Fi)

In this project you’ll learn how to host an ESP32 web server and use ESP-NOW communication protocol at the same time. You can have several ESP32 boards sending sensor readings via ESP-NOW to one ESP32 receiver that displays all readings on a web server.

3. ESP32-CAM with Telegram: Take Photos, Control Outputs, Request Sensor Readings and Motion Notifications

In this project you’ll create a PCB shield for the ESP32-CAM AI-Thinker board with a PIR motion sensor, a BME280 temperature, humidity and pressure sensor and some additional exposed pins. We create a Telegram bot for the ESP32-CAM that allows you to control your board from anywhere to request a photo, sensor readings or control the flash. Additionally, you’ll receive a notification with a new photo whenever motion is detected.

4. ESP32 Web Server using Server-Sent Events (Update Sensor Readings Automatically)

This tutorial shows how to use Server-Sent Events (SSE) in an ESP32 Web Server programmed with Arduino IDE. SSE allows the browser to receive automatic updates from a server via HTTP connection. This is useful to send updated sensor readings to the browser, for example. Whenever a new reading is available, the ESP32 sends it to the client and the web page can be updated automatically without the need to make additional requests.

5. ESP-MESH with ESP32 and ESP8266: Getting Started (painlessMesh library)

Learn how to use ESP-MESH networking protocol to build a mesh network with the ESP32 and ESP8266 NodeMCU boards. ESP-MESH allows multiple devices (nodes) to communicate with each other under a single wireless local area network. It is supported on the ESP32 and ESP8266 boards.

Most Popular Project Video 2020

The most popular video published in 2020 was about ESP-NOW communication protocol.

Most popular video 2020 Random Nerd Tutorials

ESP-NOW is a fast connectionless communication protocol developed by Espressif that features short packet transmission and allows multiple boards to exchange data without using Wi-Fi. Learn how to establish a two-way communication between two ESP32 boards using ESP-NOW.

You can watch the video below:

New eBooks Released

This year we’ve created and launched two new eBooks.

Build ESP32-CAM Projects using Arduino IDE

We’ve published this new eBook in March: “Build ESP32-CAM Projects using Arduino IDE“. As the name suggests, it covers building projects with the ESP32-CAM. It includes 20 projects using Arduino IDE on these topics: photo capture, web servers, email notifications, video streaming, car robot, pan and tilt server, face detection, face recognition and much more.

Build Web Servers with ESP32 and ESP8266

In October, we’ve released “Build Web Servers with the ESP32 and ESP8266″ eBook. This eBook covers step by step how to build web server projects with the ESP32 and ESP8266 boards to control outputs and monitor sensors remotely. You’ll learn HTML, CSS, JavaScript, client-server communication protocols (http requests, Server-Sent Events, WebSockets), and much more. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to build your own web server from scratch, this is the eBook that you are looking for.

Project Pages

This year we’ve re-structured our RNT blog to make it easier to find all our projects and we’ve received a lot of positive feedback! 

Here’s our new project pages:

We recommend bookmarking all the preceding pages which will help you find all our electronics projects and tutorials quickly!

There’s also another cool feature added to our website. When you open any project on a desktop or laptop computer, you can use the left sidebar to browse fast each project category.

Monthly Wrap Ups

The monthly wrap up was something new that we’ve introduced this year. At the beginning of each month you can receive an email with a wrap up with all the new content published in the blog.

We received a lot of good feedback about our monthly wrap ups and that’s something that we’ll continue doing from now on.

Maker Advisor – Wrap Up 2020

For those of you who don’t know, Maker Advisor is our other website were you’ll find reviews about development boards, tools and gear for your electronics lab. That’s also where we show where you can buy your electronics components for your projects (check the Tools page).

This was the year that we’ve published less reviews on Maker Advisor. The number is so small that I won’t even mention it. Nonetheless, we always try to keep all our previous reviews updated.

Favorite Tool

Our favorite tool this year is the Cordless Electric Screwdriver – Wowstick 1F+ 69 in 1 from XIAOMI, which in our opinion, is one of the Best Cordless Electric Screwdriver for its value. It comes with a wide variety of bits with many shapes and sizes. It works incredibly well and looks very professional with a modern design.

Wowstick 1F 64 in 1-Electric Screwdriver Cordless

Most Popular Review

The most popular review published on Maker Advisor this year was the Hantek 3 in 1: Oscilloscope, Multimeter and Signal Generator Review. This tool combines an oscilloscope, a digital multimeter and a signal generator.

Hantek 3 in1 2d72 oscilloscope 2-channel

We’ve also created a video for this review that you can watch below.

New Development Boards

We’ve also reviewed and experimented several new development boards. Here’s the list:

Upcoming Content for 2021

We are always thinking about what’s the next thing we’ll write about. We have so many things in our to-do list that it is difficult to decide what’s the next topic we will write about.

Next year, we intend to cover some of the following topics:

  • Firebase;
  • LoraWAN;
  • WiFiManager using the AsyncWebServer Library;
  • ESP-MESH tutorials;
  • And much more…

We’re still not sure if we should start creating Raspberry Pi related projects. What do you think? What topics would you like to be covered here on the blog? Let us know in the comments’ section. You decide which topics will be covered next year.

Special Thanks to PCBWay

We would like to thank our sponsor PCBWay for supporting our work. PCBWay is a full feature Printed Circuit Board manufacturing service and they have been providing free PCBs for our projects.

PCBWay service is really good and fast, and the PCBs have great quality. If you buy your PCBs from PCBWay using our links, you are supporting our work.

Here’s a list of projects we’ve built this year using PCBWay service:

About Us

This year we bought an RV and explored our country (Portugal). Getting an RV was something that we were thinking about for a long time. One of our neighbors was selling his RV for a great price and in great condition, so this was the perfect chance for us to get one.

We know that some of our readers also love RVs, so we thought it would be nice to share with you some things about this topic in our yearly wrap up.

In July, we prepared some projects in advance and took a few weeks off. We still had to work while travelling like publishing new projects, answer your emails and questions, etc. We may have taken a little longer than usual to answer your requests during our holiday.

Next year, we plan to explore other European countries in our RV. We’ll keep posting new projects, don’t worry.

Wrapping Up

This was one of the years that we worked the hardest. We hope to have provided lots of project ideas to keep you entertained. We also learned a lot this year, because when you teach something you end up learning ten times more.

Additionally, we would like to say a special thanks to:

Lastly, we would like to thank ALL our readers, subscribers and followers for supporting our work.

Happy new year and we wish everyone a better 2021!

Rui & Sara

Learn how to build a home automation system and we’ll cover the following main subjects: Node-RED, Node-RED Dashboard, Raspberry Pi, ESP32, ESP8266, MQTT, and InfluxDB database DOWNLOAD »
Learn how to build a home automation system and we’ll cover the following main subjects: Node-RED, Node-RED Dashboard, Raspberry Pi, ESP32, ESP8266, MQTT, and InfluxDB database DOWNLOAD »

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57 thoughts on “Year in Review 2020 – Random Nerd Tutorials”

  1. Dear Sara and Rui,
    I love you and you are my favorite!
    About the topics to cover next year, I suggest to open an important window to start creating Raspberry Pi related projects.
    Moreover, many of us are using Home Assistant with ESPhome; it should be a good idea
    to have more projects about it, thanks.

  2. I forgot:
    As far as I know, there should be the TensorFlow framework on top of OpenCV both for Computer Vision (CV); I work for an important company active to produce products for COVID-19; this should be a more interesting project to develop, thanks!

  3. Dear Sara and Rui,

    Similar to Domenico’s comment below, i think it would be very nice for you to start some Home Assistant topics, as many devices used share the ESP32 or ESP8266 boards that you made us discover on your crystal clear tutorials. For those like myself that are “not so Arduino IDE capable”, using ESPhome and/or Tasmota is easier and allow for some real interesting (as well as cheap) and reliable home automations.
    Keep the good work, and let me congratulate you for this humanised 2020 year in review, showing not only your work but a glance on your personal achievemens too!

    May 2021 bring a bigger reward to all your work and contribute to the fulfillment of your personal objectives.

    Best Regards

    • Hi João.
      Thank you so much for your nice words.
      Home Assistant is definitely a topic that many of you want to see covered here on the blog. Let’s see if we can cover that in the next year.

  4. Want to thank you for all the support, I really appreciate it. I have taken some Arduino lessons on the web and learned some important int, what I liked in the lessons was the homework and then the answers provided later . Example would be how to create code, the mathematical formulas needed to say make an led change to dim and graphing to make it happen. How to measure pulses and apply them to an application rather than just the code to do that, then write the code to application.I personally want to figure out how to read a pulse like from a wind vane and wireless read it as a wind speed applying it to a weather station. Thanks for all the hard work and support in the past month, I know I have been really leaning on you with issues, mostly mine.

    • Hi Larry.
      Don’t worry about that. We’re here to help.
      And I’m happy that you can learn something from us.
      We wish you a happy new year.

  5. Hello Sara and Rui.

    I’ve seen all projects that you posted this year. All posts were awesome and high level of quality.
    Congratulations for this year, happy new years for you!

    Keep going in 2021! I am a fan of you.

  6. Hello Sara & Rui,
    The time I came across your tutorials was like getting a tank full of water in the middle of the desert. I can never stop thanking you. Your tutorials are so easy to follow and the examples you supply get you going in no time. My interest was using ESP and while browsing you will always find something new to try. Your work is simply AMAZING!!
    Thanks once again and I wish you the most wonderful new year and may it bring along prosperity and success!!

  7. Fantastic reading!
    Good luck with your RV and maybe some projects will come out of that, kind of same as on a boat.
    I think now a lot of people are waiting for the Espressif ESP32-C3 RISC-V chip and what we can do with that…!
    Going over to Pi, I think there is already so much, and is much more OS related. A different Earth.

    All the best!

  8. Greetings from New Zealand

    I just want to thank both of you for all the great work you guys have been doing. I hope you are taking a well-earned break over this festive season and that you haven’t been affected too badly by this crazy pandemic.

    I’m looking forward to some more interesting projects in 2021.

  9. Dear Sara and Rui,

    Thank you for all your hard work on bringing your knowledge to makers all over the world. You provide a valuable resource for IoT development. Next year I am planning on using ESP32 and ESP8266 in my vegetable garden. Monitoring soil pH, soil moisture, temperature, light levels, and four legged intruder alerts. I know I will be using your RNT as a resource. Best wishes for a successful and profitable New Year!

  10. Another yer ending!
    Soon, will be two years that I follow assidually your posts. And yes, they are really worthy. In my opinion, the bests posts of this year, the posts about ESP-NOW and ESP-MESH, they were priceless! The post about OpenCV, also really great, but I couldn’t explore it like the other posts.

    So, happy new year for you guys! And I wish in 2021 I get some budget to buy some new e-books (which are really great)!.

  11. Hi Sara and Rui, your tutorials and articles have helped me survive a dissapointing year. It is great to see you have both invested in an RV and hope you have safe travels. If you can ever bring it to Australia, you would see some amazing sights. All the best for the new year.

    • Hi.
      We’re glad that our tutorials helped you get a better time in this chaotic year.
      I wish to visit Australia one day. It should be an amazing country.
      Thank you.
      Happy New Year.

  12. Thank You both for your substantial contribution to the IOT community. I have found your projects & documentation to be extremely helpful, well organized and complete. Best out there! You have a lot to be proud of, nice work!

  13. Hi Sara and Rui,
    thx for your great work, I really enjoy to learn from you.
    As a RV owner, I would like to use ESP32 for monitoring and alarm system.
    I am also a ham radio enthusiast, and it’s interesting to see several projects to interface ESP with ham as a cheap modem.
    it could be an interesting project to use a CB transmitter and a ESP as alarm system. what do you think?

  14. Hi Sara and Rui,
    I too have enjoyed all the learning over the past year here at RNT. I was hoping to complete the ESP32 course before New Year, but I keep finding new tutorials (no I am not complaining…they are just so interesting!).
    I would like to see RNT tackle the Ras Pi, I have been having trouble getting past the learning curve. I just started reading about using GPIO Zero and want to give it another try.
    Maybe I just need the right teachers here at RNT.
    I am glad to hear that you were able to spend some time away in your RV this year.
    Happy New year to you both, and to all the RNT readers.
    Thank you,
    Bob Durk

    • Hi Bob.
      Thank you so much.
      We’re glad that you’re enjoying the ESP32 course. It is a very long course. So, take your time.

  15. Hi,
    First of all, THANK YOU
    thank you for your time, for you creativity, for sharing your knowledge, and make it with some easy way that even me, can understand.

    I wish to booth of you happiness and love for the next year.
    Fabian from Belgium

    PS, i also have a RV, if you ever want to come to Belgium, i’ll tell you where to go 😉

    • Hi.
      Thank you for your nice words.
      Belgium is definitely one of the countries we want to visit in our RV. It is relatively close to Portugal.

  16. Hi Rui & Sarah,
    You both are the best! Happy New Year from Daphne, Alabama, USA!
    Thanks for all your hard work. I have enjoyed every one of your tutorials and have all but one of your books (just haven’t had time to finish all the books yet). On projects, I heartily agree with Dominico Carvetta on the RPi tutorials. I hesitate to suggest a tutorial to you, because my thoughts are not as cogent as they once were. However, now that RPi 3+, Rpi 4, & RPi 400 have wireless connection, it seems to be a logical transition from microPython on ESP32 to projects using RPi. Any adaptation of your ESP Tutorials to RPi would be great. I know both of you will come up with something way better than I can suggest. Perhaps a “transition” introduction tutorial on ESP32 compared to RPi for a simple sensor (BMP280 I2C and/or something using ADS1115 4 Ch 16 Bit ADC since RPi are so limited on ADC input and/or relay control) & either OLED or TFT, & ThingSpeak (I like ThingSpeak better than most of the other web server sites). Or maybe some kind of apples-to-apples comparison tutorial between ESP32 & RPi for capability & sensor data up-load, when it is best to ues one or the other or both. Another tutorial suggestion might be to show how to set up RPi to use ESP IDE, Platformio, and/or Arduino IDE to show how to program ESP32’s, then a follow-up tutorial on SPIFFs, ESP-NOW, etc. using the RPi alone to monitor & control IoT, & then how to set up RPi to program ESP32’s on all those subjects you already have covered. Or what about programming ESP32’s wirelessly using RPi, etc. Then use RPi as a hub for monitoring & controlling several ESP32’s. The sky is the limit on RPi tutorials / ESP32 tutorials with you both working on it. BTY, just seeing you two smile next to your RV makes this old fellow happy. You two were the brightest beacon in a bleak 2020. I am glad 2020 is over, look forward to all your 2021 projects, & wish you both the brightest future you deserve!

    • Hi William.
      Thank you so much for sharing all those suggestions.
      And thank you for supporting and enjoying our work.
      We really love the RV, even though we didn’t use it as much as we wanted this year.
      I wish you all the best.

  17. Hello there,

    Just getting into ESP8266/32 this year, largely courtesy of your articles and book(s). Very much enjoy it, though I need to dedicate some more time to projects!

    If RVs in Portugal are anything like the ones here stateside… the sensor and control systems are pretty rudimentary at best. Some monitoring projects, like battery voltage or tank levels (especially tank levels!) might make for some interesting articles! Sort of like a DIY version of RV Whisper!

  18. Dear Sara and Rui,

    Prepare yourself a little coffee, I have a lot of things to tell you 🙂

    It’s been 1 year now that I’ve been closely following your work around the ESP32, and you’ve largely contributed to my initiation to programming on microcontrollers with the Arduino framework. Thank you for all your tutorials and guides that have enlightened my way at the beginning. They allowed me to acquire very quickly the necessary knowledge to immerse myself in this field which was totally unknown to me until then. Today I see much more clearly and I am now able to lead my projects in complete autonomy. I am therefore very grateful to you for having taken the trouble to plant the seeds that have led my hopes towards flowering.

    I have not been very talkative on the RNT Lab forum these last months because I have been monopolized by my personal projects on the one hand, but especially because of a significant increase in the workload on the professional level as a consequence of the Covid-19 crisis. I will try to remedy this in 2021, by devoting more time to popularizing what I am learning by myself by writing new tutorials for the community.

    Bravo for this impressive amount of publications on your experiments! 97 projects published in 2020, that’s a nice score 🙂 Nevertheless, with the hindsight I have now, I will have a suggestion to make, based on a personal feeling… If we compile all these projects one by one, we quickly realize that they deserve to be approached in another way. By dint of multiplying very seemingly simple experiments by isolating them in projects that are presented as novelties, one has (at first) the illusion of having access to a real gold mine… but this illusion quickly gives way to regrets when one notices that it is in fact déjà vu and reviewed, and that many previous projects already deal with the same problems. I understand your approach of capturing an ever-widening audience… but I feel that this approach penalizes you in the long run. People who read and trust you over time probably want more consistency in the results of your work. Perhaps a different approach would be to write more detailed feature articles on the fundamental and essential aspects, but above all better organized in their writing in order to identify a factor common to several experiments as a backdrop. This generic base would be much more beneficial to each of your readers, and you could then regularly publish supplements aimed at presenting new specific experiments that build on this common base and that would illustrate, by extension, the particular use of such or such sensor or effector. This would be a much more pedagogical approach, which would allow each of us to consolidate much more of what we have learned. There are many subjects that would lend themselves to this approach. What do you think about it?

    For the year 2021, I have many ambitions for my personal projects around ESP32, and I hope to find here detailed guides to help me move forward more quickly. I will suggest some of them to you… But first, I will try to express a personal reservation in relation to what I have read in the previous comments.

    I see that some readers have expressed their wish to see you tackle projects around the Raspberry Pi… but I think you should think about this perspective, not focusing too much on the RPi itself. There is already a plethora of articles dealing with RPi on the web and, in my opinion, what makes Random Nerd Tutorials’ strength is more precisely its specialization on microcontrollers, and in particular the ESP32. You must nourish this strength and don’t let it fade away by spreading out on subjects that are already widely treated elsewhere around the RPi. The Raspberry Pi is above all a complete computer, with much more important hardware resources, and driven by a true operating system! It doesn’t address the same issues as those that can be dealt with for a micro-controller. Moreover, most of them approach programming on the RPi with Python… and it is certainly possible to approach programming on micro-controllers with Python too. I have noticed an increase in the number of articles you have published about MicroPython… and this is one of the reasons that led me to put my interest in RNT on the back burner. I’m not fond of programming microcontrollers with Python… You lose a lot of efficiency in terms of performance. And Python is far from being the best language to deal with real time. On the other hand, in the field of microcontroller programming with Python, don’t forget that Adafruit publishes a lot of content for this, and that they are developing their own solution with the CircuitPython project, which is now supported on the ESP32-S2 which has a native USB interface! I’m not sure you have much interest in going in the same direction as them… In my opinion, save your strength to go deeper into programming ESP32 (or other microcontrollers) with C++. Adafruit publishes very little content with this language after all. And you will probably capture part of their audience…

    The ESP32 is evolving too (we saw the ESP32-S2 appearing in the middle of the year, and very recently the ESP32-C3 appeared). I think it’s much more appropriate to look at the hardware specifics of these newcomers and show your readers how to get the most out of them with C++. Either through the Arduino framework, or by approaching the ESP-IDF. In particular, there is a niche that no one has really ventured into and therefore opens up a whole new avenue for you: programming the ESP32 ULP coprocessor! Mastering this opens the door to many uses of the ESP32 while it is plunged into a deep sleep and therefore consumes very little energy! There, you would make a real difference with what is done elsewhere!

    By the way, I welcome your introduction to the PlaformIO IDE and encourage you to keep up the good work to further develop its use. The Arduino IDE is a poor environment which, moreover, forges very bad programming habits… and that’s not in the interest of your readers! Especially since PlatformIO is very easy to learn quickly and will take your readers much further with a true integrated development environment.

    Let’s now move on to what I would like to see on RNT…

    I have already suggested you several times to talk about the excellent bpi:bit board, a direct competitor of the widespread micro:bit board, but far superior as it has an ESP32 !!! The micro:bit board already has a very varied ecosystem with sensors and effectors of all kinds and is very widely used in the educational world, especially among the youngest. But because of its form factor, the bpi:bit board is fully compatible with all this ecosystem! And it’s an ESP32 !!! Very little C++ oriented content exists online about this board, and it’s quite incomprehensible, whereas she’s just great! I have one at home and I can tell you that it has a huge potential. Especially for autonomous or radio-controlled robotics. There are many robotic chassis for micro:bit that can be hijacked and used with bpi:bit. I am myself writing a specialized library to drive the DFRobot Micro:MaqueenPlus robot with a bpi:bit board. Robotics is an area you don’t address at all, and that’s a shame because there is a high demand. This could be the opportunity to tackle it…

    You are also not supposed to ignore the existence of the M5Stack ecosystem, which offers a wide variety of devices built around ESP32. I often consult their forum and continually see how distressing the exchanges are. Users in this community focus on using the UIFlow block programming environment, completely ignoring the power and versatility of C++ programming. And this is probably because M5Stack manufacturer publishes very little documentation on its products, sometimes requiring reverse engineering for those who want to go further and fully exploit the potential of their products with C++. So this is a wide open niche for you! You could stand out by offering detailed content on what doesn’t exist anywhere else (or almost anywhere else). The potential of the M5Stack and M5StickC devices is huge, in many different areas. In particular, they offer a “Faces” hardware extension similar to the GameBoy, which allows you to turn it into a fully programmable game handheld based on ESP32! That also interests a lot of people! I’ve already experimented a lot of stuff with the M5s on my side, and they’re really great devices with which you can do a lot of things…

    I also encourage you to continue your work on the ESP-NOW and ESP-MESH protocols, by publishing new articles and comprehensive implementation guides. This is where the strength of ESP32 lies, beyond its WiFi connectivity. You must continue to offer more advanced content on the subject. Everybody will thank you for that…

    Without forgetting the LoRaWAN protocol of course, so that we can contribute globally to the extension of this very useful network for all of us.

    You published 3 projects by proposing PCBs for their completion, and it’s a great idea! But, personally, I think it would be much more interesting to teach your readers how to design their own PCBs. The idea would be to expand each of your major projects with a detailed extension on how to design and build the corresponding PCB to freeze the project on a finished product that can be reused at will. Personally, this is what I expect from a site like yours. Using a ready-made PCB may suit some people, but in a learning process, in line with what you seem to want to instill, it’s not enough! We want more! We want to learn how to design the PCB schematic and footprint. We’ll send it to PCBWay for printing to support you… but we want to learn how to do it ourselves! Teach us how to do it… with reference (and if possible free) software on the market, like KiCad for example…

    To finish with the content suggestions that come to my mind for this new year 2021, I would love to learn how to use an oscilloscope correctly! You could launch a special section detailing the many uses of this fantastic instrument. This would be a definite plus for those of us who like to get to the bottom of things…

    I would also like to repeat a request I have already made to you, which would consist in specifying, under the title of each of your articles, the date of creation and the date of last modification of the article. This information is really useful! It already appears in the HTML header of the article… why not make it explicit? Please think about it…

    Finally, I’d like to come back to a suggestion I already made to you, in order to help you offer even more content by gathering the voluntary forces. You could provide a special section for projects and tutorials from potential contributors in your community, offering them visibility. That is to say, a dedicated section in which you could make short posts simply announcing the publication of a project or tutorial of one of your members, by gathering a title, a simple abstract and a photo or a small video illustrating the project, as well as the link to the project or tutorial. Many people, like me, will prefer to have the freedom to write their content on a more adequate platform like GitHub Pages for example. This would allow you to extend the scope of your work and gather valuable content for the community, without asking you for extra work! I think you would gain from remaining THE reference portal and multiplying your production forces…

    Well, I think I’ve done the trick… it’s not bad at all 🙂

    One important thing also, I think it’s nice that you’ve sent us some pictures of the two of you because, after all, beyond the technical content you offer us, you remain pleasant and friendly people, whom we simply want to get to know better. I only came to Portugal once (in Lisbon) about ten years ago, and it’s been a long time that I’ve been telling myself that I have to go back! The prospect of being able to meet you there would be an additional strong motivation to accelerate this project with my children, once the Covid-19 crisis is behind us!

    Sara, Rui, thank you… Thank you very much for everything you are doing. Please continue to share with us your discoveries and experiments. Take great care of yourself, and I wish you a very beautiful and happy New Year 2021.

    Warm regards,

    • Hi Steph.

      Thank you so much for taking the time for sharing your thoughts in so much detail. I truly appreciate it.
      It took me some time, but I read the whole comment.

      And I think you are right in almost everything you said. I agree with you that many of our projects look similar. Like we have tutorials on how to publish MQTT messages with many different sensors and they are all very similar – the only thing that changes is the sensor. It may seem obvious that with the sensor guide and with the MQTT guide, you would be able to put the two together and build the project. But, for beginners, it is not so obvious. Many people don’t have any background about electronics and programming. And changing the sensor is quite a big step for them. They prefer to get started with the exact sensor they have. This applies to many other subjects we have here covered on the blog. I understand the approach that you suggest and it is better if you want to start learning right from the start. I think that is the kind of approach that we started using in our most recent course “Build Web Servers”. But, yes, I totally agree with you.

      I also agree with most your project suggestions. Thanks for the detail in each of them. I would like to cover all those subjects. I would need a bigger team to cover all that. We need to choose wisely what we want to cover, because time is limited. Sometimes, I just pick up what I feel like at the moment and forget about our big to-do list :/

      I’ve already suggested to Rui that we should cover how to design PCBs. I really think that is something that many people would like to be covered. Including me. I have some vague knowledge about how it’s done, but it is Rui who does that. So, it would also be useful for me.

      Thank you so much for the work you have done. I learned a lot with your contributions on the forum and I also learned a lot with your tutorials.

      Wish you all the best.


      • With respect to schematic & PCB design, after many years using an obsolete package, I found a very easy to use free package – KICAD

        Within a few hours I was already designing my first PCB.

        There is a lot of information on the web if you are stuck, and there are tons of video tutorials explaining many aspects of the package.

        Victor Das Neves

        • Yes, you’re absolutely right Victor! KiCad is definitely the reference open source software suite. Many user guides exist on the web, some of which are very detailed and presented in video form.

          But I think that Rui could enrich his projects by offering simplified and step-by-step guides to go from breadboard to PCB. This would be a definite plus compared to all the other ESP32 tinkering projects.

  19. Hello Sarah and Rui. Congratulations on your beautiful work. You can be rightly proud of that. This old man wishes you all the best in 2021 and well beyond.
    I am working on Captiev portal, it only works halfway. Until now only on my Samsung smartphone. Have you already done something with this? It’s quite interesting. thanks again for your work. greetings Bert

    • Hi Bert.
      Thank you for your nice words.
      Captive portal is on my list of future tutorials.
      We’ll definitely want to cover that subject this year. But, I still don’t know when.
      All the best.

        • Until now the Captive portal works but for me only on my Samsung with chrome browser. Not on my tablets (chrome) but also not on my pc under chrome. There is a connection, but the browser does not start to show the page. Maybe something to look at when you start working with it, I don’t know if it could be a setting of the / a browser.

          Greetings old man bert

  20. Dear Rui and Sara.

    Happy and healthy 2021

    Thank you for the interesting courses of great didactic value.
    Recently bought two of your books on Amazon, great work and explained step by step.
    I am a big fan of yours!
    Kind regards from Belgium.

  21. A little late but better late than never.
    Would be a nice project for 2021.
    An ESP32 as particle portal Hosting Files from MicroSD Card.
    I can never write this as a program myself.
    Thanks again for your beautiful work. It is very instructive for this old man.

      • Hi Sarah. I meant Captive Portal. Ha ha Google translate totally mistranslated my Dutch to English. But I should have checked it better.


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