IOT Cricket Wi-Fi Module – For IoT Hobbyists & Developers

by Sarah Yasin
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Introduction

The trend of IoT is increasing exponentially each year. People want to integrate more and more devices into their IoT networks. Why? you ask, For one, it is because of the growing abundance of Wi-Fi connections at homes and professional workplaces, coming at cheaper prices day by day, and the growth in the use of cloud and big data, and the growing demand of being able to connect and control multiple physical devices. One of the key components powering the entire IoT movement is ‘connectivity’, in terms of Wi-Fi modules and chips, this is why it is crucial that you give due attention to the module you use in your project.

Here we will discuss an ideal IoT Wi-Fi Module, the “IoT Cricket Wi-Fi Module” created by Things On Edge LTD.

About The Product

The IoT Cricket Wi-Fi Module is an “easy to use, ultra-low power Wi-Fi module”. Easy to use because of its simple user interface which requires zero codings and/or programming. Moreover, it gives the best performance while consuming minimum power input, in the form of batteries. This module is designed specifically for developers; beginners and experts alike, particularly those who have just initially begun creating IoT projects.

With this module, you can create IoT devices within a matter of minutes, power them up directly using batteries that can last for a very long time, and have them operate without the need for any programming or code.

connectivity of module with various devicesPower consumption of Cricket Wi-Fi

This module is designed to process and transmit data from peripherals (remote sensors/buttons/switches etc.) at very low latency (-3 seconds). Moreover, it eliminates the need for IoT hubs. (IoT hubs are central controllers that connect smart devices together). The module operates with the help of pre-installed software, fully configurable OTA (over the air) from any web browser. With the help of the Cricket IoT Wi-Fi module, you can manage devices remotely or integrate them into other systems using two standard forms of API i.e. HTTP and MQTT.

image of Cricket Wi-Fi

Specifications

The IoT Cricket Wi-Fi module has the following specifications:

  1. Physical dimensions: 37.2mm x 16.4 mm x 4mm

  2. Wireless Range: 100 meters

  3. Wi-Fi: 2.4GHz, 802.11 b/g/n WPA / WPA2

  4. Operating Voltage Range: 1~3.5V. Batteries below 3.5V can power the module directly but if higher than 3.5V then you must use a step-down regulator.

  5. Operating Temperature Range: -20°C~80°C

  6. Chipset: ESP8266EX, CPU 32bits @160MHz

pin description of Cricket-Wi-Fi module

Key Features

The IoT Cricket Wi-Fi module is a physical module i.e. it needs to be physically integrated into your device. Some of the key features of this module include:

  1. OTA configuration (over the air configuration) which can be done either locally (directly on a Cricket Wi-Fi hotspot) or remotely (from TOE microservice).

  2. Offers 0.5uA deep sleep and ultra-low power consumption, “true 0A current” when not operative.

  3. Can operate directly on batteries (AA, AAA, AAAA, …) which can last for a very long time (even years).

  4. Configurable Analog/Digital inputs for peripherals (sensors, buttons, switches, etc.).

  5. Easy software integration to the internet over HTTP & MQTT.

  6. Configurable MQTT and HTTP.

  7. Configurable battery monitor.

  8. Built-in real-time clock (RTC) for wake-ups.

  9. Built-in configurable temperature sensor.

  10. Over The Air firmware updates

  11. Configurable battery monitor.

Five Star review⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Review by ElectronicsLovers about “IOT Cricket Wi-Fi module”

Configuring

You can configure the IoT Cricket Wi-Fi module OTA over Wi-Fi and this does not require a separate dedicated code to be created i.e. no programming is required. You simply configure the module from any device with Wi-Fi and web browser capabilities e.g. smartphones, PCs, laptops etc. Pair your Cricket to your Wi-Fi through a laptop or smartphone and then you may configure either ‘locally’ or ‘remotely’ as required.

configure module remotely or locally

Configuring the IoT Cricket Wi-Fi Module Locally

By local configuration, we mean this type of configuration is done entirely within your local network which lacks internet access. To do so, you will have to access the Cricket Configuration Panel.


  1. For this, first, connect the module to a suitable power supply, then turn on the private “toe-device” Wi-Fi hotspot by pressing the config button for approximately 5 seconds.

  2. Next, connect your phone or PC to the “toe_device” hotspot.

  3. You will now be able to access the local configuration panel.

In the configuration panel, you’ll find a number of options in the navigation bar

  • The Dashboard panel will allow you to read and monitor values detected by sensors of the module such as the I/O pins, the battery status, built-in temperature sensor etc.

  • The Wi-Fi Binding panel will allow you to pair the module to your Wi-Fi network. For this, you will first have to select your Wi-Fi network in the indicated area, enter your password and ‘connect’. Next, check the connectivity status of your module by from the Info Once connected, you may continue with your configuration.

  • The Info panel as mentioned before will indicate the Wi-Fi connectivity status for you. It will also display the serial number along with the password for the device. (Keep this with you as you’ll be needing it later on)

  • The Config panel will allow you to configure the module remotely. This will allow you to see what sensors/peripherals are connected to which ports and the assembling of your device.

  • The Upgrade panel will offer OTA firmware upgrades. This step will require internet access to check for upgrade.

Configuring the IoT Cricket Wi-Fi Module Remotely

You can configure the IoT Cricket Wi-Fi module remotely through the http://cota.thingsonedge.com microservice. In order to configure your IoT Cricket Wi-Fi module, make sure your module is connected to a Wi-Fi network with internet access and is configured to fetch configuration from a remote server. To configure follow the following steps

  • First, open the remote configuration http://cota.thingsonedge.com microservice.

  • Enter the serial number and password of your module which you can find on the Info panel.

  • Set the necessary parameters. The configuration will not be saved if the device status is marked as ‘Not Updated’.

  • In order to fetch configuration from the server, press the config button for approximately 1 second.

  • Once the module fetches the configuration the device status will be marked as ‘Updated’.

Communication API’s

There are two ways you can send or receive data and events i.e. through the MQTT or HTTP communication channels.

Cricket Wi-Fi using HTTP and MQTT protocolsMQTT 

The module comes with built-in native MQTT support. MQTT will offer you a “direct, reliable, and low latency connectivity” which will consume minimum power. There are three ways you can configure MQTT

  • Using a local MQTT server
  • Using an Internet MQTT broker. In order to connect to a custom MQTT broker:
  1. Go to the configuration panel.

  2. Configure as “MQTT_CUSTOM”.

  3. Enter the associated credentials i.e. URL, username, password.

  4. Next, open the Info panel to get the serial number (SN).

  5. Connect to MQTT broker
  • Using the free TOE MQTT broker offered by Things On Edge. To use this:
  1. Go to the configuration panel and select the “type” as “MQTT_TOE” to connect your device.
  2. Once connected, you can send and receive date from IoT Cricket module.

HTTP

The IoT Cricket Wi-Fi module allows for integration to 3rd party microservices using HTTP POST/GET requests.

  • HTTP POST requests

Configure The IoT Cricket Wi-Fi Module to send data to web servers in the form of POST requests. This data (also known as payload) is enclosed in a request message which is sent to a web server usually for uploading a file. To send HTTP POST requests

  1. Go to the configuration panel and select “HTTP_POST” as the type.

  2. In the URL section paste the link.

  3. Define the payload (optional) and the content type (optional).

  4. The type of content is usually automatically detected or you may choose your own format in the configuration panel.
  • HTTP GET requests

HTTP GET requests are used to request data from a web server using a given URL. For this:

  1. Go to the configuration panel
  2. Select “HTTP_GET” as type.
  3. Add the URL and add parameters (optional).

Applications

There are a number of ways you can integrate Cricket and an endless list of applications it can be used in. For example,

  1. You can use it as an IoT button

  2. It can be used in constructing an IoT doorbell which can notify you when someone rings your doorbell.

  3. Send you notifications if someone is at your doorstep.

  4. It can be used in IoT alarms and also reporting of information when the alarm is triggered.

  5. It can be used in IoT moisture sensors which can not only report moisture levels but also notify you if the moisture level drops or increases above normal levels.

  6. You can use it to build IoT motion detectors that can report any detected movement via email or your smartphone.

  7. You can use it to report temperature levels

  8. You can use it in noise detectors.

  9. You can use it to create IoT systems that can detect water leaks.

  10. You can use it with various types of sensors (analog + digital)

In short, there are endless possibilities to the way the IoT Cricket

Electronicslovers has analyzed this product firsthand, Things On Edge shipped us this product recently and we’ve been satisfied with its quality and operability. Do leave a comment letting us know what you think!

image of cricket Wi-Fi module

About Things On Edge

ThingsOnEdge logo

Things On Edge LTD is located in Cambridge, UK, and was established in 2018. Their aim is to create products that ease the creation and operation of IoT products. Having said so, they are offering easy to use end-to-end IoT technology. Their unique tech does not require any dedicated programming or coding and consumes minimum power leading to lower overall costs. Moreover, their products are in compliance with RoHS standards, along with CE and FCC certification making them ideal for IoT product dealings. You can contact them at contact@thingsonedge.com or visit their website www.thingsonedge.com for more information.

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