Davis Vantage Pro 2 Open Weather Station Part 8: Remote Management!

Currently with a Raspberry Pi setup, it’s pretty easy to remotely manage my station. I just SSH into that Pi. That does let me have some control over my station, as I can reboot the server, restart weeWX, etc. But with an ESP32, it’s not as simple as that. So I started looking and I discovered that the CradlePoint supports Out of Band Management in the form of serial redirection! However, per this document: https://customer.cradlepoint.com/s/article/Supported-USB-to-Serial-Adaptors-for-Out-of-Band-Management it requires a serial with an FTDI Chipset. The ESP32 dev board I have uses a CP210x which is not supported by Cradlepoint via the USB. But luckily, you don’t HAVE to use that port!

Using an FTDI cable with the Heltec ESP32 dev board.

With that setup, I could talk over FTDI to my board very easily, and it just took 4 connections! This particular cable is a 5v cable, but you can also get 3.3v setups as well. So what about the Cradlepoint? First, I enabled Serial Redirection (https://customer.cradlepoint.com/s/article/NCOS-Out-of-Band-Management) and then plugged that in. It was just that simple!

ESP32 board hooked up to the Cradlepoint
Logged into the CradlePoint (IBR600-8fe is the hostname) and then entering into the serial device. The first few lines of -0.03xxxxx is output from a Python script I have running on the ESP32 for an ultrasonic distance sensor. I then cancelled that script and had the Python prompt.

So yay! I have remote management and can see exactly what I would see if the ESP32 board was hooked up to my laptop. This means in the wild when this is deployed, I can easily log in and troubleshoot, even if the ESP32 itself loses connection. As long as the CradlePoint is up and running and online, I can access it.

Next on the project board is networking! I got a Lan8720 module to start working with. Yes the ESP32 has wifi but i’m wanting to do wired ethernet. So hopefully i’ll have that figured out soon.

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