@borpin do I need a Raspberry PI with the Wemos Mini or can I hook it up to a PC? My 9 year old would love that project. That really is bang for my buck, especially if it can take a power meter too…
Start them young.
Do you use HomeAssistant? If not it doesn’t matter, just makes it easier still.
To program the WEMOS, PC is fine.
There are 2 easy routes to programming the WEMOS - Tasmota and ESPHome. They have their advantages and disadvantages. Personally, my D1s are using Tasmota, but ESPHome is fine.
There are now web based tools to flash the devices which makes it even easier! Tasmota has one on the web you can use which for me seals the deal! GitHub - tasmota/install: Tasmota Web Installer and firmware repository
My suggestion is get the WEMOS direct from China LOLIN D1 mini — WEMOS documentation and find some sensors. Care is needed as some of the really cheap sensors are rubbish.
One thing I do do now, is always connect things to the D1s via a small cable with a plug/socket on it. If you need to change something it is easier!
You can power it from an old Phone charger and I’m sure you have cables around (although the V4 is USBC). If you/he is new to this, get a breakout board so you can mount the WEMOS on that initially to help testing.
Finally any old plastic carton will do for a case or get a small plastic one again from China.
Awesome I’ll try this route first off, I’m assuming WiFi drop outs means data is lost as there’s no storage on the Wemos?