Where to start - modifying caperplus wifi pH EC meter

So I bought 3 caperplus pH EC meters (before I realized how stupid that was). It’s a cheap Chinese wifi meter and the servers for the app are Chinese and don’t work in North America (that’s my guess as to why the app doesn’t work), so I’m interested to see if I can’t get some Arduino code with preexisting libraries to work on it.

I’ve got 3 and I don’t need any, so if any experienced programmer wants to help I can loan you one. It would be a nice alternative to the atlas products and that expensive shield. You can buy a caperplus wifi smart meter on aliexpress for about $60.

This meter uses an esp8266mod, and I’m guessing it has the optical isolator, and ADC, as well as a display. I’ll include some pics.

So where would you start with this? I tried to solder a USB serial programmer and destroyed the debugging leads, so my next attempt is to use a 3d printed pogo pin adapter and the serial programmer. But that’s just a first step, IDK where to go from there, I’m too new to all of this. I would just give up and sell them, I’ve got all the other Arduino parts I need without these, but I’m in this to learn.

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I would start with the easiest way to potentially get the data, via WiFi. Once connected to your network, see if you can identify the IP address, then try to connect to it via telnet. Often manufacturers of devices like these will obfuscate the data to make it difficult to read outside of the manufacturer’s software, so you may have to do some searching to find if anyone else has been successful obtaining data from this or a similar device.

Google has squat about this device, like it doesnt exist besides on aliexpress, but thanks for giving me a better starting point. I’m really new to all of this so if you have a lit of things I need to google for this first step, I would be very grateful. I figure googling telnet commands, but what would be a more defined search term that can give more relevant results?

I want to get this thing working just to learn, I’ve always been interested in microcontrollers like arduino or raspberry pi but never was interested in robotics and never had a use case until now with this hydroponics system.

Anyways thanks for your help so far I greatly appreciate you helping out this noob.

Can you link to the exact product? Your photo with the case off makes it difficult to find the exact one via a search.

Yeah its a caperplus q2 pH EC meter. Caperplus Aquarium Q1 Q2 PH Temperature TDS 3 in 1 Intelligence Monitor Detector WIFI APP PH Digital Monitor For Fish Tanks|Water Pumps| - AliExpress

If you want I can send you one of these to play with.

I don’t really have time or the skill for something like that. I only asked for a link out of curiosity, and I wasn’t able to find any rebranded devices in a cursory search.

Hey @BCole77! were you able to read data from the device? I have the same one, it’d be cool if it was possible

If it helps anyone, I learned how to read the device’s data with Wireshark, and decode the packet data with a C language script.

Here are the steps:

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