I want to make a soil health monitoring system. The system will use the components below:

  1. Capacitive soil moisture sensor
  2. Soil NPK sensor
  3. DS18B20 temperature sensor
  4. NRF24L01 Transceiver Module

The assembled system will look like this: circuit but without display

However, I also want to add a Graphic LCD 84x48 (Nokia 5110) display. But arduino nano or uno doesn't have enough pins to accomodate all these components. I don't want to use arduino mega because that makes the project expensive. Can esp32 be a good alternative here? Can I use the sensors and the display with esp32? I don't have any prior experience with esp32 so detailed advice will be highly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!!

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I think I see like 11 unused data pins on your arduino, how many pins does the display need? Also, if your modules use i2c, they can all share just 2 pins, no need to wire them up individually. Same for SPI, at the cost of one CS pin per device. \$\endgroup\$
    – marcelm
    Jul 26, 2023 at 12:09
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ How are you powering the device? If battery, what type and capacity (mAh)? Any microcontroller running on battery should be carefully programmed to conserve power. Using the ESP32 could save pins by using its internal Bluetooth for radio comms, eliminating the nRF24L01; but of course the other end of that link needs to support Bluetooth. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 26, 2023 at 14:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ The display needs digital pins. There's not sufficient number of digital pins left. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wanderer
    Jul 27, 2023 at 3:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ I will use NRF24L01 for long range communication. About battery, I haven;t thought of it yet as I am yet to start the project. I am thinking of using 8V Lipo battery (3300 mAh with 4V, 8V, 12V outputs). Please inform me if my battery choice is correct or if there are better alternatives. \$\endgroup\$
    – Wanderer
    Jul 27, 2023 at 3:26

1 Answer 1


Your question is "Can I use esp32 instead of arduino". The answer is Yes. (I can't think of a single project where this isn't true!)

The implementation of it will be different and probably a bit harder to do. Before migrating your platform, buy yourself an ESP32 dev board and code a bit on it. Moving from Arduino to any other MCU can be a learning curve but will give you a much better design.


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