WiFi hotspot zine guide

Walking Signals. WIFI hotspot zine workshop.

Technical guide

What is a hot-spot zine?

  • A standalone WIFI signal broadcaster
  • A standalone captive portal webserver which serves a webpage instead of regular login page
  • This webpage plus this electronic device itself is a zine platform
  • A standalone networking device which can be used to communicate with others
  • A network that ‘you’ have the complete (relatively) control over it (than.. For example, the Internet)
  • A ‘walking’ network or a signal that you can carry/accompany with your physical presence
  • http://pilote.byus.net/wpdiana/?page_id=1064
  • Consist of… : ESP32 module + powering device + your content + your ‘context’

How to make one?

What is needed?

  • A computer
  • A ESP32 breakout board
  • microUSB cable (so called, android data cable)
  • A battery or powerbank
  • A webpage (html/css/js + media files)
  • (optional) Magnets : you attach or install the module at some specific place / location, to give more context/happening
  • (optional) A case / a hull : you shape it to give it more context/happening.
  • (optional) Sensory peripherals or actuators (incl. speakers etc) : to give it more context/happening.
  • (optional) A concept / an idea


  • Storage 2MB (or less)
  • A bit slower than normal web servers
  • Maybe a bit unstable from time to time : you can re-start the module whenever needed.

Step 1) How to upload your code to the device

Step 1-1) installing USB driver which enables us to communicate to the chip (the module: ESP32)

For Windows users

  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows 10

For Mac OSX users:

  • Yosemite (10.10)
  • El capitan (10.11)
  • Sierra (10.12)
  • High Sierra (10.13)
  • Mojave (10.14)

For Linux

  • Debian derived
  • Archlinux derived

Step 1-2) testing USB communication

  • Enabling verbose output of the procedure that arduino takes
  • Try upload and see if it works with Blink example
  • How to listen to the device with Serial comm. Example

Step 1-3) preparing hotspot-zine code and installing additional components that is needed by the code (libraries)

  • How to use arduino’s Library Manager to install a new library
  • What we need to install
  • ESP32AsyncWebServer
  • AsyncTCP

Step 1-4) try ‘compile’ and see what happens.

Step 1-5) installing additional tools for extending arduino functionality to support ESP data uploading (for the website data)

Code base