ESP8266 is a SoC made by Espressif. For the last couple of
months, this chip is a rockstar of HackADay and makers
community around the Internet. Mostly because of WiFi modules built based on it
(ESP-XX family). Rich interface (GPIO, SPI, SDIO, I2C) give those boards
potential to be standalone MCU with WiFi capability for wide range of
applications. In quantity, you can get ESP-01 for $2.7 (for 1kpcs). Of course, there is no free lunch. Documentation is weak (this is no TI), but
community doing it’s best to change this state.
Native interface of AT commands is also not the friendliest way of
communicating by beginners. But also for that market found a solution – namely
A while ago I bought ESP-01 and experiment a little bit with it. I quickly
realize that to release additional powers from this module I need access to
other pins. ESP-01 expose only 2 GPIOs newer versions of the board provide more
and more. Of course there was a way to hack ESP-01, but using latest version
usually, provide better feature set. The latest version known to the wide public is
ESP-12 which expose ADC and 9 GPIO pins. Finally, I took in possession couple of
Because this board came in SMD package I found that
ElectroDragon provides also adapter to solder
module and easily expose pins.
After applying my soldering-fu I got a rewarding result.
ESP-12 adapter from ElectroDragon got the width of 31mm and pin distance match
ideally to the prototype board. There is only one problem that adapter width put
pins into the first and last column of the standard 10 column (A-J) breadboard.
Which give no ability to connect parallel wires, which was my initial idea.
Because I didn’t have u shape solderless jumpers to make connection clean I
split old Ethernet cable and get this:
Check connections couple of time to make sure that everything works fine. As
USB UART I used FT232RL based module. Currently provided by USB UART module can
be insufficient that’s why I used lab DC power supply.
NOTE: Both ESP-12 and USB UART should be connected to the same GND.
It wasn’t simple. First I tried minicom with 115200 UART speed:
minicom -b 115200 -o -D /dev/ttyUSB0
This module display bootloader messages at 115200. After booting it switches to
9600. If you booted and can’t communicate but the blue LED blinking when you type
this may indicate that you need reset try
should get something like this:
There are a lot of other commands like
AT+GMR which give you firmware version.
More commands you can find
every firmware support all commands. To use more robust firmware you can
compile the latest version of AT command or even modify it according to your needs.
Some instructions can be found
I think that ESP8266 has great potential to make pressure on the market and
squeeze better solutions. There is a lot of interesting things going on around
ESP like MQTT implementation of firmware or recently released FreeRTOS SDK
from Espressif. I hope to write more about ESP-12 in future. If you think this
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