Friday Morning ESP8266

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ESP8266This morning I saw a note from a Mr Steve Brown who pointed out this link for a little add-on board for the ESP-01. Our friends in America might be interested at $1.59 but sadly for the rest of the world the postage kills this one – $13+ to the UK – what WERE they thinking? I think this suffers in a couple of ways, firstly I don’t understand why 2 boards and also while it’s great to see a meaty 800ma regulator, there isn’t enough copper to let you run that at 800ma unless the input voltage is quite low..  what I would REALLY like to see is a low cost motherboard that contains a 3v3 regulator and level shifters on serial in and reset so that the ESP-01 board becomes usable on 5v systems without bodging. A little further down the line I can see a session with EAGLE PCB coming on.

10:38AM – Updates for you: Nothing new on the Frankenstein front, I asked Espressif about Windows based development and they just sent me a one-liner pointing me to the VM version – which unless you’re a Linux hack is a real nightmare and throws out error messages which mean nothing to most of us. As for the original web server, nothing new there to report, it’s still not picking up routers. 

On the LUA front – this wonderful high level language is coming along, the board will now perform trivial tasks like adding two numbers together – however the example of running a Telnet session falls over immediately and the web page example resets the ESP-01 board after 5 or 6 retries… so we’ve a little way to go.  He’s even put up a new version of the Telnet code and that won’t even load in without killing the interpreter.

However the latest attempt at a web server DOES work. Here’s the code – I loaded it in – pointed a web browser to it and it does work. Someone more advanced with LUA might want to offer a suggestion as to how to alter this so it ONLY returns any GET information – and only once as browsers tend to send several attempts..

   print(payload) print(node.heap())
   conn:send(“<h1> Hello there</h1>This is a test”)
conn:on(“sent”,function(conn) conn:close() end)


No other updates for that this morning and I did write into here to detail what’s going wrong with the LUA code. I’m hoping we might see a fix over the weekend – but that’s just a hope. I guess what really excites me about the LUA option is the possibility to develop code for the board without having to worry about that whole convoluted compile/link/Linux/GCC process – maybe I’m dreaming…

I think part of the problem is that some of the developers, Expressif etc are Chinese and while that’s not a problem in itself it is really hard for some of us to get a dialog going with them – I get very short answers from Espressif and get the distinct feeling no-one understands my emails – though they are trying to improve the firmware.

Daver Allan's hacked ESP-01Hacks: A friend of mine, Dave Allan (who has been helping me with testing) has been working on hacking the ESP-01 to get back some valuable pins – oh yes, you can!! Mind you we’re talking accurate soldering but if you’re desperate for some I/O, just to prove it can be done.. here’s the picture. Please DON’T write in if you burn up your board!

When I find out more – I’ll be sure to write in here. For now… it’s winter in the UK and one of my little radio boards which controls the heating has given up and died. I was hoping by now to have a WIFI alternative – but I think we’re a little way off that. Time to get the soldering iron out (elsewhere on this blogsite I have details my home control efforts spanning quite some time now).

08:54AM – Got some feedback this morning indicating that there is a new tool (Python) for uploading scripts to the LUA interpreter… not used it as I find Cool Terminal does that easily for me – but it’s probably worth making a note of for those of you for whatever reason can’t or don’t want to use the latter.

Just to be clear on the pins – a zoom below..


Comments from Dave:   For those of you with good soldering skills and a steady hand I’ve developed a system to give you 4 extra gpio pins that are on a firm socket rather than hanging wires off the pins. It consists of removing the existing pins (pcb), replacing the 2 rows of 4 pins with 2 rows of 7 pins. Remove the 5th pin on both rows and solder the 2 rows in with the extra pins to the left.
Next solder fine wire from these extra pins to pins 9,10,12,13.

The extra pins are GPIO14, GPIO12, GPIO13 and GPIO15.

You can now plug this into a 14 pin IDC socket or any other of your choosing.

See the attached photo.

I accept no responsibility for your lack of skill if you screw the board 😆

Zoomed ESP-01


4 thoughts on “Friday Morning ESP8266

    • You know I was going to buy some.. but then I noted the resistors – 2 identical packs – you can’t do a divider like that – that’s 5v to 2.5v – and if uses as simple series resistors – that’s no good at all if the chip doesn’t have limiting.. In my case I’ve used a 560r from the 5v logic to the chip – and then 1k2 to ground which gives you nearer (but not precisely) 3v3. Hmm, I can see a board layout coming on.

      • Yes, not a real level shifter, and the voltage drop is depedent of the inbound current, but at least has the voltage regulator on a small board, and some space to hack something… 🙂

  1. At the cost of boards these days it’s almost worth someone knocking up a batch of proper ones – with a nice big copper area for that heatsink – the only thing is – I could be wanting to put the WIFI module vertically – and it does not have bent pins.. not sure about putting an earth on one side of that PCB aerial…

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