The Future of ESP8266

Having been away for a few days I can’t say as I am excited by developments.. the Frankenstein code has not seen an update for nearly 3 weeks and that remains “a quick and dirty firmware”.  Meanwhile the Lua firmware hasn’t seen any updates for nearly a week and last time I tried it I had immense difficulty getting some working sub-modules all working together as you’ll know from my other blog entries. Nothing new from Espressif themselves and a comfortable Windows development environment remains a dream for now. That AT software needs handshaking – no doubt in my mind at all – different commands if written too quickly will cause busy errors and the time taken isn’t entirely predictable – waiting for the responses doesn’t necessariy solve problems either.

All of the above of course are great efforts and excellent for playing and learning – but would I leave them running in a remote location and expect them to work continuously? Not yet. Meanwhile a new boy on the block, Micropython doesn’t even operate the WIFI (which makes it a little pointless) at this point and that’s seen no updates for a couple of weeks. Sadly it seems that is also manned by someone who feels we should all compile the firmware as I’m not seeing any sign of binaries there. Until such projects can be dropped into something resembling Windows development tool for compiling, I think I’ll leave that work to others.

No sign of my little ESP8266 base boards from China yet and the ESP-12 has yet to arrive – I’ll report back when they do.

Here’s hoping for some amazing new updates over the Christmas.

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12 thoughts on “The Future of ESP8266

  1. As you say not much use without WIFI but at least with a binary its worth 5 minutes at the weekend… Just in case it goes somewhere. Thanks for that. OK who is going to have a play…

  2. I have also been struggling with the ESP8266. I have been trying to get arduino and ESP8266 to play a long as a server but there are huge problems with flow control when using with the current AT firmware. I ended up modifying the firmware so that the incoming connections are buffered on the ESP8266 instead of writing them directly to the serial stream.

    The firmware has a new AT-command AT+CIPREAD which makes the ESP8266 print one buffer at time to the serial port. This makes your life a lot easier when your main MCU has less RAM than the ESP8266 itself. Also when you are sending the response back you can actually confirm that the commands worked because you wont end up reading the next request instead of the acknowledgement.

    • Hello – where have you been all my life.. you don’t fancy implementing handshake do you? Need beta testers – I am sick as chip of BUSY problems and delays etc.. come back to me on this one? But please don’t ask me to compile…. happy to try any BIN file 🙂

  3. Apparently, hardware handshaking is in the current AT release:
    http://bbs.espressif.com/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=40#p278

    “The current SDK supports hardware flow control by default. Please make a try.

    Only MTCK(GPIO13) can be reused as UART0 CTS and MTDO(GPIO15) can be reused as UART0 RTS. CTS/RTS can not be swapped to GPIO0/GPIO2.”

    So obviously this only applies to the board versions where those GPIOs are available

  4. I am waiting for my ESP-07 batch from China. I ordered 40 of them. My goal is to have a self setup like the TI CC3000. I am planning on exploring this: http://www.esp8266.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=376
    I could probably accomplish everything with AT commands with the ESP tied to an Arduino and some clever code with pins tied high or low using the Arduino to generate a random AP name to boot the ESP into but then how do I attach to the ESP to configure it, where is my user interface? LCD? No way, not unless it is some sort of IoT project requiring a standalone display for seeing live data, but not for a simple self sufficient monitoring device or even a wearable. Perhaps an open socket on the ESP waiting for an Android app to do Adhoc connection to the ESP and configure its settings via the app then additionally save them to the arduino eeprom (not making it a habit due to limited write cycles) or an SDCARD can be used (kind of overkill if not storing anything else). The ESP seems to hold the last AP connection anyway. Do I go LUA? I read that LUA doesn’t support 802.11n in AP mode, is that true?
    I have 2 of ESP8266-01 to play with until my 40 little ESP-07 gems arrive. I put another 100 on order before the overseas prices start climbing due to popularity. The ESP-07 is FCC stamped on the shielding in the pictures I think, but whether or not it really has a valid FCC certification, who knows. Being an FCC stamped shielded device it will qualify as a precertified module to be used in any application, so your resulting project/prototype would not require additional FCC approval for RF if it is actually certified.
    This is definitely exciting.

    • Hi Tom

      We were JUST talking about this – major ommision right now is a simple interface to set the boards up so if you’re up for that, I think lots of people would appreciate that. I envisage using lots of these around the place either stand alone as temperature monitors (Lua) or with Arduio or similar and having a pretty web page to set them up like most routers or more advanced wireless products would definitely be useful… do let us know in here when you progress this.

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