There’s a prototyping board out there quite cheap – http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/391009833643?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT and on the surface it looks like a good deal – it APPEARS to include the ESP-12 – so overall amazing – but looking at the description either the person writing it had really bad English skills or doesn’t actually understand what is being sold – I certainly am unsure what you get for the money. But here’s the thing – the regulator looks to ME to be too small. The LEDS look to me as it they are permanently wired… erm what if you wanted to use the pins as inputs? and it’s kind of big. GREAT IDEA though.
Here’s my idea for a board – and remember you could make this up in Eagle or similar and have them made in China for next to nothing.. I mean if you had half a dozen ESP-12s it’s surely worth considering it you’re a dab hand with a soldering iron?
So what we have here is the ESP-12 on the left with 0.1” connectors to either side as the ESP-12 comes with 2mm connectors – not exactly conducive to prototyping. I’d then put a suitable number of LEDS on the right complete with series 2k2 resistors and a 2 way 0.1” header for each so they could be enabled with a simple header (or link if you’re really cheap). In addition I’d want a pullup and link for programming and a couple of resistors to divide the input to the UART from 5v to 3v3 (try 1k2 and 560r for example) for the FTDI connector over on the right. I’d use the 1amp 3v3 reg with decouplers… and a power led and resistor bottom right.
Ok, I’m sure to have missed something out… but you get the general idea. There’s even room there for a couple of mounting holes…. all of this could be done on the free EAGLE package (I think it lets you do up to 100mm square) and sent off to China for one of those $15 for 10 prototype deals… ok this is really only suitable for those who are familiar with a soldering iron but I’m thinking it might be a reasonable attempt at a design for a test board ot let you play with the units with standard 0.1” headers, FTDI, test leads etc. the cost of the parts is very little. 2k2 series resistors, 1k2 and 560 for the divider, 0.1u for decouplers…
Seem reasonable? If anyone turns this into a set of boards, Happy Christmas, be sure to send me one for my lone ESP-12.