Home > Espressif, Hardware > This TTGO Board Combines ESP32, LoRa Radio, and OLED Display for just $10

This TTGO Board Combines ESP32, LoRa Radio, and OLED Display for just $10

Just one year ago, it would cost around $15 to $20+ to get an ESP32 board, that is if you were lucky/fast enough to order one one before it went out of stock. Since then, availability is no longer an issue, and you now can get an ESP32 development board for as low as about $7, or even around $4 during promotions.

Today, I was made aware of another board sold under the “TTGO” brand, that includes not only ESP32 WiFi and Bluetooth SoC, but also a (433 MHz) LoRa radio, and an OLED display. Price? Just $10 plus shipping ($1.75 here).

Battery not Included – Click to Enlarge

TTGO ESP32/LoRa board specifications:

  • WiSoC – Espressif ESP32
  • Storage – 32MB on-board flash (or maybe just 16MB?)
  • LoRa
    • Semtech SX1278 with u.FL connector + 433MHz antenna (N.B.: Antenna must be connected during use or the Semtech chip could be damaged)
    • Sensitivity” ~ -148dBm; output power: +20dBm
  • Display – 0.96″ blue OLED display
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for debugging (CP2102) and power
  • Expansion – 2x 18-pin headers with GPIOs, UART, ADC, Touch, SPI, power signals… (See pinout diagram)
  • Misc – Charging Status LED
  • Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port, 2-pin battery header, 5V Pin. (Operating voltage: 3.3V to 7V)

The board can be programmed with the Arduino IDE after downloading and installing the TTGO folder in arduino/hardware. After selecting “WiFi_LoRa_32” board, you should be able to load various samples to play with the board.

Click to Enlarge

The board is sold with a 433MHz antenna, and two male headers. You’ll save a little bit on shipping if you purchase two kits instead.  The board can also be found on eBay and Banggood.

Thanks to Mpampis for the tip.

  1. bob
    October 13th, 2017 at 14:34 | #1

    Nice esp32 LORA board!
    Looklike an improvement of LOLIN board… cheaper well done chineses!
    Hope the battery management is good…

  2. Jan de Boer
    October 13th, 2017 at 15:31 | #2

    Re flash storage: it’s not 32MB, it’s 32Mb (megabits) = 4MB (megabyte). Same as most other ESP32 boards.

  3. Sander
    October 13th, 2017 at 16:03 | #3

    What can you with the “LoRa Semtech SX1278”? Is that peer-2-peer communication, or can you talk a public LoRa provider?

  4. October 13th, 2017 at 16:11 | #4

    @Jan de Boer
    I’m very confused about that. In the description they write “32MBytes”, but in the title “16 Mt Bytes (128 Mt bit)”. So I assume it was either 16MB or 32MB flash. Or is it not supported by ESP32? Or not possible for that price?

    If we had a clear photo of the SPI flash used it would be clearer.

  5. October 13th, 2017 at 17:17 | #5

    It is nice board. Looking for 868Mhz version foe Europe. Still not clear for me the memory size and the battery since esp32 consume more battery then esp8266.

  6. Jan de Boer
    October 13th, 2017 at 18:11 | #6

    @cnxsoft
    Assuming flash is SOIC-8-200 chip on the back side, this is likely 25Qxx, which in theory be up to 128mbit part (positively not 256mbit, those don’t exist in this package). But at ~ $1/piece, I seriously doubt a low-cost board would go with 25Q128. One step down, 25Q64 are not very common, and not particularly attractive price/MB-wize. Which leaves 25Q32 as most likely.

  7. Jan de Boer
    October 13th, 2017 at 18:23 | #7

    @Catalin
    ESP32 has ULP (ultra-low-power) processor core, which consumes microampers, but is smart enough to handle simple bit-banged protocols all by itself (see [1] for example). Which means that during long LoRa transaction, main CPU could be completely powered down, and only wake after that, and not being tied to slow protocol, very quickly go back to sleep. So I would expect a well-designed ESP32-LoRa combination to be much more power-efficient than ESP8266-LoRa.

    [1] https://github.com/tomtor/ulp-i2c

    • October 14th, 2017 at 01:38 | #8

      Thanks for clarifying this. I need to read more about ULP on ESP32.

  8. Deets
    October 13th, 2017 at 18:45 | #9

    Uses the dreaded 26mhz Crystal and 2.4ghz rf layout is not great. When will they make a 868/915mhz version?

  9. theguyuk
  10. Paul
    October 14th, 2017 at 01:41 | #11

    If only 1 band available, 433MHz seems an odd choice. In the locations I am interested, the public gateway providers only work with 868/915 MHz
    Does it allow for recharging a backup LiPo? (looking at the white connector on reverse side)

  11. October 16th, 2017 at 00:45 | #12

    @Deets
    “dreaded 26Mhz” crystal you mean this? https://www.esp32.com/viewtopic.php?t=2742#p13328 It seems like it’s fixed in software. was there something else you meant?

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