Programming ESP8266 Boards with a Smartphone

In recent days, I wrote about low cost MCU boards such as the $2 BluePill, and the One Dollar Board project, but several people commented that while the board themselves are very cheap, it might still be a problem in some developing countries, where access to computers cannot be taken for granted. So person suggested that such initiative would work better in some countries if programming was possible via a smartphone instead. Is that true? According to a 2014/2015 study by Pew Research Center, there is some truth to it, but it varies greatly between countries. For example,  55% of Brazilian adults own a computer at home, while only 24% own a smartphone, but in Kenya only 8% own a computer at home, while 15% own a smartphone. Some devices in the “cellphones but not smartphones” might be feature phones with WiFi and a web browser. Anyway ideally a low cost board should support both computer and smartphones or cellphone […]

$10 WiFiMCU Board is a NodeMCU Clone Based on EMW3165 Module

Yesterday I wrote a short tutorial for NodeMCU board, and one visitor mentioned WiFiMCU board that has a similar form factor as NodeMCU, and while it is more expensive at about $10 on Aliexpress or Ebay, it is also more powerful and provides more I/Os thanks to its EMW3165 module including an STM32 Cortex M4 micro-controller with 128KB RAM, 512KB flash, a Broadcom WiFi module, and 2MB SPI flash. WiFiMCU specifications: MCU – STMicro STM32F411CE Cortex-M4 microcontroller @ 100MHz with 128KB RAM, 512KB flash Storage – 2MB SPI flash WiFi –  Broadcom 802.11 b/g/n RF Chip: Modes – Station, Soft AP and Station+Soft AP Security – WEP, WPA/WPA2, PSK/Enterprise [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] Receiver sensitivity – -87 dBm 2x 15-pin headers with 17x GPIO Pin 3x UARTs 5x ADC, 1x SPI, 1x I2C, 1x USB SWD debug interface 11x PWM Misc – Boot and Reset buttons Power Supply – 5V via micro USB port Dimensions – Certifications – CE, FCC Temperature […]

Getting Started with NodeMCU Board Powered by ESP8266 WiSoC

Since ESP8266 is now so popular, I’ve recently bought a NodeMCU board to try it. I selected this board because the latest version of the board is breadboard-friendly, integrates a USB to serial chip, and it can be powered by a simple USB to micro USB cable. I also noticed a ESP8266 tutorial with NodeMCU firmware by SwitchDoc Labs the other day (using ESP-12 and Adafruit Huzzah), which I applied to my NodeMCU board, but since I encountered a few issues, I decided to report my findings, and write my own little getting started guide to switch on/off LED and GPIOs using a web interface. NodeMCU v0.9 and NodeMCU v1.0 If you are going to purchase a NodeMCU board it’s important to know there are two official versions: NodeMCU v0.9 with ESP-12 module NodeMCU v1.0 with ESP-12E module The main complain about NodeMCU v0.9 is that while it fits on the breadboard, you can’t use as it takes the full […]

NodeMCU is both a Breadboard-Friendly ESP8266 Wi-Fi Board and a LUA based Firmware

NodeMCU is a LUA based interactive firmware for Expressif ESP8622 Wi-Fi SoC, as well as an open source hardware board that contrary to the $3 ESP8266 Wi-Fi modules includes a CP2102 TTL to USB chip for programming and debugging, is breadboard-friendly, and can simply be powered via its micro USB port. Let’s checkout the hardware first. The latest version of the board (V1.0) has the following specifications and features: Wi-Fi Module – ESP-12E module similar to ESP-12 module but with 6 extra GPIOs. USB – micro USB port for power, programming and debugging Headers – 2x 2.54mm 15-pin header with access to GPIOs, SPI, UART, ADC, and power pins Misc – Reset and Flash buttons Power – 5V via micro USB port Dimensions – 49 x 24.5 x 13mm The hardware documentation for the board can be found on nodemcu-devkit repo, including schematics and PCB layout designed with Altium Designer, but they should also be compatible with the cheaper Altium […]