The SparkFun ESP32 Thing Plus is the next step to get started with Espressif IoT ideations while still enjoying all the amenities of the original ESP32 Thing. Espressif's ESP32 WROOM is a powerful WiFi and Bluetooth MCU module that targets a wide variety of applications. At the core of this module is the ESP32-D0WDQ6 chip which is designed to be both scalable and adaptive. To make the Thing Plus even easier to use, we've moved a few pins around to make the board Feather compatible and it utilizes our handy Qwiic Connect System which means no soldering or shields are required to connect it to the rest of your system!
Why the name? We lovingly call it the “Thing” because it's the perfect foundation for your Internet of Things project. The Thing does everything from turning on an LED to posting data with your chosen platform, and can be programmed just like any microcontroller. You can even program the Thing through the Arduino IDE by installing the updated ESP32 Arduino Core.
The ESP32 Thing plus integrates a rich set of peripherals, ranging from capacitive touch sensors, Hall sensors, SD card interface, Ethernet, high-speed SPI, UART, I2S and I2C. Thanks to the onboard ESP32 WROOM module, the SparkFun Thing Plus features 16MB of flash memory, 520kB of internal SRAM, an integrated 802.11 BGN WiFi transceiver and dual-mode Bluetooth capabilities, and a JST connector to plug in a LiPo battery.
The SparkFun Qwiic Connect System is an ecosystem of I2C sensors, actuators, shields and cables that make prototyping faster and less prone to error. All Qwiic-enabled boards use a common 1mm pitch, 4-pin JST connector. This reduces the amount of required PCB space, and polarized connections mean you can’t hook it up wrong.
If a board needs code or communicates somehow, you're going to need to know how to program or interface with it. The programming skill is all about communication and code.
Skill Level: Competent - The toolchain for programming is a bit more complex and will examples may not be explicitly provided for you. You will be required to have a fundamental knowledge of programming and be required to provide your own code. You may need to modify existing libraries or code to work with your specific hardware. Sensor and hardware interfaces will be SPI or I2C.
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If it requires power, you need to know how much, what all the pins do, and how to hook it up. You may need to reference datasheets, schematics, and know the ins and outs of electronics.
Skill Level: Rookie - You may be required to know a bit more about the component, such as orientation, or how to hook it up, in addition to power requirements. You will need to understand polarized components.
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Based on 5 ratings:
I'm just getting started with this board, but it has everything and the kitchen sink, operates quickly, programs easily, I've loved every second.
Realized all kinds of projects easily with this board. Great documentation and support.
When I got my unit I ciuld not get it to work. Being new to Sparkfun I was not able to get to the forum to ask for help. So I went direct to the order department and told them my unit's symptoms and with getting into the forum. Within 24 hours I was informed a replacement was being shipped and someone else contacted me and said that my login problems had been corrected. The new unit works fine as far as I have been able to check out the example sketchs. My only concern is that the cross references between the Thing Plus and Arduino language are really hard for a newbee to figure out. However, I am not upset because it certainly will keep my mind working in my retirement. I commend SparkFun for working to make so many different kits available to hobbyests.
Solid as a rock, 100% compatible with Adafruit Terminal Block Breakout FeatherWing, the only terminal block for this device to prototype. I am using it to control my home thermostat. Sparkfun did not include the pin header, really Sparkfund? Those this are very cheap, but if you dont have them, the board is kind of useless. One thing I dont like about this board is the way the number the pins, it seems to me they did not follow a sequence, it's a mess, no Sparkfun fault. Look these GPIOs, 12, 27, 22, wow!
I've bypassed the Arduino support and gone straight to C++. The ESP32 IDF and its dependencies have worked fine on my Linux (Ubuntu 20.04) system.
Two things I'd like to have: 1) Schematics showing equivalent circuits when various I/O pins are declared as input, output, pull-up, pull-down or open (drain?) so that I do not accidentally destroy the Thing; 2) better guidance toward real-time debug via JTAG. Given the potential for huge programs, misunderstanding FreeRTOS capabilities and possibly blocking on incomplete communication, this is a necessity, IMHO. Sparkfun could make a few extra bucks by providing and documenting an end-to-end debug solution.