The ESP8266 WiFi Module is a self contained SOC with integrated TCP/IP protocol stack that can give any microcontroller access to your WiFi network. The ESP8266 is capable of either hosting an application or offloading all Wi-Fi networking functions from another application processor. Each ESP8266 module comes pre-programmed with an AT command set firmware, meaning, you can simply hook this up to your Arduino device and get about as much WiFi-ability as a WiFi Shield offers (and that's just out of the box)! The ESP8266 module is an extremely cost effective board with a huge, and ever growing, community.
This module has a powerful enough on-board processing and storage capability that allows it to be integrated with the sensors and other application specific devices through its GPIOs with minimal development up-front and minimal loading during runtime. Its high degree of on-chip integration allows for minimal external circuitry, including the front-end module, is designed to occupy minimal PCB area. The ESP8266 supports APSD for VoIP applications and Bluetooth co-existance interfaces, it contains a self-calibrated RF allowing it to work under all operating conditions, and requires no external RF parts.
There is an almost limitless fountain of information available for the ESP8266, all of which has been provided by amazing community support. In the Documents section below you will find many resources to aid you in using the ESP8266, even instructions on how to transforming this module into an IoT (Internet of Things) solution!
Note: The ESP8266 Module is not capable of 5-3V logic shifting and will require an external Logic Level Converter. Please do not power it directly from your 5V dev board.
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: Competent - You will be required to reference a datasheet or schematic to know how to use a component. Your knowledge of a datasheet will only require basic features like power requirements, pinouts, or communications type. Also, you may need a power supply that?s greater than 12V or more than 1A worth of current.
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Based on 1 ratings:
9 of 9 found this helpful:
A lot of bang for the buck! Overall it’s a pretty solid little board. It comes preloaded with firmware that implements an AT command interface. I recommend updating to the latest AT command firmware, especially if you are going to use UDP mode of communication.
I haven’t used it with TCP connections, but the UDP mode seems to be very robust. I’ve had it running for over 3 days sending UDP packets every 2 seconds and it’s still going strong, no hiccups with WiFi connection or serial data transmission to and from the module. I’m sure my awesome software design and coding has something to do with it, but the module is holding its own :)
Range seems pretty good, I had no problem connecting to my router indoors from anywhere inside, and I even took my setup on a breadboard out to the furthest point in my yard, about 150 feet from the house and was able to connect to my router down in the basement through solid concrete poured foundation. Not too shabby.
Since they are so economical I bought 2, and I’m glad I did, as the description mentions do not hook this up to more than 3.3 volts. When I went to update my firmware on one of the boards I didn’t have my glasses on and inadvertently connected the GPIO0 to USB 5v rather than ground the next terminal over. When I noticed the mix-up I switched it to ground and successfully flashed the new image, but when I try to boot up normal it just spews garbage out of the serial port, so it is very sensitive to the wrong voltage.
I don’t have any issues with the board, but I can’t bring myself to give it a 5 star rating as I believe that should be saved for special circumstances, even though this module is lots of bang for the buck I feel like there could be a better ESP8266 board so I’ll call it a 4.5 and recommend you play around with one if you haven’t already.