ESP8266-01 WiFi module experiments and discovery mark1

The ESP-01 is a very small RF / uC module capable of WiFi operation standalone, or as part of an embedded system. It is very popular and we decided to take a look at it and it proved a fascinating study so far.

However, it is not easy to use and will frustrate a person unless that person has a lot of patience. There is a lot information about it available on the web, both textual and Video but in most cases this can only be used peripherally as the ESP-01 can be difficult to manage and use.

The software component of this product is the Arduino IDE which is a big help. Here are our observations after a few days of experimenting with the ESP – 01. (1). You have to get a good programmer so that programming will not be that painful. I have been using a standard programmer, i.e. a USB to TTL ( and vice versa) device that is both cheap and freely available. See the picture below.

However it is important to modify its physical construction somewhat. (a) Connect a switch between the GPIO0 pin and ground because the programming will require that configuration and the programmer does not provide it. (2) Connect the CH_PD pin to VCC. (3) Connect a pushbutton switch from RESET to GND. This is important. When programming the GPIO0 switch has to be in the GND position and the RESET pin must be pulsed.

Beyond this the programming is quite painful and one must be prepared for many failures and frustrating days. What we want to do is try to journal as much as we can in this blog to help.

More in following posts. Please visit the the Signal Processing Group Inc. website for more technical info and contact procedures.

This is the image of the ESP-01. Very small just a few mm in both directions.
This is the ESP-01 programmer fairly inexpensive and easy to use .

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