Things You Should Know for Using ESP8266 Module

esp8266

ESP8266 is a 3V Wifi Module very popular for its Internet Of Things Applications.ESP 8266 maximum working Voltage is 3.6V and its very important to note. you must know how to power it, How to Serial Connect it with Arduino Safely, How To Ping and many other things? You should Use Software Like Circuito.io, Tinkercad, Fritzing to simulate and work with the board Safely. You should Also Use Logic Level Controller To use with ESP8266 Module.In this article we try to explain it clearly.

ESP8266 has 8 pins, namely:

  •  RX
  • VCC
  • GPIO 0
  • RESET
  • CH_PD
  • GPIO 2
  • TX
  • GND

VCC and GND are powering pins. RX and TX are used to communicate. You should also look at ESP8266 datasheet at https://cdn.sparkfun.com/datasheets/Wireless/WiFi/ESP8266ModuleV1.pdf.

☑️ Not Breadboard Friendly

Most modules come with male pin headers pre-soldered. However, the pinout makes it impossible to plug directly into a breadboard. This pinout style means you are going to need to use jumper wires. You might be thinking, but why do you need a breadboard? Isn’t this an entire SYSTEM on a chip? Yes, but there’s still some stuff missing.


☑️ Not 5V Compatible

The ESP8266 modules are based on 3.3V power and I/O (aka 3v3) . If you are going to connect the ESP8266 to an Arduino, LaunchPad, or any other 5V-based Microcontroller system, you’ll need to do some logic conversion. Directly connecting to 5V I/O, like that from an Uno, can destroy the I/O of the sensitive ESP8266 chip.


☑️ Power Hungry

Don’t be fooled into thinking that because the board runs at 3.3V or has a small footprint that it is a “low power” device. The current draw is high when WiFi runs. In my tests, I saw my little board draw over 50mA while idle. When WiFi went active, there are large spikes.


The built-in regulator on an FTDI chip or even the slightly larger 3.3V regulator on an Arduino board is not enough. You need to use a dedicated 3.3V source or dedicated, high current, regulator. When trying to power from my Uno, my ESP8266 would not boot and I got no blinking blue lights.

🔰 Two ways to use the ESP8266

Keep in mind that inside of that SOC, is a microcontroller. When powered, these little boards are running some code or firmware. The default firmware that ships allow them to work as a “UART to WiFi” adapter.


However, it is also possible to overwrite this firmware and make the board do something else.


UART or Serial Interface

The default firmware makes it relatively easy to add WiFi to a project. Open up a serial port at 9600 or 115200-baud and you can start sending ASCII string commands. What kind of commands? So-called “AT-Commands.”


Back when computers used modems to communicate at 300 baud, the Hayes Corporation created a command set that the industry quickly adopted. The Hayes command style is still used today, even though Hayes is long gone. (In fact, your super modern smartphone uses it…)


That is how the ESP8266 communicates, by default, with the outside world. Using this handy ESP8266 command chart, you can see the different types of commands. It is relatively straightforward, for example, to list all of the WiFi Hotspots it detects, Connect to One (even if it has WPA2), and then send a raw HTTP request to our friend google.com.

Conclusion

The IoT fever has hit the maker community with the availability of the ESP8266. As long as you understand how it is powered, how it connects to a circuit, and the difference between ESP8266 boards, adding WiFi to any project is a breeze.