ESP8266 is a small powerful wifi chip that has many features. Ever since it’s launch many companies have produced their own variant of boards. I tried a couple of them and they were coo,l but some manufacturers do not produce it for certification that directly reflects in defective pieces. That means if something is not working after hours of debugging, you will come to know that the module was defective. I was tired of this and wanted to get to a standard, always working Wifi module (at least 99%). Then came this module under my search radar ESP-12E.
Its an FCC certified ESP8266 module developed by Ai-Thinker. I quickly got the module in hand and realised that there is no simple way to flash unless you know what you are doing. For people who want to use the module in to a product or application has to either get a development board which contains this module or make their own board. Since I already had got a couple of esp-12e and was not interested in any development board as I have to again find a solution to flash the module in a later timeline. I went ahead to find a solution to flash the module. After many trial and error I found these sites leading me to the right direction.
These links advised to power the module with an external power supply, but I was interested in powering it with just USB 5V 500mA power supply just like any other development board offered.
Again after doing some more research I settled with the following configuration which works best for me.
You need the following things
- ESP-12E module – http://www.exp-tech.de/esp8266-smt-mobule-esp-12?___SID=U
- Sparkfun FTDI BasicBreakout 3v- http://www.exp-tech.de/sparkfun-ftdi-basic-breakout-3-3v
- 2X Jumper – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jumper_%28computing%29
- Male Pin Header – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pin_header
- 3X 10K resistor – https://www.conrad.de/de/metallschicht-widerstand-10-k-axial-bedrahtet-0207-06-w-yageo-mf0207fte52-10k-1-st-1417569.html
- Lot of connecting wires
- Perfboard – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfboard
Now I built my circuit based on the following direction,
If you see the schematic I drew it in such a way that the right side of the circuit resembles the Sparkfun FTDI Basic pinout. The final prototype of the board looks like this
Use your favourite SDK either from ESP8266 or from Arduino, I used Arduino IDE. To flash put the jumpers, connect the USB cable to the PC and configure the Arduino to recognize and “Upload”. To run the code, unplug the jumpers and power it thats all :).