Let me start by explaining that Espressif are makers of fine WIFI gadgets.. specifically they have spawned a whole new lease of life for IOT… by producing a marvellous little chip that contains a complete processor, memory and WIFI interface needing only a tiny FLASH memory chip and a couple of “bits and bobs” to make a complete working WIFI router, or IOT device or web server – largely limited to the imagination for, well, a couple of pounds ££… the price is really what does it – you can buy a little board complete with aerial for less than £2 from China which is just a complete game changer.
And for everyone else, well, you know I’ve been working with these chips since day one and am just about to start fitting controllers all over the house etc. based on an overall setup that has been years in the formulation (in English lots of false starts) and currently comprises NETIO for the user control end (possibly soon to be replaced by ThingStudio if all goes well with their current alpha software), Node-Red and Mosquito on a Raspberry Pi2, controlling lots and lots of ESP8266-based boards around the place.
And so… with that in mind I’ve been in contact a number of times with Espressif and they’ve been helpful and keep me up to date. So the other day I received an email to say they were sending me some stuff to play with! This morning, an envelope arrived in the post.
The modules look like ESP-12s but have 2 less connectors – which means no A/D output !! They do have an internal aerial and are marked ESP-Vroom-02 and are “developer only. The pin-out is not compatible with the ESP-12 which is slightly painful as that means a new rig to program them! At some point it will be clear to me why they made these, leaving out the A/D – but for now it’s a mystery.
More interesting perhaps is the development board. It is rather tempting to compare it to another development board that appeared on Ebay a short while ago.
THe Espressif development board is much smaller and neater but contains a unit that has no less than 24 pins coming out – the most I’ve EVER seen. It does not unfortunately have an internal aerial so I’ll have to go and hunt out a suitable screw-in job. The board is marked ESP8266EX Demo Board and has more connectors than you can shake a stick to. It has an infra-red input, but micro-USB uart and general micro-USB inputs, 5 switches…
and that’s about it - just got this in the post, thought you might like to see the stuff – not done any experimenting yet, no doubt that will follow soon.