Author Topic: Espressif (ESP8266??) problem ...  (Read 169 times)

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Offline eti

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Espressif (ESP8266??) problem ...
« on: February 09, 2020, 04:37:13 am »

I have a faulty board, I'm not sure what to call it exactly, maybe you'd be able to help... it times out in Arduino IDE, and will ONLY flash upload when I unplug it, hold down "flash" button AND KEEP HOLDING IT as I press "upload". Is this caused by a bootloader fault? I'm so so frustrated because crappy documentation makes huge assumptions as to the knowledge of the user (what's new).

What is an "ESP8266"; is that the postage stamp sized module with the gold castellations around the edge for solder, the module which has no UART circuit, or does the term "ESP8266" also define a development board with this module + micro USB + a UART and headers (36 pin, generally) soldered to it?

What is "nodemcu"? Is that a platform OR THE BOARD, or BOTH?!

What is on a generic dev board ("MakerHawk" brand is mine) when it's first shipped... is there some NAME I can use a reference point, as I'm baffled how any half-sane intelligent person is meant to make head nor tail of what is what.

Trawling Google yields blog posts and forum posts FULL of piecemeal fragments of out of context "solutions" and fixes, usually all of which make huge assumptions as to what's what.

It's this one:

As usual with eBay & Amazon, one simple product is given about 476 different names!

Thanks to anyone who has the wherewithal to clearly and plainly demystify what's what.
Thank you.

« Last Edit: February 09, 2020, 04:39:24 am by eti »

Offline dnwheeler

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Re: Espressif (ESP8266??) problem ...
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2020, 09:49:29 pm »
The ESP8266 (and variant ESP8285) is a microcontroller made by Espressif. They were originally sold on modules with names of ESP-01 through ESP-14 with different numbers of IO pins, form factors, etc. These were sold as pre-programmed Wi-Fi modules for use with other development boards (like the Arduino). Initially, technical documentation on the microcontroller itself (as opposed to the Wi-Fi module configuration) was limited to some Chinese language documentation and rudimentary SDK. Hobbyist were able to reverse-engineer the modules enough to use the Arduino IDE to program the ESP-xx modules with their own code and use them as stand-alone dev boards with built-in Wi-Fi.

Eventually, more official documentation became available as well as newer chips, like the ESP32.

Initially, Espressif was really only targeting Chinese manufacturers for embedded Wi-Fi, not the hobbyist market. Once the hobbyist "discovered" them, a bunch of companies started making dev boards based on the ESP8266 and ESP32 microcontrollers (many just put an ESP-xx module on another board with a USB port and voltage regulator).

The most popular of these seem to be the WeMos D1 series and NodeMCU boards. These both use ESP-12 modules and add a USB port for easy programming.

There's actually a lot of information in the Wikipedia articles for the ESP8266 and ESP32, including fairly comprehensive lists of development boards using either Espressif chips directly, or ESP-xx modules.

Offline Mr.B

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Re: Espressif (ESP8266??) problem ...
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2020, 10:00:27 pm »
Neil Kolban has written comprehensive guides to both ESP8266 and ESP32

Both are priced Free to USD 5
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