As you may have heard, the ESP8266 Serial-to-WiFi chip created by Espressif has seen a wide adoption as a cost-effective solution for IoT and WiFi-capable devices. This tiny-sized System On a Chip (SoC) includes an 80 MHz microcontroller with a full WiFi front-end (both as client and access point) as well as a full TCP/IP stack with DNS.
Because the ESP8266 comes only in a tiny surface-mount package (QFN-32), a few different vendors have developed a series of modules named ESP-NN where NN are numbers ranging from 01 to 13. The ESP8266 ESP-01 in this product listing is the 'OG' of this series of modules, and provides a nice little breakout for some of the pins of the ESP8266 IC.
Different than rest of the ESP-NN modules, the ESP-01 comes with a 2x04 male pin header (0.1in-pitch) to provide a quick and easy way to wire it to a 3.3V microcontroller or single-board computer. All in all, this tiny board provides a convenient and inexpensive way to use and program an ESP8266 IC!
Check out our step-by-step tutorial http://learn.acrobotic.com/tutorials/post/esp-01-getting-started for getting started! Also, keep in mind there are a few things to consider when working with the ESP-01 module:
- We must use 3.3V signals and power (VCC) when working with this module; 5V will certainly damage it! We can use a Level Shifterfor connecting it to 5V devices
- To program or interact with this module we need a microcontroller, single-board computer, or USB-to-Serial board
- The default firmware allows us to connect the RX/TX pins to one of the devices listed above, and send AT+Commands to 'tell' the ESP8266 what to do
- We can also use the Arduino IDE to load our own firmware on the ESP8266 (like an Arduino board). Custom firmware can make use of most (if not all) the same functions that can be called via AT+Commands
- We can load special firmware that will allow us to program the ESP8266 via a wireless connection!
- The module is not intended for use on a breadboard (even though it fits), instead we use female jumper wires for connecting it to other devices
- The ESP8266 pins broken out on the ESP-01 are: 2 GPIO, RX, TX, CH_PD (chip enable), RST, VCC (3.3V power), and GND
On this neat little module you'll find:
- ESP8266 Serial to Wi-Fi IC
- 2x04 male pin header (0.1in spacing)
- 2 GPIO, up to 4 if not using RX/TX for programming
- Surface-mount LEDs for power and communication status indication
- 3.3V operation