ESP8266 – Work in progress

Thanks to a Hackaday post, I was made aware of these awesome (and awful) wireless to UART SoCs. When I first started the information available was patchy, resulting in the SoC randomly rebooting. After a few weeks of trial and error, it’s some what stable, but still has it’s issues every couple of hours. To get around this, I’ve incorporated a hard reset after ‘x’ amount of program loops with an Arduino. I had a status check that ran instead of loops, but the output of the SoC wasn’t synchronous, when dealing with multiple events from the UART and wifi interfaces.

The tester project was a ‘simple’ web server with temperature dynamically displayed. I followed most of this tutorial and adjusted the code to prevent the SoC rebooting so often. There is a script that runs on my server that graphs the temps with MRTG. The red block is where it failed responding and had to be turned off and back on. The first test lasted about 6 hrs, the second one looks more promising, although nothing is different.

tempgraphIn summary, the following helped getting it to work better for me:

  • Firmware V0.922 V0.93 – to change the board rate – Also when using it with a USB to Serial convertor you will need to enable carriage return and line feed, for it to display properly and accept commands (V0.922).
  • External PSU – It chews to much power while in use to use the VCC pin on a 3.3v Arduino.
  • Resistor on the CH_PD pin to VCC, I’ve seen 3k to 10k used. Took it off and it still works fine

The SDK for the chip was released and there are people recompiling the source and adding additional programs directly to the SoC. I’m still trying to find out exactly how much RAM and ROM they have.

UPDATE: It appears that most of the issues I was having getting it connected to my wireless was due to Cisco 1242’s implementation of WPA2.

UPDATE: Yes it is confirmed, the new wireless access point I’m using, works far better.

Cheers.

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