Great tool for tinkering / (multi)programming ESP12, ESP08 and ESP07.Designed by SMDKing in Netherlands
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The seller may be offering an improved version or it may be hanging out on the beach, enjoying the retired life.
What is it? This is a very flexible programmer for ESP8266 modules, like the ESP12, ESP08 and ESP07. No other programmer offers you the flexibility or desired amount of freedom, like this programmer.…Read More…
This is a very flexible programmer for ESP8266 modules, like the ESP12, ESP08 and ESP07. No other programmer offers you the flexibility or desired amount of freedom, like this programmer. What I mean ? It's easy to slide in a module and make your first steps. Onboard LEDs will indicate the status of a pin.
This programmer can be powered over USB (3.0), or simple USB-hub (without current-control) or external powersource / adapter (for external adapter, a locked 2-pin socket is included).
:[Wiring]: When I made my first steps into IoT, I bumped into an ESP12-module. When the ESP12 arrived, I had to hardwire some electronics to create a programmer. It was with ups and downs. Most important problem : 115k2 Bps transfer-rate for programming. Thin wires and high-speed data transfers don't mix well together. They're a source of troubles (interference because they act like an antenna and other errors might pop up.).
:[Pin-status]: OK,. so I had to go for a programmer. Searching a bit, found one, got one. It contained an "integrated" onboard ESP12. Great, no loose connections ! However, everytime verifying the status of a pin, I had to grab my oscilloscope, Logic Analyzer or multimeter.
:[Pins]: I also noticed the pins at the programmer where facing down. Probably ment for breadboard-experiments. I don't like breadboards : not reliable connections and a specific seize is needed. I like female connectors. Just bend some pins of a sensor and it'll fit right away. Use a cable with male pins at the end, and I still can connect it to a breadboard (but at a location I want / need it).
:[Power]: I don't like pins as a way to connect a powersource to a programmer. Pins means sliding off a connector after a lot of experiments. I like powerjacks or at least : no sliding pins. I got several adapters laying around, for experiments. I solder a jack to it and it should work. Right,... pay close attention to the "it should work"-part. Most adapters are DC,... but some are AC. And indeed, it happened to me, that I grabbed an AC-adapter by mistake (2 times). When connecting it to the programmer, it was the end of playing with the ESP12. Just poooffff...
:[More and more]: OK,. after several hard lessons (see above), I got the sourcecode ready. Great ! Or not ?!? I had some projectboards, ready for the ESP12s. Next problem I ran into : how can I program 10 pieces ESP12s ? The official route is : desolder the programmed ESP12, and solder a new one onboard (times 10). What ?! This is not the way I like to work.
This last bottleneck made me realize : "I've to create a better programmer." And well,... here it is !
Well, it covers several important issues :
I enjoy to improve a design. I've created several versions of this programmer. Sometimes the improvements were minor, sometimes less minor. So what you get, is a dedicated tool, using proven and sometimes out-of-the-box techniques.
(*) Ha, you probably think : "Why is shipping from the Netherlands so special ?" In general, shipping takes less time, than shipping from Asia. Besides, all items I ship are send by priority mail.
:[Some background info]: An ESP8266 is an IC (Integrated Circuit, or chip) which works like a tiny computer. It's dedicated to do "WiFi-stuff". When assembled to a board, including additional electronic components it's called a module. An ESP-07, ESP-08 and ESP-12 are coded names for such modules. A module contains several inputs and outputs. Inputs can be digital and analog signals. Outputs are digital and can control other ICs, LEDs, buzzers, relays or, well a ton of options are available. And like a computer, it requires a kind of "Operating System". See it as DOS, Windows, Unix or whatever operating system you're familiar with.. Such type of OS is stored at the onboard memory-IC of the module, which is a kinda harddisk at your computer.
When buying an ESP-module, default an OS is present. You can "talk" to it by serial-port communication. Default, there's no program onboard the ESP-module. I assume you got several programs installed at your computer, like a webbrowser, mail-program and alike. For an ESP-module, you need to create such software yourself. This software is called a sketch, script or -like I prefer- sourcecode.
Writing your own sourcecode offers a lot of freedom : you can make it as complicated as you like. Control external devices or read out sensors and present results at a webpage, access it by mobile phone, laptop, or other WiFi-device. Lucky for you, at internet a lot of tutorials are available to get started. There are even forums available to ask for help.
The sourcecode for a module, has to be developed at a computer. After this is done, you need to transfer it to the ESP-module. Such can be done by a programmer, like this Flex NodeMCU programmer.
I've written a document for this programmer as a troubleshooter if things don't start well. Also, you can find some links to YouTube and others sites to get a basic idea and get started. You can download the troubleshooter below (Documentation).
Joël | April 5, 2019
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