Getting started with ESP8266- recommendations?

As is often the case, when you Google something new it's very difficult to know if what you're reading is any good or a load of nonsense. That's where I'm at now with wanting to start with ESP8266.

I've looked at a few sites, some make no sense at all (to me any road) but this one by Robin Thomas at DIY Hacking looks ok.

So does anyone have their preferred sources of beginner info on ESP8266 please?

A Beginner's Guide to the ESP8266

Pieter

PieterP:
A Beginner's Guide to the ESP8266

Good stuff... karma++

Right, got myself an ESP-01 and a 3V3 supply so that's the weekend taken care of :wink:

Sorry to say but that's about your worst possible starting point. The ESP-01 can't do much more than being WiFi bridge for an Arduino. It has no regulator, no USB connection (you need an Arduino or a separate USB to TTL converter to program the thing), and only four pins of the total twelve (11 digital I/O, one analog in) broken out. Sure you can do fun things with it but it's not the easiest to handle, especially standalone.

If you want to develop with the ESP8266 seriously get a WeMOS D1 or NodeMCU development board (there are probably others as well), they're very similar to the Arduino Nano. Powered & programmed directly over USB, built-in regulator for 3.3V, all pins broken out.

wvmarle:
Sorry to say but that’s about your worst possible starting point.

Nope: it’s the perfect starting point for me.

An ESP8266 dev board like the WeMos D1 mini or NodeMCU is indeed easier to set up than the ESP-## modules by AI-Thinker, but it's perfectly doable if you have the right components laying around and if you're willing to spend the 20 extra minutes or so.

Pieter

PieterP:
An ESP8266 dev board like the WeMos D1 mini or NodeMCU is indeed easier to set up than the ESP-## modules

Yeah that will be phase-II (edit: or III or IV, we'll see :wink: )

I downloaded your Beginner's Guide pdf btw, thanks.

Glad to hear! If you have any remarks or improvements, don’t hesitate to let me know.

Pieter

kenwood120s:
Right, got myself an ESP-01 and a 3V3 supply so that's the weekend taken care of :wink:

wvmarle:
. . . It has no regulator, . . .

kenwood120s:
Nope: it's the perfect starting point for me.

You don't say what you have for "a 3V3 supply", but the ESP-01 is very sensitive to power supply layout. An adapter board with regulator as pictured (but not specified) in the original post linked DIY tutorial will be fine. Flying leads from a solderless breadboard will very likely lead to flaky behavior and boot loops.

For a novice learning the ESP8266, this is a far bigger deal than the memory, serial converter, or IO limitations that "wvmarle" notes. To be fair, I ignored these sorts of warnings and wasted a few evenings trying to sort a ESP-01 layout when I started with ESP8266 as well.

Righto phase I complete.

Got the ESP01 sorted as to getting baud to 9600 so I can use software serial and it replies to AT commands through the hardware serial.

Then found a sketch which makes it a server (still through AT commands in an Uno sketch) and displays a web page.

Phase II tomorrow is to program it in its own right.

MrMark:
You don't say what you have for "a 3V3 supply",

So far an LD1117 and a cap on the output, with spaghetti on solderless breadboard.

MrMark:
To be fair, I ignored these sorts of warnings and wasted a few evenings trying to sort a ESP-01 layout when I started with ESP8266 as well.

And that's all part of the fun...