Wearable Device Arduino Questions

Hello,

Thank you for taking a look at this and offering me some help... I'm a little new to the Arduino world, but looking forward to using this as part of one of my projects.

I'm planning on creating a simple wearable device that blinks an LED based off of commands it receives from the internet. I plan on using the following...

  • Arduino Pro Mini 3.3 V
  • ESP8266 Wifi-adapter

From doing a little initial research, I learned that the Arduino Pro Mini is not enough to power the ESP8266. Can anyone clarify this? I need this to be a wearable device, so I can't use another power source as that would make this entire thing bulky. I plan on powering the Arduino through a small LIPO battery.

If this hardware isn't appropriate for this, is there something else that may be more suitable? I've read that you don't even need a pro mini, and I can just use the ESP8266 chip on it's own to accomplish something like this?

Thanks.

The ESP8266 is a very capable microcontroller on its own. What exact ESP8266 module do you have? Why do you need a Pro Mini?

I wasn't sure if I needed a pro mini, but it seems like the ESP8266 can survive on its own, which is probably enough for my project.

I'm thinking of getting an ESP01.

A similar topic was discussed here not long ago. It could be worth searching for it.

The ESP-01 will most certainly perform the task on its own. To program it with the Arduino IDE having installed the ESP8266 support in the Library Manager, you use a purpose-built USB programming adapter:

Aliexpress item

To use it under battery power, you could power it at 3 V with two "AA" alkaline cells but I gather that is too bulky. A LiPo cell may suit but its charged voltage - 4.2 V - is excessive for the ESP. I believe there are some 3.3 V voltage regulator chips with a sufficiently low dropout voltage (150 mV) to cope with this as well as the 300 mA surge current of the ESP when transmitting for WiFi. I foresee a problem with battery life - exactly what is your expectation?

If you have an UNO around you can program the ESP with it, see

I think any arduino could probably serve in this case.

a7

Not worth the bother. :astonished:

Get the proper adapter and it is dead easy, it just plugs straight in and everything works automatically. :sunglasses:

If you have an FDTI adapter around you can program the ESP with it, see

a7

Hi,,
Have you looked at the ESP32?

Tom... :slight_smile:

For wearable, and if the only task is to blink an LED, the ESP01 or ESP01s would be the most sensible choice.

Using charlieplexing it can blink up to 12 LEDs (4 I/O pins) but there may be issues related to GPIO0 and 2 while booting…

wvmarle:
Using charlieplexing it can blink up to 12 LEDs (4 I/O pins) but there may be issues related to GPIO0 and 2 while booting...

Not if you are using Charlieplexing. :grinning:

The only trouble is that some LEDs may not work too well on 3.3 V.

Never tried it, my worries are what the Rx and Tx pins are doing during boot. Though with the LED in between the voltage on GPIO0 and 2 indeed should remain high enough.

wvmarle:
Never tried it, my worries are what the Rx and Tx pins are doing during boot.

Could be wrong but should not be doing anything.

Tx (in particular) and Rx are enabled by the sketch you write, once you have over-written the "AT" code in the ESP-01 there is no serial interface unless and until you do a Serial.begin() in your sketch so those GPIO are just inputs.

True - should be left at input. Programming mode is entered only after GPIO0 is found to be low.

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