Yet another Arduino/Esp8266 question

Hi,

Totally new and kinda lost. Feel like I’ve gotten my brain into a ball of yarn and now not sure what’s what. I’ve got an Arduino Uno R3 on version 1.8.5 of the arduino IDE and am using and esp8266-01. Also, I’m on a Mac running 10.12.3 (macOS Sierra). I have tried many tutorials and have even gotten to the point where a very limited set of AT commands worked. But nothing really substantial. Here’s what I gather from reading a ton:

  1. I need a USB to FTDI converter.
  2. I don’t need a USB to FTDI converter if I have an Arduino Uno. It can act as the USB to Serial com
    a. The arduino needs to be put into null mode (connect RST <->GND), select the esp8266 board( i loaded the board through boards manager) and then select the serial(COM) port. Well, I never was able to get a COM port to show up. I’ve tried loading the apple FTDI drivers. I’ve tried loading the VCP drivers and nothing. Although I did get the wifi scan sketch to load once. Then never again.
    b. The arduino has it’s own FTDI chip. So I choose the Arduino board in the IDE and get a very minimal subset of AT commands I can run.

I’m using a separate battery pack with a step down converter to 3.3v for the esp8266. So all should be fine on the power front.

Any help would be great. I’ve tried just about everything On the first 20 hits of google search and am at wits end.

But I aint quittin! :slight_smile:

Thanks,

-John

Please provide details about what you mean by "very limited set of AT commands". If some AT commands aren't working then explain exactly in what way they're not working.

You only need an FTDI if you have an Uno in this form:

You don't need it if you have an Uno in this form:

As you rightly say, in this case, all you need to do is select Uno in the IDE under tools=>board

It looks like you are using an Arduino Uno and an ESP-01.
It looks also like you must be following a tutorial if you have got as far as sending AT commands to the ESP-01.

If you are using the ESP-01 in this mode (ie you are using AT commands and NOT the alternative mode of loading the Arduino core software onto the ESP-01) then you select the Uno from the board manager and not the ESP-01.

If, however, you have started to load the Arduino core software onto the ESP-01, this will overwrite to supplied software on the ESP-01 and AT commands will no longer work. To revert to the original software, you then have to re-flash the ESP-01 (not a trivial activity).

Post a link to a tutorial you have found which best describes what you want to achieve. That will help with the decision "AT commands" or "Arduino core software" route.

pert:
Please provide details about what you mean by “very limited set of AT commands”. If some AT commands aren’t working then explain exactly in what way they’re not working.

For example, I was able to do AT+GMR, but AT+CWLAP gave me an error.

Depending on what I/O you need perhaps you can just use the ESP as the main controller.

They are very powerful little doofers. But limited pin count.
But if you need pins and Power, then develop code for both and connect with SPI.

just using the AT commands won't get you far.

I have not touched an Atmel for ages unless I need Extra Pins.

Hv.

Please post the full output from AT+GMR.

Please post the full and exact error you get from AT+CWLAP.

6v6gt:
Post a link to a tutorial you have found which best describes what you want to achieve. That will help with the decision "AT commands" or "Arduino core software" route.

I am learning from scratch, so at this point, just want to know how I can communicate with this board and eventually interface with it.

I guess you have two options,

Either use the default AT command set and do all your code in the Atmel/Arduino processor,

Or

Install the ESP8266 from board manager, and launch into the ESP directly.
http://esp8266.github.io/Arduino/versions/2.0.0/doc/installing.html

Then if you need more than 11 I/O pins write some simple SPI interface and expand with your preferred Arduino board.

ESP is VERY VERY easy, just like the Atmel when you use the Arduino IDE.

you then have to re-flash the ESP-01 (not a trivial activity)

Some of the ESP modules were rubbish and did not allow reprogramming.
But as a rule programming is as simple as the Atmel as long as it is wired up right.

I only use the NodeMCU (or clones), they give a great platform for development.
Just make sure you get an ESP with memory 1MB MINIMUM, 2MB =OK, 4or8MB+ = Great.
Easy to swap out the Memory IC what ever you have.

And make sure you can access all the 11 I/O pins or you are just wasting time trying to develop on one.
For production or live projects you may get away with using smaller boards with less I/O, but help yourself out by making things easy.

But I have not had to use a serial or USB cable for ages as ALL (most) of my updates are via wifi.
You can even reprogram an Atmel using the ESP so doing remote updates on either device is a breeze.

JUST REMEMBER:::
The pins on the ESP are NOT 5v tolerant.
3.3v only, so you must use level shifter for interconnects to devices/pins @5v.

jmleczko:
For example, I was able to do AT+GMR, but AT+CWLAP gave me an error.

how do you power the esp8266? it can't do WFi if powered from 3.3 V pin of Uno