Introduction: Making ESP8266-01 Module Breadboard Friendly

One of the most annoying problems of the ESP8266-01 module is that it is
not possible to plug it into a breadboard for fast prototyping.

Today I was discussing with another Arduino fan and we were looking at existing solutions to this common problem. All the existing solutions were complex to implement or are costing more than the ESP module itself.

I ended up with a smart and free solution with no additional hardware required.

The solution is easy and requires only a small screwdriver to remove the plastic spacers and pliers to bend the ESP's pins.

Step 1: Remove Spacers

First of all you need to remove the plastic spacer.

A small screwdriver can be used to shift and remove the spacer.

Step 2: Bend Pins

Now you can bend the pins as described in the pictures. I have uses small pliers to get a 'Y' shape.

Step 3: Hook Up It to Your Breadboard

Now you are ready to plug the ESP8266-01 module to your breadboard.

The technique leave a small space under the board to connect it using jumper wires and resistors.

Comments

author
aimanbaharum (author)2016-12-12

Hey just wanted to ask, as a beginner to electronics and breadboard, what is the difference between plugging in an ESP pins in the middle of the breadboard (like the one you did above), and just leave the pins straight and plug it in directly at the one side of the board (http://imgur.com/a/i0c3k)?

author
Gelfling6 (author)aimanbaharum2017-01-03

As others have said below, You short the pins from 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, and 7-8.. most breadboards are 5-pin vertical connections... running in a |||||||| - fashion. Each line, being up to 5 pins per. (note the hole pattern.) the 8-pin plug of the -01, is thinking more in the direction of a ribbon-cable IDC connector. -_-_-_-_ Style.

author
aimanbaharum (author)Gelfling62017-01-03

Awesome! Thanks for the explanation

author
lwbnjio (author)aimanbaharum2016-12-14

Because in that way your are shorting the pins which are in the same rows.

author
aimanbaharum (author)lwbnjio2016-12-18

I've read about DIP on breadboard which is useful for IC legs to work on different rows. Does ESP8266 legs or other similar modules serve the same principle as the IC ones?

author
zodiac1111 (author)2015-12-27

Hi,I find this may helpfull https://www.instructables.com/id/Sleek-ESP8266-Brea...

Just search "Dual Header Right Angle Female" on ebay.

Advantage is no damage to the original module.

The disadvantage is that the height becomes high.

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author
TheTwim (author)zodiac11112015-12-28

I like your approach but I'm having problems finding a 8-pin header.

By the way, my technique does not damage the ESP module. You can easily bend the pins to the original shape and mount the spacers back in place with a little work.

author
Gelfling6 (author)TheTwim2017-01-03

I just did an Ebay search.. Yeah, they ARE hard to find! Practically non-existant! Did find 2X2 & 2X5... but 2X4, none....

author
Gelfling6 (author)TheTwim2016-09-06

they needn't be exact 8=pin.. a 10-pin or even 12-pin, you just waste-off a few pins. I use a pair of 6-pin inline extension headers (Arduino-shield style, for the power & Analog header), in a "Y" to the 8266-01's pins, to the breadboard, (just leaving the outer 4 pins open.)

author
Gelfling6 (author)zodiac11112017-01-03

Actually, Not a drawback.. Remember, the ESP8266-01 itself is going to overhang one direction, (toward it's antenna) so it's best to have that rise above the board a little, for connections to pins 2,4,6 & 8. the last 2 protoboards I just got for the Arduino, I've also bought a few through-pin extenders, and removed the stock pin headers from the protoboards, making up to 2-each connections to each pin. This way, adding yet another pair of headers I can put things on the protoboard, and put the LCD-Keyboard above it. (I.E. a remote control, using the XBEE, sitting on top of the protoboard.) (never really liked the placement of the inner-pin sockets, being out of alllignment.)

author
Elecrow (author)2015-12-22

An ad but useful. $3 extra to finish this project much easier.

http://www.elecrow.com/esp8266-breadboard-compatib...

author
TheTwim (author)Elecrow2015-12-28

This adapter costs more than the ESP-01 module itself.

author
Gelfling6 (author)TheTwim2017-01-03

I would tend to agree.. A good adaptor, yes. But, cost prohibitive.. Another alternative, if you can find a electronics supplier who still sells the old type stuff, an 8-Pin IDC socket to Wire-Wrap pins. (roughly 3/4" pins extending through the perf board, and you used to wrap thin-insulated wire to each connection with a tool that wrapped it tightly to the pin.) Though, I DO like the adaptor's silk-screen labeling. What is the pin spacing? standard wide DIP?

author
rdwrt (author)TheTwim2016-06-03

I like the 0 cost solution mentioned here. It's Internet-of-things, not internet-of-expensive-adapters ;) I was already getting my pliers before I found this, but I was planning to do it the wrong way, with the spacer still on. Luckily I found this page, removed the spacer, wifi LEDs blinking in 5 minutes. Thank you!

author
hfeijen (author)2016-11-16

Great idea. To remove the spacer more I sew it through the notches. The pieces came off much easier then.

author
godhenrique (author)2016-08-18

parabéns!

author
ucpatnaik (author)2016-06-19

Great idea.Thanks

author
glauberbiro made it! (author)2016-05-30

Brilliant!

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author
JeanF10 made it! (author)2016-05-02

Awesome ! Had to make it !

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author
jlwilliams03 (author)2016-02-14

Brilliant! I found that once the pins were initially spread apart that I could use the edge breadboard holes themselves to help bend the side back to the desired angle.

Thanks!

author
Gelfling6 (author)jlwilliams032016-03-25

the ONLY drawback I can see with using the edge sockets, is you risk damaging the fingers inside the breadboard (Not the pins of the ESP, but the metal rails).. the thin steel bends a little too easily, and won't hold wires the same anymore. I've opted for a pair of extension headers I got for my Arduinos, (I mainly got them for raising a LOL-Shield away from the USB socket shell, as well rebuilt a protoshield back into a straight-through stackable shield.) I've found headers like zodiac1111 mentioned below, but as TheTwim said, they are rare.. I avoid trying to over-bend pins myself, having to replace the pins on a Bluetooth module, when I tried to make a right-angle header out of a straight-pin.

author
hoboat33 (author)2016-02-03

SMH! Nice

author
treepleks (author)2016-01-15

Simple, costless and it works. Excellent !

author
tcodd86 (author)2015-12-08

Great idea. I spent an hour one night making a breadboard adapter and I could have done this in 5 minutes. Thanks for sharing.

author
Shanem21 (author)2015-12-06

Thanks for thinking for us...

author
ThomasVDD (author)2015-12-05

Simply genius!

author
djmelvinv (author)2015-12-05

thank you so much. just didn't came up this idea. I made some protoboard adapter shield but cost me 10 times more time. Timesaver +1

author
DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-12-05

This is a great idea. This is a way easier that messing with jumper wires.