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3Instructables48,524Views27CommentsCape Town, South Africa
I've been in IT and Software Development forever! My real passion though is where Software and Industrial Design meet. Especially micro-controller based gadgets and 3D Printing. I would love my day job to be designing and prototyping gadgets and this is the start!

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies2 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Hi JohnsonDid you setup the ESP8266 board manager in the Arduino IDE first?ie: as per Step 9 onwards. ie: to install the ESP8266 board manager and setup the URL in preferences? It sounds like the correct ESP8266 libraries are not being found by the compiler.

    ps: This could also be because of a simple syntax error in your code. Check all your { and } and ; to make sure that they are all nested properly.

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies2 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Hi pvtryan - thanks for your feedback it's much appreciated

    Hi pvtryan - thanks for your feedback it's much appreciated.

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies2 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Thanks Joe, for reading and taking the time to comment.

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies3 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Hi rbright1. Yes, you should be able to reserve any IP address in your router for any connected device. Normally in one of the screens you'll see the IP and MAC addresses of all connected devices and there will usually be a "Reserve" button (or equivalent) that you can click for any specific device to setup the IP address you want to reserve.2. Yes, this should work for you too. If you go to the website WhatIsMyIP.com you will see your external IP address, and this is what you need. You are right that some Service Providers will change your external IP address from time to time. In which case you will need to use a Dynamic DNS Service something along the lines you mention or DynDNS.org etc. Either way your router should be able to support this. Using Port Forwarding or Virtual...see more »Hi rbright1. Yes, you should be able to reserve any IP address in your router for any connected device. Normally in one of the screens you'll see the IP and MAC addresses of all connected devices and there will usually be a "Reserve" button (or equivalent) that you can click for any specific device to setup the IP address you want to reserve.2. Yes, this should work for you too. If you go to the website WhatIsMyIP.com you will see your external IP address, and this is what you need. You are right that some Service Providers will change your external IP address from time to time. In which case you will need to use a Dynamic DNS Service something along the lines you mention or DynDNS.org etc. Either way your router should be able to support this. Using Port Forwarding or Virtual Server settings in your router you should be able to map an external IP address and Port number to an internal IP address and Port number. For example: rbright.dyndns.org:8080 to 192.168.1.150:80 (your device), or an external IP of say 196.1.2.3:80 to 192.168.1.150:80. The internal IP address eg: 192.168.1.150 or whatever you've chosen for your device will be static if you've reserved it in your router.I hope that helps?

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies3 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Hi mrinstructablesmanOne thing to be aware of is that the Arduino IDE Code uses different Pin numbers to the Physical Pinouts on the board. I haven't used the 12-F but I would say you need to use Pin 4 and not pin 19 in your code for GPIO4.Also are you driving your relay with a Transistor and Fly Back diode?

    Hi moustickThanks for your feedback, much appreciated. On the GPIO 0: I had no problems leaving it grounded. I do mention though that if you disconnect the Programmer you must remove GPIO 0 from ground and press the Reset button to reboot the ESP.

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies3 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Hi ereynosoThanks for your feedback! The ESP8266 datasheet says it can take a maximum input voltage of 3.6V. A 3.7V Li-Ion battery after charging can be about 4.2V and this would definitely be too high. So you would need a 3.3V voltage regulator in your circuit. The ESP8266 can also draw quite a bit of current when transmitting. The datasheet shows that this can be over 200mA and some people say a lot more. So bottom line: yes you can use a Li-Ion battery with 3.3V regulator and if it has sufficient mAh for your application.

    Hi ereynosoThanks for your feedback! The ESP8266 datasheet says it can take a maximum input voltage of 3.6V. A 3.7V Li-Ion battery after charging can be about 4.2V and this would definitely be too high. So you would need a 3.3V voltage regulator in your circuit. The ESP8266 can also draw quite a bit of current when transmitting. The datasheet shows that this can be over 200mA and some people say a lot more. So bottom line: yes you can use Li-Ion batteries with a 3.3V regulator and if they have sufficient mAh for your application.

    Hi domiflichiThanks for your feedback! Much appreciated.

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies3 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Hi rbrightThanks for the feedback and the info! I agree. The ESP has loads of memory and speed, so for most applications one doesn't need to worry. The purists may want to get down to fully optimised code but in the big scheme of things this would be a waste of time.

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  • The Simple Guide to Flashing Your ESP8266 Firmware

    Hi jujuBrignaisFurther to this, a very good resource is:"Kolban’s Book on ESP8266". It's free but you can make a donation.See: https://leanpub.com/ESP8266_ESP32

    Hi jujuBrignaisFurther to this, a very good resource is:"Kolban’s Book on ESP8266". It's free but you can make a donation.See: https://leanpub.com/ESP8266_ESP32

    Hi jujuBrignaisI assume you would have GPIO 0 Grounded and have pushed the RESET button in order for it to get to 99% in the first place? It sounds like there may be some other kind of instability in your circuit. Does it always get to 99% or various numbers?Make sure you have a good 3.3V power supply (not from the Programmer or an Arduino - they can't supply enough current). I found the power supply to be a big source of any upload problems. I would also put a couple of capacitors across 3.3V and GND. eg: a .1uF and a 10uF to minimise spikes. Also take care of floating pins. Pull RESET back to high with a 10k ohm resistor. And pull CH_PD AND GPIO 2 HIGH with a 10k ohm as well. I have also seen that sometimes the USB to Serial Programmer is the problem. Some are fake FTDI's for instance...see more »Hi jujuBrignaisI assume you would have GPIO 0 Grounded and have pushed the RESET button in order for it to get to 99% in the first place? It sounds like there may be some other kind of instability in your circuit. Does it always get to 99% or various numbers?Make sure you have a good 3.3V power supply (not from the Programmer or an Arduino - they can't supply enough current). I found the power supply to be a big source of any upload problems. I would also put a couple of capacitors across 3.3V and GND. eg: a .1uF and a 10uF to minimise spikes. Also take care of floating pins. Pull RESET back to high with a 10k ohm resistor. And pull CH_PD AND GPIO 2 HIGH with a 10k ohm as well. I have also seen that sometimes the USB to Serial Programmer is the problem. Some are fake FTDI's for instance. So maybe try a different type.So I would try to eliminate any hardware issues first and then dig deeper to see if it's a software issue.Failing that try a different tool eg: nodeMCU for Linux?I'm not a Linux boffin so I can't help you there.Let me know how it goes.

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies3 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Hi NoseyNickI think you're right. The ESP8266 is a lot more resilient than people think. At one stage I connected it up wrong. It got quite warm and I was convinced I'd fried it. It still came back to life though. The important thing is to give it a good 3.3V supply - with sufficient current - otherwise it could be unreliable. The Arduino 3.3V doesn't seem to be enough.

    Hi NoseyNickI think you're right. The ESP8266 is a lot more resilient than people think. At one stage I connected it up wrong. It got quite warm and I was convinced I'd fried it. It still came back to life though. The important thing is to give it a good 3.3V supply - with sufficient current - otherwise it could be unreliable. The 3.3V from a Programmer or an Arduino doesn't seem to be enough.

    Hi NoseyNickI think you're right. The ESP8266 is a lot more resilient than people think. At one stage I connected it up wrong. It got quite warm and I was convinced I'd fried it. It still came back to life though. The important thing is to give it a good 3.3V supply - with sufficient current - otherwise it could be unreliable. The Arduino 3.3V doesn't seem to be enough.

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies3 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Thanks BallscrewBobI've been looking for an excuse to buy a nice bench PSU for myself and this helps :-)

    Hi donfrenchThanks for the link. As the Wikipedia article also shows, there is only one ESP8266 chip made by Espressif but there are many different ESP based modules out there. These are the different breakout boards I refer to. We shouldn't be too worried about this though. It just means lots of different ways to have fun.Have a look at "Kolban's book on ESP8266":"It is important to note that there is only one ESP8266 processor and it is this processor that is found on ALL breakout boards. What distinguishes one board from another is the number of GPIO pins exposed, the amount of flash memory provided, the style of connector pins and various other considerations related to construction. From a programming perspective, they are all the same." https://leanpub.com/ES...see more »Hi donfrenchThanks for the link. As the Wikipedia article also shows, there is only one ESP8266 chip made by Espressif but there are many different ESP based modules out there. These are the different breakout boards I refer to. We shouldn't be too worried about this though. It just means lots of different ways to have fun.Have a look at "Kolban's book on ESP8266":"It is important to note that there is only one ESP8266 processor and it is this processor that is found on ALL breakout boards. What distinguishes one board from another is the number of GPIO pins exposed, the amount of flash memory provided, the style of connector pins and various other considerations related to construction. From a programming perspective, they are all the same." https://leanpub.com/ESP8266_ESP32

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies3 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Hi YogeshYou don't really need an Arduino with the ESP. Especially the ESP-12 which has up to 10 or so Digital pins which can do Input or Output plus PWM. There is also an Analog input pin. There are different ESP-12 Series letters so check the spec sheet. You would drive your relays as you would with an Arduino. ie: you'd probably need a transistor and a fly-back diode for each. If you have a relay driver board then it's easy. If you have other more complex interface requirements then an Arduino may be necessary.

    Just to clarify a bit further: nodeMCU is both the open source software platform and the firmware that is uploaded to the ESP8266 - which is the hardware. So I'm not sure how you are distinguishing between these? When you upload your own code to the ESP you are replacing the original firmware with your code. If you are using the Arduino IDE software to upload your code you don't need nodeMCU nor do you need an Arduino itself either.

    Hi YogeshI'm not sure what the specs for the nodeMCU ESP8266 are but even the ESP-01 has 1Mb of memory which is pretty big for most purposes. So unless you have a complex system, memory shouldn't be an issue. Just go for a cost effective breakout board that exposes the pins you need.

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies3 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Hi diy_bloke, thanks for your feedback! Your diagram is great and shows my dilemma (if I understand it correctly), ie: when programming the 8266 using the Arduino one needs to connect RX to RX and TX to TX! I had it the "normal" way round and of course this didn't work so I gave up and used a USB to Serial programmer instead. It was only whilst doing more research for this instructable that the truth was revealed! Maybe I'm just a bit slow :-)

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  • TonesB commented on ProvideYourOwn's instructable Choosing PCB Layout Software3 months ago
    Choosing PCB Layout Software

    I agree, it's now 4 years later since you first published this and Eagle has hardly improved. Eagle is unintuitive, clunky and over-rated. If you grew up with it, then fine but for the rest of us it's past its sell buy date.

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  • TonesB commented on TonesB's instructable ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies4 months ago
    ESP8266 WiFi Module for Dummies

    Hi, no I haven't tried the usbasp yet. The Logic Level Converters are really cheap and the FTDI's are too so I've just gone with those. Also I found that when I was using the 3.3V from the FTDI that the ESP8266 would be erratic and sometimes not respond. I thought it was me but it was actually the power supply.

    Thanks for the feedback! :-)

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