Introduction: SPEEEduino: Setting It Up (Version 1.0)

About: Love my neighbours as myself

You have just obtained your SPEEEduino. At its very polished form (that is, a SPEEEduino that just came from the factory), the SPEEEduino can't do anything at all!

This guide is written to help users to set up their own SPEEEduino from scratch.

You will also get to do a simple blink program to make sure that the SPEEEduino is working just fine!

This project is done by a group of students from Singapore Polytechnic, School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering. We have a total of 3 members in our group, Pan Ziyue, Julian Kang, and myself. Our supervisor is Mr Teo Shin Jen.

The purpose of the SPEEEduino is to offers students and hobbyists a cheap and simple way to create their first Internet of Things (IoT) projects.

Step 1: What Is SPEEEduino?

SPEEEduino (pronounced "speed-dui-no") is a custom Arduino, made to interface with an ESP8266-01 module (We'll call it ESP01).

The ESP01 is a WiFi module. This device allows you to connect to the Internet through a WiFi network.

SPEEEduino offers users a cheap and simple way to create their first Internet of Things (IoT) projects.

Step 2: What You'll Need

  • Electric Soldering Iron
  • Solder Wire
  • Desoldering Pump
  • Wire Cutter
  • Wire Stripper
  • Electrical wire
  • Female header
  • Male header
  • ATMega328
  • ESP01
  • Digital Multimeter (DMM)
  • Scotch tape

Step 3: Solder Female Headers to Input/Output Pins

You'll need

  • 6 female header
  • 2, 8 female header
  • 10 female header

How do I break them?

  • Find a clamper (like the one shown above)
  • For the 6 female header, cramp and break at the 7th pin
  • For the 8 female header, cramp and break at the 9th pin
  • For the 10 female header, cramp and break at the (you guessed it) 11th pin

Now file the edges. (to smoothen out the edges)

Solder them onto the Input/Output Pins. (as shown in the image above)

Some pointers to note

  • Heat up the metal base and the pin beforehand. This is so that the solder wire can melt onto both the metal base and the pin. (IF you heat up only the metal base, the solder will only stick onto the metal base and not on the pin, vice versa) (click here to find out more about cold solder joint)
  • Place the electric soldering iron on the Printed Circuit Board (PCB) for a maximum of 5 seconds. ANY LONGER and you risk damaging the PCB of the SPEEEduino.
  • The solder wire should only make contact with the metal base and the pin, NOT the electric soldering iron. (IF the solder wire makes contact with the electric soldering iron, the solder will only stick onto the soldering iron)

Step 4: Attach the ATMega328 Onto the PCB

What is ATMega328?

  • It is a single-chip microcontroller.
  • A microcontroller is a computer on a chip. It's purpose is to interact with devices that are connected to the microcontroller.

Which side should I attach it?

  • Do you see the semi circle on the microcontroller?
  • Do you see the corresponding silk screen semi circle? (silk screen is the white ink on the PCB)
  • Attach the microcontroller such that the semi circle of the microcontroller is on the same side as the silk screen semi circle!

Step 5: Shorting the Diode

Where is the diode?

  • The diode can be found on the picture above

How do I short the diode?

  • Cut a wire
  • Strip the wire until there is no insulation
  • Use scotch tape to stick the wire onto both diode pins (so that the wire may not move around while you are soldering)
  • Solder the wire onto the diode pins

How do I know that it is shorted successfully?

  • Get a DMM
  • Set the DMM to connectivity mode (which is the icon with sound waves)
  • Place the 2 pins of the DMM onto the 2 ends of the diode
  • If you hear a beeping sound, congratulations! You have successfully shorted the diode!
  • If you did not hear a beeping sound, this means you have not shorted the diode. Looks like you have to re-solder the diode! (refer to the beginning of the step "How do I short the diode?")

Why do I need to short the diode?

  • The ESP01 requires a miminum voltage of 2.5V at the positive supply voltage (known as VCC)
  • A voltage of 3.3V is channeled through the diode to the VCC.
  • The diode has a voltage drop of 0.7V.
  • Thus, the VCC of the ESP01 only receives a theoretical voltage of 2.6V (since 3.3V - 0.7V = 2.6V)
  • Since the VCC of the ESP01 receives a voltage that is ONLY 0.1V higher than the minimum requirement, you may experience that the ESP01 turns on and off periodically, or is permanently in the off state.
  • Therefore, we need to short the diode so that a voltage of 3.3V is supplied to the VCC, so that the ESP01 is switched on reliably.

Step 6: Soldering the Flash Header

You'll need

  • 2 male header
  • 2 female header OR a connector

How do I break them?

  • For the male header, break between the 2nd and the 3rd pin. (There is an indent which helps you to break the male header easily)
  • For the female header, break at the 3rd pin. File the uneven edges.

How do I solder them?

  • Solder the male header onto the Flash holes first
  • Attach the connector onto the male header pins.
  • IF you do not have a connector, take the 2 female header.
  • Solder the tip of the female pins so that there is a connection between both female pins.
  • Attach the female header to the male header.

What is the significance of attaching and detaching the female headers/connector?

  • If you attach the female header/connector, the GPIO0 (which is a pin on the ESP0) is set to high (so that the module boots up from its flash memory)
  • If you detach the female header/connector, the GPIO0 is set to low (to enter programming mode to reflash the flash memory)
  • You should always set the GPIO0 to high unless you want to reflash the chip

More information about the ESP01 Module PinOut at my friend's Instructables

Step 7: Attach the ESP01

Attach the ESP01 to the SPEEEduino as shown in the picture above

You are done with setting up the ESP01!

Step 8: Disclaimer!

This project was done in collarboration with my friends Pan Ziyue, and Julian Kang, together with Mr Teo Shin Jen as our supervisor.

Please refer to my friends' Instructables about the other steps to set up the SPEEEduino, and what you can do with the SPEEEduino (these guides are related to the software component to set up your SPEEEduino)

Also, check out my new guide on how to collect sound data, and how to send these data to the Internet, through the SPEEEduino!

Microcontroller Contest 2017

Participated in the
Microcontroller Contest 2017