I was looking at projects on GitHub and found a cool project that uses a WeMOS ESP8266 to display stats from a Pi-Hole server on a small screen (Check it out here). This sparked my interest in the ESP8266 boards and I thought it would be a fun little board to play and learn on.
Right now this page is here so I can document my experiences. If you have an ESP8266 and want to join in the journey or have a ESP8266 project that you would like for me to check out, leave a comment. I would love to check it out.
Small Disclaimer: I an new to the Ardiuno and ESP8266 boards. I am using this for educational purposes. I may post code here that does not work 100%, so please check it before using. It is all part of the process of learning.
Parts I am Using
WEMOS ESP8266 D1 Mini Specs
|Microcontroller||Tensilica 32-bit RISC CPU Xtensa LX106|
|Digital I/O Pins||11|
|Analog Input Pins||1(Max input: 3.2V)|
|Wi-Fi||IEEE 802.11 b/g/n|
Install and Setup Arduino IDE
Arduino IDE is a program that will allow us to write code and upload it to the board.
First download the Arduino IDE and install it. I am using Windows 10, so the install link took me to the Microsoft Store for the application.
Next we need to install the ESP8266 add-on into the Arduino IDE. This will install the libraries we need to interface with the board and write our code. Open the Arduino IDE and choose File -> Preferences. In the “Additional Board Manager URLs” field enter the following URL and click OK.
Now open Tools -> Board > Boards Manager and in the search field type esp8266. Select the esp8266 by ESP8266 Community, chose the latest version, and click install.
Now open Tools -> Board > again and scroll down till you see your board. If you are using the kit listed above, choose WeMos D1 R1.
We should now have all the needed software installed and are ready to start coding a project.
Note: I recommend you restart the Arduino IDE after selecting your board. I am not sure if this is necessary, however I was not able to connect to the board until I did.
Tips and Tricks
The Serial Monitor displays serial sent from the Arduino board over the USB connection. To open Serial Monitor choose Tools -> Serial Monitor.
Tip: At first the Serial Monitor output was gibberish. I set the baud rate to 115200 and it seemed to fix it.