Friday, November 7, 2014

ESP8266 possible breadboard interface

Probably you know what the ESP8266, if not it is a very cheap Uart to Wifi module (more info). Anyhow to the important part.
This module is 3.3V and my Arduino is 5V. There is a problem. Also the module is not "breadboard friendly".
So there are two problems that a simple interface board can fix very easy. Based on that, I have a few ideas running in my head about this. I am in the process of designing a board that I would like to build a prototype.
What this magic board do?
1. Voltage regulator, IN 5V and regulate to 3.3V with 3.3V output as well.
2. Level shifter for RX and TX signals, so you can wire it up straight to the arduino.
3. Bread board friendly header pins for easy testing.

This is a very small design to keep it cheap. As is of now it is 1 inch by 1 inch. It is not in its final stage, however I like to write about it, just in case.

pcb board


I will continue on improving the design for a bit more. However I want to try to actually build it, however build time for me is very limited now, so only time will tell how this gets done.

All eagleCad files are here. This is very early in the design process. I have started two times, and probably restart it all again.

Any idea or comment, please do. This is public domain, so you may do what ever you want with it. If you build it as is or modify it, comment about it and post pictures. There is no need to mention or link back to me.

Board modified a little bit and sent to oshpark for a prototype. Soon will know if it actually works.
Eagle files moved to a github repo of it's own here. Now the board has a name it is called WifIco (it needed a name you know).

This is the image rendered by OSHPark web site when ordered.

Bottom View Top View

This has not been tested however I decided to order it anyhow. It has a mini usb port beneath only for 5V input. Just in case I wanted to power it stand alone, who knows!
It also has two resistors visible on the bottom view, that should be soldered shut for normal use. You may solder a wire or a zero resistor, actually whatever you have. They are pull up and can be shut. I figure that since I will be receiving a few boards may find it useful to use one to update the firmware and in those cases I would need access to the pins exposed there. But for normal operations I may not. 

This design has a lot of errors in the silk screen for the board connections. It worked, but the labeling of the connections is incorrect.