A project researching the capabilities and use of the newly available ESP8266 low-cost WiFi module.
So my chips finally passed through customs and arrived in sealed anti-static bags. I connected up the VDD and GND to a bench power supply as others have noted that these chips need quite a bit of power. I also needed to connect the CH_PD pin to 3.3V to enable the chip. Just on standby, the chip consumes about 70mA.
I connected the TX and RX lines to my Sparkfun FTDI Basic and fired up Putty just to test out some commands before I hook it up to a chipKIT. I have to talk to the chip over 115200 Baud, and 57600 does not work. I received READY in my Putty terminal and sent AT+RST. The chip spit out a bunch of boot up text which I will include later when I write a post showing the response of all of the commands. I sent AT+CWLAP and nothing... at first I received ERROR. I sent it a couple more times and actually got the chip to list the access points! I tried connecting to my wifi router, but I entered the password wrong and still received OK. I tried sending the inquiry if I was connected and the chip hung up and any command I sent after that said it was busy. All further attempts to send AT+CWLAP hang up the chip.
So I would say so far, the chip isn't as easy to use out of the box as others have stated. I will investigate further and send some more commands and write up a post detailing how the chip responds.
I am still awaiting the arrival of the modules I ordered from AliExpress. I have a tracking number, but it doesn't seem valid yet. It is great reading up on the progress others who have received their modules are making! Peter has been active in the comments and has successfully sent TCP data.
I will provide another update when I receive the modules and being work on the library. I was originally going to write the library for the MSP430 microcontrollers, but it looks like many people who have received their modules are using the Arduino. I might create the library for the Arduino first so that I can get the most amount of people debugging the library. I will eventually port the library to both platforms.
So looking around on this German forum post about the ESP8266
I saw that somebody translated the Chinese AT command pdf (into German which google than translated into English for me). The translation this person posted had much more information about the chip than I had seen before! I had assumed that the Nurdspace page everybody is probably already very familiar with
was translated from the same document and was all the information we had so I didn't bother taking a look at the actual document in Chinese. It seemed like it would be just BARELY enough to get a good library going, however a lot of information was missing like possible return values and the returned data format. It wouldn't have been impossible to figure this stuff out after getting the chip, but it would have taken longer just poking around.
Read on to see the translated document and what to expect from the List Access Points Command.Read more »
I just placed an order for two ESP8266 Modules from AliExpress for $9.50 including free shipping. The processing time is 7 days and the expected shipping time is over 2 weeks. I will be posting the currently available documentation and the translations people have posted soon. I will also create a new GitHub repository to start commiting preliminary code based off of the documentation.