My intro into IoT – 01

The IoT for me started when I borrowed, from my friend Darius, an ESP8266 module, the NodeMCU development board. After playing a bit with it, the next step was a few orders on aliexpress with some sensors, relays and NodeMCU boards.

What’s that?

Node MicroController Unit (NodeMCU) is an open source software and hardware dev environment, for an inexpensive System-on-a-Chip (SoC) called the ESP8266.

The ESP8266 – by Espressif Systems – contains all crucial elements of the modern computer: CPU, RAM, wireless, an operating system and SDK.

As a chip, the ESP8266 is quite cheap, but that’s quite hard to use, even to upload code on it, if you want to experiment on IOT.

On my projects, I used ESP8266 12-E NodeMCU Kit – one of the most used dev boards for ESP8266. It has 4MB flash memory, 11 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins and one analog-to-digital converter (ADC), has an integrated voltage regulator so you can power it up on the mini USB to power it up, or even use the VIN pin or 3.3v ones.

There are two versions so far:

  • v0.9 – first generation, usually sold on a big yellow board, having 47mm x 31mm, it uses an ESP-12 module and comes with a 4MB flash;
  • v2 – second generation, way smaller, fixes some issues from the first generation board, and it comes with an ESP-12E module.
  • and… it looks like there is a v3, but that’s only a slightly modified version from v2, made by LoLin – anyway, as you can see in my images, the LoLin version is a bit bigger, and you’ll have issues fitting that to a standard breadboard.

Follow up next days to see more on setting up the board.

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