A Breakout Board For The ESP8266-03

In the last few weeks we have been seeing a lot of ESP8266 based projects. Given this WiFi module is only $3 on Ebay it surely makes sense using it as an Internet of Things (IoT) platform. To facilitate their prototyping stage I designed a breakout board for it.

The board shown above includes a 3.3V 1A LDO, a genuine FT230x USB to UART adapter, a button to make the ESP8266 jump into its bootloader mode and a header where you can find all the soldered-on-board module IOs. One resistor can be removed to allow 3.3V current measurement, another can be populated to let the FT230X start the bootloader jumping procedure. All the IOs have 1k current limiting resistors to prevent possible short-circuit mistakes. Finally, the board deliberately doesn’t use any through hole components so you may put double-sided tape on its back to attach it anywhere you want. As usual, all the source files can be download from my website.

32 thoughts on “A Breakout Board For The ESP8266-03

    1. I think the price is fine for such a small initial run, you can always build your own from the information provided.

      Great little board, should save some time in prototyping. When my ESP8266s finally arrive i’ll be picking one up.

  1. While surfing the web for capabilities of what this ESP8266 thing can do I stubled upon
    They make/sell Bluetooth LE modules and a quick check by mouser gave me an indication of USD5 (1+) for the AMS002 module.

    Hmm.. look interesting. Downloaded the datasheet:
    For those 5 bucks you get an ARM Cortex M3 @48MHz with all the usual peripherals and 512kB Flash which supports “firmware updates and multiple on-board applications”.
    The datasheet also claims the module’s are fully certified for BLE 4.1.

    Anyone interested in checking the quality of their software stack / documentation?

    I’m still struggling to do something usefull with the nRF24l01+ modules I bougt more than a year ago from Ali. It’s an amazing world we’re living in.

      1. I am the admin there and I assure you the only posts deleted are SPAM and only your first post is looked at and this is typically within hours, so I am sorry this happened, I will check INDYANER as a user name and see what happened.

        1. Yes, that is right. And why do you think it was deleted? I never said this. I said that it took days for my post to be authorized by a moderator. It was not visible until some days later. Is this a normal behaviour on the board?

          1. @Mathieu
            I’m more of a Opt-out fan. Open the Filter to the max and pick out the bad apple then deny every input and then pick each apple one by one. I’m a big believer in the internet as a grey noise machine that you need to filter afterwards but not up front.

          2. So sorry I misread :-( Yes we did have issues with the PHPBB config that was not found out till about a week ago, certain groups were not sending me message telling me about new postings to moderate and yes I did notice a handle full that were 3-4 days old, I corrected the problem and to date I think we are catching them all now within hours…. and yes @mathieu its been crazy the response and trying to keep it all going…. so far its been a blast and have met lots of VERY talented people! Keep up the posting and thanks to all.


  2. Can a ESP8266 be used in a diy remote car starter project? Evertime I see an article about these devices I come up with different ideas as to what I would use one or several for (if I knew how that is). One idea I had was to use one to remotely start my car from my smart phone. I don’t know how secure or safe it would be though.

    1. It talks WiFi, so you could only start it from a place where you can connect to a WiFi network. Your garage: probably; your driveway: quite likely; random LargeMart parking lot: probably not.

      it has the advantage/disadvantage of being globally accessible once it is on the network. You usually don’t need to start your car with an extremely remote starter. (Unless, for instance, you want to use carbon monoxide to solve a problem while you are elsewhere, establishing your alibi. That is probably not the most common use case however.)

      You may want a Bluetooth device instead. Pay attention to how much range the various standards and classes have.

  3. This is a nice design for ESP8266 development! I just have two questions.
    First, can adequate power be provided by USB? This is always a concern when power needs start getting upwards of 500mA. I’m no expert on this, but see it discussed a lot because it bites folks.
    Second, is the ESP8266 really the right answer for wireless IOT links? Seems like it takes a lot of power for battery applications! BLE seems like it might be a better answer. But the trade-off, as always, is range and data rate. Seems like a lot of IOT apps would be better served by significantly longer battery life and would get by just fine with low data rates and shorter range.

    1. You’ll power the ESP8266-03 without any problem.
      Depending on your computer is you may draw between 0.5A and 1A from its USB port before its over-current protection kicks in.
      I guess the main advantage of the esp8266 is that it can directly connect to the internet without any bridge…

  4. Nice development board. It will definitely cut down the amount of wires while making costume software. I have tried to make a mailbox notifier with the chip in sleep mode and interrupt driven io. I personally think 30 usd is fair for the first runs. I would definitely buy one if it was shipped from within EU. But where I lives the price with tax and tax handling would be 75 usd.

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