New Part Day: ESP32-WROOM-DA

We’re always interested in the latest from the world’s semiconductor industry here at Hackaday, but you might be forgiven for noticing something a little familiar about today’s offering from Espressif. The ESP32-WROOM-DA has more than a passing resemblance to the ESP32-WROOM dual-core-microcontroller-with-WiFi  module that we’ve seen on so many projects over the last few years because it’s a WROOM, but this one comes with a nifty trick to deliver better WiFi connectivity.

The clever WiFi trick comes in the form of a pair of antennas at 90 degrees to each other. It’s a miniaturised version of the arrangement with which you might be familiar from home routers, allowing the device to select whichever antenna gives the best signal at any one time.

We can see that the larger antenna footprint will require some thought in PCB design, but otherwise the module has the same pinout as the existing WROVER. It’s not much of a stretch to imagine it nestled in the corner of a board at 45 degrees, and we’re sure that we’ll see it appearing in projects directly. Anything that enhances the connectivity of what has become the go-to wireless microcontroller on these pages can only be a good thing.

38 thoughts on “New Part Day: ESP32-WROOM-DA

    1. “While being used, the module works according to signal strength, selecting the strongest signal to ensure continuous communication. When a weak signal is detected, the module continues to work with an API call that helps it switch to the other antenna with a stronger signal.”

      Still doesn’t say how it’s implemented. Maybe an antenna switch on a GPIO line?

      1. Looks like it is a normal “antenna diversity” implementation; if that’s the case then it’s completely automatic at physical level and no intervention is required by the software to switch to the better receiving antenna.

      1. I’m not on twitter, wastes too much time, dulls the intellect ie the short term short attention span patterns.

        Pray tell what’s the top three that come to mind, sort of relevant as if from a company that makes micros then could that influence their designs IOW could some crackpot theory of them initiate path of moderating potential for addressing prophylactically the crackpot theory ?

          1. Ah, that’s from my oldie psychology circa 1982 & Lisp, adding a space improves probability of perceiving delineation accurately between statement (of claim) & question in students trialling speed reading & developing subsequent habits. Also when we wrote scripts in Lisp it was a useful convention in parsing circa 1980 at Western Australian Institute of Technology, Bentley, Western Australia which is now Curtin University. Ie my first degree there late 1970’s & early 1980’s in electronic engineering.

  1. Nice, but dual external antenna connectors would have been a lot better. This type of PCB antenna doesn’t perform very well. What Rasberry do with the Zero and 4 works a lot better strange enough (and uses less PCB space to boot).

    1. Electrically sort antennas like this tend to have very poor directionality. The point of diversity for them is just compensating for the small null that still remains along the axis of the antenna. These anteannas won’t give real diversity.

      Also, you’d need both antennas giving an RSSI value to even try to use these for direction finding. Maybe ping-poing back and forth between the antennas listening to consecutive packets and compare the RSSI. If it’s equal, you are pointing roughly at/away from the source. Probalby at if it’s in a hand held device as the human holding it will likely make a good null with their body. :)

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