Playing around with ESP32 - WiFi Kit 32 OLED/BLE
New Toys to Play With!
I was recently provided some nice new toys to play with by the people at DigitSpace and will be documenting some upcoming projects involving these devices. The main player will be an ESP32 with built in OLED, which is very nice to have, not just because of the ESP32 capabilities and processing power, but the built-in OLED provides a nice way to get output and information without having to watch a serial monitor or send data to another device etc.
ESP32 WiFi Kit32 OLED from www.digitspace.com
I initially had some problems connecting the devices directly to computers via USB cable. I used different cables that work fine with my ESP8266 modules, but these would not work with any Windows, Linux or Mac devices I tried. Response, communication and professionalism was great, but neither I nor the supplier could seem to find a solution, even after contacting the manufacturer.
By chance, I ordered another module of the same model from a different supplier, and it came with a CH340G based USB->TTL module! It is starting to look like this is a known issue. So I tried it with these devices and BAM! Working nicely. Upload speed needed to be 256000 or lower.
The 5v pin on my TTL modules is connected directly to the USB 5v, so it can power the ESP32 via the 5v pin, even when configured to operate at 3.3v. If the RTS and DTR pins are not exposed, you only need to connect TX & RX, then press RST then PGM, then release RST then PGM buttons to put it into upload mode. RST again after complete. If exposed, connect DTR to GPIO0 and RTS to RST per the pinout below, and uploading will be automatic.
ESP32 WiFi Kit32 OLED Pinout
Now with the capabilities here, including a 240Mhz processor, BLE, WiFi and built in OLED, you might not think this module would be cheaper than an AVR based Arduino, but in some cases it is! Per the DigitSpace store these modules offer a great platform at a great price. Beyond the USB->TTL requirement, installation is easy. The Arduino IDE includes this device in the default ESP32 boards, and there are many examples etc. to test with.
I now have some working ESP32 devices and some other hardware that was given to use in upcoming projects! Some will relate to existing libraries and projects, but as usual I'm not sure exactly how or if I am going to be able to pull it off. Its always a challenge to understand the internal workings of newer MCUs and related code to produce the results I am expecting. It will be a challenge, but it seemed like a good idea at the time, so why not?
In any case, stay tuned for more to come with development & projects on ESP32 modules!