It’s more than likely that you’ve heard of the ESP8266 chip. This inexpensive and surprisingly capable WiFi microcontroller from Espressif Systems offers plenty of IoT functionality for your projects. It’s not hard to use, and it’s worth your time to learn how!
Over at Hackaday, Alexander Roswell has put together an incredibly comprehensive ESP8266 tutorial series. Let’s explore these tutorials, and a few examples of this chip in action.
Tutorials For Every Level of Expertise
When I first heard about these tutorials, I knew I had to get my hands on this chip to check them out. Alexander’s tutorials account for every skill level and for different types of boards with this chip so I obtained an Adafruit Feather HUZZAH ESP8266 board.
There are several different options for how you write software for the ESP8266. For most people, the ESP8266 Arduino IDE Tutorial has you covered. For those looking to flex their coding muscles, there is also a ESP8266 Lua/NodeMCU tutorial and even a tutorial for the Native ESP8266 SDK.
Tutorials like these are incredibly helpful, mostly because the datasheet and technical reference manual for the ESP8266 are sorely lacking, and some of the links in the online document point to 404 errors. Suffice to say, if you need to get comfortable with the ESP8266, Alexander’s tutorials will do more for you than the official documentation ever could.
Inspiration From Your Fellow Tindarians
The ESP8266 ranks among the top ten search terms here in Tindie. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with it, check out some of these products that utilize it for a little inspiration (or perhaps some assistance in getting your idea off the ground).
If you run into any issues, there are also links to plenty of help from those in the community in the tutorials as well. Go forth and hack, we can’t wait to see what you come up with!