LBussy wrote:Sorry - can't figure out how to edit my post.
Editing a post is only practical if you do it right after you post something; I would have missed any edit you would have made, once I have read your initial reply.
You can edit your own posts by pressing the cog in the upper right of your message, choosing "Edit post".
LBussy wrote:"which board?" it's a Wemos D1 Mini R2.
A proven development board is always more stable than something untested you've designed yourself, so a Wemos should electrically (normally) be no problem.
(The ESP8266 is actually a chip that is normally mounted on a module, with a name like ESP-01 or ESP-12, and for those there are development boards, like (the one you're using) the Wemos and NodeMCU.)
LBussy wrote:Actually, right now it's plugged into my laptop for easier debugging since this started. I can always switch to a powered USB hub.
Unless you have an old or some sort of "low power" laptop not able to deliver the required 500mA needed by your Wemos, there's not much to worry about I guess.
If you can, use a powered USB hub to be certain or power the Wemos from a solid 5V supply on the 5V-pin of the Wemos.
I'm not saying that the hardware is the problem, but when I hear "Intermittent problem" without any real constant factor, you have to make sure all variables (like the power supply, but also the AP, etc.) are removed from the equation.
When you're new, don't start with a separate ESP (ESP-01 to ESP-14) module.
Get yourself a proper development board: NodeMCU - WeMos D1 - WeMos (UNO form factor) - Witty Board
ESP power requirements are 3.3V±10%@350mA
The ESP8266 IS NOT 5V tolerant on ANY pin (see item 5.14 on page 25 of the FAQ)