The use of the ESP8266 in the world of IoT

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By dannyzeee
#84826 I have a project ( A PID temperature controller) that is built on a PIC18F47K42. The project in over 50K compiled, and represents a rather large investment of time, so, please no answers about coding the whole project to run on an ESP with more IO pins.

I have decided to try to add remote monitoring, using an ESP8266 module to send temperatures/fan speeds/etc to my phone, over WiFi. I have done a ton of reading, and am having a hard time picking an ESP module to use, from the vast array of available modules.

I have only a single SPI channel available on the PIC, but it already interfaces with 3 other SPI devices, so, must remain as the Master. I would like to communicate with the ESP via SPI, mostly sending data to the ESP, so that it would be available for remote monitoring.

I think I have figured out that I need to configure the ESP module as a softAP, then send data to it to be served up on a web interface?

I thought maybe an ESP-12 (ESP-WROOM-S2??), it's datasheet says it does SPI, but then has confusing language that makes it seem it only does Quad SPI?

To shorten this post a bit, I am looking for recomendations on which particular model to use, and why, to allow me to remotely see data from my controller, without having to be connected to a router, hopefully using Mode 0 SPI, with the ESP module as a slave device.

If that isn't do-able, I could also use a serial connection/AT commands?