The use of the ESP8266 in the world of IoT

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By Ipposnif
#91735 Since there is no valid "default" for the firmware, in an eventual project, I have always to add a port to the PCB for programming the chip or ask the PCB assembler to flash the original firmware before soldering it.
In reality, this happens with the other MCs (which I play with), but I hoped this time to skip this phase and use ESP8266 as a ready-to-go module. Too good to be true :D
Thank you for the answers and cheers for the useful forum!
User avatar
By davydnorris
#91739 You are right - you will need to either select your module based on what it's flashed with by default, or get your own program loaded somehow - either via a port or when you purchase from the manufacturer.

The thing is, even if you look at the AT firmware, which I guess you could argue will be the most complete and out-of-the-box useable firmware is still going to need you to connect a serial port in order to send the AT commands. So if you are going to do that, then it's a small step to upload your own firmware.

If you don't want to do that then I would recommend purchasing the Espressif module preloaded with the AT firmware - that will get you something you can use without reprogramming. But to be honest, it barely scratches the power of the chip and if I were you I'd look at doing more with your own code in some way.

If you have managed to connect to this module via a serial line, you could download and flash the latest AT firmware. There is a graphical flash tool on the Espressif site, and the latest AT binary is on their git repo. You could also use the esptool and Makefiles in the repo to flash it
User avatar
By Ipposnif
#91743 My adventure in the foggy lands of China continues: I wired the two buttons and I managed to upload the blink sketch. Everything works fine, the FT232RL, even if I just discovered it is a fake, does his job.
So I thought I was fine too, only one step from sending AT commands and connect to the "matrix".
No luck, I spent hours flashing all the firmware I could find on the web (especially from this collection, but the result is always the same: the module responds to all AT commands except the ones that use the "antenna".
This is the log of my commands:








When I use AT+CWLAP, the module stops thinking for 3-5 seconds and then returns simply OK. I have at least two APs in the range.
I if try to connect to an existing AP, it says WIFI DISCONNECTED.

I also tried the Arduino example sketch WiFiScan, but it hangs on a loop searching for APs.
Of course, before bothering you, I longly googled this problem, but I didn't find any helpful solutions for my case. It should not be a problem of crystal frequency or wrong memory locations for the firmware.
The module laid on my desk for months, and I cannot exclude that at least once, it fell from it to the ground. Also I cannot exclude an electrostatic discharge when I touched it.
So my question now is: how can I check if the antenna is broken?
I could use a small handheld oscilloscope, and I'm willing to open the metal enclosure of the module.