[WORK IN PROGRESS]
A little How To guide with some tips for everyone having issues with this board.
1 - DIP SWITCHES
This board has 8 switches you need to set before doing anything:
- 1, 2 ON, everything else OFF: it puts in comms the ATMega with the 8266 onboard chip. You need this setup to run your program and connect to wifi/internet/blynk. Since this board has only one hardware serial, ATMega and 8266 will be using it. You cannot use the Serial Monitor via USB. You can use a I2C Lcd Display as a debug monitor.
- 3, 4 ON, everything else OFF: it puts in comms the ATMega chip with the USB-Serial CH340. Use this to upload your sketches to the ATMega Chip.
- 5, 6 ON, everything else OFF: it puts in comms the 8266 chip with the USB-Serial CH340. Use this to manually send AT commands to the 8266 chip (ex. via Arduino Serial Monitor)
- 5, 6, 7 ON, everything else OFF: use this setup to upload the firmware in the 8266 chip
- 8 is an unconnected, unused pin.
When using Arduino’s Serial Monitor to send AT cmds to 8266, remember to set “Both NL & CR” and the connection speed (standard is 115200). To achieve better stability, there’s an AT command that sets the 8266 chip baud speed to 9600. I’ll talk about it later.
2 - FIRMWARE
All the board i’ve received were completely blank-empty so no second guess, but my advise is to upload the firmware from the link below even if you’ve already got something in your boards. I tried couple of versions and this (old) one is the only that has been working flawlessy with Blynk. So, step by step:
Download this: Programmer + Firmware 1541.exe . No it’s not a virus. It’s a self extracting EXE created with 7zip if you’re wondering. Go on and unpack it. Inside you will find Flash Download Tools 364 and Firmware ESP8266_NONOS_SDK_1541 with only the files you need.
Set your UNO+WiFi switches to 5, 6 ,7 ON and everything else OFF then plug it to your computer.
Run ESPFlashDownloadTool_v3.6.4.exe, then click on ESP8266 Download Tool. Use these settings:
Check COM Port: mouse dx on This PC -> Properties -> Device Manager -> Ports(COM & LPT) -> look for USB-SERIAL CH340 , keep Baud Rate at 115200 then click START. It takes maybe a minute or two.
- Unplug the board, close the FlashTool, set pin 5, 6 to ON and everything else OFF, plug the board to the USB again and run Arduino IDE
- In Arduino IDE: Tools -> Port -> select the COM port
Tools -> Serial Monitor -> Set “Both NL & CR” and Baud rate to 115200
Write AT+GMR and hit ENTER. If this appears, everything’s fine
AT version:18.104.22.168(May 11 2016 18:09:56)
compile time:May 20 2016 15:06:44
now to set the board’s baudrate to 9600 write
this will set the board to 9600 AND save this setting in the flash memory
Now set the Serial Monitor speed to 9600 and try again with AT+GMR. If the answer is the same, you,re ready to go
3 - LIBRARIES
Other than the Blynk official library, I’m also using:
LiquidCrystal_PCF8574 for the LCD Display with I2C Driver
Arduino WiFi library for ESP8266 modules for a better WiFi management
Ticker library for Arduino for timed events since both Blynk.timer and SimplyTimer are having issues with this board