- ESP-01 can be bought for less than 2€ on eBay. It’s very tiny and only two digital IO-Ports can be used. But for a lot of projects that’s enough.
- ESP-12E (NodeMCU Lua) is a complete development board with USB-connector, one analog and 11 digital IO-Ports. It’s also very cheap on eBay (< 4€).
To get started the ESP-12E module perfect, because of the build in USB-connector. The board also provides the 3.3V that is needed.
On a Mac computer you need a driver to access the USB-Port. This can be found on the support pages of silicon lab.
This driver worked fine for me, but after some weeks / softwareupdate later it didn’t work. But there is an alternative: Look here:
But to start simple, just use the Arduino platform. Download (and contribute) the software. After starting the program some steps have to be done:
- adding the ESP-8266 board: Click in the Menu: Arduino – Settings. Add the following line to the ‚Additional Boads Manager URLs‘:
If there is already something in that edit field, that just add „,“ and that that line.
- Select the ESP-8266 board. Click in the Menu: Tools – Boards – Board Manager. There search for esp8266 and click ‚install‘.
- After that you are able to select the boards. Select ‚Generic ESP8266 Module‘ for the ESP-01 Module or ‚NodeMCU ..‘ for the ESP-12 Module.
- Create your first program based on File – Examples – ESP8266 – Blink.
- Connect your ESP8266 board and click Tools – Port. Something like
- hopefully that program will be loaded into the ESP8266 and than started immediately.