Some of my Favorite IoT DIY Parts – Power and ESPs – Part 1

I have people asking me frequently the types of things that I use and keep on hand for projects. Since it is ever changing I am going to say that this will be an ongoing endeavor of me posting new “parts” on here with lists of parts and why I like them. So lets kick this off.

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DC Step Down Boards

You’re going to have projects that may need higher DC voltages stepped down. An example would be if you have a 12V LED project driven by an ESP8266 board. You are going to need 12V for the lights (this usually goes right to the MOSFET or relay to power the LEDS) and then 3.3V or 5V to power the ESP8266.

The easiest way to do this is with a step down adapter board. These are very convenient and just make sure you are getting one that is adequate for the project. If you are just powering an ESP board from one anything 1A or higher will be fine as they don’t pull much. But if you are going to need to run other items off it make sure to get one that is powerful enough to push whatever else you are running.

Here are ones I keep on hand and use in projects here:


Wifi Dev Boards

If you’re doing a project you are going to need something to drive them and put code on. I usually will use ESP8266 for basic projects like neopixel setups under 100 pixels and anything that needs higher update rates (like power monitoring or 100+ neopixels) I will use the ESP32s.

Some neckbeards will tell you that the ESP8266 is useless because something faster exists but the 8266 is cheaper than the 32 and plenty capable for running basic IoT devices. Now if you need a TINY ESP8266 module the ESP-01S is what you should get. Don’t get the older ESP-01 as they will not boot without extra soldering and pullups/pulldowns on certain IO pins. The newer ESP-01S is what you want.

ESP8266s

ESP32s


I know you all have the attention span of a goldfish so we’re going to stop there. I’ll post more about these little boards later on as well as a high level overview about what firmwares I like using with them. If you are super eager to mess with things check out ESPHome as that is what I usually use for custom made devices and if I am running LEDs I use WLED.

Until next time,

~Tim

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