Wemos D1 review
This board has quickly become our board of choice when we do Wifi project development. It looks just like an Arduino Uno and many Arduino shields will work with this board. Se sell them here at Bot Shop too – https://www.botshop.co.za/product/esp-12e-wemos-d1-wifi-board/
The D1 microcontroller is a beast compared to the Arduino Uno
The WeMos D1 uses the ESP 8266 microcontroller that is 2 x faster than an Uno, has 160Kbs of Ram compared to the 2K of an Uno and a 100x the amount of Flash memory! And each I/O pin is interruptable!
Most importantly is that it has embedded Wi-Fi and the center point of this wemos d1 review.
• A 32 bit RISC CPU running at 80MHz
• 64Kb of instruction RAM and 96Kb of data RAM
• 4MB flash memory
• 16 GPIO pins
• 1 ADC
The only area the Arduino chip is better is that it has 6 ADC’s and the D1 just one, although that will very seldom a problem as you have both I2C and SPI on the chip, it is still worth taking note of this. If you need more ADC’s it is easy to add a multiplexer to increase the amount of ADC’s.
Use your Arduino IDE to program the chip.
The Arduino IDE can be used to program the D1. The Wemos D1 have a USB to TTL chip on board for direct uploading of programs via USB directly from your PC. The chip used is the CH340G chip and unfortunately, a driver needs to be installed for some versions of Windows that does not include this driver. If your Windows version does not recognise the board it can easily be downloaded and installed, doing a Google search on “CH340G driver” will show many download links.
In this Wemos D1 review we do not want to go to much into details regarding programming but I have good links to follow,
The next thing you will need to do is to add the Wemos D1 board to the list of boards already in the Arduino IDE. Here is an instructable on how to do that, it is pretty good http://www.instructables.com/id/Programming-the-WeMos-Using-Arduino-SoftwareIDE/
Oh, you will be able to upload to the board. To get the WiFi to work is not as difficult as I thought it will be, I used this instructable to do so: http://www.instructables.com/id/Programming-a-HTTP-Server-on-ESP-8266-12E/
Something to note is that the pin assignment between the D1 and Uno is different. The Uno has the onboard led connected to pin 13 and the D1 to pin 14 as can be seen from the table below, If you, for example, upload the blink sketch to the D1 you will first need to change the sketch by replacing all calls to pin 13 to pin 14.
Some things to be aware of.
- As discussed the pinout differences, of cause the power pins are at the correct places.
- Becuase of the pinouts some Arduino shields will not work out of the box, you will need to change the pin mappings. As an example, I had an LCD shield working in minutes without much effort.
- The normal Arduino libraries will not always work, the LCD shield library worked with no problem though.
Wemos D1 review Summary.
Well, you can’t beat the price nor the ease of use. Microcontroller + Wifi for the same price as an Uno. I will always use my beloved Arduino Uno because of the amount of libraries and code available on the Internet but…. as soon as I need to use WiFi in my projects I will go for the Wemos D1. You can get yours from us here https://www.botshop.co.za/product/esp-12e-wemos-d1-wifi-board/