Start with Arduino for Just $3
Don’t use an Arduino Uno board — instead use an ESP8266 based module that is many times more capable than the Arduino, but still ten times cheaper!
The ESP is a 32-bit microcontroller compared to the 8-bit microcontroller on the Arduino, running at 80Mhz compared to 16Mhz on Arduino. Is has around 96 KB of RAM compared to 2 KB RAM on Arduino and 4 MB of flash storage for your code compared to just 32KB flash on Arduino. It has all the peripherals like SPI/I2C from the Arduino as well as plenty of input/output pins. And it still costs 10 times less than an Arduino.
Hence I believe that the ESP is the new Arduino Uno.
To tell you how you can get started with it like me, I have a video tutorial which you can see below.
Supporting links and steps are as follows:
- Buy the WeMos D1 mini clone which is based on the ESP12 module which internally uses the ESP8266 SOC chip along with plenty of flash memory. Buy on AliExpress.
- Install the USB drivers (Mac). A quick search for USB to Serial CH340G will give you drivers for other platforms.
- By default the modules are programmed using Lua, based on NodeMCU.
- Download and install the Arduino IDE.
- Setup the ESP8266 board in the Arduino IDE with these steps.
- Install the Blynk app and skim the documentation.
- That’s it! Follow along the next steps in the video to control the LED on the board from your phone!
If you enjoyed this tutorial, follow me on Medium and YouTube to know about my future projects.