Monday, April 27, 2015

P2 - ESP8266 Ultimate DevBoard - Firmware upload and first run

  Part 2 of the the new CBDBv2 Evolution Series

  Let's begin our today story with a quick remember of the CBDBv2 DevBoard features:

    Finished Board with headers and some EXT modules in place:

CBDB Evolution - bottom view

EXT Modules

CBDB Evolution - top view

   First thing to see is how easy is the process to configure and start using CBCBv2 (code name Evolution) Board. It will come preconfigured with NodeMCU, so, if LUA is your desired programming language you can just start using it.

   In case of firmware update needed or if you want to change the environment, it is a very easy process, similar with the one used for MPSM Board.

   What we will need:

Uploading  new firmware:

1. Using the clasic "jumper-style" procedure

  • connect CBDB Module with the USB Adapter (Tx, Rx, 3v3, GND), Set the PROG jumper in the Programming mode position (closed) and power on

CBDBv2 - Firmware Programming mode enabled

  • Start NodeMCU Flasher. Choose you USB adapter corresponding port
  • Add from Config Menu latest previously downloaded firmware. It must start from 0x0000. Disable anything else. 
  • Go back on Operation tab. Power off your CBDB Module. Press FLASH Button. power ON quick CBDB module. It will be recognised and will start flashing. Give it a second try if necessary.
  •  When finished succesfully A green OK checkmark will appear
  •  Power Off CBDB Module, Remove yellow jumper. Power back ON. Your CBDBv2 Board should be now programmed with the new NodeMCU Firmware.

    If you change very often the firmware or want a easier way to use CBDBv2 DevBoard with Arduino IDE or direct GCC/Eclipse programming then maybe you will prefer the second available procedure for uploading your firmware:

2. Using the Auto reset/bootloading mode:

   Another great tool for uploading new firmware for your CBDBv2 DevBoard is esptool.
I want to thank you themadinventor for such a great utility program and also want to thank for the received improvements from several members of the ESP8266 community, including pfalcon, tommie, 0ff and george-hopkins. Great job!

   We will use in this example the CK version (thank you Christian) but any version of esptool that is supporting the RTS/DTR reset/bootloading mode must work ok. If you want to avoid compiling yourself the program you can download the binary file from here:

    Upload procedure:
  • connect CBDB Module with the USB Adapter (Tx, Rx, RTS, DTR, 3v3, GND) and power on
Auto reset/bootloading mode configuration

  • In Command Prompt Start esptool.exe program:
         D:\ESPTool>esptool.exe -cp COM34 -cd ck -cf nodemcu_latest.bin

          cp  - Select the serial port device to use for communicating with the ESP.
          cd  - Select the reset method to use for resetting the board.
          cf  - Select the firmware file that you want to flash memory

   For further programming in LUA, it might be possible to do it directly in your Serial Terminal Program but I will recomend you to use a more dedicated program for that, like LuaLoader or LuaUploader. I will stay with the latest one, for it's great flexibility and simplicity.

   To run a quick test, you can just use the code snippets provided by LuaUploader at start-up. Select the piece of code that you want to run and press "Execute Selection" button.

  • To quick setup your WIFI network :
        -- One time ESP Setup --
         wifi.sta.config ( "YOUR_WIFI_SSID" , "PASSWORD" ) 

  • For the Blinky test, just use a prepared LED as in the picture, insert it on previously used yellow jumper place (GPIO0) and run the code from below
Be careful with Anode / catode orientation

                -- Blink using timer alarm --
                timerId = 0 -- we have seven timers! 0..6
                dly = 500 -- milliseconds
                ledPin = 3 -- 3=GPIO0
               ledState = 0
               tmr.alarm( timerId, dly, 1, function()
                  ledState = 1 - ledState;
                  gpio.write(ledPin, ledState)


Yes, it's true.

For all the Arduino IDE lovers:

Arduino IDE first test for direct programming and firmware uploading on the new ESP8266 CBDBv2 Evolution DevBoard. No manual reset needed , no buttons to press, just press Upload and that's it!

 Running Blinky LED program on GPIO15:

// the setup function runs once when you press reset or power the board
void setup() {
     // initialize digital pin 15 as an output.
     pinMode(15, OUTPUT);

// the loop function runs over and over again forever
void loop() {
     digitalWrite(15, HIGH);   // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
     delay(500);              // wait for a second
     digitalWrite(15, LOW);    // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
     delay(500);              // wait for a second

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