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Project Notes

#540 ESP-12 DIY Dev Board

Building a programming board for the ESP8266 07/12 variants.



I have some ESP8266 modules in the ESP-7 and ESP-12E variants. They both work with adapter boards like this.

However, it turns out that programming them on a breadboard can be a bit flakey - mainly due to power/connection issues. See LEAP#534 ESP-12 Programming for the background.

So I decided to try a quick build of a programming board to see if performance was more reliable.

The result - excellent. Very reliable programming.

Circuit Design

The circuit implements the recommended programming/runtime circuit. Note that some of the pull-up resistors are actually on the adapter board - these are marked as “built-in” in the schematic.



Protoboard Construction

I used a piece of 5x7cm protoboard, with the circuit layed out as follows:


Some quick and dirty soldering..


Final build, on a cardboard base:



The process:

  • seat the ESP-12 board
  • connect USB adapter
  • connect power >4.5V
  • set the “Run/Prog” switch to “Prog”
  • press “Reset” to reset the board into programming mode
  • upload the program

When using the Arduino IDE, the most recent settings I used were as follows:


Credits and References

Project Source on GitHub Project Gallery Return to the LEAP Catalog

This page is a web-friendly rendering of my project notes shared in the LEAP GitHub repository.

LEAP is just my personal collection of projects. Two main themes have emerged in recent years, sometimes combined:

  • electronics - usually involving an Arduino or other microprocessor in one way or another. Some are full-blown projects, while many are trivial breadboard experiments, intended to learn and explore something interesting
  • scale modelling - I caught the bug after deciding to build a Harrier during covid to demonstrate an electronic jet engine simulation. Let the fun begin..
To be honest, I haven't quite figured out if these two interests belong in the same GitHub repo or not. But for now - they are all here!

Projects are often inspired by things found wild on the net, or ideas from the many great electronics and scale modelling podcasts and YouTube channels. Feel free to borrow liberally, and if you spot any issues do let me know (or send a PR!). See the individual projects for credits where due.