Using the ESP8266 module for the Internet of Things

About two years ago, a cheap five dollar microcontroller has been entering the maker scene, featuring b/g/n wireless LAN.  The ESP8266 is manufactured by a Chinese company, called Espressif Systems and became soon very popular as a building-block for home-automation and IoT projects.These modules were distributed on  Ebay, the Amazon Marketplace or AliExpress for a few dollars. However, communication with most of the ESP8266 modules requires an external USB-to-Serial-Adapter and a special procedure to bring the device into “flash-mode”, which can be cumbersome in some cases, especially for beginners. With the brand-new WeMos D1 Mini, the setup was significantly simplified, so that it is as easy to use as an Arduino UNO.


The WeMos D1 Mini Board

The WeMos Mini D1 makes use of an ESP8266-E12 microcontroller, and provides access to eight digital and one analog GPIO pin. The device is usually shipped with a set of different male and female pin headers, which must be soldered before first use. The board can be powered both via USB or directly through it’s 5 V pin. Unfortunately,  this is not well-documented in the WeMos-Wiki, but there is a linear step-down voltage regulator on board.

D1 mini boardThe technical specs are summarized on the following table. All input/output pins require 3.3 V in contrast to the Arduino UNO.

Microcontroller ESP-8266EX
Operating Voltage 3.3V
Digital I/O Pins 11
Analog Input Pins 1
Clock Speed 80MHz/160MHz
FLash 4M bytes
Length 34.2mm
Width 25.6mm
Weight 10g

The WeMos D1 mini is fully compatible with the Arduino IDE.  All you have to do is, to clone the ESP8266 package into the Arduino IDE’s hardware folder, which is as simple as:

cd hardware
mkdir esp8266com
cd esp8266com git clone esp8266

Alternatively, installation can be done though the Arduino-IDE’s board-manager, however this is not recommended. A couple of example sketches can be downloaded from github:

cd <Sketchbook_directory>
git clone

Under Windows, you need setup the ch340g driver, before you can use the WeMos board.  This is not necessary if you are using Linux. The WeMos D1 mini is compatible with nodemcu. However, it is recommend to use the Arduino-IDE.

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8 years ago

Here is better Fritzing part for WeMos D1 mini:

8 years ago

Yep Fritzing is a nice software but UI is not so clear… (and also it’s not really stable). However it’s the only one I know that can make breadboard/stripboard schematic…

I manage to create some parts following the Sparkfun tutorial :
Using inkscape for svg creation.

8 years ago

Thanks for this post !

I’m looking for a fritzing part for Wemos D1. I guess your schema is made with fritzing.

Can you indicate me where do you find the WeMos D1 part ? or if you made it, can you share it ?

Thanks !

8 years ago
Reply to  luetzel

Ok thanks for your answer,
I also ask here:

I think I will open inkscape and try to build it. I’ll post a link to github as soon as it is done.

8 years ago
Reply to  Emmanuel N.

I just create a quick&dirty part.
It is here :

For my use (== stripboard design and documentation) it should do the job… However feel free to improve it ! there is to do 😉