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ESP8266 ESP12-E flash adapter

Related links:
Bill of materials for the ESP12E flash adapter
Build instruction part 1
Build instruction part 2
Build instruction part 3
ESP8266 flash adapter wiring

For different projects I need frequently ESP8266 Modules. Especially the ESP12-E and F I found as quite interesting, because they provide many ports and have in addition much more memory than the ESP01 modules for example.

The flash- and develpment problem:

To flash a ESP12 module, some ports need to be wired correctly. The module has because of size reasons a pin distance of nearly 2 mm – otherwise not that much ports had space on such a small module. What’s positive for the miniaturization of the module, becomes difficult when connecting a module to a bread board or to flash the module. OK, there are adapters on the market you can buy, where you need to solder in the module, but unfortunately the traversed pins are not included and the module needs to be unsoldered after programming. So I was looking for a useful solution.

The solution: A self made “in Circuit” Adapter:

After some searches in the internet I had the idea to build such an adapter myself, that allows to remove the module after using it. First I developed a prototype. Unfortunately I could not use it on a bread board without detours. The ready self made adapter looks now like shown below and can be self made by any skilled maker. special tools or materials are not needed.

The advantages in one view: 

  • The ESP-12E Modul can be removed from the adapter at any time because it is just held by the contact pressure.
  • The Adapter is so tall, that it can be used on a normal bread board and there is still space for jumper wires.
  • The Adapter can be also used just for flashing the module – means a bread board is not required.
  • The power supply for the required 3.3 volts can come from a cheap USB flash adapter as it will be sold direct from China for already a bit more than an euro. (these adapters are also able to flash ESP01 modules).
  • The Modules remain mechanically untouched.
  • It may be flashed in-circuit without removing the module from the bread board.
  • The Adapter consists of low cost and simple to get components that can be found often already in the makers part box.

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