We found something new and exciting in the new Jaycar catalogue, and it’s what we’ve been waiting for! The range of WiFi or Ethernet enabled Arduino hardware was previously a little limited from Jaycar, but it’s been well expanded this year thanks to the addition of two new models. We all know these things come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and they all have their place. However the new WiFi Mini has already proved to be a very valuable addition.
The WiFi Mini is basically an ESP8266 chip with a breakout. Running at an epic 80MHz, it’s nice and fast for time-sensitive tasks. Like all ESP8266 chips, it’s 3.3V (with a 5V to 3.3V regulator on board for USB power). However this isn’t generally a problem with simple logic conversion.
The 11 digital IO pins, one analogue pin, and 4MB flash are generally plenty for all sorts of projects. What really makes the WiFi Mini a great prototyping platform however, is the availability of a specific prototyping shield, a DHT11 sensor module, and a microSD card shield. They slot straight into the WiFi Mini, so you could literally deploy a WiFi enabled sensor in the blink of an eye.
The prototype shield is just the same as the others you would have seen, with solderable headers and pads, so you can mount your custom electronics. It’s barely the size of an Aussie 20c piece, so it’s tiny, but MIGHTY. The shields are all stackable so you can keep adding functionality until you run out of pins to monitor!
It would be remiss of us to not provide an honourable mention of the ESP32 Main Board now available too. The ESP32 board benefits from not just WiFi, but Bluetooth functionality too. A host of IO is available with useful inclusions such as the 12-bit ADC, 8-bit DAC, SPI, I2C, I2S, and loads more. It’s also a 3.3V board, so take care with logic levels (USB power is handled on board).
The ESP32 took a while to obtain Arduino IDE support, but thanks to the open source community, it’s now fairly straight forward.
It’s great to see these boards for convenient access to WiFi enabled hardware, without requiring a full size shield!
Grab it online from Jaycar Electronics: