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Why don't these ESP8266 boards work / do anything as-bought?

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Sum-Guy

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I bought a wifi-controlled relay from a chinese vendor through ebay. It seems to be called a "ESP8266 ESP-01S" by most vendors. I thought all I'd have to do was power it up, see its wifi connection and connect to it, access a rudimentary gui using a browser, and configure it to connect to my wifi network, give it a static IP, gateway, etc.

I see it's wifi network name is Farylink_somenumber. I connect to it. It's IP is 192.168.4.1 and my PC gets 192.168.4.2. I use my browser on it - and get nothing. I port-scan it (all 64k port) - nothing. I scan the entire 192.168.4.0/24 network to see if it's using a second IP for configuration. I get nothing. One other small detail - the board seems to have a single LED, but it doesn't come on, not even when I have a wifi connection to it.

I bought 3 of these wifi relays, and each comes as 2 boards, one board is the relay and the other is the ESP8266 board. I've tried 2 of the ESP boards so far, and both behave as I've just described above. I've powered just the ESP8266 board by itself (I have lab power supply with plenty of current) so I know the power supply is fine (and used 3.3 volts).

I start digging and learn about this whole esp8266 world. I really didn't want to have to learn about this world. I thought this thing would work "out of the box" and do what I wanted - which was to control a dumb relay over a wifi connection.

So what I'm here to ask about is - why are these things sold with some sort of firmware that apparently does nothing? Is there anything known about the default functionality these boards have as shipped?

I suppose I now have to cobble together a programming IDE, suitable firmware, and serial interface just to make this thing work as advertised?
 

betwixt

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Show us a link or at least a photograph of the relay board.
ESP8266 normally come with 'something' programmed into them but what that is depends on the manufacturer. They are programmable devices so the code and IP address is likely to be different from one product to another. It probably has DHCP enabled so try scanning your default network (probably 192.168.1.xxx) and see if it finds something. The LED is usually to show a connection has been established but again, it depends on what the code in the IC tells it to do.

Brian.
 

FvM

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Depending on the configuration and your network parameters, you may need a serial connection for the initial setup.
 

betwixt

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Looking at identical products on Ebay they suggest you have to program the ESP8266 yourself. All you have bought is a relay driver board and a generic ESP8266 module.

Don't despair, programming them is VERY easy, especially when there are only two programmable pins on the ESP8266-1. There are lots of examples on the Internet if you search for "esp8266 relay module programming". You will need a compiler, I suggest using Arduino IDE because it is free and very simple to use. Just download the example code, change the WiFi SSID and password to suit your system and hit go.

You will need a gadget to program the ESP8266 module, they are very inexpensive. You plug the module into the programmer and the programmer into a USB socket, the IDE does the rest. Example:
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/New-ESP0...=2929423359915611b5b338b54afabde0a8f49337038c

Brian.
 

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