Tag Archives: heramb Makerlab

IoT : Encounter with ESP8266-201 Module

Came to know about new module called ESP8266-201 for IoT experiments , when Heramb MakerLab arranged one session with one of the makers ( Hemant worked in Tieto) on IoT.

It sounds like good Rs. 500 investment for experimenting and learning this new IoT module. I ordered immediately following two items online from one of the vendors on Lamington Road, Mumbai :

  1. ESP8266 ESP-201 WiFi board with full I/O and PCB antenna  : This is actual module which needs to be programmed as a controller along with thing to communicate with internet or home network.
  2. FT232RL Based High Quality USB to TTL Module : This is module for loading the program into ESP module. It can also provide initial power for ESP module during prototyping phase.

Ref : http://www.evelta.com

For running first program on ESP module, you would need following additional hardware :

  • LED
  • Resistor – 220 ohm
  • Jumper wires

By the time I got the modules, I started reading about ESP more. I worked with Raspberry Pi extensively and also developed one IoT prototype for sensing room temperature and sending the data to Dweet.io cloud system.  Working with Arduino IDE and ESP specially was little new area to me.

Step 1 : Installing / Updating Arduino IDE to support ESP8266 boards.

–          Install Arduino 1.6.5 from the Arduino website.

–          Start Arduino and open Preferences window.

–          Enter http://arduino.esp8266.com/package_esp8266com_index.json into Additional Board Manager URLs field. You can add multiple URLs, separating them with commas.

–          Open Boards Manager from Tools > Board menu and install esp8266 platform (and don’t forget to select your ESP8266 board from Tools > Board menu after installation).

Ref : https://github.com/esp8266/Arduino

ESP-8226 Board inside Arduino IDE

Step 2 : Connecting ESP module with USB to TTL Module

Use following diagram as reference and make connections.

ESP8266-201 and USB-TTL Module

Step 4 : Connect USB to TTL module to Laptop / Computer

Once you make connection, Red LED on ESP shall get light up.

Step 5 : Upload program to ESP module via Arduino IDE

There is sample program already written in example folder. Open that program to update SSID and Password of your WiFi network, so updated program can be uploaded onto ESP module.

Open Program (Sketch)

Once changes are done, click on upload button on top left hand side. Don’t worry if you are getting errors, recheck the connections and try again.

Program shown in picture is different
Program Uploaded Successfully

Once program is uploaded disconnect the GPIO-0 wire and toggle the power of ESP module (You can just remove USB from laptop and plug it again)

Step 6 : Run program on ESP module and verify THING (ESP /module) is getting connected to home WiFi network

I use android app called Fing to check connected devices inside my home network. This app helps to identify IP address on ESP module, which we can use for operating GPIO-2 of ESP Module (To which we have connected LED).

Step 8 : Operate LED via browser on mobile or Laptop (inside Home network)

You can turn ON/OFF LED from your mobile browser or from any device which is inside your home network.


I enjoyed learning about ESP module by making this project, hope you shall enjoy too. There is lot more to learn abut this module and how to utilize this to satisfy your home automation needs. Next thing, I am learning is Souliss Framework for home automation. This framework can be installed on any Arduino and ESP modules. Let us make something out of Souliss next time.

Happy Making!!!

References :

Following blogs and online sources help me a lot in understanding the ESP and its different variants :


(Good to understand the latest ESP module and understand its basic PIN reference)


(This link does not provide instructions for latest module of ESP , but was handy for me to burn the program on ESP using Arduino IDE)


(Helped me to update the Arduino IDE to support  programming for ESP board)

Fritzing :



Maker Movement India : Fill in the Blanks

When I got exposed to Maker Movement about a year back, it was realization of existence of my own idea. I always wanted to have such a culture and space(Maker Space) around me to explore wide possibilities of making/innovation. I even thought of having fully equipped workshop for engineering / non-engineering students so they can utilized their after school time by engaging themselves with new ideas. Exposure to maker movement gave me different view point about this concept. Maker media then given me access to different types of projects, which I found very interesting and appealing.

Main entity of Maker Movement is Maker Faire, which gives platform to makers to showcase their projects/skills/talent (which most of the time goes unnoticed). To sustain Making culture, appreciation of making skills is necessary, which I suppose Maker Faire does it fairly. ( Till this time I only seen maker faire on internet, electronic media).

It is not the case that we Indians are not aware of making things, rather we are expert in making things (if we looks at our traditional collections). Though we have good skills like handicraft , hand loom etc , we never explore making culture in technology side. If we wish to explore this area of making , then it is necessary for our generation to set right environment and culture. I believe that Maker Movement can help us in setting up right environment .

There are quite few Maker Spaces popping around India, but we still need to have many more Maker Spaces/ Fab Labs around India, at least one in every medium size town. Arranging small small Maker Faires would attract more and more youngsters to these Maker Spaces.

Apart from setting up this infrastructure and creating right mind set among us, it is great responsibility of our generation to fill in the blanks to sustain Maker Eco-system in India.

Following picture shows Eco-system players in USA. Few of the players can become players in Indian Maker Culture too. But then we have to form a league which would take the roles of these players according to Maker Culture of India.


Fill in the Blanks : Please see if you can find the answers to players which have been strike out or are you ready to take that as an opportunity 🙂

Figure2-The_maker_ecosystem2 - Copy

Reference : http://dupress.com/articles/a-movement-in-the-making/

Maker spaces which I am aware of (In Maharashtra) :

I know there must be more maker spaces around, share if you know. Also share if you are aware of Maker Eco system players  in India.

Happy Making!!!

Atul N Yadav