ESP32-S2 Thing Plus Hookup Guide

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Software Overview

Installing the CP2104 USB Driver

Note: Make sure to manually install the driver for the CP210X with the following instructions. The driver that Windows auto-installs will not work with the auto-reset circuit on the board and cause serial uploads to fail.

Users will need to install the SiLabs CP2104 Driver, which can be found here: USB to UART Bridge VCP Driver

Note: If applicable, make sure you are using the proper driver files for your CPU architecture. This is usually indicated by a folder or file name with "x86" for 32-bit processors or "x64" for 64-bit processors.

Arduino IDE

Note: For first-time users, who have never programmed before and are looking to use the Arduino IDE, we recommend beginning with the SparkFun Inventor's Kit (SIK), which includes a simpler board like the Arduino Uno or SparkFun RedBoard and is designed to help users get started programming with the Arduino IDE.

Most users may already be familiar with the Arduino IDE and it's use. However, for those of you who have never heard the name Arduino before, feel free to check out the Arduino website. To get started with using the Arduino IDE, check out our tutorials below:

Installing an Arduino Library

How do I install a custom Arduino library? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino library using the Arduino Library Manager. For libraries not linked with the Arduino IDE, we will also go over manually installing an Arduino library.

What is an Arduino?

What is this 'Arduino' thing anyway? This tutorials dives into what an Arduino is and along with Arduino projects and widgets.

Installing Arduino IDE

A step-by-step guide to installing and testing the Arduino software on Windows, Mac, and Linux.

Installing Board Definitions in the Arduino IDE

How do I install a custom Arduino board/core? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino board definition using the Arduino Board Manager. We will also go over manually installing third-party cores, such as the board definitions required for many of the SparkFun development boards.

Install Board Definition

Installing Development Arduino Core:

Currently, the ESP32 Arduino core hasn't been updated to include support for the ESP32-S2. However, there is a branch in development that users can use to get a head start on their development in the Arduino IDE. For more information, please refer to the Installation Instructions from the GitHub repository. (*User will need to have Git installed and be familiar with utilizing the command prompt.)

  1. Install the latest ESP32 Arduino core, through the Ardiuno IDE Boards Manager.
  2. Locate the hardware folder for the Espressif ESP32 Arduino core. Depending on your operating system, IDE version, and IDE type (i.e. store App, .zip file installation, or .exe installation), the folder location may vary. For our computers, the folder for the Arduino IDE was located in the Documents folder. From there, depending on how the Arduino IDE was installed, the folder for the ESP32 Arduino core was in one of the following locations:
    • Arduino\hardware\espressif\esp32
    • ArduinoData\packages\esp32\hardware\esp32\<version_number>
  3. Delete the file contents.
    hardware folder contents
    Example of file contents. (Click to enlarge)
  4. Using the command prompt (or terminal), clone the master branch of the ESP32 Arduino core from the GitHub repository with the following command: git clone https://github.com/espressif/arduino-esp32.git
    cloning GItHub repo into folder
    Cloning GiHub repository. (Click to enlarge)
  5. Using the command prompt (or terminal), change directories into the arduino-esp32 folder. Then, update the submodules with the following command: git submodule update --init --recursive
    changing directory and updating submodule
    Updating submodules. (Click to enlarge)
  6. Move the contents from the arduino-esp folder up a directory (i.e. into the folder the arduino-esp folder resides in).
    moving file contents
    Moving the file contents back into the appropriate directory. (Click to enlarge)

    *In step 4, users could also have modified the command to clone the GitHub repository into the current directory, but the command varies by system:
    • git clone https://github.com/espressif/arduino-esp32.git .\
    • git clone https://github.com/espressif/arduino-esp32.git && \

  7. Using the command prompt (or terminal), change directories into the tools folder. Then, execute the get.py (or get.exe) file (depending on your operating system) to install the required tools. Using the command prompt, this is done with the command: python get.py. For more details, please refer to the Installation Instructions from the GitHub repository.
    install tools
    Installing required tools. (Click to enlarge)

Users should now, be able to open the Arduino IDE and select the ESP32-S2 Thing Plus board and upload code.

board selection
ESP32-S2 Thing Plus is available in the board options. (Click to enlarge)
code upload
Successfully uploading code to the ESP32-S2 Thing Plus. (Click to enlarge)

Note: Once Espressif releases a new Arduino core supporting the ESP32-S2, users will need to uninstall (and possibly manually delete the installed files), from the instructions above; before re-installing the latest board definitions.

Install the latest ESP32 board definitions in the Arduino IDE.

Installing Board Definitions in the Arduino IDE

September 9, 2020

How do I install a custom Arduino board/core? It's easy! This tutorial will go over how to install an Arduino board definition using the Arduino Board Manager. We will also go over manually installing third-party cores, such as the board definitions required for many of the SparkFun development boards.

Note: For more instructions, users can follow this tutorial on Installing Additional Cores provided by Arduino. Users will also need the .json file for the Espressif Arduino Core:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/espressif/arduino-esp32/gh-pages/package_esp32_index.json