ESP8266 Thing Hookup Guide

Contributors: jimblom
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Over the past year, the ESP8266 has been a growing star among IoT or WiFi-related projects. It's an extremely cost-effective WiFi module, that -- with a little extra effort -- can be programmed just like any microcontroller. Unfortunately, the ESP8266 has mostly only been available in a tiny, modular form, which, with limited I/O and a funky pin-out, can be difficult to build a project around.

WiFi Module - ESP8266

WiFi Module - ESP8266


The ESP8266 WiFi module. Great for piggybacking onto an Arduino, hard to build a project around.

SparkFun's new development board for the ESP8266 breaks out all of the module's pins, and comes equipped with a LiPo charger, power supply, and all of the other supporting circuitry it requires. We lovingly call it the Thing -- it's the perfect foundation for your Internet of Things.

SparkFun ESP8266 Thing

SparkFun ESP8266 Thing


Covered in this Tutorial

This tutorial will familiarize you with all things SparkFun Thing. It's split into sections, which cover:

Required Materials

To follow along with this tutorial, and get up-and-running with the Thing, you may need a few extra tools and materials. This wishlist includes everything we use in this tutorial to program and use the Thing:

Suggested Reading

Before continuing on with this tutorial, you may want to familiarize yourself with some of these topics if they're unfamiliar to you: