Are all ESP32's created the same??

joehaase
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Are all ESP32's created the same??

Postby joehaase » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:04 am

So I am fairly fluent in programming, and have been working with c for in excess of 20 years. I have several complex projects under my belt using the Arduino series of boards, but for the life of me, I am feeling defeated with this ESP32 M3 I got on amazon. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BJ ... UTF8&psc=1

I saw ESP32 8285 and figured what the heck could go wrong??

Well after working with this for over a week now, I am ready to throw it in the trash... The system seems to be VERY unstable. I am inundated with constant reboots and stack dumps. When I trace the stack dumps, it comes back to 60ish faults... all of them pointing to other files not in my program.

Although the project is a little complex (GPS data logger with SD shield and automatic FTP file transfer to a central server), If I comment everything out except the basic wifi connect routine, it still randomly crashes. Yes I know power is the number one issue on these guys, but I have ruled that out, as I am pumping a 1.5amp 5v power supply into it, and still no luck.


I am always leary of knockoffs, as Amazon seems to be flooded with them.

So with that, are all ESP's created the same? And if not, what ones are the best? I am looking to deply this project hands off for a few months at a time at sea, and the last thing I want is stability affecting if it works or not.

Thanks! ~Joe

ESP_Sprite
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Re: Are all ESP32's created the same??

Postby ESP_Sprite » Thu Aug 09, 2018 1:39 am

FWIW, that board has an ESP8266 (actually a variant of that called the ESP8285), not an ESP32. If you program that thing with ESP32 code, I have no doubts it'll crash in a horrible way.

To answer your headline question: Yes, all ESP32s are created the same; they all originate from a silicon waver made for us by TSMC. The boards they're put on may vary in quality, however. That being said, as an Espressif employee I can tell you that Espressif DevkitC modules probably would be the best replacement for them (given that you indeed need an ESP32), and that they are very stable. You can get them directly from Espressif (I think? I'm not a sales guy...) but it may be better to grab them from reputable electronics companies like Digikey, Elector, OIimex, Mouser etc. if you want to make sure it's the real deal.

joehaase
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Re: Are all ESP32's created the same??

Postby joehaase » Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:24 am

ESP_Sprite... thanks for the reply. When using the Arduino libraries, I am using the board for generic ESP8285. I took your advice and ordered a pair of https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0754 ... UTF8&psc=1.

Now onto my first problem with these new boards... how to power them lol. The other ones had a VIN header, so I could run my 12v right into that... but I don't see that option on these. I can't power them off of USB cable because of the environment (motion will typically work a cable out in a week or so).

Thanks again for the feedback and advice.

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fly135
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Re: Are all ESP32's created the same??

Postby fly135 » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:01 pm

Joe,

I've been working on a commercial ESP32 based project for the last 8 months and have found the chip and IDF to be very stable. The biggest problems I've had with it is reliable wifi transfers in a crowded wifi environment. My project has 10 user tasks in addition to the base library tasks. The ESP32 is continuously reading audio data over I2S and performing analysis on it, reading various sensors over I2C and ADC, posting data to the cloud, reading pubnub packets, parsing json, and doing OTAs on demand. Have no fear, it's a good chip.

John A

Here's the board you want...

https://www.amazon.com/Espressif-ESP32- ... p32+devkit

If you want to cheap this should work too....

https://www.amazon.com/IZOKEE-Developme ... p32+devkit

joehaase
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Re: Are all ESP32's created the same??

Postby joehaase » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:05 pm

John, thanks for the reply... I actually ordered a 2 pack of this earlier this morning!

This particular project records data on boats in a area, and should upload it directly to our FTP server to be processed at a later date. The key to this one being a success is that it has to be 100% hands off. The code I wrote can tell when a boat is docked, and searches for either a stored wifi or open wifi and uploads changed files from the SD card. Most of the files are around 2 megs per day, and uploads are fairly fast.

This means I can ship a unit out to be installed, and all it needs is 12v power and 2 standard data lines. No interaction from the end user should be needed at all. It's a beautiful thing when I can get all the pieces to work together lol

rodmcm
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Re: Are all ESP32's created the same??

Postby rodmcm » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:16 am

I also have had similar reboot problems which seems to be due to the USB connected power supply. Once the ESPs are powered remotely with a stable supply no problems.. There is quite a power draw when the ESP connects to WIFI and it looks as if the USB power supply was limiting the unit.

Been using ESP32 for about a year with little problem other than the above

This was discussed on another thread but I cant find it at the moment

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fly135
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Location: Orlando, FL

Re: Are all ESP32's created the same??

Postby fly135 » Fri Aug 10, 2018 5:45 pm

joehaase wrote:This means I can ship a unit out to be installed, and all it needs is 12v power and 2 standard data lines. No interaction from the end user should be needed at all. It's a beautiful thing when I can get all the pieces to work together lol
Sounds like a cool project. How do you deal with no interaction from the user and the potential need to have stored wifi parameters? For our application a factory default unit advertises in BLE mode and can be configured from a phone. After that it's 100% hands off. I also put in logic to automatically start up BLE if the wifi repeatedly fails to connect to configured AP. So the user can reconfigure the wifi parameters if the puck gets moved or APs change.

John A

joehaase
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Re: Are all ESP32's created the same??

Postby joehaase » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:16 pm

Ahh.... the easiest way was to scan all the open networks. From there the list was narrowed down to SSIDs with no encryption. Once I have that list, the script picks the one with the best RRSI level.

Is it perfect and 100% reliable?, not at all lol... but will it allow me to gather data more than once a year from them sending it back? I hope!

Even if users used the data connection on their cell phones, all they have to do is turn off encryption and it will automatically find it and connect.

joehaase
Posts: 8
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:51 am

Re: Are all ESP32's created the same??

Postby joehaase » Fri Aug 10, 2018 7:17 pm

rodmcm wrote:I also have had similar reboot problems which seems to be due to the USB connected power supply. Once the ESPs are powered remotely with a stable supply no problems.. There is quite a power draw when the ESP connects to WIFI and it looks as if the USB power supply was limiting the unit.

Been using ESP32 for about a year with little problem other than the above

This was discussed on another thread but I cant find it at the moment
I'll have to find how to wire it in hardwired. Got me new ones in today, and they connected up and downloaded no problem.

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