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Thread: What does your ESP32 setup look like?

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    Default What does your ESP32 setup look like?

    So in this case, I'm referring to non premade products (example like an espixel stick). For people who are using an esp32 board as a controller, I'm curious what your finished product looks like. When you look up people connecting pixels with them, it's usually examples showing breadboards with various parts and wires. I'm assuming people aren't using the breadboard circuit as the final product when they are running their show outside. I'm especially curious for things like ESP32-CAM boards or ESP32 D32 Pro type. Can people describe their setup from the board to the pixels? Even better, post some pictures or examples of what your going to use in the field.

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    Default Re: What does your ESP32 setup look like?

    You can design your own Esp shields using breadboard for testing/perfecting then proto boards to build them out.
    Once you are content with the design and performance , send out to a pcb house for manufacture or just use the proto .

    If you are not inclined for a DIY variant , try web search for Esp shields/neo pixels and you should find something of interest .

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    Default Re: What does your ESP32 setup look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by angus40 View Post
    You can design your own Esp shields using breadboard for testing/perfecting then proto boards to build them out.
    Once you are content with the design and performance , send out to a pcb house for manufacture or just use the proto .

    If you are not inclined for a DIY variant , try web search for Esp shields/neo pixels and you should find something of interest .
    Thanks Angus. I was curious what people generally do. Do most of you go with a proto board in the field? I knew some people do custom pcb's, I just didn't know if it was common. Or if most people opted for a commercial shield. First year trying out these esp32-cam boards and hoping to go down the right path that isn't going to result in frustration or changing course

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    Default Re: What does your ESP32 setup look like?

    The Esp32 Cam is a stop gap in my view as it is limited . I do like that it has an antenna and would be a good board to experiment with and learn from.

    Ideally the LOLIN D32 Pro would be a better choice for maintaining course I would say.

    Regardless of your ESP board choice you will need to experiment with your intended usage and components that will be required to support that usage .
    I would suggest doing this experimentation with a breadboard first , then move to a protoboard once you are confident of your design. On the proto I'd suggest using ic sockets and female headers where ever possible .

    Also, a well designed proto is fine in the field if in a proper enclosure.
    Have fun a DIY something unique

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    Default Re: What does your ESP32 setup look like?

    I'm assuming people aren't using the breadboard circuit as the final product when they are running their show outside.
    Actually, yes. The breadboard isn't the problem--it's the jumper wires. Those pop right out way too easily. Instead of that, I use similar gauge solid core wire. That can press down flat (where you can clamp it down), and it will take a good deal of force to pull it out. I have a box of proto shields collecting dust, because the need simply hasn't arisen.

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    Default Re: What does your ESP32 setup look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1pet2_9 View Post
    Actually, yes. The breadboard isn't the problem--it's the jumper wires. Those pop right out way too easily. Instead of that, I use similar gauge solid core wire. That can press down flat (where you can clamp it down), and it will take a good deal of force to pull it out. I have a box of proto shields collecting dust, because the need simply hasn't arisen.
    I am not understanding this reply . For clarity are you suggesting he use a breadboard circuit ?

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    Default Re: What does your ESP32 setup look like?

    Do experimentation with the breadboard, and if the need arises, move on to something else before going live and in the elements. For me, the need simply has not arisen. The real thing making the circuit flaky is the jumper wire--not the breadboard. So if you swap out all the jumper wires with just solid core wire that will fit in the breadboard and in the female headers on the ESP, you can clamp down the wire flat, weatherproof it, and call it a day. I have had actors in theater literally wearing breadboards under their costumes. Don't tell anybody okay? This secret is between you, me, and everybody on the internet.

    edit: well okay, the need has arisen. That's why we have falcon boards.
    Last edited by 1pet2_9; 10-10-2021 at 06:29 PM.

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    Default Re: What does your ESP32 setup look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by 1pet2_9 View Post
    Do experimentation with the breadboard, and if the need arises, move on to something else before going live and in the elements. For me, the need simply has not arisen. The real thing making the circuit flaky is the jumper wire--not the breadboard. So if you swap out all the jumper wires with just solid core wire that will fit in the breadboard and in the female headers on the ESP, you can clamp down the wire flat, weatherproof it, and call it a day. I have had actors in theater literally wearing breadboards under their costumes. Don't tell anybody okay? This secret is between you, me, and everybody on the internet.

    edit: well okay, the need has arisen. That's why we have falcon boards.
    Whatever works for you there sounds good as it is DIY !

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    Default Re: What does your ESP32 setup look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by angus40 View Post
    The Esp32 Cam is a stop gap in my view as it is limited . I do like that it has an antenna and would be a good board to experiment with and learn from.

    Ideally the LOLIN D32 Pro would be a better choice for maintaining course I would say.

    Regardless of your ESP board choice you will need to experiment with your intended usage and components that will be required to support that usage .
    I would suggest doing this experimentation with a breadboard first , then move to a protoboard once you are confident of your design. On the proto I'd suggest using ic sockets and female headers where ever possible .

    Also, a well designed proto is fine in the field if in a proper enclosure.
    Have fun a DIY something unique
    Hey angus, I know the d32 pro can technically handle more, but could you explain why the esp32-cam feels like a stopgap in your view? And yes, I will absolutely be testing and refining things on a breadboard to begin with. I know the esp32s can handle multiple outputs. My understanding though is that you want the pixels fairly close to the board. You don't want a long run before the first pixel. So with my layout and the relatively cheap cam boards, I reasoned may be easier to do 3 or 4 of them each with a few outputs instead of having a central one branching out to various areas. Although I've been told the esp32 can handle quite a large number of pixels, a lot of the examples I saw were about strips and matrixes. Dense spacing. My pixels are ws2811 bullets with 4" spacing. So for example my minitrees are 800 pixels combined (8 trees x 100 pixels) . A number the esp32 should be able to handle easily. However each string of 100 is over 33' and then times 8 trees... I'm really wondering if one little esp32 output will drive 266'8" without issue. I'm guessing at the least I need a shifter

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    Default Re: What does your ESP32 setup look like?

    Quote Originally Posted by XmasinVancouver View Post
    Hey angus, I know the d32 pro can technically handle more, but could you explain why the esp32-cam feels like a stopgap in your view? And yes, I will absolutely be testing and refining things on a breadboard to begin with. I know the esp32s can handle multiple outputs. My understanding though is that you want the pixels fairly close to the board. You don't want a long run before the first pixel. So with my layout and the relatively cheap cam boards, I reasoned may be easier to do 3 or 4 of them each with a few outputs instead of having a central one branching out to various areas. Although I've been told the esp32 can handle quite a large number of pixels, a lot of the examples I saw were about strips and matrixes. Dense spacing. My pixels are ws2811 bullets with 4" spacing. So for example my minitrees are 800 pixels combined (8 trees x 100 pixels) . A number the esp32 should be able to handle easily. However each string of 100 is over 33' and then times 8 trees... I'm really wondering if one little esp32 output will drive 266'8" without issue. I'm guessing at the least I need a shifter
    You have well covered the term stop gap of the esp cam vs the esp d32 . For fpp and low pixel count loading the cam module would appear fine and may suit your usage . The cam board has less pins than the esp32 mini but does have the benefit of sd card and an antenna .
    There is +'s and -'s there with this board and they may or may not be able to utilize the full potential of Espixelstick firmware .( that said I haven't vested time in experimenting with this board, though I do have a few to play with )

    I definitely like the idea of the level shifter especially for a multi gpio controller .If you are running long distance ethernet cable ,RobG's null pixel, power injection and possibly receiver boards all will play their own roles in this regard .

    It's great to see you are experimenting with the Esp32 as with thanks to Martin pixels stick firmware has advanced for this module more so than the Esp8266 .

    In the near future I will be purchase the d32 or equivalent for fpp and Espixelstick play.
    I have a plate to full currently .

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