If you are assembling the controller on your own, you will need to load firmware into it. You can do this manually by simply downloading the bin file from the corresponding project page and then, using third-party software, upload it to the ESP8266 chip (more on this in the Firmware Upload section). Alternatively, you can use our programming app, SmartESP. This application is designed for the Windows OS family and greatly simplifies working with the controller. With its help, you can carry out all necessary tasks: initialize a new controller, connect and set up a WiFi connection, upload the respective project firmware, and perform other settings.

The app is available for free! However, the firmware installed on the controller operates in a demo mode, which lasts for 10 minutes after each controller startup. After registration, you'll be able to obtain a perpetual license for each controller, which will operate without limitations.

Download SmartESP v3.2

Step 1 - Preparation and Connection

Download the SmartESP app archive file and unpack it on your computer. To load the firmware onto the controller, you'll need to connect it to your computer via a USB cable. Connect the Wemos D1 mini controller to your computer and identify the port it's connected to, for instance COM3 (this can be easily determined using the "Device Manager").

If you find that you can't locate the new COM device in the list, it means you need to install a driver. You can determine which driver you need by looking at the chip on the board; for controllers like the WeMos D1 mini, it's typically either CH340 or CP2104


Step 2 - Initialization

Launch the SmartESP application, select the COM port to which the controller is connected, and press the Connect button. A connection will be established and the ONLINE indicator will light up. You can then proceed to execute the initialization by pressing the corresponding Initialize button. The WAIT indicator will light up and the initialization firmware writing procedure will begin. Upon successful completion of this process, the READY indicator will turn on.


Step 3 - Setting Connection Parameters

Go to the Access tab, where you need to set the primary settings for the controller:

Please note that in the emergency access point mode, the controller operates only if it fails to connect to the specified Wi-Fi network upon startup. Additionally, its operation time in this mode is limited to one hour. After this, it automatically restarts and tries to connect to your Wi-Fi network again. If the controller successfully connects to your Wi-Fi network but loses the connection later on, it will continuously attempt to reestablish the connection without switching to the access point mode or restarting.

Click on the Save button, and the controller will reboot. After this, it will attempt to connect to your Wi-Fi network. If successful, you will see the message GOT ACCESS TO WI-FI, followed by the IP address of the controller within your Wi-Fi network, which was assigned by your router. Make sure to note down this IP address, as you'll need it later to connect the controller to the SmartESP server.



Step 4 - Installing the Firmware

Go to the Firmware tab and select which project's firmware you want to load onto the controller. Please note that an internet connection will be required to complete this step. First, the firmware will be downloaded from the server, and then it will be written to the controller. After the firmware has been installed, the controller will restart, and its LED will blink slowly before turning off. This indicates that your WiFi network has been detected and the controller has successfully connected to it.

You can go to the Setup tab or open the controller's web page in your browser to check and set other settings. However, it's more convenient to do this on the SmartESP server, so, knowing the IP address of the controller, it is better to proceed to the next step - adding the controller to the server.