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.
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
Step 3 - Setting Connection Parameters
Go to the Access tab, where you need to set the primary settings for the controller:
- Wi-Fi access - parameters (name and password) for connecting the controller to your Wi-Fi network.
- Name - the name of the controller in the network (in Latin characters).
- Password - the password for accessing the controller.
- Board Hotspot - emergency connection parameters to the controller if it can't find your Wi-Fi network. By default, the current settings will be displayed. It's highly recommended to change these for security reasons!
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.