How to Install the ESP8266 Board into the Arduino IDE

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There are a variety of development environments that can be used to program the ESP8266. The ESP8266 community created an add-on for the Arduino IDE that allows you to program the ESP8266 using the Arduino IDE and its programming language.

Downloading Arduino IDE

First download the Arduino IDE to ensure that you have the latest software version (some older versions won’t work), visit the following URL: https://www.arduino.cc/en/Main/Software.

Then select your operating system and download the latest software release of the Arduino IDE.

Installing Arduino IDE

Grab the file that you have just downloaded and open the Arduino IDE application file (see Figure below).

openning arduino ide

When the Arduino IDE first opens, this is what you should see:

Arduino IDE screenshot

Installing the ESP8266 Board

To install the ESP8266 board in your Arduino IDE, follow these next instructions:

1) Open the preferences window from the Arduino IDE. Go to File > Preferences

2) Enter http://arduino.esp8266.com/stable/package_esp8266com_index.json into Additional Board Manager URLs field and click the “OK” button

Arduino IDE preferences

3) Open boards manager. Go to Tools > Board > Boards Manager…

Arduino IDE boards manager

4) Scroll down, select the ESP8266 board menu and install “esp8266 platform”

installing esp board

5) Choose your ESP8266 board from Tools > Board > Generic ESP8266 Module

Arduino IDE select esp8266

6) Finally, re-open your Arduino IDE

Testing the Installation

To test the ESP8266 add-on installation, let’s see if we can blink an LED with the ESP8266 using the Arduino programming language.

Parts List:

Here’s the hardware that you need to complete this project:

Click the image above, to see on ebay.

Click the image above, to see on ebay.

Uploading Code

To upload code to your ESP follow these schematics:

ESP8266 FlasherThen upload the sketch below to your ESP using the Arduino IDE. You should see “Done Uploading” after a few seconds.

Note: You have to select your FTDI’s port number under the Tools > Port menu of the Arduino IDE.

Demonstration

Now assemble this simple circuit and add an LED to your ESP. Your LED should be blinking every 1 second.

ESP8266 Blinking an LED

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