Engineering student Miguel Reis has designed a board to solve common issues with using the ESP8266-01 breakout in breadboarded projects — including voltage conversion and the boot-up current-spike problem.
"If you ever tried to tinker around the ESP8266-01 you've probably realised you can't plug it in directly on your breadboard," writes Reis of the problems that led to his design. "Then you also realised it doesn't run on 5V, so you need to convert the voltage down to 3.3V. And afterwards you realised your ESP doesn't boot up because of initial current spike."
The solution: The ESP-01 Breadboard Adaptor/Mount, an open hardware board which hosts a standard ESP8266-01 breakout board and converts its pins for use with a breadboard while also hosting enough hardware to solve the above issues.
The board, which can either have an ESP8266-01 breakout soldered directly onto its edge or host an optional female header for quick connection and removal, includes an SPX3819 3.3V regulator, capacitors on the power lines to resolve the current spike issue, a boot switch, a reset switch, and a pair of LEDs. The first LED lights up when power is applied to the board; the second is user-controllable on the D2 digital output.
More information on the design can be found on Reis' project page, along with schematics and Gerber files for the PCB; pre-made boards are available through the μInventions Tindie store for $3 currently reduced to $2.70, though shipments are currently on hold pending additional stock of the 3.3V regulator part.