TwilightLord's ESP32 Dev Board Aims to Improve on the WeMos D1 Mini ESP32 and Its Various Clones

Improvements include a more efficient ESP32 module, double the flash, USB Type-C with ESD protection, 800mA LDO, and more.

Maker TwilightLord has launched a customised Arduino-compatible Espressif ESP32-powered development board, building on the popular WeMos D1 Mini ESP32 but offering a selection of improvements — including the latest ESP32-WROOM module and twice as much flash storage.

"After receiving too many boards that were DOA (dead-on-arrival) or that came with cheap power regulators causing power resets," pseudonymous maker TwilightLord writes, "I decided to design my own dev board."

The resulting design mimics that of the WeMos D1 Mini ESP32, but offers a range of upgrades — starting with the module which has been shifted to Espressif's ESP32-WROOM-32E, a newer revision offering improved power consumption. The flash memory has been upgraded, too, at 8MB — "double what most dev boards offer," TwilightLord notes.

Other changes include a move to USB Type-C for data and power input, with full electrostatic discharge protection on the port, a 750mA PTC fuse, 800mA linear 3.3V low-dropout regulator, additional capacitors for improved power stability, a CP2014 USB-to-UART chip offer 2Mbps connectivity, physical boot and reset buttons, and an auto-program circuit.

There's a shift in physical layout, however: The redesigned board uses two 9-pin general-purpose input/output (GPIO) header rows in place of the usual two 10-pin layout - "since," TwilightLord explains, "WROOM-32E drops a few pins (connected to internal flash.)" The pinout remains compatible with 20-pin projects, though: "Skip the first pin (next to USB connector) if plugging it into a 10-pin header."

The board is now available on TwilightLord's Tindie store, priced at $9.99 without headers; male headers are available at $0.40 extra, double rows of female headers at $0.50 extra, and both options at $0.90 extra.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire:
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