Happy Wi-fi, Happy Life

How it started

In order to communicate with the user on the desktop app, we need to have wireless networking on LitSpin. We looked at several options in the beginning and landed on an ESP32. We put it aside for a while working on chosing other components and working on other sides of the electronics. The subject came back while working on the mainboard.

Backup plan

Since CyL3D (last year’s POV display project) had a USB wi-fi dongle, Alexis suggested that we use the same method in order to be able to work on making LitSpin work and use make the ESP32 work in the meantime.

Then came the choice between an ESP32 devkitC or an ESP32-WROOM. The first is a more complete and easy to use “breadboard friendly” with an integrated usb port and buttons for easier programming of the ROM. The second one is the chip that is on the devkit C but without the additional USB to UART processing required to flash the ESP32.

We figured we’d go with the devkit C but after an attempt at routing everything on the mainboard with the target size, we decided to basically take the schematics of the devkit and route it ourselves on our board.

The decision

The final choice for the wi-fi will be to only use the USB wi-fi dongle. Making the ESP32 work would take more time than we have so Alexis made the choice to give up on it. With the embedded Linux distribution, the wi-fi should work well and allow us to work on other aspects on the project.

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