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Thoughts on the Parallax WX ESP8266 Module — Parallax Forums

Thoughts on the Parallax WX ESP8266 Module

iseriesiseries Posts: 1,003
edited 2019-05-29 11:40 in Accessories
I think this unit should have been designed with the ESP-WROOM 32D module instead of the ESP-WROOM 02.

The cost difference between the units is only about $1. and would have given that back in function.

Currently there is only the RN42 Bluetooth module that is out dated and lacks BLE. With the WROOM 32 that unit could have been replaced.

With the addition of Bluetooth we could connect to those speaker units and smart watches and used BLE for near communications.

While additional code would need to be developed to make that work I think there is a lot of potential here for no cost.

Even on the Badge WX instead of using IR we could have used BLE to send customer information or played music through a Bluetooth speaker.



  • VonSzarvasVonSzarvas Posts: 2,415
    edited 2019-05-29 12:36
    As I recall, the ESP-32 was not even released when the Parallax WX module was made!!!
    And for sure, the price difference was much more when BadgeWX was conceived.
    I'm actually amazed it could only be $1 difference now; although I've not looked for a long time.

    What it seems like, is that you'd like Parallax to develop a Bluetooth module ??
    That's not a bad idea, and I have to agree it could be a handy module. I'll pass the suggestion on to sales.

    As for your comment: "While additional code would need to be developed to make that work I think there is a lot of potential here for no cost."

    Does that mean, you'd offer to develop the code for no-cost if Parallax produced the hardware ? Or you know someone that would ?
    If so, that might make some sort of community effort product more viable, based around the ESP-WROOM-32. The source for the Parallax WX module is OpenSource and on GitHub after-all.

  • The code that is already running on the ESP8266 would require no change.

    There would be just some new code added to enable the Bluetooth functions so they could be used. Not to hard to due.

    The ESP-32 has been out for over a year now.

  • VonSzarvasVonSzarvas Posts: 2,415
    edited 2018-10-17 12:53
    iseries wrote: »
    There would be just some new code added to enable the Bluetooth functions

    Yeah, but I don't know if that could be "no cost" work. @"David Betz" did the firmware on the WX module, so he may have some idea of the potential cost/time/possibility of adding bluetooth code.
    iseries wrote: »
    The ESP-32 has been out for over a year now.

    Exactly... This is probably the misunderstanding.
    The Parallax WX module was released over 2 years ago, and development started almost a year before that! Well before ESP-32 was available.

    Regardless... Bluetooth would be handy for a fair few projects.

    In the misty deeps of my mind, I seem to recall there was a basic implementation on the forums somewhere, few years ago, that showed how to hook up one of the $1 USB Bluetooth adapters to the Propeller 1. Maybe that would work for what you've got in mind ? If I can remember the users name I'll post it later. It's on the tip of my tongue right now!

    Edit: Got it.... search for posts on USB by @scanlime
  • Integrating BLE into the WX firmware would not be "no cost" work. Doing a good API design and implementation would be a significant amount of work. I have a ESP32 module and made an initial attempt at porting the WX firmware to it and I don't think it would be too difficult. The SDK has changed a fair amount from the one we used but I think it's actually gotten easier to use not harder so porting the wifi code should be relatively easy if Parallax were to create an ESP32 module.
  • It seems to me the big cost of the WX module is the power supply and level shifters. This could be version 2 of the product yielding more functionality and making the board more attractive to developers.

    Since the interface would not be changing it would be a drop in replacement and could be backwards compatible with the existing code.

  • Another possible problem is that I think the ESP32 draws more power than the ESP8266. That might make it less desirable for the WX badge.
  • WhitWhit Posts: 4,169
    I've really been enjoying all that can be done with WX module and the Badge WX.

    Better tech always comes along. If everybody waited for "Best" nothing would ever be developed.

    I am always fascinated by how technology on robots like the Mars Curiosity Rover shows its age by the time it in use. But again - builders, engineers have to use what is available at the time.
  • In addition to the ESP32 not existing when the WX module was released, by the time the WX module came out there had been a tremendous amount of development by the hacking community figuring out how to use the ESP8266. Much of that work -- including translating the original documentation from Chinese -- had to be done again for the ESP32, which is not at all directly compatible with the ESP8266. Indeed, support does not exist to this day for the ESP32 for functions which had been made common and simple on the ESP8266 two years ago.
  • roadrunner3g.roadrunner3g. Posts: 6
    edited 2019-05-29 12:30
    i have been using the HC-06 bt module for 2-3 yr now with the bs2 and the keuwl bluetooth app.
    you can get them on e-bay for about $2.
    it works great with the build your own controller. here is a sample code block that i use for many bots.

    SERIN rx,84,100,mode,[bt]
    'DEBUG DEC bt
    SELECT bt
    CASE <= 58
    bt = bt - 48
    CASE <= 91
    bt = bt - 55
    CASE <= 123
    bt = bt - 61

    DEBUG " bt>",DEC bt, "<bt "
    BRANCH bt, [na,forr,tr,revv,tl,rt,rtr,ltr,lt,sl,sr,fll,rf,bl,br,beep,lazer]
    ' 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

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