Espressif ESP32-S2-Saola-1R development boards

On account of wanting to assess the power use of the ESP32-S2, not long ago I bought a WROOM module programmer on Tindie, mostly because there's a dearth of the single core ESP32-S2 in the wild. Most Espressif powered boards either use the dual core ESP32 or are still using the ESP8266.

Like most manufacturers, Espressif have their own development boards, but they're not widely sold. The ESP32-S2 variant, the Saola-1, is actually very affordably priced, only ~£5 and on release I considered buying some but the postage from any of the stockists was double the board cost.

Given I was ordering something else already that took me over the free delivery threshold, I tacked a couple of these onto my order. Now I have some boards that are easier to work with than the module programmer, which is nice but not really breadboard friendly.

These official development boards are well made and 'just work'. They're reminiscent of the original NodeMCU, slightly too long for a mini-breadboard and with nice sturdy tactile buttons connected to the reset and GPIO0 for programming. Not that you'll need them, auto-reset/program works like you'd expect.

There's a lack of clutter, beyond a single WS2812 RGB LED, connected to GPIO18.

You can buy them in both WROOM and WROVER variants and with/without a PCB antenna. I picked up the WROVER as I want to experiment with using the 2MB of PSRAM. My plan is to use this for storing bigger data structures than most microcontrollers can deal with, mostly as a big cache of messages sent over my mesh network so that they can be 'retained' for a fixed time if a node is temporarily unreachable.

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