A simple breakout-board PCB to make it easier to design circuits using the ESP-WROOM-02 ESP8266 module.

The ESP8266 is an interesting combination of microcontroller and WiFi connectivity, which is a great fit for lots of the projects we build here at MCQN Ltd.

Lots of the ESP8266 projects out there, including most of the available breakout boards, use the AI-Thinker modules but we had trouble tracking down a supplier of those with an FCC/CE certification. They definitely exist—the Adafruit Huzzah, for example, uses one—but we found the Espressif ESP-WROOM-02 modules were more readily available.

So the ESP-WROOM-02 gave us the certification that we need if we’re going to put these modules into products of our own but gave us a different problem—there weren’t any breakout boards using it.

That was a problem that wouldn’t be too hard to solve, and gave birth to this project.

It’s a pretty trivial board, to be honest, but that’s because we wanted something to let us easily breadboard circuits that we’d then transfer to new PCB designs. The lack of any other components makes it less likely that we’d forget anything when designing a new board.

In some ways it’s just a step along the development of the Ackers Bell but as we’ll use it for other projects in future it made sense to separate it out into its own thing.

Once we’d done that, releasing it as open source so that others can take advantage of our work was a no-brainer.