The nice folks at Wiznet sent a contest solicitation. They offered to send us a module for entering, so we thought we'd take a look. We found a very fast and useful wifi component for our future boards!
-Sean and Connor 7/8/2022
At first, I thought I was looking at a NodeMCU 2 ESP8266 Microcontroller. However, what I found was that the EVB-MINI does not have a board in the Arduino Board manager. Instead, you would need to locate its SDK - which is somewhat like the Arduino IDE, but requires a lot more research and data gathering to figure it out. There isn't much of a community around it - so we aim to make a heck of a blog on it for the contest so others can readily get started with it.
To access its money maker, the Wizfi360 chip, you can connect to any microcontroller's serial pins to allow for Arduino IDE programming, but can't be treated as a board all by itself under the Arduino IDE. No big deal, though - as its meant to be part of your designs - not someone else's. So, after opening the box, we explored its core functionality of its Wizfi360 chip as controlled by AT commands.
If you are new to AT commands, it's just a way to use serial communication to send text commands to a device - in this case the Wizfi360. AT commands date back to 1981 for the Hayes smartmodem. A few of you may remember those Commodore Vic 20 days. Good times.
You would use this module with microcontrollers that do not already have a wifi module built in. Ultimately, you'd use it as a component on your own custom board for a specific device you are building. For us, we would use it in a custom board design to send commands to "the cloud" - basically, we'd hit our separate cloud web page (aka endpoint) with some text and the web application would trigger a routine or pass a message onward through email or to another web api like IFTTT. These days, we love C# .Net 6 for that web app endpoint.
To use it for hobby/home projects, here is the gist of it:
Our project is to make an online Steam Trap monitoring device for industrial freeze protection tracing systems. We'll add it to our projects page once complete.
Learn more at Wiznet.