Soldering the ESP32-WROOM to PCB

First post, yay! That is it for the introduction. In the upcoming time, I plan to publish a series of articles. As you can assume, from the website name lab4IoT, most of the articles will deal with things related to IoT (Internet of Things, we are all in the hype cycle.) The articles will consist of diverse tests with various chips/ICs and their modes of operation. The selection of devices, ICs under test will be made related to building a fully functional IoT device. Please do not hesitate to suggest something that may be relevant to the published writings on this site.

These days everything, that can be made wireless, autonomous or some kind of self-sustainable represents a hot topic in the industry. In this article, you will only see a video of me soldering the ESP32-WROOM to its PCB (Printed Circuit Board). ESP32 is a tiny microcontroller that can connect wirelessly to a WiFi network as well as Bluetooth. That being said, you can transmit and receive any kind of data to/from your built device. Since other articles will relate to this chip and some of you may want to reproduce my results, you will have to have the same set of tools/devices. Therefore, to avoid any confusion I will try to provide you with all the details, even with boring videos like this one. Probably you will ask yourself why not get a fully functional ESP32 board, with everything already soldered on it and a USB programmer on it. Well, the answer is easy. To get accurate test results the chip should operate with the bare minimum components. Even an LDO chip, low dropout voltage regulator, or an LED on the board consumes extra current that would affect our measured results, let’s say of the ESP32 power consumption. It would provide us with the wrong result data and give us a hard time to debug and find a solution to our problem. In other words, you would have a hard time matching the specified data in the datasheet, for example, the sleeping mode current consumption. Aside from the explained issue, it is good to know what are the bare minimum components to get the device fully operational to reduce the BOM (Bill of Materials.) At the end of the video, you will note that I spent a good amount of time on inspecting my soldering joints. Why? By assuring every step has been done properly may save you some extra debugging time later.

As I publish these articles, my goal is to learn. Thus do not hesitate to correct me, as well as to learn with me. Leave a comment if you want to suggest something.

Refik Hadzialic Written by:

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