recently i was using ESP8266(ESP-01) with mega8A to log temperature to Thingspeak.com.Setup was running successfully.But after a long run of 4 days,my esp8266 failed for the first time.I flashed different new version of firmware 2-3 times,but soon after 2/3 hours of run,every time the ESP8266 failed.Now it's returning garbage characters on UART randomly all by itself(without giving any command to it). I think these modules are pretty cheap and they have no guarantee for long run.Although i ordered another ESP8266(ESP-12) for second testing for long run.

My question is:Is it worthy to stick with the ESP8266 modules and use another version for stability or should I consider another alternative?? Xbee-wifi looks promising but will Xbee-wifi fulfill my needs regarding this particular project aspect??Please answer and also mention if any other alternative available....

  • \$\begingroup\$ How are you powering your device? I've seen it before when people try and power it from the same 5V as their microcontroller. These devices are not rated for 5V you'll need a logic level converter or a 3.3V regulator \$\endgroup\$ – Doodle Mar 24 '16 at 8:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ The device is powered using a LM1117-3.3.Also there is a 5v-3.3v level shifter installed between the data lines of mega8 and ESP. \$\endgroup\$ – S.Das Mar 24 '16 at 10:25
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you running off battery? ESP8266 is quite power hungry when transmitting, maybe you're getting brown-outs? \$\endgroup\$ – Roger Rowland Mar 24 '16 at 11:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ No..I am powering the whole circuit using a 1A 5v SMPS.Also powered the circuit previously from my own built 3A variable PSU using LM350,but the issue isn't resolved.... \$\endgroup\$ – S.Das Mar 24 '16 at 11:18

If you are worried about the robustness of ESP modules, I have used ESP in a home automation project and it is running fine continuously for around 5 months and I don't see any reason why it will fail anytime soon. I am not talking about a single ESP module but at least a dozen and all of them are functioning properly.

I used ESP-07 along with ESP-Arduino firmware so that I can program it just like an arduino.

I'd suggest you to revisit the circuit and see if you are doing anything wrong. ESP documentation mentions a max voltage of 3.6 V so I'd suggest you to put atmega8 as well as your sensor on 3.3V and ditch the level shifter altogether. There is nothing wrong in using level shifter but I prefer using same voltage level for all micros and sensors if possible.

Regarding the power consumption, if you are doing things right, 500 mA at 3.3 V should be more than enough for your micros and sensor. However I'd suggest you to check the power lines using an oscilloscope whether you are getting a clean voltage.

In case you choose to try something else, you can go for Xbees, bluetooth or other RF modules. The major issue with these modules is cost and added effort. The extra effort goes into making the bridge between bluetooth and wifi or Xbee to wifi which also increases the cost.

I have never used xbee-wifi but it seems to do a similar job as ESP modules but at a much higher price and is worth going for only if there is actually something wrong with ESP modules (which I don't think to be the case).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok....as per your saying,i will eliminate the level shifter and will run the whole unit from 3.3v.Also the ordered esp12 will arrive soon.So i will conduct the testing and will revert back.. \$\endgroup\$ – S.Das Mar 24 '16 at 14:38

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