Here's where it gets tricky. While the ESP8266 requires 3v, I also have a separate battery charging module that requires 5v in to charge. So I have two obvious options:
- Set the USB to 5v mode. That requires the power to the ESP8266 use a voltage regulator, and it needs a logic level converter for the serial connection. That's two extra discrete components that can cost about $5
- Keep the USB at 3v mode. The ESP8266 will have no trouble talking to the USB module, but I'll need a 5v step-up converter to charge the battery, which will also cost about $5.
However, a third less orthodox idea comes to mind. Is there a way to "steal" 5v from the USB module (even while it's in 3v mode) by soldering a wire to the jumper pad in the middle? Maybe it would also require a resistor so it doesn't drain all of the power? Ideas on any of these 3 possible solutions are welcome, I'm entirely new to prototyping electronics.
Edit: I did it! Here's a picture of the final product: