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What is the effect of using the ESP12 WiFi module without the metal cover?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Probably a lot of EMI, possibly enough to affect the Wifi/BT signal. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ron Beyer
    Mar 2 '20 at 18:24
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The metal cover is placed there to mitigate EMI.

However, in the ESP8266 hardware design guidelines, there is no mention of the necessity of such shield. So assuming that the ESP-12 has a decent design and proper grounding, the WiFi performance should not be impacted too much.

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