Layout check … continued

With the new check plots I made last week, I checked the layout net by net like I did back in Sept 5, 2015. I am still uncertain about the pinout of the ESP-12F modules. To test it, I removed the ESP-12E installed on the board I am currently using, and replaced it with a new ESP-12F.  I had to be careful that the jumper wires all got back to where they were before removing the module.

The new module programmed first try but didn’t boot correctly.  I had forgot to upload default values, the flash comes programmed for a different memory layout.  Once I installed the default settings, it booted up correctly.  I had removed the test for HSPI/SPI RAM, so I went back into the code and re-enabled the Hello World ram test.

I went into serialInit() and changed the line DISPLAY_MENU(); to DISPLAY_MENU_W_SPI(); Re-compiled and tested.  Unfortunately the result was not “Hello World”. When I cleaned up the code, I made the write to SPI RAM easier, but I need to initialize the hspi.  I started connecting my mixed signal oscope to analyze what was happening on the SPI bus.  And… I found a loose jumper wire.  The one that connects the chip select between the ESP-12F and the SPI RAM. Once this was connected, the extra stuff I had put into the software became unnecessary.  I deleted the extra code and it works just fine.  The firmware is back to where it was before I started testing. There are no changes to upload.

This means that the circuit is tested and the current layout is ready to send to fabrication.  I zipped up the gerber files. Then checked pricing with PCBway, DFRobot, and Seeed Studio.  With shipping PCBway came in a little less at US $19.  With PCBway, I have to wait for a design review before they will give me a final price and allow me to pay for it. Usually this is pretty quick but depends on the day it is submitted.

Have you bought boards from Chinese manufacturers? How quickly did you get them?

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