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An overview on the xWifi, a fingertip-sized, Open Source, wifi module by xThink Lab

Open hardware/software wifi module runs uIP TCP/IP stack. It has UART,SPI interfaces,GPIO x5 and PWM for intelligent control,but fingertip-sized only
AttachmentSize
Android_xWifi.zip745.59 KB
HW_Documens_xWifi.zip1.52 MB

Update: please, be careful as this review is based in previous version of this device. It has been updated lately from the manufacturer. Original files are not available anymore from it source so I publish here two of them.

Would you like to command over wifi out of the box from you smartphone for $3,8? Then here you have it. It's mains features are:

  • SoC – Mediatek MT7681 802.11 b/g/n SoC with 32-bit RISC CPU. Support for Client/softAP mode. Package size 5×5 mm
  • Storage – 512KB SPI Flash (for firmware)

I/Os via headers:

  • UART and SPI interfaces.
  • 5x GPIOs
  • PWM
  • Power – 3.3V, GND

Power Consumption – ~70mA  @ 5V (during RX active)

Dimensions – 14 x 17 mm

 

The standard package I got yesterday (but ordered some months ago in the Indiegogo campaign for $19, now it's different, please see comments below) came also with a "Dock" board (the white one that you see in the pictures):

xWiFi module inserted in the expansion white board called Dock

That Dock board has:

  • Relay – Songle SRD03VDC-SL-C – 3V for control pins. 230V/10A support.
  • Sensors – Humidity & Temperature sensor
  • Header – 2x 8 pin header for xWifi module
  • Misc – 3-color LED
  • Power – 5V via micro USB port
  • Dimensions – N/A, estimated ~ 4 x 3 cm

I got the whole thing from the Indiegogo campaign ordered on September 2014.

The xThink Lab team that developed the whole thing, gives you via download some interesting packages*:

*packages are not available anymore online, so I publish here two of them.

to create specific firmware for the xWiFi, communicate and develope new solutions, but as I'm not expert on it I have to expend some time to know how to use it...

However, with the demo app you can handle the board to change the three-colour LED, also to command the AC/DC relay and read the temperature and Humidity. No so bad.

This little piece of technology has gained its mometum through Internet and some examples are here:

In next updates I hope to post some advancements I do with this great little piece of technology.

But now I need help (I think it will also good for other interested on this module). I want now to develop some easy applications to get data to PC and command with some easy front end. Any idea? (I saw the whole bunch pack of software to compile but it looks quite hard to start for a novice on communications and programming).

Could be helpful to have:

  1. a list or at least one open software environment to program (SDK) to program the micro-controller.
  2. a list or at least one open software environment to program (SDK) to program the Android, easy please.
  3. a list or at least the name of a module to connect from USB to UART the Dock board... (Hard)

If you have any suggestion please don't hesitate to comment here! Thanks!

Update 9 of January 2015: in the Indiegogo campaign there is not Dock board anymore, nor the Mediatek MT7681 but it is based now on the ESP8266EX module with FCC certificate, it still deserves good atention as it has many good functions as we saw already. The price is $19 but it has 5 IoT modules :-).

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I hate to tell you this Fransisco, but you're mixing up 2 things.

The current offering on Indiegogo is for an ESP8266 board. However, the one you are referring to is an MT7681 board, which was on sale a month earlier. Both have nothing to do with one another. Your review is a mixup of both, with references to the ESP8266 but with an MT7681 testboard (the dock). Obviously, your review thus makes totally no sense.

Xthinklab is not actually producing anything, they are just reselling what they ordered from major Chinese manufacturers. The dock may be something they actually produced themselves.

Hi Ingmar!

Thank you very much for your puctualization, as I'm learning about these systems it's any help is great.

It's right that I mixed both designs when actually each one has different system as you saw. I just corrected it and detailed what you said. I hope now my post makes more sense. Thanks! ;-)

the same esp8266 is sold for about 3,58€ each, about 3€ for bulk on banggood.
I'd prefer to buy on a shop instead of indiegogo.
Anyway hooray for cheap wifi!

Hi Francisco:

Where did you get the demo app?

Regards!

Hi edcolco,

I think I got the demo app from their site. I should check it. Just wandering, why do you need the app?

Cheers!

I am puzzled, and dissappointed, that Indiegogo allows campaign pages to be completly replaced.

 My order sat on a shelf for quite some time and now I'm looking to get working with it.  I was quite surprised to see that my order listing on Indiegogo has some text refering to the xWifi and dock, but the pictures and campaign link show some ESP2866 thing.

In the meantime I've grabbed a few ESP boards, though I would still like to know how to make use of the dock station.

This is the risk of ordering hardware and not playing around with it as soon as it arrives. :)

I'll also be sure to never again buy from Thinklabs, as I can find zero inforamtion from them about what they sold me.