Quick reference for the ESP8266

Adafruit Feather HUZZAH board

The Adafruit Feather HUZZAH board (image attribution: Adafruit).

General board control

The MicroPython REPL is on UART0 (GPIO1=TX, GPIO3=RX) at baudrate 115200. Tab-completion is useful to find out what methods an object has. Paste mode (ctrl-E) is useful to paste a large slab of Python code into the REPL.

The machine module:

import machine

machine.freq()          # get the current frequency of the CPU
machine.freq(160000000) # set the CPU frequency to 160 MHz

The esp module:

import esp

esp.osdebug(None)       # turn off vendor O/S debugging messages
esp.osdebug(0)          # redirect vendor O/S debugging messages to UART(0)


The network module:

import network

wlan = network.WLAN(network.STA_IF) # create station interface
wlan.active(True)       # activate the interface
wlan.scan()             # scan for access points
wlan.isconnected()      # check if the station is connected to an AP
wlan.connect('essid', 'password') # connect to an AP
wlan.mac()              # get the interface's MAC adddress
wlan.ifconfig()         # get the interface's IP/netmask/gw/DNS addresses

ap = network.WLAN(network.AP_IF) # create access-point interface
ap.active(True)         # activate the interface
ap.config(essid='ESP-AP') # set the ESSID of the access point

A useful function for connecting to your local WiFi network is:

def do_connect():
    import network
    wlan = network.WLAN(network.STA_IF)
    if not wlan.isconnected():
        print('connecting to network...')
        wlan.connect('essid', 'password')
        while not wlan.isconnected():
    print('network config:', wlan.ifconfig())

Once the network is established the socket module can be used to create and use TCP/UDP sockets as usual.

Delay and timing

Use the time module:

import time

time.sleep(1)           # sleep for 1 second
time.sleep_ms(500)      # sleep for 500 milliseconds
time.sleep_us(10)       # sleep for 10 microseconds
start = time.ticks_ms() # get millisecond counter
delta = time.ticks_diff(start, time.ticks_ms()) # compute time difference


Virtual (RTOS-based) timers are supported. Use the machine.Timer class with timer ID of -1:

from machine import Timer

tim = Timer(-1)
tim.init(period=5000, mode=Timer.ONE_SHOT, callback=lambda t:print(1))
tim.init(period=2000, mode=Timer.PERIODIC, callback=lambda t:print(2))

The period is in milliseconds.

Pins and GPIO

Use the machine.Pin class:

from machine import Pin

p0 = Pin(0, Pin.OUT)    # create output pin on GPIO0
p0.high()               # set pin to high
p0.low()                # set pin to low
p0.value(1)             # set pin to high

p2 = Pin(2, Pin.IN)     # create input pin on GPIO2
print(p2.value())       # get value, 0 or 1

p4 = Pin(4, Pin.IN, Pin.PULL_UP) # enable internal pull-up resistor
p5 = Pin(5, Pin.OUT, value=1) # set pin high on creation

Available pins are: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, which correspond to the actual GPIO pin numbers of ESP8266 chip. Note that many end-user boards use their own adhoc pin numbering (marked e.g. D0, D1, ...). As MicroPython supports different boards and modules, physical pin numbering was chosen as the lowest common denominator. For mapping between board logical pins and physical chip pins, consult your board documentation.

Note that Pin(1) and Pin(3) are REPL UART TX and RX respectively. Also note that Pin(16) is a special pin (used for wakeup from deepsleep mode) and may be not available for use with higher-level classes like Neopixel.

PWM (pulse width modulation)

PWM can be enabled on all pins except Pin(16). There is a single frequency for all channels, with range between 1 and 1000 (measured in Hz). The duty cycle is between 0 and 1023 inclusive.

Use the machine.PWM class:

from machine import Pin, PWM

pwm0 = PWM(Pin(0))      # create PWM object from a pin
pwm0.freq()             # get current frequency
pwm0.freq(1000)         # set frequency
pwm0.duty()             # get current duty cycle
pwm0.duty(200)          # set duty cycle
pwm0.deinit()           # turn off PWM on the pin

pwm2 = PWM(Pin(2), freq=500, duty=512) # create and configure in one go

ADC (analog to digital conversion)

ADC is available on a dedicated pin. Note that input voltages on the ADC pin must be between 0v and 1.0v.

Use the machine.ADC class:

from machine import ADC

adc = ADC(0)            # create ADC object on ADC pin
adc.read()              # read value, 0-1024

SPI bus

The SPI driver is implemented in software and works on all pins:

from machine import Pin, SPI

# construct an SPI bus on the given pins
# polarity is the idle state of SCK
# phase=0 means sample on the first edge of SCK, phase=1 means the second
spi = SPI(baudrate=100000, polarity=1, phase=0, sck=Pin(0), mosi=Pin(2), miso=Pin(4))

spi.init(baudrate=200000) # set the baudrate

spi.read(10)            # read 10 bytes on MISO
spi.read(10, 0xff)      # read 10 bytes while outputing 0xff on MOSI

buf = bytearray(50)     # create a buffer
spi.readinto(buf)       # read into the given buffer (reads 50 bytes in this case)
spi.readinto(buf, 0xff) # read into the given buffer and output 0xff on MOSI

spi.write(b'12345')     # write 5 bytes on MOSI

buf = bytearray(4)      # create a buffer
spi.write_readinto(b'1234', buf) # write to MOSI and read from MISO into the buffer
spi.write_readinto(buf, buf) # write buf to MOSI and read MISO back into buf

I2C bus

The I2C driver is implemented in software and works on all pins:

from machine import Pin, I2C

# construct an I2C bus
i2c = I2C(scl=Pin(5), sda=Pin(4), freq=100000)

i2c.readfrom(0x3a, 4)   # read 4 bytes from slave device with address 0x3a
i2c.writeto(0x3a, '12') # write '12' to slave device with address 0x3a

buf = bytearray(10)     # create a buffer with 10 bytes
i2c.writeto(0x3a, buf)  # write the given buffer to the slave

i2c.readfrom(0x3a, 4, stop=False) # don't send a stop bit after reading
i2c.writeto(0x3a, buf, stop=False) # don't send a stop bit after writing

OneWire driver

The OneWire driver is implemented in software and works on all pins:

from machine import Pin
import onewire

ow = onewire.OneWire(Pin(12)) # create a OneWire bus on GPIO12
ow.scan()               # return a list of devices on the bus
ow.reset()              # reset the bus
ow.read_byte()          # read a byte
ow.read_bytes(5)        # read 5 bytes
ow.write_byte(0x12)     # write a byte on the bus
ow.write_bytes('123')   # write bytes on the bus
ow.select_rom(b'12345678') # select a specific device by its ROM code

There is a specific driver for DS18B20 devices:

import time
ds = onewire.DS18B20(ow)
roms = ds.scan()
for rom in roms:

Be sure to put a 4.7k pull-up resistor on the data line.

NeoPixel driver

Use the neopixel module:

from machine import Pin
from neopixel import NeoPixel

pin = Pin(0, Pin.OUT)   # set GPIO0 to output to drive NeoPixels
np = NeoPixel(pin, 8)   # create NeoPixel driver on GPIO0 for 8 pixels
np[0] = (255, 255, 255) # set the first pixel to white
np.write()              # write data to all pixels
r, g, b = np[0]         # get first pixel colour

import neopixel
neopixel.demo(np)       # run a demo

For low-level driving of a NeoPixel:

import esp
esp.neopixel_write(pin, grb_buf, is800khz)