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Install drivers for USB-to-Serial§

A prerequisite to program ESP8266-based modules usually is to establish a communications channel from your development platform (PC, Mac, Linux) to the device over USB. This in turn requires your system to detect the USB-to-Serial (aka USB-to-TTL, aka USB-to-UART) adapter on the ESP8266 module. There are two commonly used adapters in the wild these days:

  • Silicon Labs CP210x
  • Winchiphead CH340x / CH341x

Popular modules that use the former are the NodeMCU v1.0 (i.e. V2) module and some revisions of the WeMos D1 mini Pro. Examples of modules that use the CH340G chip are the WeMos D1 mini and the D1 mini Lite.

Note that there is no harm done if you install both drivers even if you currently just use one! If you are not sure which adapter your ESP8266 module uses then just install both.

Silicon Labs CP210x§

Silicon Labs maintains a page in English that lists downloadable driver binaries that also contains installation instructions.

Winchiphead CH340x / CH341x§

Winchihead (WCH) maintains its website only in Chinese. However, the download page for the drivers is so simple that even non-Chinese speakers will find the right download link.

Warning

Some systems require a reboot before the driver installation can be successfully completed. The installer may or may not tell you about this! If you later connect the ThingPulse device and the system does not recognize it try rebooting as a first measure.