NodeMCU is an open-source firmware and development kit that helps you to prototype or build IoT products. It is based on the lowest cost WI-FI MCU ESP8266, ESP8266 is about $2 and once it comes as NodeMCU easy to prototype development kit you can purchase for about $4 something you can connect to your USB and start playing with it. We provide the best platform for IoT application development at the lowest cost.
MCU stands for MicroController Unit - which really means it is a computer on a single chip. A microcontroller contains one or more CPUs (processor cores) along with memory and programmable input/output peripherals. They are used to automate automobile engine control, implantable medical devices, remote controls, office machines, appliances, power tools, toys, etc.
There are two common variations of NodeMCU: v0.9 and v1.0. We will support only v1.0 for the rest of the documentation (for now at least) - so we highly recommend version 1.0 as it has more convenient dimensions to work with. This is what NodeMCU v0.9 vs v1.0 look alike - v1.0 is narrower for 2 breadboard pins then v0.9. This is the main reason why we recommend it (besides being newer, better, smarter version :)
eBay and other retails
If you are buying it on eBay you will often see NodeMCU v0.9 listed as "NodeMcu Lua ESP8266 CH340G or CH340, but a better way to make sure you are buying right thing is to look for square CP2102 USB to UART Bridge.
Example of NodeMCU v1.0 - USE THESE
Example of NodeMCU v0.9 - DO NOT USE THESE
To clarify: All other esp8266 based MCUs are working fine, however, this tutorial was written based on NodeMCU v1.0 and with any other variation you will have to improvise on your own.
The first step on the mac is to install drivers.
These are a driver that can communicate to that little square chip (CP210x USB to UART Bridge VCP) we mentioned before:
- Download it to your Downloads folder
- Double click on SiLabsUSBDriverDisk.dmg
- Double click on Silicon Labs VCP Driver Install Disk.pkg
- Click on Continue
- Finish installation
If you decided to be rebel and not listened to our advice on the version of the NodeMCU you might need this link.
Updated almost 3 years ago