Recently got a Firebeetle ESP32 (rev 3 board, rev 1 ESP32 silicon) from here which has really, really poor 2.4GHz wifi. Basically useless except for benchtesting.
This is my first ESP32 and I largely bought it for a play, but have decided to use it for a makeshift IR blaster to control some Luminara Candles through home automation. It all works (Openhab -> MQTT -> ESP32 -> sends IR code to candles for on/off), but I probably need to work some more on getting a stronger/broader IR signal. The showstopper problem is the Wifi strength of the ESP32.
Within 1-2 metres of the access point (Ubiquiti AP) it works ok, but RSSI is weaker than expected. As soon as I move to the other side of the room (3 metres) I start seeing packet loss, put a plaster wall in between and I can barely associate, bit further and nothing. I have 3 Raspberry Pi Zero W’s that all work solidly at same locations and distances far greater on the same bearing. Even close by the AP, moving the unit around often results in lost packets. Ubiquiti AP is showing RSSI far worse than any other device in same location.
I’m using Arduinio latest IDE.
- simplifying the program to just wifi and outputting RSSI and pinging it. I don’t think its the code…
- erasing flash completely using esptool
- using both the DFRobot recommended board setup/libraries and the much later/current one directly from espresif’s github.
- the latter newer wifi library from espressif allows setting wifi tx power, so I’ve tried setting that from max, to lower power levels and they just make the performance/RSSI even worse than max power.
- using some code I found on espressif’s forum to force an RF calibration and store it in NVS in case it was corrupted.
- doing silly dances and waving the board around trying to find a good spot
None of this seems to have made a difference, so the question is, is the ESP32 WROOM module really that bad? Is DFRobot’s implementation just really poor? or do I have a faulty unit? I’ve found posts elsewhere complaining, but not enough to suggest it’s widespread.
Thought I’d post here to the local community to see if anyone with more experience than I has any thoughts or experienced the same. I’d be interested in trying another ESP32 board if someone can recommend one with reasonable wifi performance as there are many variations, or, another board the same if people thinks its faulty. If I can find a board that performs decently I have a range of IoT projects I want to do, and I’d prefer to focus on those than evaluating wifi performance of different devices