Recommendation for ESP32 Dev Board

Hi, I’m looking at setting up a Home Assistant server at home and want to start by reporting some basic measurements from a DHT22 and the waterproof ultrasonic sensor. Looking on the ESPHome site ( they just specify any ESP32 will do the job. When I look on the Core Electronics site I’m not quite sure which variant to use. I want something that has an inbuilt USB->Serial converter, WiFi, UART, I2C, analogue inputs (DAC) at a min. Additionally, something that could be programmed in Arduino IDE to test the sensors. Can anyone recommend an entry level ESP32 board that ticks these boxes?

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Welcome Ryan!!!

It sounds like one of the Unexpected Maker, Adafruit or Sparkfun boards would be the way to go:

Unexpected Maker has some excellent newer boards as well, though they use the newer S2/S3 chips and have to be setup in the IDE differently: Unexpected Maker Australia

Any questions feel free to send them through!

You have already got your suggestion for the development board. You can use ThingSpeak WebServer. This experiment features ESP32-WROOM. You can interface ESP32 and DHT22 with ThingSpeak WebServer. You will receive temperature and humidity data online: ESP32 DHT11 Interfacing with ThingSpeak WebServer - The Engineering Projects

I actually really like the M5Stack Atom Matrix and especially the Atom Lite. The Lite is a particular favorite because:

  1. its cheap
  2. I can eaily flash it with esphome via the USB-C connector
  3. I can connect to it with simple jumper wires
  4. And the clincher… You can get the Atom hub which gives you a nice case that you can build your development board and the Lite (or Matrix) plug straight into it.

In my homeassistant setup I also use the Deta smart switches from Bunnings - they work right out of the packaging with ESPhome (very easy to flash) if they have the older ESP chipsets in them. The newer products do not use an ESP chipset so need some modification… Fortunately the new chips they use are dimensionally the same and have the same pin-out locations as the old ESP’s. I bought 15 of the old chips off AliExpress, removed the new chipsets, replaced with the older ESP varient and flashed ESPhome onto them… Its a simple process but de-soldering is the hardest part of the job. There are some good Youtube videos to help you with this. I can provide a bit more info if needed (appreciate I am straying off topic here!)

Looking a bit into the future, I understand esphome will shortly be welcoming the Pico W into the ESPHome eco-system - cant wait for that. In the meantime I have a few Pico W’s running python code and transmitting data back to HA via MQTT - no where near as convenient as esphome, but it works.


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