WiFi Telemetry with Cheap 3$ ESP8266

Hello all,

It's not a new achievement using wifi as Telemetry but this UART to WiFi module has really long range (up to 400 meters), and unbeatable price. Very small form factor (about 2cm x 1.5cm) and light (3 gr). Great for the small sized UAVs. And your Smart Phone or Tablet will become a GCS with no additional hardware. And with module's available GPIOs it's functionality can be increased (PWM, I2C sensors) you can drive LEDs or get sensor data over wifi.

Get firmware from https://github.com/jeelabs/esp-link > this is the stable solution for UART only

Another eriksl's great firmware for ESP8266 https://github.com/eriksl/esp8266-universal-io-bridge > A lot of functions supports pwm display temp sensors but UART bridge not stable, random drop outs

I've been experimenting with new ESP8266 UART to WiFi module and happy to announce you that it can be used as Telemetry module. It should work on all MAVlink devices that uses Serial communication. I tested with ESP-03 and APM 2.6 (3.2) and range is acceptable for Follow Me, or Guided missions. it works reliable enough and its really cheap, start as low as 2,5 $ at several stores (its a 3.3v device you will need a good (about 300ma) power source).  I think APM 2.6 users should receive at least a one last bug fix release (several reports indicates 3.2.1 has some issues with altitude calculations), of course you can compile your own verison.

releated fix 



For those who are interested, I can provide APM:Copter 3.2 (not 3.2.1) firmware with the fix. I am happy with it, doing some great auto flights, checking parameters, follow me flights, you can fly your UAV even without RC controller, directly from your wifi enabled GCS.

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  • I have it configured with that baud

  • configure the esp8266 baud rate to 57600, using ATcomands

  • I see something on port 23 with putty, i think maybe binary output of the APM, but MP can't connect to it. How can I open those ports? is that done on the firmware? I can't compile it...

  • try using de por 25,  you also can test on putty first, try to open ports 23, 24 or 25, the port 24 is for confuguration

  • Hi Bernardo!

    Thanks for the link! Already uploaded it and configure the baud to the default 57600. Now I can connect to the ESP wifi, and I have the ESP module on the telemetry port of a APM2.5.6, but I can't connect to the APM via MP and a tcp connection on port 23. Any ideas on this?


  • i actually using the notemcu with a lua script, becuse i can create a UDP bright http://www.esp8266.com/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=1250, until now working, but to using with tower im need another  program to open the socket.

  • Did anyone managed to build the git repo? can anyone share de .bin files?


  • @naish88,

        Thanks for spending time on my questions. Here is the project - a thrown object finder.  I was wondering if I could use the ESP chip as a simple transmitter on WIFI frequencies on a small object so that a cellphone could see the transmission for a few minutes - thus the severe small size and weight restrictions. I think getting the 3.3v with enough power and small/lightweight is going to be the problem - the chip (an ESP-09) is small enough.

    Thanks again


  • @ Dave

    It's hard to tell if it will last.. it really depends on a lot of variables ( transmitted power, data rate, temperature, ecc).

    If you tell more about the project we maybe can help more. 

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