ESP-01 NFET Board for RGB strips

The ESP8266-01 is a cheap (~$2) WiFi enabled multiprocessor with enough GPIO pins to control three FETs. There are a few tutorials on setting them up that I used, and they are listed at the bottom. I wanted to make a cheap board for controlling RGB LED STRIPS. The components are shown below, and the final result is at the end of this post.

Items in the kit, sans SMD components.

Items in the kit, sans SMD components.

Here is what it is made out of;

  1. PCB
  2. Female headers (For inserting 5 into 1)
  3. Screw terminal (For Vin)
  4. Male headers (To mount 6 to 1)
  5. ESP8226-01 board
  6. DC-DC converter for the ESP’s 3.3 V
  7. RGB strip cable
  8. 3x NFEts (Not shown)
  9. 3x 100 Ω resistors (Not shown)

As listed above, the components are fairly simple. 3 resistors and 3 NFETs. The rest is IO and a DCDC converter.

Schematic for ESP board

Basically all that is in the board. Some headers aren’t shown.

Although designed for 12V LED strips, the DCDC converter and FETs are fine for up to 20V. The minimum voltage would be the 3.3V needed to power the ESP chip, although you would probably need to bypass the DCDC converter to prevent voltage drop.

The board itself is fairly small, with an area of 0.5 sq in, and has the 6 SMDs on the same side.

Board layout. The copper from only one side is shown for ease of viewing.

Board layout. The copper from only one side is shown for ease of viewing.


I am cute!

When put together, the footprint is the size of the board, although the ESP-01 does stick out a bit when inserted.


ESP-01 shield with three NFETs. Shown next to a quarter for scale. Despite the poor solder job, it works fine.

The total cost is less than $5, as long as you don’t count assembly.

Check out this post on the Lua code for this board.

And this post will discuss flashing and uploading to an ESP-01.

Here we talk about setting up openHAB to work with this board.

LINKYSGOHERE also files – (on tablet right now so kind of a pain, will do later)

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