Step by Step Guide on How to flash the ESP-01

Step by Step Guide on How to flash the ESP-01

ESP-01
ESP-01

So, you have bought your ESP-01 and are not sure if its pre-flashed or you need to do something with it, you may just want to make sure you have the latest firmware anyway.  The best bet is to open your favourite programming software and try the module.  If it’s not working at all or behaving weirdly then the chances are that you need to flash a new version of the firmware onto it.  This is something that’s relatively easy but only when you know how and if you type it in a search engine there are lots of websites out there trying to get you to use weird versions of the ESP firmware so you need to be careful.  I’ll go through what hardware to use to flash it, where to get the firmware and where to get the tool to upload the firmware to the chip.

The good news is that the tools and firmware are all free on the Espressif website but even then it’s not completely clear what to get and even the documentation provided isn’t too clear on what to do for beginners so I will go through it all here.

What hardware do I need?

I put together a flashing circuit specially for this purpose and keep it set up on my breadboard so that it’s there when I need it.  The two main odd looking items you will need are a USB-to-TTL converter so that you can plug in your USB port on your PC to upload the firmware and the ESP-01 has a weird pinout so I find its best to use an ESP-01 breakout board/adapter.  Other than that, it’s just a couple of buttons and resistors.  Here is the USB to TTL (sometimes called FTDI) converter I use, it’s a couple of pounds on your favourite electronics or auction site and has a 3.3v option which is ideal for the ESP-01 though there are plenty of other options out there:

USB to TTL Converter
USB to TTL Converter
USB to TTL Converter
USB to TTL Converter
ESP-01 Breakout Adapter
ESP-01 Breakout Adapter
ESP-01 Breakout Adapter
ESP-01 Breakout Adapter

Here is the schematic:

ESP-01 Flashing Schematic
ESP-01 Flashing Schematic

And finally, here is a picture of it all setup on the breadboard:

ESP-01 Flashing Circuit on Breadboard
ESP-01 Flashing Circuit on Breadboard

DON’T PLUG IT IN WITHOUT READING THE INSTRUCTIONS BELOW FIRST

What tool do I need to download to flash the ESP?

To flash the ESP-01 you need the Espressif Flash Download Tool which you can download for free from their website in the support -> download -> tools section.  Link here:

https://www.espressif.com/en/support/download/other-tools

Downloading the Espressif Flash Download Tool From the Website
Downloading the Espressif Flash Download Tool From the Website

It’s not just for ESP-01, works for others too as you can see.  Download that to a folder of your choice and unzip that file.  Next you need to download the firmware files you are going to flash.

What firmware do I need and where do I get it?

There are lots of different firmware versions out there and they all have different functionality, some fix bugs and some improve performance.  Obviously, some may induce bugs and decrease performance too, so I try to go for a stable version rather than the absolute latest issue.  The firmware files can be downloaded individually or as part of a software development kit, I normally go for the software development kit as it has all the files that work together.  You can download these again from the Espressif website in the support -> download -> SDK & Demos section.  Link here:

https://www.espressif.com/en/support/download/sdks-demos

Downloading the ESP-01 Firmware From the Espressif Website
Downloading the ESP-01 Firmware From the Espressif Website

All of the stable versions should be shown, you can see the latest at the time of writing is ESP8266 NONOS SDK V3.0.0.  Simply hit download and save it to a location on your computer, if it redirects to a github page then scroll down to the bottom and download the source code .zip file from there.  Unzip the file and now you have all the things you need to flash the chip.  All of the binary files you need to flash are in there, you may need to navigate around the files to locate all the ones you need but you should be able to find the following:

  • blank.bin
    • Location:  ESP8266_NONOS_SDK-3.0.0\bin\blank.bin
    • Flash Address:  0xFB000
  • esp_init_data_default.bin
    • Location:  ESP8266_NONOS_SDK-3.0.0\bin\esp_init_data_defaultv08.bin
    • Flash Address:  0xFC000
  • blank.bin
    • Location:  ESP8266_NONOS_SDK-3.0.0\bin\blank.bin
    • Flash Address:  0x7E000
  • blank.bin
    • Location:  ESP8266_NONOS_SDK-3.0.0\bin\blank.bin
    • Flash Address:  0xFE000
  • boot_v1.6.bin
    • Location:  ESP8266_NONOS_SDK-3.0.0\bin\boot_v1.6.bin
    • Flash Address:  0x00000
  • user1.1024.new.2.bin
    • Location:  ESP8266_NONOS_SDK-3.0.0\bin\at\512+512\user1.1024.new.2.bin
    • Flash Address:  0x01000

Flash the ESP-01!

Now you have done all the groundwork to flash this thing its time to put it all together and do the job, exciting times!  Open up the Espressif Flash Download Tool, you should be able to open the file straight from the folder you downloaded without having to install anything and it will open something like this:

Opening up the Espressif ESP flash download tool
Opening up the Espressif ESP flash download tool

Click the top one for the ESP8266 Download Tool and it should open up this page:

ESP8266 Download Tool Window
ESP8266 Download Tool Window

Some of those may be blank and you may have different boxes ticked, don’t worry, I’ll run through what to tick.

  • Assign the binary files to the flash address as above.
  • Pick CrystalFreq as 26M from the dropdown
  • Click the SPI SPEED button 40MHz
  • Click the SPI MODE button QIO.
  • Click the FLASH SIZE radio button for 8Mbit.

So now it should look like this:

ESP8266 Download Tool Window Adding Binary Files
ESP8266 Download Tool Window Adding Binary Files

Ok now you are ready to plug in, when you plug the USB in you need to do the following to put the ESP into programming mode:

  • Hold down the reset switch (SWI 1)
  • Hold down the flash switch (SW 2)
  • Release the reset switch (SWI 1)
  • Release the flash switch (SWI 2)

Make sure you select the COM port you are using from the drop down and set the baud rate to 115200:

ESP8266 Download Tool Select COM port and baud rate
ESP8266 Download Tool Select COM port and baud rate

Now just press start and it will sync then download then finish the flash!

ESP8266 Download Tool Synchronizing
ESP8266 Download Tool Synchronizing
ESP8266 Download Tool Finished Flashing
ESP8266 Download Tool Finished Flashing

Runescape – How Does Lootshare Work and What Are Lootshare Points?

What is lootshare?

Lootshare is a way to split up drops for a team or friends chat.  Its used a lot for masses (whether it be the friends chat or group system).  To use lootshare, you need to be in the friends chat with lootshare enabled or group at all times.  You can turn on lootshare by clicking on the little icon at the bottom right corner of the friends chat interface:

Lootshare Icon - Toggle - Money Bag
Lootshare icon Toggle

Lootshare will split drops between the players that have lootshare enabled. You will see in game messages such as “You have received: 63,166 Coins” or “Junglebiscuit has received: 1 Bones” for all drops a boss drops at a time. The player with the highest lootshare points (discussed below) will have the best chance for the drops. For the formal write up on the RS wiki, check out: https://runescape.wiki/w/LootShare

What are lootshare points?

Lootshare points, also called LSP or lootshare potential, is the background system that determines who gets drops in a lootshare group.  Each person has a certain amount of points.  No one is able to check or see how many points they have; this is why there is sometimes mystery behind people’s LSP as there’s no real way to ever know yours or anyone elses.  Basically the higher your LSP, the higher chance you have at getting drops!

Lootshare points reset down to zero eventually.  Jagex has confirmed that this is at 10% per day.  So, if you don’t use, you lose it!  If you are at 10m LSP and do not boss for a day, tomorrow you will only have 9m LSP, then the next day you’ll only have 8.1m LSP, then 7.29m, and so on.  The same works with negative LSP going closer to 0 from the other side.

Pets are NOT effected by lootshare and are instead based on the top dpser or highest damage dealt by a single person.  This person will be the one who gets a roll at the boss pet.

Another important note: you have to be within 16 squares of a boss for lootshare to work, same as normal drops, and you will not see or receive anything if you are too far away.

Here are some examples:

1. There is a 10 person mass. One person gets a 10m drop (say a Cywir wand or similar). The person who got the drop is lootshare picks up the drop and owns the 10m item. Everyone in the group, including the person who got the drop, now gets a split of the lootshare points. This is the item value divided by the amount of people with lootshare turned on (i.e. 10m/10=1m). Each person gets 1 million lootshare points, but the person who got the wand also loses 10m points to have a net of -9m lsp.

2.  A 23 person AoD mass gets a Praesul Codex worth 493m.  Each person gets 21.43m LSP points.  The person who got the codex is now at -471.57m LSP.

3. A Vindicta mass is going on with 9 people. There is an uber rare drop of 1 dragon bone.  Each person gains about 263 gp of LSP.

How To Fix CPU Fan Errors On Computer Startup

So, you have lots to do, you go to turn your PC on and before it even considers starting you are hit with an error:

“CPU Fan Error!”

CPU Fan Error On Bootup
CPU Fan Error On Bootup

The first thing to do is check the fan is ok and is plugged in correctly but if you have done that and it seems good then this can be an annoying problem to solve.  On my computer I would restart a few times and then all of a sudden for what seems like no reason it would work and go straight through as if everything is normal.

That error alarm is normally triggered when the RPM of the fan goes below a set speed.  Luckily that speed is configurable in the BIOS settings on most systems.  So when the computer starts up press DEL or F1 or whatever button it is to get to the BIOS.  Once there on my PC I could see the actual fan speed reported on the main page as below:

Checking The Fan Speed From BIOS
Checking The Fan Speed From BIOS

You can see above it is spinning at 581 RPM.  To check and change the trigger limit I had to go to advanced settings then click on the “monitor” tab which then had a setting called “CPU Fan Speed Low Limit” which was set to 600 RPM.

Checking the CPU Fan Low Limit
Checking the CPU Fan Low Limit

There is the reason we are getting the error, my fans spinning at 581 and the low limit is 600.  So I clicked the button and a drop down list appeared, simply select a lower value, I went for 500 RPM which solved the problem and meant my PC started fine every time.

Changing the CPU Fan Low Limit
Changing the CPU Fan Low Limit

 

New Tamper Proof Royal Mail Stamps Are a Nightmare For Collectors

Royal mail now issue lots of tamper proof stamps which is great for protecting their revenue and making sure people don’t re-use but how does it affect the stamp collector?  Well the traditional methods of removing stamps from envelopes like steaming doesn’t work on the new Royal mail stamps.  So what do we do with tamper proof Royal Mail stamps if you are a collector?

One option is to simply cut around it and leave it on the paper.  Nobody likes doing that normally unless its a particularly interesting postmark or something.

A second option I have heard works well is using a label remover such as Ambersil Label remover, you spray it on and it unsticks/comes off pretty much straight away.  There are other options too like Cramolin or Goo Gone but I’ve not tried these.

A final tip is to spray a light coating of WD40 on the back of the envelope where the stamp is located, the area becomes transparent then wait a couple of moments the stamp will peel off with ease.

Note, it is illegal to remove and re-use a postage stamp!  This is information for people collecting used postage stamps.

Please do comment below if you have had luck with any other methods!

Runescape – Adding Perks To Weapons and Armour To Help In Combat – A Beginners Guide

Invention is tricky to understand with all the different components and its difficult to know what combines with what to get something that may help you get a bit more damage in combat or a few useful perks.  There are lots of spreadsheets out there and posts but they seem to be written in code most of them so I’ll try to go through from a beginners point of view to help you understand how to start perking your armour and weapons and a suggest few nice ones to add to help start out.

First Step – Augmenting

The first thing you need to do to your weapon or armour is augment it.  You can make an augmentor or buy it on the grand exchange.  To make it you need divine energy, base parts, flexible parts, tensile parts, enhancing parts and powerful components.  These all take time to get so if you don’t have time or have money then just buy one on the grand exchange.  Once you have one just use it on your weapon or armour piece you want to augment and it will turn into an augmented version ready for the next step.

Second Step – Gizmos

So gizmos are things you need to make and on them you can generate perks which then attach to the augmented armour or weapon to provide a bonus.  To start with you need to make gizmo shells (you can’t buy them).  There is a weapon gizmo shell and an armour gizmo shell, you can also get a tool gizmo shell which I won’t be covering in this post.  You make the weapon gizmo shell with blade parts, crafted parts and strong components at the invention bench.  You make the armour gizmo shell with deflecting parts, crafted parts and protective parts at the invention bench.  Once you have the shells then you can click on them “add materials” to get to the next step.

Third Step – Adding Materials

So clicking “add materials” on a gizmo shell will bring up a new window:

Runescape Adding Materials To a Gizmo Shell
Runescape Adding Materials To a Gizmo Shell

As you can see from the image above, you click or drag the materials onto the five slots to see what possible perks you can get and then can create it if happy.  When you click create you will not necessarily get the top one and may have to re-roll it a few times until you get what you want, you can also fail it.  If you have enough materials to try again it will let you re-roll on another gizmo shell but it will use a new one, not the previous one.  “But how the hell do I know what materials to add for what perks?”  I hear you cry.  Well that depends what you want to get out!  In the next section I give some tips for those who want to add stuff but don’t want to research the full ins and outs of whats available.

Non-elitist Ok Perks To Get Started

On an augmented two handed weapon you can add two weapon gizmos, otherwise you can add one gizmo to main hand and one to offhand.  Generally I would aim for precise and aftershock perks on weapons if you are after adding extra damage.  The pros go for Precise 4 + Equilibrium 2 in one slot and aftershock 3 in the other but you don’t have to get those exact numbers, even aftershock 1 is better than nothing.

On armour you can have two gizmos on legs and two on tops.  The main ones to aim for are crackling, enhanced devotion, impatient and biting.  The pros will go for things like biting 3 which requires nox components and is too expensive for my tastes but you can get biting 2 for nowhere near the cost and is very helpful.

Weapons – Precise Perk

So to make the first one you want precise really, you can use precise 1-5 on its own instead if you can keep re-rolling until you get what you want.  To get precise 5 add 5 armadyl components to the gizmo shell.  You can’t get that many have a look at the other suggested combos on the wiki page which includes getting equilibrium with it:

https://runescape.wiki/w/Precise

Weapons – Aftershock Perk

Now aftershock perk can seem expensive as you need to use Ilujankan components which come from Anima Core Zaros items which are 18mil at the time of writing but only get you 1 component for disassembling but don’t panic, there is a way to get more.  You buy an Anima Core Legs of Zaros and Anima Core Body of Zaros then augment them both (you don’t need gizmos on them).  Then level them up to level 9 in combat and disassemble which will give you more Ilujankan components and enable you t make this expensive perk.  More details and combos on the wiki page:

https://runescape.wiki/w/Aftershock

Armour – crackling

Crackling 3 is great and can be reasonably cheap to get by using explosive components gathered by disassembling hand cannons.  Even if you only have crackling 1-2 its better than nothing.  You can get it with secondary perks too as shown on the wiki:

https://runescape.wiki/w/Crackling

Armour – Enhanced Devotion

This one is gained by using Faceted components which can be gathered by disassembling crystal items.  A cheaper way to do it is by disassembling crystal flasks or light orbs.  You can get enhanced devotion 2-3 quite easily:

https://runescape.wiki/w/Enhanced_Devoted

Armour – Impatient

Now this one can cost some money as it needs Zaros components and Zamorak components specially if you are after 3, I would go for 1-2 to start with as its a lot cheaper:

https://runescape.wiki/w/Impatient

Armour – Biting

Now as I said above biting 3 is not worth it for most people but biting 2 can be got quite easily and cheaply using direct components.  You can also try to get it with a secondary perk like venonblood/reflexes/mobile.  The compnents you need for this are suggested on the wiki:

https://runescape.wiki/w/Biting

Summary

Now if you have learnt anything from this I hope it is that perking is worth it and doesn’t have to be expensive.  Start with adding a few small cheap perks to get the hang of it and you can easily replace them over time when you get more cash or components.

GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots

Here are a selection of game play screenshots from the game GTA V (GTA 5) by Rockstar:

GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Vespucci Beach - Paper Bag Man
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Vespucci Beach – Paper Bag Man

GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Shooting From The Back Of a Broken Helicopter
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Shooting From The Back Of a Broken Helicopter
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Senora Freeway - Motorbike Parade
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Senora Freeway – Motorbike Parade
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Sandy Shores Crew Gathering
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Sandy Shores Crew Gathering
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Sandy Shores - Car Jumping The Helicopter
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Sandy Shores – Car Jumping The Helicopter
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Pillbox Hill - In The Sewer
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Pillbox Hill – In The Sewer
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Pillbox Hill - Great View From The Top Of A Building
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Pillbox Hill – Great View From The Top Of A Building
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Paleto Cove - Sunrise
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Paleto Cove – Sunrise
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Paleto Bay - Fireball Explosion At Night
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Paleto Bay – Fireball Explosion At Night
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Pacific Ocean - View Of Venice Beach From Above
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Pacific Ocean – View Of Venice Beach From Above
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Mount Gordo - Independence Day
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Mount Gordo – Independence Day
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Mirror Park boulevard - View At Night
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Mirror Park boulevard – View At Night
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Integrity Way - Car Lights In Reflection From Wet Road
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Integrity Way – Car Lights In Reflection From Wet Road
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - South Mo Milton Drive West Vinewood - Quad Bikes
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – South Mo Milton Drive West Vinewood – Quad Bikes
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Grand Senora Desert Sunset Plus Car
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Grand Senora Desert Sunset Plus Car
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Equality Way - Del Perro Pier
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Equality Way – Del Perro Pier
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Del Perro - Selfie Stick
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Del Perro – Selfie Stick
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Great View of Cassidy Creek
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Great View of Cassidy Creek
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Burton Station - Finish Him
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Burton Station – Finish Him
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots - Burton Car Park Crew Meeting
GTA V (GTA 5) Screenshots – Burton Car Park Crew Meeting

Screenshots – Elite Dangerous

Here are a selection of game play screenshots from the game Elite Dangerous by Frontier: