Now available from Tronixlabs Australia is the ESP8266 NodeMCU development board - a true plug-and-play solution for inexpensive projects using WiFi. The module arrives pre-flashed with NodeMCU firmware so they're ready to go - just install your USB driver (below). Or you can now develop for your NodeMCU board with the Arduino IDE - so now you have an Arduino-compatible with WiFi for under $20!
This NodeMCU development board contains a full ESP8266 WiFi module with all the GPIO broken out, a full USB-serial interface, and a power supply all on the one breadboard-friendly package. The NodeMCU is an open-source project and you can find all the design files and so on from their github page.
This board is pre-flashed with NodeMCU - a Lua-based firmware for the ESP8266 which allows easy control via a neat scripting language - Lua - so you're ready to go in just a few minutes. However it would be a good idea to flash it with the latest version avaiable, as the firmware may update during the time we hold the stock.
Using with Arduino? Use Arduino.cc IDE version 1.6.5 with boards manager version 2.1.0 of the ESP8266 (Thanks Karl!)
Installing the USB drivers
This board uses a Silicon Labs CP2102 USB to serial converter IC. You can download USB drivers from here. Once installed - in Windows, the device will appear under Ports (COM & LPT) --> Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge (COMx) in Device Manager.
Note - You need to use a data/power USB cable ("5 wire cable"), a simple USB charging cable will not be enough.
Re-flashing the NodeMCU firmware
First install your USB driver (above). Then download a copy of the latest firmware file from here. If you have a Windows-based computer then use the flash tool from here. Otherwise if you have a Mac or other system or like the command line then use the ESPtool with python.
Of course if you have any questions please ask in the forum or email firstname.lastname@example.org