Where's the Wizard ?


Senior Member
At 0X1000 you're trying to upload a file that probably doesn't exist yet
Not sure what you mean. This user1 bin file was in the "at\1024+1024" subdirectory--I copied it to where the other files were.

I tried esptool.py. Had to install python--success was reported. When I ran the esptool.py, I was just returned to the DOS prompt. Same with "python version" and "python -h", so there must be something wrong with my python installation (but it doesn't say that it isn't there).

Back to "Ugly and unwieldy" for SDK 3.03 with no success, though "Finish" was reported and the chip info is read. No response to "AT" and just garbage with Reset or power cycle. But if I flash SDK 2.0, all works. Also, with SKD 2.0, all the AT commands I have tried work except for AT+CIUPDATE and AT+CIPSNTPTIME? (I'd like to decode the time).

This is the 4th time I've spent 2-3 hours trying to get the latest firmware into the chip (which is supposed to be SKD 3.03 as I understand it--if so, why doesn't AT+CIUPDATE update to that?).

Is there a response to AT+CIPSNTPTIME? with SDK 2.2.1? Maybe I'll try to install that.


Senior Member
Hi Lance,

These ESP-things are a real can of worms. There are so many combinations of flashers and firmware, it's no wonder people have so many problems.

As you can see from previous posts, the 'ugly & unweildy' I used was not the same as the one you had.

Not only is it a different tool ( V 3.6.8 - V 3.8.5 ), it has different binaries in the list.
( Check the size of the flash chip on your ESP, not all are 8Mbit i.e 1Mbyte )

If you want a copy of the zip that mine came in just let me know. ( Can't attach here, too big. )

Regarding the time command, you need to set the time zone first, otherwise it always returns Jan 1st 1970 .

AT+CIPSNTPCFG=1,8 <-- See CIPSNTPCFG for settings
+CIPSNTPTIME:Fri May 15 07:46:46 2020

I'm quite impressed ( once I've spent hours faffing with stuff ) how powerful the AT-ESP is when used with a PICAXE.
It's just a pity so many people will give up and switch to a platform that 'just works'.




( Ignore labels, and the discontinuity in field 1 is when the temperature went below 0'c )


Senior Member
Thank you for persisting with me. I had downloaded ESP tools V 3.8.5 when I last tried to install SKD V3.03. I just now succeeded in installing SDK 2.2.1 with ugly & unwieldy. From there, AT+CIUPDATE yields "ERROR" (but no problem if 2.2.1 otherwise works).

I set the time zone with AT+CIPSNTPCFG=1,-4,"us.pool.ntp.org" (Atlantic Time, Halifax) and got OK, but AT+CIPSNTPTIME? gives me +CIPSNTPTIME:Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 1970.

But never mind, I can live without that (and the time format isn't trivial for a picaxe to decode anyway).

I agree, the ESP in AT mode is a powerful addition for a picaxe. I'm sorry I hadn't noted the Charles Hampton article when it came out.

Next I'll see if I can flash an ESP8285.


Senior Member
You've already proved it's not that hard :)
It was easy to flash ESPbasic because there was just one source webpage, and one dowloadable installer, and just two options for COM port and memory size. Very similar to downloading PE, then selecting COM port and PICAXE type.

As it is, I'm very impressed with both the ( properly flashed ) AT-ESP as a peripheral to a PICAXE, and the ESP with ESPbasic as a stand-alone device.

I'm now torn between PICAXE and ESPbasic, but if I moved to a bigger device than the ESP-01, ESPbasic would probably win.
Ignoring the built in webpage stuff, ( which is very useful if you need it, but I don't ), ESPbasic has so much going for it.

For example, 18B20 temperatures. These are to 3 decimal places, and multiple 18B20s can be on a single pin, accessed as temp(1), temp(2)... Functions to interact with ThingSpeak, draw graphics on a TFT, send emails, full string operations, floating point, WS2812 LEDs, touch screens, etc, etc,,

Now I know hippy will say a PICAXE can do this, and it can, if you jump through hoops to get there. ESPbasic does all these in a blink.

It does have downsides. The clunky programming interface is not very good, and it's possible to 'lock up' an ESP and it's tricky to get back in. But if you can put up with this it's a rich environment.




Mornin' all,

Hi, lbenson:

Here's an extract from my "/esptool-master/ESP8266_AT_Bin_V1.6.2/bin/at/README.md" file. I only have 1MB and 4MB ESPs so I never looked at the 2MB stuff which is why I thought "user1.1024.new.5.bin" was a typo for "user1.1024.new.2.bin" that looked like a fictitious future release.

## download
### Flash size 8Mbit: 512KB+512KB
boot_v1.2+.bin 0x00000
user1.1024.new.2.bin 0x01000
esp_init_data_default.bin 0xfc000 (optional)
blank.bin 0x7e000 & 0xfe000

### Flash size 16Mbit-C1: 1024KB+1024KB
boot_v1.2+.bin 0x00000
user1.2048.new.5.bin 0x01000
esp_init_data_default.bin 0x1fc000 (optional)
blank.bin 0xfe000 & 0x1fe000

# Update steps
1.Make sure TE(terminal equipment) is in sta or sta+ap mode


2.Make sure TE got ip address



3.Let's update

+CIPUPDATE:1 found server
+CIPUPDATE:2 connect server
+CIPUPDATE:3 got edition
+CIPUPDATE:4 start start



The easiest way to update to the latest firmware would be to fill in the Windows thing with the same files and addresses as in my command line in post #71. Just make sure you have those files.

Following the instructions above using the AT update should also do it, but I've never tried it.


I just tried the AT+CIUPDATE way a few times, and got an error each time.

Then I read in the doc:

ERROR will be returned if the upgrade fails due to unfavourable network conditions. Please wait for some time before retrying.

"some time".... that could be used to get it done in a more reliable way.

I'll give it another go in "some time", but I've already crossed it off my list of usefull things to be able to do.


Senior Member
Works OK everytime for me. 1,2,3 ( and sometimes another 3 ), 4, then wait about two minutes.

I don't know much about this flashing, there are just too many variables. That's why I use the OTA update, it should get the correct files from Espressif.

The CIUPDATE command reference lists the steps as :

Step 1 - Find the server.
Step 2 - Connect to server
Step 3 - Get software version ( Sometimes this step repeats )
Step 4 - Start updating.

I only ever do this after I've done the 'ugly' flash, shown in my screenshot a few posts back.

If you try it from a different starting condition, then YMMV !.

( It's exactly this kind of problem that a known firmware AXE-ESP from Rev-Ed would avoid. )



EDIT : Are you typing everything in uppercase ?. Some commands accept lowercase, but I don't trust it.

Another EDIT : This is everything on my terminal, from start to finish.








ets Jan 8 2013,rst cause:1, boot mode:(3,4)

load 0x40100000, len 2592, room 16

tail 0

chksum 0xf3

load 0x3ffe8000, len 764, room 8

tail 4

chksum 0x92

load 0x3ffe82fc, len 676, room 4

tail 0

chksum 0x22

csum 0x22

2nd boot version : 1.7(5d6f877)

SPI Speed : 40MHz

SPI Mode : QIO

SPI Flash Size & Map: 8Mbit(512KB+512KB)

jump to run user2 @ 81000

„ãìÃgä’sÃón|äÄl8{$b“Ÿ{’lÜoàƒoãdl Œâ{“lÄlÄ
$l {$‚slŒŸã„cŒ„c<$






( I don't get a smiley face, that's the forum software being too clever. )

I don't know if this helps.
Last edited:


Senior Member
I'm now torn between PICAXE and ESPbasic, but if I moved to a bigger device than the ESP-01, ESPbasic would probably win.

Now I know hippy will say a PICAXE can do this, and it can, if you jump through hoops to get there. ESPbasic does all these in a blink.
I don't think Rev-Ed have ever been shy about admitting PICAXE's big advantage is ease of use, which comes with some limitations, or that other things may well be better for specific tasks.

I would of course suggest 'PICAXE plus something else as a smart peripheral for the PICAXE' but it does sometimes make sense to do it all in that peripheral and use it as the controller where it makes sense to do that or it's the only way to do it.

Setting aside cost and hardware involved I think the best approach is whatever is simplest or least effort, which can include more work if easier to do compared to less work but harder to do, and will be greatly affected by familiarity and tool set-up.


Senior Member
I don't think Rev-Ed have ever been shy about admitting PICAXE's big advantage is ease of use,
The other big advantage to me is reliability--I have picaxes which have run for years. My solutions to getting picaxe data to a central location, or getting from central location to picaxe, have been varied. I've tried some more complicated arrangements and have run into situations where there are failures and I haven't been able to figure out why. If picaxe plus ESP turns out to be reliable then it will be a big plus for me--but setting up the ESP with recent firmware has been a major pain.


Senior Member
some time" later....
Congrats. But I was able to flash 2.2.1 directly. And why doesn't CIUPDATE do the update to SDK 3.03, which I understand is the latest, but which I have never been able to successfully flash (that is, success is reported, but I can't get a response to "AT")?


And why doesn't CIUPDATE do the update to SDK 3.03?
Because your ESP has only 1MB of flash.

The past:

ESPs with 1MB flash (01s,M3s,..)

The present:

Update AT's version to
Limited by the size of the AT bin files, only 1024+1024 flash map is supported by default. Therefore, please choose 16Mbit/32Mbit-C1 flash size when flashing these AT bin files with Espressif's Flash Download Tools.

The future:

Starting from December 2019,

* We will not add any new features to the ESP8266 NonOS SDK.
* We will only fix critical bugs in the ESP8266 NonOS SDK.
* We will only maintain the master branch of ESP8266 NonOS SDK, which is a continuously bug-fix version based on v3.0. This means:
* All other released branches will not be updated.
* All the future versions will be released from only the master branch mentioned above.
* It is suggested that the [ESP8266_RTOS_SDK](https://github.com/espressif/ESP8266_RTOS_SDK), instead of ESP8266 NonOS SDK, be used for your projects.

The latest ESP8266_RTOS_SDK allows users to develop applications using an architecture that are compatible with the SDKs of all Espressif chips, including ESP8266 series, ESP32 series, and the upcoming new series of chips. Switching to ESP8266_RTOS_SDK will helps users to:

* Eliminate the necessity to maintain more than one applications (for different chips), thus greatly reducing maintenance costs.
* Easily switch to other Espressif chips in the future for enhanced flexibility, less dependency, and reduced time-to-market.

Thank you for your interest in Espressif products.