Tiny review of LoLin NodeMCU v3 I have just received this "LoLin NodeMCU v3"

Tiny review of LoLin NodeMCU v3

I have just received this “LoLin NodeMCU v3” board from Aliexpress. It was one of the first results on Aliexpress for “nodemcu”, and runs on the ESP-12E module. On the bottom it links to WeMos.cc website, but when I asked WeMos if they were the manufacturers of this board, they answered me it wasn’t.

Not sure about the quality: there are traces of flux on the board, and the USB-serial chip is a cheap one, but for the moment I didn’t have many problems. Unlike what they stated, the firmware was an AT-based one, not NodeMCU. It took me some time to flash it, as I spend some hours figuring out why the output on serial was just garbage. Then I also flashed blank.bin and everything works (for the moment). However, as the build quality is quite cheap, I’d recommend you to spend 2 more dollars (5$ vs. 3$) and buy a better quality board, like the WeMos ones. However, it seems to work for the moment.

I have 3 of these and I haven’t had any issues with them at all. I run them with CPU at 160Mhz, flash at 80Mhz in QIO-mode and they run just fine and stable. This board is based on the Nodemcu 0.9 - schematic, so there is only the LED on the ESP-12E module and it uses CH340G for USB-TTL, whereas Nodemcu 1.0-boards have another LED on the board itself and use CP2102 for USB-TTL. Nodemcu 1.0-boards are also quite a bit smaller. Functionally, however, there is no difference.

@Nita_Vesa yeah, my only doubts were regarding build quality and CH340G instead of CP2102 (which seems worse to me). Do your boards have http://WeMos.cc written on them or not?

@Raffaele No, neither Nodemcu or LoLin have anything to do with Wemos, Wemos is a completely separate company.

Also, I don’t really see anything wrong with CH340G. They seemingly went with CP2102 for v1.0 because it doesn’t require an external crystal and the IC itself is also smaller, thereby allowing them to reduce the size of the board.

So you think the CH34x are only an alternative to CP2102, and the only difference is drivers?
I saw a YouTube vid on those LoLin boards that stated that there are some boards that have http://WeMos.cc written under them, and some identical boards that don’t. The “WeMos” LoLin boards seem to have some problems on a reduced number of devices, while the “non-WeMos” ones seem to be almost perfect. I know they are different companies, I don’t even know who manufactures these. But my board does have WeMos name on it, even if it’s clearly not a WeMos board.

My LoLin-boards also have the “Wemos.cc”-text under the board, but it’s just your typical Chinaman clone-maker tactics where they try to to ride with a more well-known company’s name or trademark. You should simply ignore it, they really have absolutely nothing to do with Wemos in reality.

@Nita_Vesa yeah, I know they have nothing to do. However, after some time I learned that counterfeits on Chinese non-customer electronics don’t always affect quality, and usually they only aim to sell more.

@Raffaele I don’t know if it really counts as counterfeit, though. Nodemcu-schematics are open-source, anyone can implement them. The only thing “counterfeit” about these boards is the single line of text, all the physical components are legit.

Lolin NodeMCU board used to be hosted on http://Wemos.cc website a year ago at least as I am an eyewitness of that. They hosted schematic and tutorials for NodeMCU and Arduino platform. You can find another traces about that fact on http://frightanic.com/iot/comparison-of-esp8266-nodemcu-development-boards/ and https://easyeda.com/search/ESP8266%20wemos%20lolin for instance. Something wrong must have happend at Wemos that they suddenly removed all mentionning about Lolin boards from their website.

My only complaint about the LoLin boards is they are too wide for breadboards and some applications. I prefer the narrower Amica boards.