Getting Started

There are always a lot of questions when first starting with microcontrollers such as the Wemos D1 Mini. Of course after you hear everything this little piece of technology can do the first thing you want to do is get it to do everything. We have assembled a quick checklist to get you started getting the most out of your WeMos D1 Mini straight away.

What is WeMos?

WeMos produces microcontrollers such as the WeMos D1 Mini. As its name suggests the mini is quite small and being a microcontroller makes it a small computer. And as a computer, it takes inputs, gives outputs and can perform functions and programs that you can create for it. It is also highly flexible and adaptable by accepting other shields (other boards that attach to the D1 Mini) that can further extend the Mini's capabilities. Being Arduino-compatible also allows the D1 Mini to take advantage of an array of Arduino libraries and also make use of the Arduino IDE for programming the WeMos.

What Will I Need to Get Started?

The essential thing necessary to get started is the WeMos D1 Mini. This will be the item you can program and reprogram with your instructions. To begin programming you will need a micro USB to USB cable. This cable will serve as the connection from your Desktop or Laptop to the D1 Mini. 

Along with being able to be programmed and send instructions the board is also Wifi capable. This opens up many avenues that you can use to control the WeMos and shields that are attached to it wirelessly. At this point, you may say what is the point if it has to be attached to the desktop or laptop for power. But this is only the case when programming the board, once programmed you can use the USB cable attached to a portable power supply such as a portable cell phone battery charger or even by attaching a power shield to the Mini to use other portable power supplies.

Beginning Shopping List 


  1. WeMos D1 Mini (pictured above)
  2. Micro USB to USB cable (4 foot to 6 foot recommended for ease of use)

*Note - WeMos usually ships with header pins not attached to the board. If you have soldering equipment and are confident about attaching the headers pins to the board you can do this. If you are not Gadgets That Go does offer to solder the header pins for you.

Now That I Have the Essentials 

The first thing to begin programming with the WeMos is ensuring it can communicate with your desktop or laptop through connecting it using the micro USB to USB cable. We have put together a blog for this step as well that will walk you through setting up your WeMos.

Extending Capabilities

The flexibility of the Mini is that you can attach several more shields that each perform new functions. Gadgets That Go carries a solid selection of these boards that will help you create exactly what you need by adding on the correct shield.

So How Do I Add on a Shield?

Wemos Makes adding on shields simple. Adding a shield is merely lining up the header pins and connecting both units together. 

Available Shields and What They Do.

Find out what you may need to build your next project and don't forget to check out our how to section for guides and ideas on using these shields.

Dual Base

This board acts as an extender to connect a larger number of shields to the main board by spreading them out laterally but also ensuring both boards are wired together still.

DC Power Shield

This shield allows you to power your project wirelessly by supplying power through a barrel jack connector. It is most common to attach a 9-volt battery barrel jack connector to this shield.

 

Motor Shield

The Motor Shield allows you to power and control two separate motors. It will allow you to control speed and direction of each motor, which is very helpful in creating any project that moves.

 

8 x 8 Matrix LED Shield

Create visible output with the 8 x 8 Matrix LED Shield. This shield allows you to be as creative as you want with 64 individual LED lights. Use them to create a specific output or generate some cool lighting effects. The shield is great for a wide range of projects.

OLED Shield

The OLED Shield makes use of an exacting 64 X 48 pixel display. This library used for this display will allow you to generate text of different sizes and even add your own images and animations with a fair bit of programming.  

Micro SD Shield

When you reach the point where more space is a must the Micro SD Shield can assist. Programs and media files can get quite large and take up more space than the Mini can offer, but this shield can keep the party going.

Proto Shield

When you can't find exactly what you want there is also a shield for that. The Proto Shield will allow you to easily prototype your own version of circuit necessary for your project and let you easily attach it to the standard header pin connections.

Battery Shield 

The Battery Shield is handy for working with Lithium-ion batteries. These can be handy when dealing with projects that can require a good bit of power in a small lightweight package.