It has come to light that the voltage regulator in the kits for the ESP8266 Wifi Module sent out between mid-June 2022 and 10th September is incorrect.
The original part, labelled AMS1117 (or similar) is a 1A 3v3 SOT-223 voltage regulator. This part was unavailable earlier this year due to the worldwide component shortage. It is a fairly generic “jellybean” component, and there are dozens of other parts that will do the same job, so that wasn’t a huge concern.
The supplier I used had a recommended replacement of a AP7361-33E (labelled 1xE 61-33). This is a 1A 3v3 SOT-223 voltage regulator, at only slightly higher price than I’d paid months before for the AMS1117, so looked like an obvious substitution.
However, the thing that I failed to check was the pinout. The SOT-223 footprint is exactly the same, but pin arrangement is different, so it causes a virtually instant short on the supply rails.
I have written to all customers that bought an ESP8266 Wifi Module between these dates, and a replacement regulator has been sent. This regulator is an AZ1117 (labelled EH16A 204JH3 or similar) and is likely to be the part used going forward.
If you received an ESP8266 Wifi Module kit before June 2022 then it should have the original AMS1117 and you have nothing to worry about.
If you received an ESP8266 Wifi Module kit after September 2022 then it should have the new AZ1117 and you have nothing to worry about.
If you received an ESP8266 Wifi Module kit between these dates, please check the part number on the regulator in your kit. If it says 61-33 then you should have had an email from me and received a replacement in the post. Please feel free to get in touch if this hasn’t happened or you are unsure.
Please accept my apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. I take great pride in sending out the correct components with all RC2014 kits, but occasionally errors occur.