This is a short article just showing how to install drivers and communicate with a NodeMCU. I’m writing it because on Windows you can install the drivers automatically and don’t have to scour the internet for the right ones. Looking at guides here and there has revealed to me that some people assume that all NodeMCUs have the same USB->serial controller, but they do not.
This approach should avoid the problem of finding and downloading the right drivers.
On Windows it was pretty easy (and I’ve done this with two different NodeMCUs with different USB Serial interfaces).
Plug in your NodeMCU, and head over to the Device Manager. Easy way is to right click on the windows button or press windows key+X.
Look for a USB to Serial kind of device that seems to be broken:
This is your NodeMCU, but windows doesn’t know what it is.
Double click on it and head over to the Drivers tab. Click on Update Driver:
The be sure to select the top button to search windows update:
It should search for a while and then install the drivers. No downloading dodgy drivers from some weird website.
Connecting with PuTTY (Again, Only Windows Users will Care)
One other useful thing I’m going to show is how to connect to the NodeMCU via the serial port using PuTTY.
Note in your device manager what the port is (mine is COM8 like you see above). And open up PuTTY. Select Serial and enter the port:
Enter the baud rate of 115200 (may not work for you, but it worked for the two different kinds of NodeMCUs I have).
Next go to the serial category on the side and set the settings like this (btw I did this by trial and error):
Now you should be able to open the terminal and send commands:
Note: If nothing happens it’s likely that your controller does not have the NodeMCU firmware on it (again, both of mine were like this). Press the reset button while PuTTY is open and see what it spits out. If it does not have the NodeMCU firmare on it, your googling isn’t over yet, unfortunately.