Today we disassemble a broken one D1 and try to get a little more range out of these useful little things. Usually is on ours D1 meanwhile an ESP8266-12F is installed, this is powerful, has a lot of memory, but unfortunately only one print antenna on the board. I saw videos on Youtube in which resourceful hobbyists try to cut through the print antenna and solder a socket or even a piece of wire.
First we connect ours D1 with the PC and check whether the CH340 is recognized correctly. If the USB serial controller is not correctly recognized, we need a different D1, as this is otherwise unsuitable for the conversion.
We start by clamping our module well, a third hand or a vice is an option. After we have loosened one side of the ESP on the board with hot air, we can use a small screwdriver to try to pry up the processor board, but be careful: just a millimeter is too much and lever the contact surfaces on the opposite side from the board, it shouldn't look like this:
Once we have solved the first page, we can continue with the second page. Alternatively, you can also try to loosen the left and right sides with hot air at the same time and then remove them with needle-nose pliers.
If everything worked out, it looks like this:
We then clean the old soldering points on the board by brushing the contact surfaces with a little "solder honey" and using a desoldering wire to remove the old tin. This is important so that the processor lies flat later and facilitates the subsequent soldering. Here is the cleaned board with flux:
Now we can connect the board with a new processor to our antenna and compare:
I think we have improved reception considerably:
By the way, you can also connect a directional antenna to the ESP :-)
Until next time :)