Wemos D1 mini clones sleep mode power consumption

11 May 2021 | last updated on 03 Jul 2021 | all notes

The widespread table showing the currents consumed by the different ESP8266 sleep modes (see below) only applies to raw ESP8266 chips. On ESP8266-based development boards (such as the Wemos D1 mini) extra components (in particular a low-dropout voltage regulator and a USB-to-serial chip) add an additional current overhead during sleep modes. For example, while the ESP8266 itself should only be consuming .02mA in deep sleep mode, Salvatore Lab reports a D1 mini (“first version”) to consume 9mA in deep sleep mode, in contrast to a D1 Mini Pro board as well as a D1 Mini v3 at a more reasonable .15mA each.

Below are my own measurements based on a number of different boards I had lying around.

Table showing the differences between different sleep modes of the ESP8266in in terms of chip states and power consumption

D1 mini power consumption measurements

Below is a description of the boards I tested, with power being supplied through the 5V port (for some reason I didn’t manage to pass 3.3V directly to the 3.3V pin, presumably an issue with my cheap multimeter).

While it’s not necessarily clear if excessive power consumption should be blamed on the USB-TTL chip or the LDO, there is one clear pattern: boards with an unmarked USB-to-TTL chip (i.e. lacking a CH340C label) all draw an excessive ~13mA of current even in deep sleep. Coincidentally the CH340C spec says it should draw 12mA (30mA max), indicating that maybe the unlabelled clones do not properly implement sleep mode, meaning that on those boards the USB-to-TTL chip will continue to draw the full standby current even when the ESP8266 itself is asleep.

Measurements were taken during a single run through the ESP8266 Arduino Low-Power Demo sketch, numbers in the table correspond to the consecutive tests implemented by the sketch.

Shield marking Chip, Chip ID, manufacturer LDO Board features Taobao purchase
ESP-12F DOITING ESP8266EX, 0x0019b098, c8, 4016, 4MB DE=A10 (300mA RT9193) ‘m1n1’, rounded antenna side, unmarked USB-TTL chip, Serial output “Ai-Thinker Technology Co.,Ltd. invalid” 8.7RMB from 深圳广丰盛 (red dragon logo) advertised as ESP-8266EX, comes in small non-rippable bag
ESP-12F DOITING ESP8266EX, 0x001a0d64, 5e, 4016, 4MB LB2K (150mA Torex USP-6B XC6219B27ADR) ‘D1 m1n1’, square antenna side, WCH CH340C, Serial output “don’t use rtc mem data” 10.5RMB from 新泰微电子 (red ATW logo) advertised as ESP-8266EX, comes in small rippable bag
ESP8266MOD ESP8266EX, 0x0030c0d2, d8, 4016, 4MB 4B2K (150mA Torex XC6204) ‘m1n1’, rounded antenna side, unmarked USB-TTL chip, Serial output “ready” 10RMB from 深圳市育松电子 (green Y logo), comes in large non-rippable bag
ESP8266MOD ESP8266EX, 0x00e12e58, d8, 4016, 4MB DE=A10 (300mA RT9193) no board marking, rounded antenna side, WCH CH340C ?
no shield, ESP8266EX ESP8266EX, 0x00a6a853, 20, 4016, 4MB   ‘D1 m1 n1’, ‘v3.0.0’, rounded antenna side with screwholes, unmarked USB-TTL chip, USB port on top. I had to manually pull down D3 to be able to flash this board 12.5RMB from 深圳广丰盛 (red dragon logo), 4MB
X^ = peak value
X -> Y = before + after wake or stabilisation (modem sleep only kicks in after 7 seconds)
X/Y = alternates based on wifi usage/beacons
LowPowerDemo.ino test no. ESP-12F DOITING m1n1 ESP-12F DOITING D1 m1n1 ESP8266MOD m1n1 ESP8266MOD ESP8266EX D1 v3
1: Wifi unconfigured 86mA 75mA 86mA 76mA 74mA
2: Wifi connected 110^ -> 80/32mA 90^ -> 69/19mA 90 -> 82/33mA 80^ -> 73/22mA 88^ -> 70/22mA
3: modem sleep 28mA 16mA 29mA 18mA 18mA
4: light sleep w/ wifi 84^ -> 80/20mA 78^ -> 69/7mA 86^ -> 82/18mA 76^ -> 71/8mA 75^ -> 69/8mA
5: timed light sleep 14mA .8mA 13.1mA 3.2mA 3.2mA
6: forced light sleep          
7: deep sleep RF_DEFAULT 13.3mA .1 -> 90^ -> 72mA 12.5 -> 86mA 2.8 -> XXmA 2.7 -> 73mA
8: deep sleep RFCAL   .1 -> 75^ -> 72mA 12.5 -> 85mA 2.8 -> XXmA 2.7 -> 75-81mA
9: deep sleep NO_RFCAL   .1 -> 75^ -> 72mA 12.5 -> 85mA 2.8 -> XXmA 2.7 -> 74mA
10: deep sleep RF_DISABLED   .1 -> 20.8mA 12.5 -> 32.5mA 2.8 -> 17.5mA 2.7 -> 21mA

See also