MKS WIFI for Makerbase Robin: boards and how to wiring esp12 & NodeMCU – 1

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I bought a FlyingBear Ghost 5 with an integrated WiFi module, but I discovered no web interface. I don’t know why they can’t add a basic user interface. Then I went to see the web interface of the high-end Makerbase cards and realized that it was better they didn’t develop it.

My solution was to modify the firmware to support the Web Socket and develop the Web interface. This feature is compatible with all Makerbase cards with an MKS WiFi module.

Makerbase MKS Robin Nano wifi module wiring
Makerbase MKS Robin Nano WiFi module wiring

The result of the BeePrint Web interface is in this screenshot.

MKS WiFi BeePrint interface of my FlyingBear Ghost 5
MKS WiFi BeePrint interface of my FlyingBear Ghost 5

I also decided to explain all the development phases of the project. In this article, I would like to expose the hardware infrastructure of the MKS WiFi card that interfaces with the Makerbase Robin Nano.

MKS Robin Nano v1

But first, we are going to analyze the MKS Robin boards from MakerBase.

MKS Nano Robin 1.2
MKS Nano Robin 1.2

You can find MKS Robin Nano kit here AliExpress v1.2

Here is the board of FlyingBear Ghost 5, an MKS Robin Nano v1.1, but in the most recent can be v1.2 also.

FlyingBear Ghost 5 Reborn mother board
FlyingBear Ghost 5 Reborn motherboard

This board has many connectors, and here there is a connection schema.

MKS Robin Nano 1.2 wiring
MKS Robin Nano 1.2 wiring

MKS WiFi module

But the part that interests us in this article is the WiFi module in this photo.

MKS WIFI module
MKS WIFI module

Here the last MKS WiFi module AliExpress

This is a simple esp12 S that have the same pinout as esp07 or esp12 E

esp07 pinout low resolution mischianti
esp07 pinout low resolution

And can be programmed by following this guide “esp12 esp07 (esp8266): flash, pinout, specs, and Arduino IDE configuration“.

esp12S respect the other have a better WiFi strength, with fewer pins.

The connection becomes like this.

MKS Robin Nano 1.2 wiring esp12 as wifi module
MKS Robin Nano 1.2 wiring esp12 as a WiFi module

MKS WiFi has two types: mks robin WiFi and mks TFT WiFi. They are the same electronic connect with the MCU of the host-board, using different sockets. The WiFi module is designed to connect to the host-board with the following signals:

  • Uart Tx/Rx : for uart data transferring
  • Reset : for reseting the wifi by the host-board
  • GPIO4 : for the wifi module to read whether the host-board is ready to receive data on serial(low level valid)
  • GPIO0 : for switching the wifi module to boot mode(high level) or firmware flash mode(low level) by the host-board

As you can see in the schema, there are four free pins,

  • ADC
  • GPIO16
  • GPIO05
  • GPIO02 (I use It to debug the code, very usefully, read this article)

so I already thought of creating an adapter to use that pins.

You can find some schema on the MKS WiFi repository.

MKS WiFi schema
MKS WiFi schema

Using NodeMCU instead MKS WiFi module

Select NodeMCU with the version you want WeMos D1 mini - NodeMCU V2 V2.1 V3 - esp01 - esp01 programmer

You can use a simple esp8266 NodeMCU module as a WiFi module.

NodeMcu v2 pinout low resolution
NodeMcu v2 pinout low resolution

Here is the connection schema.

You can connect D4 as Serial debug (Serial1), and the upload process is the same as esp12.

Test env for MKS WiFi with NodeMCU esp8266 on Robin Nano
Test env for MKS WiFi with NodeMCU esp8266 on Robin Nano


  1. MKS WIFI for Makerbase Robin: boards and how to wiring esp12 & NodeMCU
  2. MKS WIFI for Makerbase Robin: PCB and how to compile & upload firmware
  3. MKS WIFI for Makerbase Robin: communication protocol and Cura plugin
  4. MKS WIFI for Makerbase Robin: firmware upgrade and new Web Socket features
  5. MKS WIFI for Makerbase Robin: BeePrint web interface with Camera on Flying Bear Ghost
All the code is released under Creative Commons License
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2 Responses

  1. Julian says:

    Hi there! First, awesome job…
    Now, i have a maybe crazy question? The J18 pinout on the Nano Robin v1.2 (at the bootom of the wifi connector), can be used for something usefull? It looks a lot to a USB port…. so maybe for pendrive support? or to make direct connection to a Raspberry Pi? Do you have any insight about it? Thanks!!

    • Hi Julian,
      first of all, where is the J18 connector?
      But I think that It’s impossible to upgrade with similar features without rewriting the firmware.
      Bye Renzo

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