UART Bus

UART is a common serial protocol for a lot of devices. For example, when uploading a binary to your ESP you have probably used UART to access the chip. UART (or for Arduino often also called Serial) usually consists of 2 pins:

  • TX: This line is used to send data to the device at the other end.
  • RX: This line is used to receive data from the device at the other end.

Please note that these the naming of these two pins depends on the chosen perspective and can be ambiguous. For example, while the ESP might send (TX) on pin A and receive (RX) data on pin B, from the other devices perspective these two pins are switched (i.e. it sends on pin B and receives on pin A). So you might need to try with the two pins switched if it doesn’t work immediately.

Additionally, each UART bus can operate at different speeds (baud rates), so ESPHome needs to know what speed to receive/send data at using the baud_rate option. The most common baud rates are 9600 and 115200.

In some cases only TX or RX exists as the device at the other end only accepts data or sends data.

Note

On the ESP32, this component uses the hardware UART units and is thus very accurate. On the ESP8266 however, ESPHome has to use a software implementation as there are no other hardware UART units available other than the ones used for logging. Therefore the UART data on the ESP8266 can have occasional data glitches especially with higher baud rates..

# Example configuration entry
uart:
  tx_pin: D0
  rx_pin: D1
  baud_rate: 9600

Configuration variables:

  • baud_rate (Required, int): The baud rate of the UART bus.
  • tx_pin (Optional, Pin): The pin to send data to from the ESP’s perspective.
  • rx_pin (Optional, Pin): The pin to receive data on from the ESP’s perspective.
  • id (Optional, ID): Manually specify the ID for this UART hub if you need multiple UART hubs.

Hardware UARTs

Whenever possible, esphome will use the Hardware UART unit on the processor for fast and accurate communication. When the hardware UARTs are all occupied, esphome will fall back to a software implementation that may not be accurate at higher baud rates.

UART0 is (by default) used by the logger component, using tx_pin: GPIO1 and rx_pin: GPIO3. If you configure a UART that overlaps with these pins, you can share the hardware with the logger and leave others available. If you have configured the logger to use a different hardware UART, the pins used for hardware sharing change accordingly.

The ESP32 has three UARTs. Any pair of GPIO pins can be used, as long as they support the proper output/input modes.

The ESP8266 has two UARTs; the second of which is TX-only. Only a limited set of pins can be used. UART0 may use either tx_pin: GPIO1 and rx_pin: GPIO3, or tx_pin: GPIO15 and rx_pin: GPIO13. UART1 must use tx_pin: GPIO2. Any other combination of pins will result in use of a software UART.