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I'd like to power an NodeMCU off of four 1.5v batteries. That's 6v.

Depending on the source I've read that 5.1v will fry the board and, just a few clicks later, that the board will take up to a 20v input.

What is the real, practical input voltage range for an NodeMCU? Even the spec sheets seem to disagree.

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I edited your question and changed ESP-12 to NodeMCU, based on the title and tag.

5.1 V will 'fry' a plain ESP12, but the NodeMCU is development board with esp8266 and the board has a power regulator for USB power or Vin pin. The parameters of the regulator depend on the regulator used by the manufacturer of your board.

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