I assume that something about the internal antenna tuning / power adjustment / 'squelch' is different between the flashed codes,... or even he used SDK for the chip.
Running with untuned antenna is bad... no antenna is even worse, and depending on the tx power setting, the chip may blow/ heat up. Bad antenna tuning / no antenna produces very high SWR and all the HF energy is reflected back into the chip, which easily explains the heating up of it.
I bought two of them bastards, under arduino IDE wifi works fine. Albeit when flashed ESPEASY it just keeps disconnecting. I was hoping to use it instead of regular nodemcu due to ext antenna...oh well. have to solder u.fl socket to nodemcu instead...
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