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Author Topic: Sonoff for cheap!  (Read 310 times)

bkenobi

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Sonoff for cheap!
« on: March 28, 2019, 11:04:38 AM »

I decided a few weeks ago to purchase a Sonoff RF Bridge with the explicit intent to hack it for custom protocols.  Turns out, I gambled on the wrong vendor and now have to dispute with Paypal.  Fast forward to this morning...

AliExpress has a sale going on right now that results in some extremely cheap prices on Sonoff modules (and lots of other stuff too)!  I just picked up the RF Bridge for ~$7 shipped because they have it at 37% off, $5 off anniversary sale coupon, and free shipping!!!  I'm going to see if they have anything else, but if anyone is on the fence, look within the next 4 days to see what might be worth playing with!

dhouston

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Re: Sonoff for cheap!
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2019, 12:04:10 PM »

Perhaps your experience will be positive but I (and some others here) have had very bad experiences with AliExpress. I would avoid them like the plague.
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bkenobi

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Re: Sonoff for cheap!
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2019, 01:07:06 PM »

I haven't had a chance to try them in the past as my state had a dispute with the parent company.  Hopefully it will go ok.

dhouston

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Re: Sonoff for cheap!
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2019, 02:59:06 PM »

In essence, AliExpress is a Chinese version of EBay - they don't sell things themselves but provide the website and financial mechanisms to enable vendors to sell through them so it will likely depend on which vendor you are actually dealing with. I had issues with two vendors and found it impossible to negotiate the AliExpress complaint procedures. I gave up after going round and round in circles for two days.
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bkenobi

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Re: Sonoff for cheap!
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2019, 03:05:42 PM »

I wasn't clear that it was a marketplace when I ordered.  It appeared that they had a "Sonoff Store" with only one instance of each item displayed.  I think that may have just been the preferred vendor, but it doesn't really matter I suppose.  I knew it was from China which would delay the shipment to some degree, but I've had overall good luck ordering items and receiving them in relatively short periods (within a week at the quickest).  That said, I've had some bad experiences with Chinese vendors as well.  I will see how this goes I guess.

In the past my bad experiences have been through ebay which makes resolution very easy.  I've been scammed maybe 3-4 times and each time ebay has stepped in on my side.  My wife has had a buyer claim she did not ship something and ebay backed the buyer/scammer so it's a double edged sword I guess.  Either way, I guess I'll hope that I don't need the resolution features on AliExpress!

Tuicemen

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Re: Sonoff for cheap!
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2019, 06:56:54 PM »

I originally looked at the Sonoff bridge but it had a device limitation of 4 or five devices. So I went with the RM Broadlink Pro which had far less limitations.
 I having used SonOff devices I prior and with no local control also meant me having to flash it.
I believe the apps now allow local control so that's a non issue but I believe you'll still need to Flash the device to do what you want. There is code for controlling both the Broadlinks and Sonoff devices on GitHub now which will help with hacking, thought the Broadlink already controls everything I need RF or IR.
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bkenobi

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Re: Sonoff for cheap!
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2019, 10:55:44 AM »

I will not be using the Itead Sonoff software on the controller.  My plan is to flash it with one of the projects on Github which will enable it to work with more protocols and be more configurable.  I saw the Broadlink and did consider it, but it doesn't quite do what I want.  I am looking to decode weather station, power monitor, temperature sensors, etc.  The Broadlink appears to be compatible with many protocols but it only works with fixed codes (remote control, not data).  For under $15 I decided to try the Sonoff RF Bridge knowing there may be a range limitation.  The Broadlink offering appears to have better hardware but I did not see any similar Github projects and the price is 2-3x more than the Sonoff.  I'm starting with the cheap module which I know can be tinkered with in case it doesn't pan out.  I already have a few cheap modules I've tried for this project (Arduino, ESP8266, various RF boards, etc), so it's assumed it will never work as well as I want it to.
 

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