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Author Topic: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls  (Read 25906 times)

dhouston

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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2016, 12:52:27 PM »

One of the diagrams shows a phone, router, and the device with arrows suggesting direct communication.  There is a cloud icon there as well, so I'm curious if it is possible to control things without internet access or if you must connect to the cloud when on the local network.  I'd assume cloud is required (usually is), but if not that would be interesting.

The ESP8266 is capable of being client or AP or client & AP simultaneously. As I mentioned earlier, I can't play with these now. I do see the Amazon Weather Service logo and some rather slender arrows, and I'm fairly certain there's no necessity for clouds. I briefly looked at the sparse documentation and it seems the Android and iOs apps can pair with the device(s) so direct control should be possible.

There's a forum (with minimal info to date) but there is a link to an Instructable (which appears to be about an earlier beta device) that implies a need for cloudy skies.

They say, in the forum, that they have yet to decide about publishing the WiFi Protocol.

PS: I believe I've seen similarly shaped clouds hovering over local Walmarts.  rofl
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 04:27:13 AM by dhouston »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2016, 01:09:35 PM »

The sonoff-wifi-wireless-switch might be just the thing I've been looking for my outdoor wood furnace at the off grid place.
For the price it is worth a try.
The new furnaces have this feature but I'm not forking out the money for a new furnace when this one works just fine.
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bkenobi

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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2016, 03:04:50 PM »

I've done some playing with a NodeMCU (ESP8266/ESP-12E) module using the Arduino IDE.  So far, I can make the LED on the module flash at different rates, host a web page, send MQTT packets, etc.  They are pretty cool little devices that can definitely be used as you describe (without the cloud), but I assume they would have the device contact a cloud server rather than host a service that your phone connects to directly.  If you have one, you'd certainly know more than me though!

dhouston

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« Reply #18 on: February 18, 2016, 03:42:15 PM »

The User Guide indicates a need for cloudy skies...
http://blog.iteadstudio.com/user-guide-for-sonoff-slampher/
but this answer in the forum indicates it also has local control...
http://support.iteadstudio.com/support/discussions/topics/11000001020
so I guess you need the cloud when away from home but can connect sans cloud when at home.

Also, it looks like the firmware as well as Android/iOS apps are still under development so things may change.

These are the first devices I've seen where the ESP8266 MCU is  integrated with the hardware of the final product rather than as a separate circuit board. It may or may not be possible to hijack such a device and install your own firmware. At this point I do not know whether it's possible to get it into download mode without DTR/RTS. The docs do show a Serial-TTL chip which is encouraging.
http://dl.itead.cc/IM151116002/sonoff-parts-without-433.jpg

And, it looks like being an early adopter means I missed out on the version that also has 433MHz RF control which would be another method of (purely) local control - it wasn't available when I ordered but is now.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 04:29:23 PM by dhouston »
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #19 on: February 18, 2016, 04:42:26 PM »

bkenobi & I pretty much hijacked this thread...
http://forums.x10.com/index.php?topic=29439.msg165536#new
turning it into a discussion of the Sonoff switch.

I'm curious whether the status tracking is by dead reckoning or by querying the device(s). The latter would seem to be a useful feature for your outdoor wood furnace application.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 04:56:40 AM by dhouston »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2016, 04:53:25 PM »

Yep, hope I've fixed that.
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2016, 03:56:28 AM »

One more reason cited for the cloud is that each device can have up to 8 scheduled events (i.e. timers) but, as yet, there's no mention of macros. If Amazon's cloud is aware of all events (both local and remote), macros would seem a natural extension. However, the time based events might be stored within the switch (or light) - there's probably enough internal memory for that and the ESP8266 has its own RTC as well as the ability to access internet time servers. Macros, however, require a centralized controller (local or cloud-based).

While there have been only a few Sonoff related questions to Itead Studio's forum, they have mostly addressed desirable features that would be familiar to most X10 users. If Authinx is not watching this, they should be.
http://support.iteadstudio.com/support/discussions/1000058207

EDIT: Looking at the Sonoff schematic, there is a 1MByte Flash memory chip(25Q80BV). There's also another chip (EFM8BB1) which is an 8-bit microcontroller, the function of which is not clear to me given that the ESP8266 is a 32-bit microcontroller. (The optional EFM8BB1 handles the optional 433MHz RF receiver.)
http://wiki.iteadstudio.com/images/6/6b/Sonoff_schmatic.pdf
http://www.datasheet4u.com/datasheet-pdf/Winbond/25Q80BV/pdf.php?id=935848
http://www.mouser.com/pdfdocs/EFM8BB1_DataSheet.PDF
All-in-all, it appears to have computing power that's a few orders of magnitude beyond the typical X10 device.

Upon further review, it appears that the TTL TX, RX, Enable & RESET are brought out to solderpads so it should be possible to reprogram the ESP8266. This could be fun!
« Last Edit: February 19, 2016, 07:31:24 PM by dhouston »
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2016, 05:06:25 AM »

Yep, hope I've fixed that.

I think so. Unfortunately, the Australian chap who started that thread stopped watching it before I suggested the Sonoff switch which would seem ideal (and super inexpensive) for his application. His email is hidden or I would try reaching him that way.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2016, 08:02:40 AM »

They have set the option to receive an email on a reply to that thread, however they have never returned (logged on again) to the forum.
So I doubt emailing them would help.
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #24 on: March 12, 2016, 04:08:47 PM »

Here's another low cost ESP8266 based device from the same source. This looks versatile and useful.
http://wiki.iteadstudio.com/Sonoff_SV
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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #25 on: March 12, 2016, 04:30:07 PM »

My Sonoff  just arrived the other day, I expected Air mail to be faster then the boat  rofl
I hope to play with this a bit in the next few days before I attempt to attach it to my outdoor furnace.
I did download the android app and preinstalled it in hopes to get a bit of a feel for it.
you need to setup a account and request a text authorization to get it working. This took me a few attempts but on the forth attempt I was able to log on.
The unit I ordered was without the RF receiver but one can be added latter if I wish (figured my wife would hit the roof with another remote in the house). rofl
As soon as I get this powered up for testing I'll post my findings.
 >!
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #26 on: March 12, 2016, 10:11:35 PM »

Will the Android app run under BlueStacks? My left hand is paralyzed and I find trying to use a phone or tablet with one hand to be more hassle than it's worth.
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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #27 on: March 12, 2016, 11:33:33 PM »

............ As soon as I get this powered up for testing I'll post my findings.
 >!

Will be looking forward to reading about this.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #28 on: March 13, 2016, 10:07:25 AM »

Will the Android app run under BlueStacks? My left hand is paralyzed and I find trying to use a phone or tablet with one hand to be more hassle than it's worth.
I never thought of trying that!
I suspect it will, once I have it wired up I'll attempt it and let you know how well it works or doesn't. >!
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Tuicemen

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2016, 06:17:48 PM »

I've done some simple setups and ran some simple tests so far.
The App installs fine on Bluestacks it also will control the Sonoff turning it on and off.
However you can't install a new device using BlueStacks  :-[
If you install with a phone the next time you open the app in Bluestacks it will appear.
You can delete a Sonoff from Bluestacks ,so far it appears only installing fails on Bluestacks.

There was a new update for the app so I installed it on the Bluestacks machine as well this still won't allow a device install.
However is a little cleaner looking
The app still needs some work with initial setup but basic functions are there.
You can setup the device so it turns the device connected to it on power up or remains off with power up which is nice.
It has a timer which can be set for just once or any or every day of the week.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 06:56:18 PM by Tuicemen »
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