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Author Topic: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls  (Read 26450 times)

dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #60 on: April 12, 2016, 12:19:40 PM »

I don't have an account or else I would vote.  I hate signing up for so many forums knowing that spam bots will start calling soon enough.
I haven't seen any spam from Itead Studios and I've been using their PCB fabrication for a year or two and have purchased a few components as well.
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #61 on: April 12, 2016, 02:49:05 PM »

The (safe voltage) low voltage versions open so many options for Home Automation.
Since these can use 4-24 volts DC to operate and not only turn on/off things at this voltage but also AC things I plan on ordering several of these to play with.
With x10 support added to these via a RF module I can have solar powered HA of almost anything.
As currently constituted, they are limited to control of 4 devices using their 4-button RF remote. Finding a way to make them compatible with X10 RF would increase the number of possible devices, making them far more attractive.

Given the raw computing power of the ESP8266, there are multiple ways to use the 4 data lines (D0,D1,D2,D3) to represent On/Off for all 256 X10 addresses but, I don't think it's practical without Itead's cooperation and, so far, I've heard nothing from them.

There is one simple implementation that would sacrifice the use of one X10 address (e.g. P16). Sending P16 On would put the RF receiver into learning mode and it would take the next RF code it hears as its new X10 address. That requires a new MCU (or reprogramming the current MCU) as well as conversion to 310MHz. Both affect only the RF receiver module (even leaving control via the smartphone apps unaffected) but require an upfront investment of a few hundred dollars minimum for the 310MHz conversion.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2016, 03:12:15 PM by dhouston »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #62 on: April 12, 2016, 07:22:17 PM »


As currently constituted, they are limited to control of 4 devices using their 4-button RF remote. Finding a way to make them compatible with X10 RF would increase the number of possible devices, making them far more attractive.
I didn't realized that.
Actually I never gave it that much thought.
So if you had 6 Itlead devices currently you'd need 2 remotes in order to control all 6 via RF?
I never looked into the RF aspect of these as my original interest was for control while not present(well out of range for RF).

Quote
There is one simple implementation that would sacrifice the use of one X10 address (e.g. P16). Sending P16 On would put the RF receiver into learning mode and it would take the next RF code it hears as its new X10 address.
Giving up P16 wouldn't be a big deal for most users adding more remotes to my collection would put me in the dog house for sure.
I have dozens of  remotes currently 3/4 are X10 compatible
Quote
That requires a new MCU (or reprogramming the current MCU) as well as conversion to 310MHz. Both affect only the RF receiver module (even leaving control via the smartphone apps unaffected) but require an upfront investment of a few hundred dollars minimum for the 310MHz conversion.
that will deter Itlead from implementing this without significant interest. :(
I guess one shouldn't expect this anytime soon. :'(
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #63 on: April 12, 2016, 09:10:46 PM »

So if you had 6 Itlead devices currently you'd need 2 remotes in order to control all 6 via RF?
I'm still waiting on delivery of a remote but I think you could only control 4 addresses no matter how many remotes.

Both the RXC6 RF module and the 4 button remote are off-the-shelf devices available from multiple vendors. The RXC6 appears to be programmable but I've not found any documentation. Some versions are able to learn codes from other remotes.

I have the Sonoff SV on order. I think I can design a 310MHz X10 compatible RF receiver module for it using parts in my inventory (aside from a PCB) but am not sure that it will also fit the relay and light socket as it uses a comparatively large through-hole ceramic resonator. Since I have the parts on hand, there's no additional investment. I think a smaller SMD resonator is preferable given the limited space and that does require an investment but it, along with the RF receiver IC the RXC6 now uses, would reduce unit cost dramatically.

But, at this point, the lack of interest both here and on the Itead forums convinces me that we are flagellating a deceased equine.

After investigating the Electrodragon module, I'm certain that any further discussion of Itead's module is...  >*<
« Last Edit: April 14, 2016, 12:01:23 PM by dhouston »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #64 on: April 14, 2016, 08:10:23 AM »

I'm still waiting on delivery of a remote but I think you could only control 4 addresses no matter how many remotes.
Itlead forum seems to indicate that. The one device one button response seems to rule out controlling two devices from one button as well.
Quote
But, at this point, the lack of interest both here and on the Itead forums convinces me that we are flagellating a deceased equine.
Sadly I agree.
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3Com

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #65 on: April 14, 2016, 12:40:25 PM »

dhouston/Tuicemen,
Very interesting posts on ESP8266... so much that I have bought a couple to play with to figure out how things work and to keep up (more like trying to understand one or two words out of a paragraph  :) ) with all the low level technical aspects that dhouston talks about.   >!

However, this has to be the best technical explanation ever...
Quote
Since there are two relays, we might even have a ménage à trois although silent relays might be preferred for this.
  rofl
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #66 on: April 15, 2016, 06:29:48 AM »

Very interesting posts on ESP8266... so much that I have bought a couple to play with to figure out how things work and to keep up (more like trying to understand one or two words out of a paragraph  :) ) with all the low level technical aspects that dhouston talks about.   >!
This did get a lot more technical than usual as Tuicemen and I tried to determine what was needed to make the Sonoff/Slampher devices from Itead X10 RF compatible. But, I think you will enjoy playing with the ESP8266. It was only introduced about 18 months ago and its potential was quickly seen and greatly appreciated by the developer community. It's available in numerous configurations and supported by several languages and development systems. If you send me a PM with your email I can give you some links that you may find helpful. It has attracted so much attention and spawned so much discussion that it is quite difficult to wade through all of the web references and resources.

To avoid confusion now that we have found an X10 friendly relay, Tuicemen has split this off into a new thread where we'll try to keep the theme more X10ish.
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #67 on: April 19, 2016, 07:34:28 AM »

dhouston/Tuicemen,
Very interesting posts on ESP8266... so much that I have bought a couple to play with to figure out how things work and to keep up (more like trying to understand one or two words out of a paragraph) with all the low level technical aspects that dhouston talks about.  
I just came across this fantastic resource for understanding the ESP8266...
https://www.espressif.com/en/media_overview/news/latest-version-kolbans-book-esp8266
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 07:37:59 AM by dhouston »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #68 on: April 19, 2016, 09:22:13 AM »

WOW  great find  #:)
I just downloaded the free book and briefly scanned threw the contents.
It looks like there is lots of info code in C and C++
 >! 
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #69 on: April 19, 2016, 12:56:06 PM »

WOW  great find  #:)
I just downloaded the free book and briefly scanned threw the contents.
It looks like there is lots of info code in C and C++
 >!  

It gets better.

I haven't used C since Windows 3.1 days so the code snippets are not of much interest for me plus I plan to use it almost exclusively as an WiFi-to-serial adapter which needs minimal coding. However, he describes the Espressif API in detail plus rather thoroughly explains the ESP8266 capabilities. I've skimmed about 25% and have learned many new things as well as seeing clear explanations that have disabused me of certain earlier misconceptions. Both the skill of the author and of Espressif are impressive.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2016, 12:59:53 PM by dhouston »
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3Com

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #70 on: April 19, 2016, 02:29:09 PM »

Sweet find!! Good job dhouston. Your post could not have come up at a better time. The book has a ton of information with good pictures and very detail explanations on the programming side. The author is very knowledgeable. Time to roll up my sleeves.     >!
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #71 on: April 19, 2016, 03:52:40 PM »

Sweet find!! Good job dhouston. Your post could not have come up at a better time. The book has a ton of information with good pictures and very detail explanations on the programming side. The author is very knowledgeable. Time to roll up my sleeves. 

Yes! I wish I had this when I first learned of the ESP8266 in February of last year but it's only been available for a few months. It would have saved me a lot of slogging through misinformative and contradictory info on the web. Of course, much of that was because Espressif, who introduced it in late 2014, was unprepared for its reception and it took them quite some time to get (almost) up to speed. That I found this through a link on their website speaks volumes. And, it explains things more succinctly than the links I could have provided.
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dhouston

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #72 on: April 30, 2016, 04:17:34 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.
 >!

My Slampher light socket has RF so I jury-rigged it so I could plug it into a handy outlet for testing. While pairing seemed a bit hit or miss (even after a successful pairing the red LED frequently flashes at an ON RF command) range was at least 25 feet through 3 plaster walls so my guesstimate is it will be at least 100 feet outdoors. The quality of the RF remote is outstanding and the little sliding cover has a detent to hold it over the buttons, preventing accidental activation (wish the KR19A had this).

However, I don't think Itead is anywhere near ready for Primetime. Their documentation is wildly inaccurate and they do not respond to questions - even when asked in their forum.

I have a few of the RXC6 RF receivers (from eBay) as well as one of Itead's clones. I'll try to find time to breadboard them so I can get my scope on the D0-D3 pins to try and figure out how they operate. 
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Tuicemen

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #73 on: July 24, 2017, 05:21:16 PM »

With itead finally adding local control to some of their modules (or so they say) ::) :' I decided to dig out the one sonoff basic I had which wasn't flashed with different firmware.
They have updated their app which is easier to log onto (at least with my new phone it is)
I also installed their Alexa skill to test out.
the module firmware required an update which went without a hitch ( something that it couldn't do with the old app)
The app and skill work fine however I still don't see how to control if the internet goes down. B:( Maybe I'm missing something.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Universal ESP8266 based WiFi light/appliance controls
« Reply #74 on: July 25, 2017, 07:44:14 AM »

I used the feed back in the eWelink app to ask about local control and was informed it wasn't possible B:(
I've asked for clarification as to what modules are controllable if any and how (threw the app or sending a URL request to the modules IP.) I swear communication between staff is slower then with customers. B:(
On the forum support states modules must have latest firmware but no other info is supplied. ::) :'
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