If you have read me, you might know I have a firmware for ESP8266-based smart switches called ESPurna. The firmware integrates with Alexa, Domoticz, Home Assistant and about any other service that supports MQTT or HTTP REST APIs. It supports a variety of devices, including almost the whole Sonoff family by Itead Studio, but also some other commercially available boards and light bulbs, and open source hardware projects as well.
But sometimes you just don’t find the proper hardware for your specific case. Maybe it doesn’t expose enough GPIOs, maybe it’s short of analog ports, maybe you need a double-throw relay,… Sometimes we manage to work around these limitations of the hardware adding peripherals or using a thin iron tip. But other times the problem is that it just doesn’t fit.
And size was the main reason I started creating my own smart switch board.
Following the bright path (sic) of the Ai-Thinker AiLight / Noduino OpenLight I wrote about a few weeks ago, now it’s turn for one of those devices you purchase but once they arrive they are stored in the TODO box until they eventually come back to life.
Really busy these days. I have some drafts ongoing but I wanted to publish this short post right away.
One of the readers of this blog, Michel Clavette, sent me these pics just yesterday. He bought 5 Ai Light bulbs and to his surprise two of them do not have an ESP8266 microcontroller but instead this IC labelled KK2015.
KK2015 powered Ai Light. Picture by Michel Clavette
It looks like a drop-in replacement for the ESP8266 since it has the same footprint and all the other components are (apparently) the same. But we have not been able to find even the slight reference to this one on the whole Internet…
So this is an open question: does anyone know about this chip?
UPDATE 20170407: I’ve been confirmed the KK2015 is the very same ESP8266 marked with a different label, reason unknown yet.
UPDATE20170407 (bis): A new update thanks to a contact that was involved in design of the Ai Light. The mark belongs to Konke, “a big customer of Espressif, so Espressif provides mark service for Konke in 2016.” So after all, the KK2015 is a rebranding of the ESP8266, nothing more.
Michel will try to flash it using the same procedure as for the ESP8266. Hope we will have some info from him soon.
Some weeks ago a tweet by Manolis Nikiforakis (@niki511) with the #ESP8266 hashtag drew my attention. Manolis had just received a “smart lamp” branded by Ai-Thinker, the AiLight. Yes, the same Ai-Thinker that has sold millions of ESP8266 based modules. Chances were it had an ESP8266 microcontroller inside. Too good not to buy one and take a look at the inside.
I actually bought two because you never know. And they arrived last Thursday. It took me less that 1 minute to open one of the boxes, pop out the cap and take a look at the inside just to see what I already knew. Time to play 🙂
Sometimes Chinese manufacturers throw a mysterious, unlabelled, IC into their designs so we can spend a few hours trying to figure out what they are and what they do. It’s such fun! I’ve been playing with one of those this afternoon, trying to answer those questions but also trying to understand why! Why is that chip there? Why did someone decided she needed that chip there?
Some weeks ago a user of ESPurna asked me if the firmware supported Itead’s 1CH self-lock/inching board. My answer was “why not” since all Itead’s products are very much alike. Wrong. This one is different. Let me summarise why:
There is no entry in the Itead’s wiki for the device
There are no schematics, drawings, in the store
It uses (and brings out) a Songle SRD-05VDC-SL-C SPDT relay (there is only one other product using this relay in Itead Studio store)