Category "code"

Low power in LoRaWan world - Meet the RN2483

I’m working on a project were I have to build a network of battery powered sensors over a territory the size of a small town.The sensors will monitor power consumption, temperature and humidity in energy poor households. Often the families in that situation can’t afford an internet connection at home so WiFi is out of question. GPRS would be an option but lately other radio technologies have come to my interest....

ESP8266 Multi-relay boards: Sonoff Dual and Electrodragon

November was a busy month and the Sonoff Dual that IteadStudio kindly sent me to review was bored in a box waiting for some free time. But it was just fair that another board that has been waiting in the boards-to-review box for longer had it’s chance to have some fresh air too. So here we have the Itead Studio Sonoff Dual and the Electrodragon ESP Relay Board face to face....

Emulate a WeMo device with ESP8266

My daughters love to talk to (or with) my Amazon Dot [Amazon US] in their funny English: “Alexa, hello!”, “Alexa, li-on!” (actually “light on”). It’s so easy to use it to switch on/off things at home using the fauxmo python script by Maker Musings. In his post about Amazon Echo and Home Automation more than a year ago he explains how he reverse-engineered the protocol of the WeMo switches that Alexa (Amazon Echo [Amazon US] orAmazon Dot [Amazon US]) supports....

The Sonoff POW

Some months ago I wrote about a hack I did to one of my Sonoff devices to be able to use a simple current sensor to monitor my washer machine process and alert me whenever my laundry was done. A few weeks ago Itead Studio released two new models for their Sonoff line, the POW and the DUAL. And the POW is Itead’s answer to my hack. I’m not saying they copied me, just that the Sonoff POW makes my hack utterly unnecessary....

The HLW8012 IC in the new Sonoff POW

The HLW8012 is single phase energy monitor chip by the chinese manufacturer HLW Technology. It features** RMS current**, RMS voltage sampling and RMS active power with an internal clock and a PWM interface in a SOP-8 package. You can buy it at Aliexpress for less than a euro a piece and the necessary components are fairly easy to source and quite cheap. All in all it looks like a great IC to include power monitoring in your projects....

4Duino-24 upside down

A few weeks ago the 4D Systems announced one of its latest products: the 4Duino-24, an Arduino compatible display module with built in 240x320 resolution TFT LCD Display with Resistive Touch and an ESP8266 ESP-06 module on board. it looked like a great product for a home automation control panel, although the screen could have been bigger. Anyway I contacted the people at 4D Systems and they were kind enough to send me a sample to review, and hack!...

Optimizing files for SPIFFS with Gulp

The ESP8266 flash layout defines a series of blocks of memory for each “partition”. There is a block for the user code (the “sketch”), there is a block for the OTA update file, another one for the emulated EEPROM, another for the WIFI configuration and one for the File System. This last one uses Peter Andersson’s SPIFFS (SPI Flash File System) code to store files in a similar fashion our computers do, but taking into account the special requirements of an embedded system and a flash memory chip....

Moteino Door Monitor

Some days ago I posted about the RFM69 to MQTT gateway based on the ESP8266 I am working on. Over these days I’ve been fine tuning the gateway at the same time I was migrating one of my home sensors to Moteino: the Door Monitor. The previous version was based on an XBee radio and has been on duty for almost 3 years and a half. Real life battery time has been around 3 months for a CR2032 coin cell, which is not bad at all, but still…...

New firmware for the Slampher

Some weeks ago I received a parcel from Itead. Previously, I had written about the Sonoff and they were kind enough to send me two more of their home automation products for me to review: the S20 Smart Socket I wrote about two weeks ago and the Slampher. The Slampher comes in a simple cardboard box with no documentation at all... just visit their wiki! The Slampher is kind of a Sonoff RF that sits before any light bulb with an E27 screw....

RFM69 WIFI Gateway

Some 3 years ago I started building my own wireless sensor network at home. The technology I used at the moment has proven to be the right choice, mostly because it is flexible and modular. MQTT is the keystone of the network. The publisher-subscriber pattern gives the flexibility to work on small, replaceable, simple components that can be attached or detached from the network at any moment. Over this time is has gone through some changes, like switching from a series of python daemons to Node-RED to manage persistence, notifications and reporting to several “cloud” services....