Category "hacking"

Hacking the TTI Indoor Gateway

Four years ago The Things Network (TTN) kind of revolutionized the IoT world with their effort to reduce hardware and software costs to implement a commons LoRaWAN network. Their bet was backed on Kickstarter by almost a thousand people with almost 300k€ to help create a low-cost LRaWan gateway (and a platform and end devices too). The gateway took it’s time to become a reality (kickstarter-effect) but by the time it was released the project had already impacted other players in the industry and low cost DIY gateways were a reality....

Sonoff S31, a world apart

It’s not that other Sonoff products are not “serious” business, but there are a number of design changes in the Sonoff S31 that make this new product a world apart. For the functional point of view it looks like a S20 with POW-powers, but they have redesigned the product completely. The result is very very interesting. Revamped case, more compact and sturdy Redesigned PCB, actually 2 different PCBs for main and control Different power monitor chip: the CSE7766 (same as in the new POW R2) replaces the HLW8012 The only drawback: it’s only compatible with plug types A & B, tat is central and north-america and few other countries....

GeekWorm Power Pack Hat Hack

Sorry for the tongue twister ;) I’ve been somewhat busy lately and it’s been a long time since my last post. I have a few projects on the go but not much time to sit down and write about them… Let’s see if this one goes through… I’ve been lately looking for a reliable UPS system for Raspberry Pi 3. I moved my home server to a RPi a few months ago and even thou its behind an ACS UPS a couple of other projects involving RPis required mobility (one of them) and unassisted power backup (the other)....

Yet another WiFi light bulb

Eight months ago I reviewed and hacked the AiLight WiFi light bulb by AiThinker. By the time there was a number of people doing the same because of a key reason: it sports an ESP8266 microcontroller and it is based on the OpenLight by Noduino, that had already provided open source code for the LED driver inside, the MY9291. Let time pass and I was doing the same with the Sonoff B1 light bulb by Itead Studio....

Sonoff B1, lights and shades

Six months ago I was reviewing the AiThinker AiLight, a great looking light bulb with an embedded ESP8266EX microcontroller, driven by a MY9291 LED driver. Just before summer IteadStudio released it’s Sonoff B1 [Itead.cc] light bulb, heavily inspired (probably same manufacturer) by the AiLight, at least on the design. Now that IteadStudio has become popular between the home automation community you can also find the Sonoff B1 on global marketplaces like Ebay or Aliexpress for around 13€....

Connected power meter

A few weeks ago a user came with a request to add support in ESPurna to a power meter that had been hacked by Karl Hagström. It is a very cheap chinese power meter with plenty of room on the inside, enough to house an ESP8266 module and a DC/DC power supply and the main IC protocol had been reverse engeneered. There even was a repository by the Harringay Maker Space with sample code for an arduino compatible platform....

AiLight - A hackable RGBW light bulb

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. Manolis shared the link where he bought his at Ebay for a bit more than USD 10 plus shipping....

Smart wall switches and push buttons

One might think that one of the typical uses for a smart wireless switch (like Sonoff devices) is to be embedded behind a normal wall switch so it becomes a “smart” wall switch. It may seem obvious but it’s not that straight forward. There are several things that get in the middle. Most (all?) the boards have momentary push buttons while wall switches are (normally) toggle switches Most of the available boards in the market are SPST, even those with SPDT relays often only provide terminals for COM and NO, not NC....

Sonoff SC with MQTT and Domoticz support

Last December Itead Studio updated their Home Automation product line with a new and different product. The main difference is that it doesn’t have a relay and it’s mainly sensors and no actuator (if we don’t define a notifying LED as an actuator). The Sonoff SC is a sensor station that packs a DHT11 temperature and humidity sensor, a GM55 LDR, an electret microphone with an amplifier circuit and a Sharp GP2Y1010AU0F [Aliexpress] dust sensor in a fancy case that looks like it was originally meant for a speaker....

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....