Automation used to happen in your local network, while the Internet of Things obviously relies on an Internet connection, but in recent years both categories merged in some ways, so I’ve gathered related links in this page to offer an easy access to those resources.
Espressif Systems WiFi SoCs have become really popular in the maker community thanks to their low cost, and great community and software support around the platforms. Over the years, I’ve written a few tutorials showing how to get started on ESP8266 WiSoC or the newer ESP32 WiFI + Bluetooth LE SoC:
- Getting Started with NodeMCU Board Powered by ESP8266 WiSoC (Lua programming
- Getting Started with Wemos D1 mini ESP8266 Board, DHT & Relay Shields (Arduino firmware)
- Getting Started with ESP32-Bit Module and ESP32-T Development Board using Arduino core for ESP32
- Getting Started with MicroPython on ESP32 – Hello World, GPIO, and WiFi
ITEAD Studio has made a popular family of home automation products called Sonoff that include wireless switches, RGB lightbulbs, smart sockets, touch switches etc.. Their products work reasonably well, and beside built-in support for eWelink Android/iOS apps, most of the product can be upgrade with open source firmware alternative such as Sonoff-Tasmota or ESPurna. We have received a few samples of such products, tried various projects and published reviews.
- Getting Started with Sonoff TH16 ESP8266 Relay and Sensor using the Stock Firmware and eWelink Android App
- Sonoff SC WiFi Environmental Monitor mini Review
- Sonoff B1 Smart Light Bulb Review – Part 1 : eWeLink Android App and Teardown
- Sonoff S31 Smart Socket Review – Power Consumption Monitoring with eWelink Android App
- How to Build and Flash ESPurna Open Source Firmware to Sonoff POW Wireless Switch
- How to Use Sonoff POW ESP8266 WiFi Power Switch with MQTT and ThingSpeak
- Review of Sonoff RF Bridge, Sonoff 4ch Pro, and Sonoff POW with Sonoff-Tasmota Firmware
- Upgrading Sonoff Stock Firmware to Sonoff-Tasmota – USB to Serial, and OTA Update Methods
- Review of Sonoff B1 Smart RGB Light Bulb – Part 2: Sonoff-Tasmota Firmware
- How to Install Domoticz Home Automation System in NanoPi NEO and Other ARM Linux Boards
- How to use Sonoff POW with ESPurna Firmware and Domoticz Home Automation System
The final link is a quick test of a waterproof water compatible with some of Sonoff wireless switches, and should be useful for outdoor projects.
Karl has published a 4-part tutorial showing how he setup his home automation system with Sonoff switches to control lights, ESP8266 boards, WiFi to RF (433 MHz) bridges, motion sensors, door bells, etc… using open source software firmware / components like Sonoff Tasmota, Home Assistant and others.
- Part 1: Home Assistant & YAML, MQTT, Sonoff, and Xmas Lights
- Part 2: 433 MHz / WiFi MQTT Bridge, Door & PIR Motion Sensors
- Part 3: Adding Light Detection to a Motion Sensor
- Part 4: MQTT Bridge Updated to Use YS-IRTM IR Receiver & Transmitter with NodeMCU
When Realtek RTL8710 was first discovered in summer 2016, it looked promising with a $2 WiFi module based on an Arm Cortex M3 core. However, usage has not really taken off as at the time, ESP8266 was already well established with a good software ecosystem. I still tried a few modules and boards, and reported how to get started with the platform.
- Getting Started with B&T RTL-00 RTL8710 Module – Serial Console, AT Commands, and ESP8266 Pin-to-Pin Compatibility
- Pine64 PADI IoT Stamp WiFi IoT Kit Review – Part 1: Hardware, Debuggers, and Soldering
- Getting Started with Pine64 PADI IoT Stamp – Part 2: Serial Console, GCC SDK, Flashing & Debugging Code
Low end part are often good enough for many tasks, but in some cases, a Raspberry Pi is easier to play with, and provides more flexibility.
I’ve been receiving and testing a few kits from individual makers and companies, which were fun to use, and a good learning experience.
- Getting Started with RabbitMax Flex IoT and Automation Hat for Raspberry Pi
- How to Control Your Air Conditioner with Raspberry Pi Board and ANAVI Infrared pHAT
- Getting Started with ANAVI Light pHat Starter Kit with RGB LED Strip, Light Sensor
- How to Use 3G and GPS on Raspberry Pi with ThaiEasyElec 3G HAT Expansion Board