Z-Pi 7 Z-Wave gateway devkit works with Raspberry Pi and Orange Pi Zero boards

Z-Wave Raspberry Pi & Orange Pi Zero

WiFi & Bluetooth are the most popular wireless protocols for home automation, alternatives like Zigbee and Z-wave have also been widely adopted, at least in some countries. And if you are interested in the latter, Aeotec has just introduced the Z-Pi 7  gateway development kit that lets you add Z-Wave connectivity to Raspberry Pi boards or Orange Pi Zero SBC with an expansion board connected over UART through the GPIO header. Aeotec Z-Pi 7 Z-Wave expansion board (ZWA025) specifications: Z-Wave connectivity Silicon Labs EFR32ZG14 Arm Cortex-M4 SoC @ 39 MHz with Series 700 and Gen7 technology  Frequencies ZWA025-A: US Frequency 908.42 Mhz ZWA025-B: AU Frequency 921.42 Mhz ZWA025-C: EU frequency  868.42 Mhz TX Power – US: +9.3 dBm; EU: +4.8 dBm RX sensitivity – -97.5 dBm Range Indoor – US: 70+ meters; EU: up to 60 meters Outdoor – Up to 200 meters SmartStart native integration and S2 security. Z-Wave Plus Certified SBC compatibility (tested) – Raspberry Pi 3 and greater, Orange […]

$7 ITEAD Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle features Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 MCU

Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle

ITEAD is known for its Sonoff home automation products that started with ESP8266 WiFi and/or RF connectivity several years ago, but more recently the company started to offer Zigbee compliant products including Sonoff BASICZBR3 smart switch, Sonoff ZBBridge WiFi to Zigbee Gateway, or a cheap $4 CC2531 Zigbee USB Dongle compatible with Zigbee2MQTT open-source firmware. The company has now launched a more powered Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle, yet still affordable at $6.99, based on the same Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 wireless MCU as used in the Sonoff ZBBridge with a faster core, more RAM, and a more powerful radio. Key features and specifications: Wireless MCU – Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 Arm Cortex-M33 microcontroller @ up to 80 MHz with DSP and FPU, up to 1024 kB flash, up to 96 kB RAM, 2.4 GHz IEEE 802.15.4 for Zigbee or Thread Host interface – USB port Expansion – 7-pin IO header with programming pins, one GPIO, 3.3V and GND; 2-pin header for Tx/Rx […]

UniPi Gate RS485 Linux IoT Gateway features 600 MHz Rockchip RK3328 SoC

UniPi Gate RS485 Linux IoT Gateway

Based in the Czech Republic, UniPi Technology design and manufacture programmable logic controllers, gateways, sensors and systems for smart homes, building management systems, industry and automation projects. Their latest product is UniPi Gate G100/G110 Linux IoT gateway with Ethernet and RS485 interfaces. When the company contacted CNX Software about the gateway, they told us the system was based on a quad-core Cortex-A53 processor clocked at 600 MHz. Since we are not aware of such SoC, we asked, and UniPi told us it was Rockchip RK3328. That processor is normally clocked at 1.5 GHz, and it turns out the company purposely underclocked the processor to 600 MHz to extend the temperature range and reduce the heat emitted by the CPU. UniPi Gate G100 & G110 specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor @ 600 MHz System Memory – 512MB RAM Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, MicroSD card slot Networking – 2x Ethernet RJ45 ports (1x Gigabit Ethernet, 1x 10/100M Fast […]

Valetudo is a cloud-free web interface for robot vacuum cleaners

Valutedo cloud-free vacuum cleaner web interface

In my review of Kyvol Cybovac S31 LDS smart robot vacuum cleaner, I noted that app permissions meant both the map of your house and GPS coordinates may be sent to the cloud. But it was pointed out to me that earlier LDS robot vacuum cleaners from Roborock/Xiaomi were supported by Valetudo project that removes the need to connect to the cloud, and implements a mobile-friendly web interface as well as MQTT support for integration with Home Assistant or Node-RED. The project is not a custom firmware for the robots, and instead, the stock firmware is patched with Valetudo which developers describe as an “alternative App implementation + mock cloud which runs on the robot itself.” The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to teardown your vacuum cleaner to root it and install Valetudo, but it will depend on the model, and manufacturing date/firmware installed. The less good news is that the process can still be complicated, and […]

DIY project creates Zigbee to Ethernet bridge with WT32-ETH01

DIY Ethernet Zigbee Coordinator

We previously wrote about Ebyte E180-ZG120B-TB an inexpensive ($9.90) Zigbee 3.0 evaluation board based on Silabs EFR32MG1B Arm Cortex-M4 wireless MCU and the equally cheap ($7.78) WT32-ETH01 ESP32 Ethernet board. What do they have in common? Absolutely nothing! But GitHub user tube0013 decided to connect both boards over UART to create a Zigbee to Ethernet DIY coordinator/bridge running open-source firmware. The hardware also includes a Micro USB adapter for power, several 10cm jumper wires, and he/she also designed a 3D printed case. EZSP-Firmware is used for the Ebyte Zigbee 3.0 board, and ESPHome open-source home automation firmware for the ESP32 board. You’ll also need serial to IP code and ESPHome config. Note that flashing firmware to the Ebyte requires a programmer, and the developer used a J-link EDU Mini together with Silicon Labs’ Simplicity Commander. As mentioned above, a 3D printed case has also been designed, so everything is neatly packed together. The total cost assembled should be around $20. […]

ODROID-N2+ based “Home Assistant Blue” announced as official hardware for Home Assistant

Home Assistant Blue

Home Assistant has announced “Home Assistant Blue” hardware with an enclosure designed by Hahn Werke housing Hardkernel ODROID-N2+ SBC, and software supported by BayLibre who helped upstreaming the code. The goal is to make Home Assistant Blue a fully open-source platform with long-life support. The device was officially announced during the Home Assistant Conference 2020 held a couple of days ago. Home Assistant Blue home automation gateway uses the 4GB DDR4 version of the Amlogic S922X SBC, ships with a 128GB eMMC flash module, and offers Gigabit Ethernet and four USB 3.0 ports. As I understand it, the gateway will run the latest Home Assistant Core 2020.12 that was announced at the conference with a new feature called Blueprints defined as “pre-created automation with user-settable options”, as well as new neural voices for Nabu Casa Cloud TTS (Text-to-Speech), the ability to temporarily disable devices, and more. The release was initially thought to be named Home Assistant 1.0.0, as the beta […]

Sonoff Zigbee Bridge Now Supports Tasmota Firmware, Home Assistant, Zigbee2Tasmota

Sonoff Zigbee Bridge & Tasomota Home Assistant

Sonoff ZBBridge (aka Sonoff Zigbee Bridge) WiFi to Zigbee gateway was launched a few months ago for $16.90 plus shipping, and it’s now also listed on Banggood for $17.99 shipped. It allows users to control Zigbee devices connected to the gateway using the eWelink mobile app used with other Sonoff devices. But many people like to run Tasmota firmware on their Sonoff devices since it’s open-source and provided more flexibility such as integration with Home Assitant or Domoticz. There was already support for Zigbee in Tasmota at the time but only for Texas Instruments SimpleLink CC253x Zigbee MCU’s, and Sonoff ZBBridge is made of an ESP8266 WiSoC and a Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 Gecko Series 2 Cortex-M33 Zigbee microcontroller. So I just suspected that eventually, Sonoff Zigbee Bridge could support Tasmota open-source firmware but that would take some time… It took about four months. Not too bad. It started in the comments section on CNX Software and other places, with the […]

ANAVI Fume Extractor Comes with ESP8266 WiSoC, MQ-135 Gas Sensor (Crowdfunding)

ANAVI Fume Extractor

Last year, I played with ESP8266 based ANAVI Gas Detector Starter Kit reporting air quality via an MQ135 sensor on an OLED display, and integrated it with Home Assitant to monitor air quality from a neat web dashboard. The developer, Leon ANAVI, has now adapted the design to create ANAVI Fume Extractor by basically adding a relay to control a control. The fan can be turned on/off manually, or automatically upon detecting bad air quality. ANAVI Fume Extractor key features and specifications: Fan – 80 mm, 5 V DC, 0.25 A with replaceable filter SoC – ESP8266 Tensilica L106 32-bit wireless processor Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi 4 Display – Mini OLED display Sensors – Optional MQ-135 for air quality or any other 5V MQ analog gas sensor Expansion – 3x headers for I²C sensors Debugging / Programming – UART pins for flashing custom firmware, Misc – Button, WiFi on/off jumper Dimensions – 129 x 80x 54 mm Certification – […]