Vosen V1 S905X2 Android TV Box Doubles as a Home Gateway with IR Blaster and Z-Wave Support

Vosen V1 4K TV Box & Automation Gateway

At first look, Vosen V1 appears to be like any other 4K HDR Android TV box powered by Amlogic S905X2 quad-core Cortex-A53 processor, but it offers a bit more thanks to a built-in IR blaster allowing you to control other appliances in the room such as air conditioner, television, or A/V receiver. The box can be further enhanced by plugging-in a Z-Wave USB adapter to control & monitor even more compatible devices around the house such as light bulbs or water-leak sensors. Vosen V1 specifications: SoC – Amlogic S905X2 quad core Arm Cortex-A53 with Mali-G31 MP2  GPU System Memory – 2GB LPDDR4 RAM Storage – 16GB eMMC flash, microSD card slot up to 32GB Video & Audio Output – HDMI 2.1 output up to 4K @ 75 Hz with HDR, 3.5mm AV port (composite + stereo audio) Video Codecs –  VP9 Profile-2 up to 4K 60fps, 10-bit H.265/HEVC up to […]

Build an ESP8266 IR Remote Control with LOLIN IR Controller Shield for D1 Mini Board

LOLIN IR Controller

Infrared remote control are still widely with TVs, set-top boxes, air conditioners, and all other sort of appliances with the end result of having many remote control around the house. If you want to cut on the number of remote controls, there are several solutions: Get a smartphone with a Built-in IR transmitter like Xiaomi Mi A1. Add an IR transmitter to your smartphones’s headphone jack using ZazaRemote or USB type C port with ROCK USB type C IR transmitter. Get a WiFi IR blaster in order to control devices remotely, or maybe buy several try control any IR devices from anywhere DIY your own solution for more flexibility, for example using ANAVI Infrared pHAT and a Raspberry Pi board. The smartphone solutions (1 & 2) works as long as you are in the room, but the WiFI IR blaster allows you to control devices even if you are not […]

Use your Smartphone as an IR Remote Control with ROCK USB Type C IR Remote Control Transmitter

A few years ago, I wrote about ZazaRemote transforming your smartphone into a universal IR remote control. ZazaRemote is a hardware and software solution that combines infrared dongles micro USB port or 3.5mm audio plug, and a mobile app that allows you to control all sort of devices (TV, aircon, etc…) from your smartphone. Over three years later, more and more phones are now deprived from the audio jack, and micro USB ports have given way to USB type C ports, so that solution does not work anymore on newer phones. Some of the recent phones like Xiaomi Mi A1 integrate an IR transmitter, but for others, Zazaremote’s developer (Tiqiaa) has apparently not come up with a USB type C version, but just sells micro USB to USB type C adapters, not the most convenient. Upon further research, I eventually found a USB type C IR transmitter for smartphone sold […]

RedRat-X IR, Bluetooth & RF4CE Box Can Control Multiple TVs and Set-top Boxes

IR blasters can be used to control multiple IR devices through infrared, or other interfaces, for example DVR can use such device to change the channel of a set-top box just before recording. RedRat-X is one of those devices for automating control of TVs, STBs and other infrared equipment, but it’s quite more versatile, as beside its built-in IR blaster, it adds 3 IR outputs were you can connect your own IR transmitters, as well as USB and Ethernet for remote controls. Furthermore, it can also take add-on modules to emulate  Bluetooth and RF4CE remote controls. RedRat-X specifications: IR blaster via the front of the unit. 0 mA to 250 mA in 100 steps. 3x plug-in IR jack sockets which can be used in two modes: Current mode (default): For use with plug-in IR flashers – 0mA to 100mA in 100 steps. Voltage mode: To interface to IR distributions systems, […]

Flic Hub Controls WiFi, Bluetooth, and IR Devices with Bluetooth LE Buttons (Crowdfunding)

This week-end, I wrote about 1btn open source WiFi button that can allow you directly control WiFi appliances, and/or set scenes without the need for a smartphone. We also discussed limitations of WiFi due to high power consumption, security issues and the one-way aspect of RF communication, and that Bluetooth 5 may be a better option for range and battery life if possible. Flic Hub is another way to approach the issue, as it combines Bluetooth LE buttons with a gateway supporting WiFi, Bluetooth, and infrared. Flic Hub gateway specifications: Connectivity – Bluetooth Classic, Bluetooth LE, WiFi, Ethernet, IR via optional add-on accessory. Audio – 3.5mm audio out/mic in Power Supply – 5V via micro USB Power Consumption – 1.5W typ. Security – SPARKE2+ Bluetooth encryption Dimensions – 85 x 50 x 15 mm Weight – 99 grams Users can configure workflows by setting up Flic with IFTTT, Zapier, Microsoft […]

Olimex ESP32-EVB Board with Ethernet, CAN Bus, and Relays up for Sale for 26 Euros

One of the new feature of Espressif ESP32 SoC over ESP8266 is the inclusion of an Ethernet MAC interface, but so far few boards come with an RJ45 jacks. ESP32 Monster board is an option, also including an OLED Display and CAN Bus, and sold on Tindie for $35, but Olimex has now stocked their ESP32-EVB board with Ethernet, CAN Bus, and two relays, and you can purchase it for 26 Euros per unit, and less in larger quantities. Olimex ESP32-EVB Rev. B specifications: Wireless Module – ESP32-WROOM32 module with 802.11 b/g/n WiFi and Bluetooth LE Wired Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet with RJ45 jack (via LAN8710A) External Storage – micro SD slot Relays – 2x 10A/250VAC relays with LED status Expansion 40-pin GPIO female header (2.54mm pitch) UEXT connector for sensors and modules CAN Bus USB – 1x micro USB port for debugging (CH340T) and power Misc – Reset and […]

Karl’s Home Automation Project – Part 4: MQTT Bridge Updated to Use YS-IRTM IR Receiver & Transmitter with NodeMCU

In a previous article, I wrote about an MQTT bridge by 1technophile. I added a DHT temperature and humidity sensor as well as a light sensor. Previously it included a software decoder to decode the IR signal. I never did test the IR transmitter on the gateway, as I didn’t have the parts. But thanks to IC Station, who sent me over a small YS-IRTM hardware based decoder and NodeMCU that I am writing about today. I have replaced the software based version with the YS-IRTM module in the latest update. I found this project challenging. I admit I am a little weak in my programming skills. It was difficult to find documentation but I found a forum talking about this device and basics of how it works. When an IR code is recognized it sends 3 hex codes via serial connection on the transmit pin. To transmit, it expects […]

How to Control Your Air Conditioner with Raspberry Pi Board and ANAVI Infrared pHAT

Leon ANAVI may be a full-time software engineer, but in his spare time he has started to develop open source hardware project with the help of others and by himself. Last year, I got hold of his RabbitMax Flex HAT for Raspberry Pi, and tested it with the provided LCD display, one temperature sensor, and a Raspberry Pi 2 board. The board also featured IR receiver & transmitter, and I tried to use it with my aircon remote control, but at the time I did not find a way to do it easily, and control my TV with LIRC instead. Leon has now made a simpler, smaller, and cheaper add-on board for Raspberry Pi Zero, and other Raspberry Pi boards with a 40-pin header, with 3x I2C headers, two IR transmitters, and one IR receiver. He sent me a sample of “ANAVI Infrared pHAT”, and after quickly describing the board, […]