Playing with Sonoff Zigbee & WiFi automation – Part 1: Hardware overview

I don’t think I’ve ever used Zigbee, but I’ll soon have the opportunity as ITEAD sent me the Sonoff ZBBridge gateway, a Sonoff T2 2-gang WiFi switch as well as a Zigbee motion sensor. I had reviewed several Sonoff devices in the past, but it had been over three years that I hadn’t. ITEAD recently contacted me basically telling me I could select whatever I wanted from their product list for a review on CNX Software. Since I had reviewed several of the company’s WiFi smart sockets, smart switches, and a light bulb, I had less to play with, and then I thought it might be fun to play with Sonoff Zigbee products. But I did not own any Zigbee hardware, so I had to think about a use case. I have a small annoyance in the house I rent. When we come back at night, we have to leave […]

Sonoff NSPanel – A 3.5-inch HMI display for home automation (Crowdfunding)

You’ll soon be able to control all Sonoff smart switches, sockets, light bulbs, IP cameras, as well as Philips lighting solutions with the Sonoff NSPanel, a 3.5-inch HMI display supporting wall installation to US or EU standards. The ESP32 based touchscreen display integrates a dual-channel wall switch, supports Amazon Alexa, Google Home, or Yandex Alice voice assistants, and if you are not at home, you can still control your appliances with eWelink app for Android or iOS. Sonoff NSPanel specifications: WiSoC – Espressif ESP32-DOWD V3 dual-core Xtensa processor @ 160 MHz with 512KB RAM, 2.4 GHz 802.11n/g/n WiFi 4, and Bluetooth 4.2/5.x Display – 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen display with 480×320 resolution Power Input – 100-240V @ 50/60Hz up to 4A Power Output – 100-240V @ 50/60Hz up to 2A per gang, or 4A in total LED Load 110V – 150W per gang, 300W total 220V – 300W per gang, 600W […]

Khadas Edge2 Arm mini PC

ZiGate-Ethernet – An ESP32 Ethernet, WiFi, and BLE Gateway with optional Zigbee connectivity

Frédéric Dubois, aka fairecasoimeme, has recently released ZiGate-Ethernet, an home automation gateway based on Espressif Systems ESP32 wireless SoC with Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth LE connectivity. The gateway can also take an optional PiZiGate+ Zigbee module for support for a wider range of home automation gizmos, and everything is designed to fit in the official Raspberry Pi 4 enclosure. ZiGate-Ethernet specifications: Wireless module – ESP32-WROOM-32E with ESP32 dual-core processor, 16MB flash, PCB antenna Connectivity 10/100M Ethernet RJ45 port implemented through LAN8720 as on several other ESP32 Ethernet boards 2.4GHz WiFI 4 Bluetooth LE 4.2/5.x Zigbee through PiZiGate+ module with PCB antenna or optional external antenna USB – Micro USB port for power and programming Expansion – 16-pin GPIO header with up to 10x GPIO, 7x ADC, UART, 5V, 3.3V, and GND Misc- Reset and Flash button, ESP32/FTDI UART selection switch, Power Supply – 5V/500mA via micro USB  port Dimensions – […]

Sonoff & Tuya smart plugs found to transmit unencrypted passwords

There are many low-cost smart plugs based on ESP8266 that provide a convenient way to control lights or home appliances with your smartphone. But cybersecurity firm A&O IT Group found vulnerabilities in ITEAD’s Sonoff S26 and Ener-J Wi-fi (Tuya) smart plugs that would allow an attacker to easily access your wireless network. The first security vulnerability is pretty common and hard to exploit since it’s only a concern during the setup.  Sonoff S26 starts itself into access point mode with ITEAD-1001xxxxxx SSID, and is set up through the eWelink app with the user not needing to know the password. But with older firmware is was needed, so ITEAD still shares the default password: 12345678 in the user manual, and it can be used to connect to the smart plug by anyone. But once configured, it’s not accessible anymore as the smart plug should be in client mode connected to your […]

Why you should request open-source software for your IoT devices

I usually think of open-source hardware and/or software are enabling skilled people to more easily fix bugs, improve on the design, get feedback from the community, etc… But in a world where IoT devices become more prevalent, there’s another reason why you should request open-source software: Long term support. What made me think about are two things. The first one if that I own WeLoop Hey 3S smartwatch, which I love and wear since March 2018. That’s quite a feat since most cheap devices I own often only last a few months or a year or so. I’m also used to the watch face and Weloop app interface. So what’s the problem exactly? WeLoop company closed on December 31, 2019, and while the app worked fine for about a year after that, recently I have been unable to login to the app to access my data and/or update settings for […]

The Axon platform offers WiFi & LoRa IoT messaging in a compact form factor (Crowdfunding)

Qortex (Amine Mehdi Mansouri) has developed the WiFi & LoRa IoT messaging platform to allow devices to communicate wirelessly via serial messages. The solution also includes a wireless serial port and 4 digital outputs. The tiny Axon board is based on ESP8266 WiFi SoC and can be augmented with a LoRa module for a longer range, and the solution integrates with the Axon cloud for data visualization in the cloud. There’s also a HAT expansion board for Raspberry Pi compatibility. Axon board specifications: Wireless module – ESP12-S ESP8266 2.4 GHz WiFi 4 module USB – USB Type-C port for power and programming via CP2102 Expansion – 2x 6-pin header with GPIOs, UART, 5V, 3.3V, and GND Misc – Status LED, Reset button, USB/MCU (UART) selection switch Power Supply 5V input via USB-C port 3.3V/600mA LDO PTC fuse, reverse polarity protection, ESD protection Dimensions – 30 x 25 mm The board […]

UP 7000 SBC

Pack of 4 ESP8266 smart plugs sold for $13.49 (Promo)

There’s currently a promotion on Amazon for a pack of four ESP8266 smart plugs that are ETL and FCC certified, and sold for $13.49, or around $3.5 per socket. In order to apply for the discount, you’ll need to the Amazon product page, tick on “Save an extra 20% when you apply this coupon.”, and enter the coupon code “ABVYP87G“. Once this is all done the price will be $13.49 shipped within the US. The plug works in the 100-240V range, but when shipping outside of the US, you’ll need to pay extra for shipping and provisions for customs duties. Gosund WP3 key features: 2.4 GHz WIFI connectivity Rated Voltage: 100 – 240V Rated Current: 10A Max AC Frequency: 50/60Hz Max power: 1100W Operating Temperature – -10 ~ 60°C If you have no interested in running proprietary software, you’ll be happy to know Gosund WP3 smart plugs are compatible with […]

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

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 […]

Khadas VIM4 SBC