ESP8266 wifi relay review

wifi relay
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I come to a new video on my home automation open heaven arrest series I got a new piece of kit from IC station calm and this is a Wi-Fi enabled relay when they offered me this product review I was quite excited because I could see that the hiss uses an esp8266 and then well it has two relays so I thought its going to be fun maybe to see how it works and also to see if I can do a modified firmware on it or maybe connect to MQTT and some of the other services unfortunately I realized its not going to be that type of toy because as we look at it more closely we we can see that this board is actually resembles the design that we have seen many years ago when the esp8266 chips chip came out and back in the early days there was not a lot of knowledge available on the on the chips R&D and the microcontroller or the processor inside a chip so the way usually people use esp8266 is that they would have a microcontroller which were doing most of the lets say having if what most of the relay logic and then the esp8266 would just connect to the microcontroller and then provide the you know the Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity so nowadays its its not working like that because then we realize that whatever the microcontroller doing the esp8266 can do it itself because it has enough power so we dont see this type of arrangement and nowadays and that also means that our well-known alternate firmwares like ESP easy or as poor now or toss motor is not going to be useful for this specific device because it is not the ESP which is controlling all these peripherals like the relay but it just talking to the microcontroller inside or which is there so we have to use this device that is it as it is so its capably this is somewhat limited to what the the original manufacturer has basically put in if you look at it from a little bit close-up you can see that it uses an esp8266 t01 so the original esp8266 board which plugs in and then within the board we see some power management stuff an STM micro obviously two relays a bunch of LEDs for status feedback a couple of buttons and we also see some pin headers and if I flip the the board around so these relays are 12 volt rated at LV sedating switch mains power up to what does it say 10 amps so these are the usual relays that we find in most of these DIY components and by the way I see stations sells four of these models so you can get one you can get models with one relay or two relays and then you can get models with 12 volts and 5 volts so you can choose which one suits best your application or your power supply but they all have the same layout and so its basically just the power and the number of relays are different you can use this module and an access point mode so it would create its own by finding and control it that way but I think the

more typical use case or scenario for this would be that you configure the esp8266 to connect to your home Wi-Fi network and you can control this over the internet but you control it using sending binary commands to a TCP port and thats all it supports so theres no Im QDC there is no HTTP I have to admit I dont know whether like no sorry openhab or mmm lets say demoted or you know home home assistant would be able to do that nodren maybe but I think it could be very useful for people who are you know designing their own solution from the ground up or maybe even older system like PLC is that they absolutely find communicating what TCP so they can obviously get use of make use of this device just one more comment on the internal is as I said it has headers and if I flip this over you can see that the pin headers include 5 volt rx TX and some other debugging pins so it should be possible to reprogram the STM micro if somebody would have schematics and the maybe the original code and by the way this board was manufactured by LC technologies so you can go to wwsz tech dot CC and you can actually get the a little bit more information from this product than what you see on the on the IC station website so the aiccm website appears to be line has been translated like five times between different languages so its really hard to understand and actually it is missing some crucial bit of information which Im going to share it with you now empowering this device from this bench power supply and so I have the travel model so I set it to 12 volt and 500 milliamp current limit and if I turn it on then what you see initially is you have after a couple of seconds you see LED sorry a red status LED and green status LED blinking so thats the thats the basic state and as you can see its drawing about like 80 milliamps so its consuming about one watt in in standby and of course when you whenever it communicates that for a very brief moment it picks up to lets say one point eight amps sorry one point eight watts but for a really really short period of time so in general it consumes about one watt to use this device we would need a couple of mobile applications Im using an Android phone and for the first one I would be using a program which is called an app called esp8266 smart config and what is app does is basically it can configure the esp8266 so it knows your Wi-Fi credentials Im pretty sure the same application is available for iOS so at the moment it is not connected to any Wi-Fi network so we need to put it to a mode where it actually creates its own access point and a way to do that is you press the s-1 button and now you can see that the the blue LED comes up so that means that its in the access point mode so you come to your esp8266 smart config applications you provide your you select

your SSID which is going to be the SSID your phone is connected to and you have to type your password I said this SSID is hidden to off and tasks without count to 1 and then you just press confirm and now its it is trying to talk to this ESP and then it give gives it the a society and the password that it can connect to its going to take a few seconds it took about 20 seconds I think and what we can see now is that we have a blinking green LED which is showing that well I think its the blue is showing that its connected to the Wi-Fi and the blinking green LED is showing that it is basically waiting for some command so it doesnt have any device connected to it and in the ASB 266 app we will get a message saying that your we are device has successfully connected to the Wi-Fi network and it has an IP of 191 681 that 174 in my particular case so it obviously got the IP from my router over DHCP because we will be talking to this device directly over TCP there is one really key information that I dont have at the moment because I dont know how to set a fixed IP address on for this device which would be absolutely crucial if you need to talk to it directly so if anyone has that information please share in the in the video description also in the comment section now we have this device connected to my local Wi-Fi network Im using thing f ing on how to process it so I can see the the same IP and if I stand services what I will find that it has one service on port 8080 which it says is the HTTP proxy but actually it is not so its just an open TCP port if I try to open in a web browser then nothing really happens because its actually not responding to any HTTP requests so we can wait here forever and its just not going to happen at this point I had some problems figuring out how to communicate with this device because from the ISIS station website it wasnt really clear how it communicates and again they are talking about applications which dont even exist in the App Store or the ones really similar to it H actually unusable I actually had to go back to the LC tag no CC website because in their page they have some information about communicating this device and what they say is that you need to spend send specific TCP commands this device to respond to and basically turn the relays on and off and it has to be a specific hex numbers and you can see them on the screen so they open the first relay is a zero zero one zero one zero two close the first relays is 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 and then similarly there is another p4 byte commands for the second and second relay opening and opening and closing them next I thought that there must be an application which can do this by having some buttons on the screen and sending TCP comments and I

was able to find this one which is called the Wi-Fi TCP UDP controller and thats an Android application I dont believe that the same application exists for iOS but there might be a similar Arabic so um if you are using iOS device you have to figure this out yourself what this application allows me is that I can configure this device as a server so if I go into the settings actually I can have up to five of these while they conduct controllers so for each controllers I specify the the target so the IP or domain is the IP address of the device again because I need to specify here it would be great if this would be a fixed IP the board is 8080 the communication is TCP and then here you can rename the button so in the original layout there are a lot more buttons on this screen I just removed them because what we only need for here so thats the original layout so it has a group of nine buttons and then a group of another 15 buttons well actually 16 buttons and then you can start with naming them so you can I Ive just given really want to relay were on relay 1 both and then 2 button 4 and 5 really well really two unrelated to off so Im using the top 4 from this 3 by 3 grid and you can also define the comments for each of them and I said that I want a hex a command and then for each of them you can specify the hex digits that you want to send so a 0 0 1 0 1 0 2 4 relay one on and 8 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 4 relay one off and similarly there is another one for relay button 2 4 and 5 which is related to on and off and in the visibility I just turn off all the other buttons that I dont need from the 3×3 grid and also here in the settings oh yeah in the settings mode I just turned out that I only want the 9 button mode so I dont need the out of 3×3 grid and further than here in the button size I increase the this one the 9 button mode dpi to 150 again that would change if you have the screen sizes and again nine button mode font size and I somewhere I also said I also changed the layout to a portrait layout because by default its a landscape layout I forgot I forgot where to do that but it should be somewhere here anyway so now I have only four buttons on the screen instead of the gazillions which comes on default and its fine click on one I really want really one comes on relate to comes on and I can also turn them off and by the way you might notice that the LED is now the green LED is not blinking anymore its its permanent green that means that there is a device connected to the TCP board so as soon as I close this application and it says socket closed the LED goes back to blinking so that is a really simple way

of controlling this device actually this application is quite decent is a really small application hasnt been downloaded by a lot of people it would have been nice if I could link or assign the buttons to an actual device so I wouldnt need to go through separate screens if I have multiples of these buttons but thats how the efforts maybe you can find a nut refuge works better because I was just thinking that maybe I could do they like it create a smaller buttons and then if I have multiple of these ones that I could have I could create more you know put them onto the same screen and control multiple devices from the same screen I mean he can do it here but you have to go into settings and you have to go to a different controller and of course now it could control another device which is not doing it at the moment because I dont have anything else so it would be better if I kid you know mash different controllers or the one the single speed as I said in the beginning I dont think this device is for like a simple plugin configure it in open have or your home automation kind of systems because that TCP communication might not be supported but if you want something really you know simple where you you have a Wi-Fi enabled device you want to control it over your phone you dont want a cloud service you dont want your own server then this device just does it so again this app is simple but it actually works you can you can pretty much customize it the way you want it and then as long as you are in the local network you can easily control your relays its it appears to be really reliable it is really really fast it responds instantaneously and again as I said it has a price between like a Sun of basic and a son of dual so looking at the IIC station website it is selling at 665 sorry 669 us which is on sale at the moment so I think thats a really decent price as long as you are happy with the the way it communicates and the fact that I dont think it can be modified more having said that it has its pin header so you can technically reprogram the STM micro and then analysis functionality one more thing before anyone else well once I was testing this device I didnt find any data or communication coming out of this device so I can certainly send signals or these comments to turn the relays on and off but I couldnt find any other way to or any way to actually query what is the current status of the relays so you just have to rely on the fact that while you send a TCP communication you have a like a socket open with the device so whatever you send you will get picked up and recognized so but there is no way of telling whether the current state of the relays on and off I think that would be my review of this device for now thanks for watching and hopefully see you in the next video

tags:
wifi, iot, relay, esp8266, tcp, home automation, control, android
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