A busy Week

It has been a busy week this week – with lots of new things happening.

Firstly, there is a brand new update to the RFLINK software, IMHO the best software around for decoding and transmitting signals for a wide range of RF devices – such as weather stations and remote controls – in my case using 433Mhz.  See the short video update I did on this one.

Here’s a link to a blog entry I wrote months ago on the same subject. tmpC114Then I’ve been working on the DPS5020 and DPS3003 power supply boards which have provided HOURS of entertainment.  I’ve spoken with the designer and I think this stuff has a good future because of the kind of direct support they are keen to give – and because the stuff just works. In a couple of weeks there’s a new board from the same source and when my new scope arrives I’ll be using that and the load tester to give it a hammering.

I’ve had a play with my little EM125 pocket (well, large pocket) oscilloscope and in the process of playing with these two, discovered the need for a decent signal generator and dummy load – both of these are on the way and will be covered in the coming weeks – along with some other exciting incoming stuff like a new 3D printer and a “proper” desktop scope.

tmp4A85

MEANWHILE I’ve not gone off the boil with the uninterruptible supply, FAR from it but Aidan and I have been waiting for a PCB to turn up. It came earlier this week and we’ve been getting that working – of course, as you might expect, in the process of doing that we’ve thought of better ways of doing things, so the present PCB is going in the bin and a newer, smaller, better design will be forthcoming, most likely before Christmas.

Oh and not to  forget the new Alexa feature – using it as an Intercom – that is MARVELLOUS.

Lots happing in the next few weeks….so make a note to look in – or better, if you’ve not yet subscribed to the newsletter on the right panel of the blog) – please do!

A quick thanks to all of you who feed back constantly on the blog and on my videos and for all those who provide new ideas and new links – what a great time to be interested in technology.

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13 thoughts on “A busy Week

  1. I'm using rflink to intercept the output of my weather station, it feeds info into nodered (Rpi3) modifying a Bigtimer output to switch lights on and off around my home (mqtt to esp8266s).
    I have wireless doorbell buttons in each room to override the outputs.
    Thank you for the inspiration and technical knowhow.

  2. I can't afford an rflink but wanted to receive and send 433MHz to and from node-red, so I got a Chinese Uno clone (I tried it with a nano but it didn't have enough oooomph!) A pair of the superheterodyne TX/RX modules and some vero board - total cost about £4.50 - I couldn't find any Arduino transceiver sketches online (I suck at coding but am learning!) so I cobbled together the RF receive demo sketch and something else I found online and lo and behold it works!

    If anyone wants the sketch just drop me a reply 🙂

      1. Hi Pete,

        I'm just guessing that the nano didn't have enough power, I tried it exactly the same configuration as above and it would transmit a whole 2 inches, receive was marginally better but not much. I also tried using 2 nanos one for TX one for RX and that was fine but kind of defeats the object of the whole "transceiver" ideal 🙂

        I found that the node "deduplicator" very useful when dealing with 433MHz remotes.

        Keep up the fine work Sir. 🙂

    1. Hi Ed Darby,

      I'm just starting out in IOT and have a load of RF light switches installed all around my home. I would like to try to couple Pete's ESP8266 rom enabled NodeMCU with MQTT and Node-Red to an RF Transmitter and then send out the codes for each light as required. Please could you share your RF code with me and if you or anyone else have any guidance for me it would be very useful.

      Thanx Chris

      1. Hi Chris, Welcome to the wonderful world of IOT, beware it can become addictive! 🙂

        On my setup I have a Raspberry Pi that runs Node-Red, connected to the Pi is an Arduino Uno to which I have connected a 433MHz transmitter and receiver. The code for the Uno can be found here - https://pastebin.com/8XnC39Y6 - I didn't write the code I just cobbled it together from bits I found on the net and from the RCSwitch demo code.

        An example Node can be found here - https://pastebin.com/JPQtyjUL - It takes an MQTT input and then communicates to the Uno.

        It's probably not the most elegant way of doing it but it works for me!

        Good luck. 🙂

        1. Thanx Ed!

          Tell me about addictive! I only started one week ago and already I'm hooked so much so that I'm staying up far too late every night....or is that every morning. Its small steps for me but every LED blink is another step forward. I did get some code a week ago fro this site and I think it might work with Alexa and RF transmitter but I'm away from home to be able to play with the RF receiver and to obtain my codes. but thought I would share here anyway.... https://www.kornehl.org/2017/06/28/nodemcu-alexa-and-the-rc-433mhz-switch/

          1. Hi Chris,

            That's great, every blinking LED is a blink of progress! enjoy the journey into everything IoT 🙂

            If I can impart a few lessons I have learnt along the way, I shall and I've learnt most of them the hard way!!!

            Firstly I'd say, never, ever rely on a cloud based service to control anything critical, whilst it might be great to say "Hey Alexa, kitchen lights on!" there'll come a time when your internet goes out and you'll end up screaming into the darkness at 4a.m, keep it local and then port that to the outside world, securely if you need to.

            Secondly, times change, protocols change and in this field, they change very quickly, you wouldn't be reading Pete's blog if you didn't want to keep up with the cutting edge but most often the most simple solution is probably the easiest, for example you could connect a NodeMCU to a 433MHz transmitter to turn a socket on, you then have to work out how to power the MCU in deep sleep, or you could buy a 433MHz key fob from Ebay or AliExpress for £1 that will use one coin cell battery a year.

            Thirdly, backups, save, save and save again, you'll find a bit of code on-line, incorporate it into you project and it will work perfectly, then a year later you'll change something, it will break, you'll want to put it back to how it was and you'll be buggered if you can remember where you found that code from.

            Lastly, if you have an Android phone, shell out the £3-4 for an App called Tasker, you won't regret it and it's so useful, if you run IOS then........ 😉

            If you have any questions feel free to email me edw_darbyAThotmailDOTcoDOTuk

            Most of all - Have fun!

  3. Hi Pete, thinking of trying to use Rflink and Alexa with node-red to automate a few things. Like sending RF codes as TV remote but also wondered if you have tried any of the sonoff replacement light switches or RF sonoff relays with Rflink. Really enjoying the blog and YouTube channel. Cheers

    1. Hi there Malcolm

      The way I use Sonoff and RF - is to use the RF as merely one of many ways to get info into Node-Red - which then controls a raft of output devices including Sonoffs by MQTT.

      1. Thanks Pete.
        I have started small and have a couple of Sonoff Basic Relay switches I've reflashed and have my Rpi running your script , Node-Red , Mqtt, I've played with Alexa(both the Local Node and also via AWS). I really like the idea of just using Node-Red to control everything and avoid using the various hubs everyone is selling. I was hoping to use RKLink via Node-Red to output RF to control these wall switches.

        https://www.itead.cc/smart-home/sonoff-t1.html

        I want to use RF for these as its a straight swap existing for new wallplates(however I'm not yet sure they can handle multi-way switching)

        If I can get RF out from Node-Red via RFlink then I can start to control my VirginMedia V6 Box that has an RF Remote capability and then hook that to Alexa Local.

        I've seen the RM Pro device but not seen anyone use it successfully from Node-Red. Again I want to avoid using multiple android apps to control different devices if I can help it.

        I really appreciate you sharing your work. Thanks

        1. Hi Malcolm,

          Im sure that you found this already since November but just in case: https://flows.nodered.org/node/node-red-contrib-rmplugin

          I purchased the RM Pro 3 but then promptly bricked it by flashing to wrong firmware......no way back yet as the flash disconnected the wifi connection and so the ESP on board is incognito. I just wish that I had the know how to be able to remove the Broardlink ESP and replace with a standard ESP to make use of the board with the RF Transceiver and the IR receiver and transmitter......if anyone in the know knows how please chime in....

          Best Regards
          Chris.

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