A few simples notes on probably my pet project and also some work that Antonio and I have been doing recently including a quick stress test for the Pi4, for those concerned about heat… remember I wrote about a combined heatsink/case?
sudo apt-get install stress
while true; do vcgencmd measure_clock arm; vcgencmd measure_temp; sleep 10; done& stress -c 4 -t 900s
The above came from:
and on my Pi4 with the new fan/heatsink, while running that stress test for several minutes in an SSH session, the temperature never got above 62c which is fine. The stress testing stops when you close the SSH session. I undrstand that recent updates to the Pi help with temperature issues – what I don’t yet know is if such improvements come with an “apt upgrade” or if you have to do something else. I’m also eagerly awaiting the USB3 boot option promised for sometime this decade.
Meanwhile we’re both noticing, having moved lock stock and barrel to Tasmota for our ESP8266 devices, some “exceptions” and we’re still not 100% sure we have all the answers. I recently noticed that two of my Tasmota-driven lights flickered every now and then when on, not something I’ve noted before. I currently have a feeling this all started after Tasmota 6.5.0
To test this we installed the Tasmota Device Manager 0.2.0 on Windows (using an administrative command prompt – most annoying when there IS only me – administrator, chief cook and bottle-washer) – it has prerequisites of:
python -m pip install –upgrade pip
python -m pip install PyQt5 paho-mqtt PyQtWebEngine
and having then cloned or downloaded tdm (Tasmota Device Manager)
python3 tdm.py(in Linux)
pythonw.exe tdm.py(in Windows)
It seems (though it is by no means certain) that moving to Tasmota 18.104.22.168 and ensuring you do NOT have an extremely weak signal may eliminate these exceptions.
And finally, I’m sure someone, somewhere is thinking “I wonder what happened to Scargill’s ESP-GO?” Well, it is alive and does not need updates to Arduino SDKs as I did not use the Arduino SDK .I use the Espressif SDK- 2.2 as I still can’t get 100% reliable OTA out of RBOOT using SDK 3.0. So why not use ESP-GO? It does not do Alexa (you can get by that in Node-Red) and does not do pretty hostnames (working on that thanks to one of our readers) as I could not figure out how to do that with the Espressif SDK. My OTA needs 4MB devices as it has all sorts of failure protection built in, in the event of a bad OTA.
As Tasmota and others rush to add features, ESP-GO just works. It runs RGB serial LEDs – up to 300 of them , with soft fading and a host of effects you build up yourself. It also does 3 channel PWM, has a 60-LED clock program built in, handles various OLED and LCD displays, debounced buttons, a raft of sensors and much more. The current version has been controlling my house heating utterly reliably (a lot more reliable than the actual LG air-source heating system itself) since April 2019 (we went off to Spain for 6 months and left it running without support for holiday cottage guests to use) – it is now November 2019.
So, next time anyone wonders about ESP-GO – it’s doing just nicely thank you. The main ESP-GO blog entry points you to the source code, BINS (link in the blog entry) and FULL WORD manual (same place as the source) on BitBucket.
And here is my home-grown Node-Red-Dashboard thermostat that has allowed me remote heating control all this time – I put it together in an early blog but only in 2018 did I finish it off into a working piece of code (not properly documented before anyone asks) along with remote monitoring. I’m more than happy playing with Tasmota and others – marvellous stuff – which has some distinct advantages – but when I need some power and utter reliability without worrying about Arduino SDK issues – I often end up with Node-Red and ESP-GO (currently sitting around 700K with everything in). STAT4 in the photos was put into the bedroom as a belt and braces backup for STAT3 (in the study), as it happens it has not been needed as both run 24-7 reliably.
Currently, a Shelly ONE (tiny WIFI mains control unit) is controlling the actual Air Source heating control relay and a Sonoff TH-16 running Espurna runs the 2KW+ lower backup immersion heater in the hot water tank (in case of Air-Source system failure – not LG’s finest hour by any means).
Below is the Grafana monitor which runs constantly and is remotely accessible – just like the Node-Red-Dashboard-based stat.