I’m currently blogging about the more expensive 16A Shelly One power controller and already this summer I’ve written about the Gosund units, but regular readers will be aware that I’m a long-term fan of Sonoff and their various low cost controllers. My most recent acquisition is a pair of Sonoff BasicR3 Power Controllers and I now have a pair of Sonoff Minis on the way.
Gosund have recently confirmed that their current units will NOT support MQTT – and that they’d have to do some redesigning (I don’t understand why an OTA upgrade could not do that, personally)… No matter what, the Sonoff entry-level WIFI power control units are just cheaper than every one elses – it’s that simple. If only they’d all take MQTT as seriously a people like Arendst (Tasmota) and myself who have made replacement firmware for such boards. There are other good examples out there. However, the R3 is an improvement over previous similar controllers.
One of the BasicR3 units is on duty controlling my hot tub pump (we don’t need the heater on in Spain in the summer, just the pump during overnight cheap rate), the other is on my bench on test after suffering a mishap (my fault). I ended up replacing the on-off PCB control button as may be obvious in the photo.
I love these devices, what I’m not 100% convinced about is the firmware. For now, the new Sonoff Basic R3 has DIY firmware for those who don’t wish to use the Sonoff Cloud.
I flashed TASMOTA software onto these devices the old-fashioned way with an FTDI then upgraded to the latest Tasmota release using the Tasmota OTA (over-the-air updates) facility. What I’ve not yet managed is getting the indicator lights right (feel free to step in and advise if you are familiar with putting Tasmota on these particular devices (I have one BASICR3 and one BASICR3 RF – the unit shown in the photos is the RF version – not that I actually use the RF facility as I run these on WIFI).
There are two LEDs on these devices, on mine, the leftmost is RED and should show the state of the relay, the rightmost is blue and should show WIFI connectivity. In fact right now I get only the rightmost blue light which is showing relay status. AND initial WIFI status. I need to get to grips with the Tasmota configuration (most likely the template option)
Here’s the BasicR3 with my )not quite long enough) replacement PCB button (the white glue is theirs, not mine).
Anyone familiar with the Sonoff BASIC will know that the new cases are quite an improvement.
Meanwhile, Itead continue to claim 10 amps capability, I continue to state that this means 10 amps non-inductive load and that you should not try to control a 10 amp inductive heater. Consult an electrician if in doubt. The claims for current capacity are not exlusive to Sonoff, Shelly claim 16 amps for their unit and again that should be considered 16 amps DC, if using an inductive load, the maximum should be lower by several percent.
I ended up flashing these Sonoffs with Tasmota using the excellent NODEMCU Firmware programmer http://www.nodemcu.com and or course, for putting in the initial WIFI configuration I use YAT – all on my Windows 10 PC.
The rest is done in a web browser using Tasmota’s own web interface and finally onto my own Node-Red setup which includes MQTT. I’ve suggested to Itead that they include MQTT as a standard alternative to their cloud. Time will tell.