This week I received a set of Sonoff units from Itead including the 4CHR3 and 4CHPROR3 (described as 4-gang Interlock/Self-locking/Inching WiFi DIY Light Switches) as well as a ZBMINI. I’ll cover that last item elsewhere as it is a small, Alexa/Google-compatible single-channel 10A power controller using Zigbee protocol.
As for the 4CHR3 and 4CHPROR3 – to break this down these are both ESP8285-driven 4 channel WiFi relay systems with some differences – and are in fact far more than simply WiFi Light Switches. The 4CHR3 is revision 3 of Itead’s Sonoff 4CH DIN-RAIL-mounting device, a 4-channel WiFi control box. This unit has 4 manual override buttons, 4 indicators plus a WiFi indicator – and 4 normally-open contacts to switch mains power (90v-264v) 10A max per channel up to a maximum of 2.5Kw (10A total) for the box.
As you’ll see there are 5 neutral connectors and 1 live input as well as the 4 live outputs. The overall box is similar to previous generations of this unit but the connectors have improved somewhat and the boxes are more rounded and “better”.
The 4CHPROR3 is an entirely more capable DIN-RAIL-mounting unit, with uncommitted changeover contacts for each of the 4 outputs. As well as accepting mains input the unit can also run on 9-23v. Also the PRO handles both WiFi and also RF input – 433Mhz radio remote – mine did not come with a radio remote control. You can of course run the PRO with the Sonoff RF Bridge unit which I’ve covered here.
Previous versions referred to compatibility with NEST but I’m not seeing this on the current R3 units – however, both of these units will talk to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and both work out of the box with the free eWeLink APP – or the more adventurous can ditch all of that cloud-dependent stuff and retofit these units with the free Tasmota software so beloved of those of us who are averse to being reliant on the cloud for our home and office smart control.
That said, for simple installations you can use these units with the free eWeLink APP + Amazon Alexa for example and gain timers and scheduling, voice control and more with very little effort.
Both units come complete with DIN rail fixings and a screwdriver. Overall, I think the improvements are well worthwhile. Note the changes to the PRO in particular – the R2 version could operate from 5V (I say COULD – CAN – I have several and also have the original Sonoff 4CH) whereas the R3 as well as mains power, can be run from 9v to 23v so there’s a minor compatibility break you should be aware of.
I invite you to look at the links below to my previous blog entries to find out more about these devices. And there is more if you want to dig. And there is LOTS in here about Itead products over the years including their new Zigbee products, Sonoff Basic and more.