When I was here in Spain (2018) in April working on the house controller, the mobile control package I keep going back to (Blynk) was improving but the RGB ZeRGBa (RGB)control was acting up when you put two or more on a single mobile screen. I put that to one side, disappointed (and yes I did talk to the designers).
Meanwhile a new control had been added, a multi-state switch. This is very important as you may for example have lighting control that needs manual off, auto (timer) or manual on. Back in April this was new and had issues.
I’m pleased to say that in both cases the problems have been solved. Much as I love Node-Red for the base of home control, it has to be said that the RGB controller in Node-Rd-Dashboard is AWFUL and last I heard there was little chance of a fix.
So, it looks like Blynk gets the job with Node-Red as the base. I’m hoping the local server has also improved (there was an issue with Java versions also around April. I’ll check that next). Meanwhile I can definitely recommend Blynk to anyone working on a generic home control system. I’m using it with Node-Red.
Updated 22/OCT/2015 : Rather than write another blog I’m updating this one in the light of new info. New features added to the Bynk App (which allows you to control various IOT gadgets from your phone – OR talk to Node-Red and hence to anything that Node-Red can talk to (which is just about everything) – include the ability to Share the App – allowing others to view and control BUT NOT EDIT the App – which is great – though it does say “30 day trial” without saying what happens at the end of the trial – communication is not these guys’ greatest point.
I’ve been asking for multiple pages per project – well they didn’t quite do it that way, they did multiple projects per user with seamless movement – only thing is that means a different access code on each page – I’d have rather had access code selection per item but there you go. As for multiple accounts, it is still a pain to switch from one to another – they are not stored and so you have to enter details every time you switch – not going to happen.
So for now the answer appears to be ONE Blynk server. Thanks to the “Raspberry Pi2” setting you can have up to 64 virtual pins per project which I guess is ok (why would you want more – well, let me tell you – thermostat settings – week and weekend settings for peak and off-peak, frost fallback etc, + and – buttons and displays of values –you soon rack up the pins – but I’m thinking the designers thought we might just want to turn a few lights on and off.. Noooooooo.
So you can control things like ESP8266 etc directly with a little code in the ESP and Blynk – but my chosen route is Node-Red –the only problem with THAT is that the only Node-Red node to interact with Blynk – does not like the Blynk server going down – i.e. it reports it – with a “disconnect” notice but doesn’t actually do anything about it – I’ve written to the designer – I’ve looked at it myself without much joy and I’m taking the opportunity here to ask if any of you node-red node-designing wizards would care to take a look. It needs to detect the failure and try again every few seconds until it gets the connection – if I were redesigning the node I’d have an output if if failed after X attempts – and have that send me an email via the email node!
So – the project is coming along – all we need now is a smaller zeRGBA and feedback to all controls and a thermometer. Sync sync between mobiles is apparently taken care of but still hoping for the ability to import our own images and different size buttons and removing that DAFT Vx numbering on the buttons (apparently it is off for guests – thats’ a start) and the mini-level indicator (as on the box) and the ability to rename zeRGBA (why would anyone think we’d only want one???) ...and... we need to be able to get more stuff on a page!
Right now there is an issue, 2 of us have spotted this – renaming labels – log out – log in – sometimes doesn’t keep the changes – will report as I found out more about this (local server).