Tasmota and Node-Red Long-Term

Over the years I’ve seen IOT-related projects come and go – the latest, greatest home control APP at one time was going to be Imperihome (swiftly followed by Blynk). Unlike both Node-Red and Tasmota, both of which are today very popular, As far as I can see, the Imperihome website no longer exists – I wrote about it back in early 2016 – about the same time I was starting to develop my BIGTIMER for Node-Red – and Blynk seems to have gone fully commercial.

Of course, 2016-2023 – that’s a long time in tech. Yet here I am, still making minor improvements to BigTimer – and Node-Red is regularly updated by the node-red team along with Node-Red Dashboard.

That brings me to the point of this short article. We have a pump in our pool (the latter being an essential rather than a luxury in southern Spain where temperatures can be as high as 40c in summer).

Blitzwolf Power Controller

I’ve just replaced the pump as it stopped “pumping” – and in the process, realised why it only lasted a couple of years. By rights, the pump should run maybe 12 hours a day in summer to filter the water and keep up some pretty low-power circulation.

In winter, it seems it should run for a short time every day but no-where near as long as the warmer months, maybe an hour or two – so after looking up the experience of those who know far more about pools than either my wife or I, we have come to the conclusion that November to March, a couple of hours at night will do and for the rest, 12 hours from 7pm – 7am.

And with another trivial but multi-year life-cycle project under way I had to put a few minutes thought into how to do this. Most mechanical timers have no concept of months (not to mention failing to correct after power failures) and so I pulled out a redundant (ESP-based) Blitzwolf SS1 controller and checked what kind of firmware I had on it… Tasmota 9.0 – which brings us to the title of this short article – Tasmota long-term use. The Blitzwolf isn’t at all exciting which is why it’s been sitting in a corner and never updated – but it works.

Node-Red Dashboard on the smartphone

I went to the local Tasmota firmware update facility (in this case the device is locally called ss1-1.lan http://ss1-1.lan/) and seconds later – Tasmota (Payton) up and running – yet another long-term project we can all count on.

And now that’s working, a couple of node-red-contrib-bigtimers should do the job of keeping it running all year round. I should really add month settings for the second timer option but the more I add, the clumsier the interface becomes – so a pair of N-R-C-Bigtimers it is – simple timing with manual override via the phone to keep my wift happy.

If you’re installing Tasmota for the first time on an ESP-based device – here’s the link for the web installer. You can install via the serial port.


3 thoughts on “Tasmota and Node-Red Long-Term

    1. I just read that page – ewll, if it does come to an end – that’s a disgrace – but then again that’s free software for you – it happens… of course, it’s not going to stop working – looks like some fiture upgrades may break the dashboard. On the other hand, the number of people supporting Tasmota seems to have grown exponentially… and depending on what you’re doing of course, Tasmota visually is just fine…

  1. Full disclosure – I’m a moderator for the Blynk forum, so get a free PRO subscription (but I still prefer to “tell it as it is”)

    There is still a free version of Blynk IoT, but it’s only really there for evaluation purposes, and it’s so limited that you may try to evaluate it and be put-off by the lack of functionality.
    If you want the full range of widgets and some useable functionality then you need to go for the Plus subscription at around 7 dollars/euros/pounds per month – similar to a Spotify or Amazon prime subscription I guess.

    There’s a Blynk IoT contrib for Node-Red, which works really well and provides a fairly easy way to use Blynk as your UI. It now has separate mobile and web based dashboards, which can be a handy way to control and monitor your projects.

    I tried Tasmota, and Home Assistant, and a handful of other potential contenders but they didn’t really ‘click’ with me. So 6 years on and I’m still using Blynk as my UI with Node-Red and MQTT doing the donkey work.

    The transition from Blynk Legacy to the new IoT product was a pain for some people, especially those that had bought credits in the form of one-off payments for “energy”.
    I think Blynk eventually realised that they couldn’t run a business on the basis of one-off payments and that they needed a steady income stream in the form of subscriptions. That puts the business on a more sustainable footing, but that’s easy for me to say, as I don’t need to pay for my Blynk subscription 😉

    The other issue for some was that Blynk have abandoned the possibility of using a locally hosted sever and are now 100% cloud based. This was primarily due the the fact that some people were using a local server commercially, and partly because of the complexity of the new product which results from the added functionality.

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