This started off as a quicky but is rapidly mutating into something more extensive. This blog entry is about Theo Arends’s much-loved alternative firmware for IOT (Itead Sonoffs and many other controllers) as Tasmota is now running at version 220.127.116.11 – or the more affectionate BETTY.
The new Tasmota docs site replaces the older WIKI and there is also a new flasher utility therein. Firstly we have the updates to Tasmota itself (18.104.22.168) and the Tasmota Device Manager software (TDM) and now TASMOTIZE as a Windows executable – for flashing Tasmota onto various IOT devices. But not just flashing – EASY flashing – with WIFI, MQTT and module setup all in the same place.
Let’s backtrack for a second for those new to the subject… when it comes to controlling devices from simple WIFI-controlled on-off switches through to RGB lighting, LCD displays and so on, Tasmota is one of several free firmware alternatives to the almost endemic numbers of Chinese cloud-based IOT solutions. For obvious commercial reasons, many manufacturers of IOT products would like us to use their own proprietary solutions, often relying on their own control APPS and cloud-based storage/control. One problem there is that some folk don’t trust cloud-based solutions (for a variety of reasons). Another problem is that every manufacturer seems to have their reasons why you should use THEIR solution.
Tasmota started off as an alternative to control Itead Sonoff and other boards, something you could (can) freely download and “flash ” onto said boards and then either control your devices via simple web commands or something like MQTT. There are other solutions: “Espuna” comes to mind as well as “ESP-GO”. The latter is covered extensively in this blog and I spent many months developing this with help from Aidan Ruff and others. Recently, Tasmota has been coming on in leaps and bounds and looks set to be the dominant alternative IOT device firmware for some time to come as it now supports a wide variety of IOT WIFI-controlled devices not to mention Zigbee.
SO, here we are, Tasmota can be installed on, for just one example, Itead Sonoff BASIC boards and used to control them, in my case, using a Raspberry Pi running Node-Red snd MQTT protocol. Others may prefer to control devices directly via a browser. What’s new about this ? Well, Tasmota now offers support for a LOT of devices, has a NICE interface, an up and coming DEVICE MANAGER (TDM), a new website putting it all together and also now TASMOTIZER, software to easily FLASH (program) boards with Tasmota – and it is all getting easier by the day.
Flashing boards is nothing new and started back in the dark ages with various attempts at Python language code (more familiar perhaps to Linux rather than Windows users) – Tasmotizer is now available as a Windows .EXE file as is TDM. A fellow who goes by the name of Faziaty on “Discord” and Jziolkowski on Github is, it would seem, responsible for both Tasmotizer and TDM.
Tasmota supports up to two access points and for this I’ll point you to the docs referred to above and in particular the “AP” and “SSID” commands.
Tasmota is easy to install on various devices using a serial convertor (FTDI) and is also easily upgradeable “LIVE” – I have many devices, some hidden away in the loft, some in another country – all of which I can now safely update while they are running using TDM – which in my case runs on Windows 10.