This is a never-ending story about Theo Arends’s much-loved alternative firmware for IOT (http://ota.tasmota.com/tasmota/tasmota.bin.gz) as Tasmota is now at stable release version 8.5.1 “Hannah” (update October 2, 2020) and development version 188.8.131.52 – I’ve upgraded my various ESP8266-based devices including Itead Sonoff BASIC, TH10, 4CH Pro, ProR2, Powr2, Shelly One, Blitzwolf and others). Warning, there are SOME devices out there which cannot accept Tasmota or other alternative firmware. My overall advice would be to avoid them where possible unless you wish to rely on cloud services). This entry will assume you want local control of devices.
Well, as, until recently in the UK, the bars were closed and we still can’t really travel freely over there, sitting at home updating Tasmota seems a sensible (and safe) way to pass time. Be sure to check the Tasmota docs site for upgrades etc. and for COMMANDS in Tasmota go here.
Noteably, with Tasmota “Elliot”, we can now leave off all sensor checking if we don’t have any sensors – and the number of .bin file permutations has gone up… and I’ve just added a DHT22 sensor to a Sonoff Basic board (rev 2, the ones currently going for a song). I used gnd, 3v3 and RX pins on the 4 way header and included a 10k pullup for the data line. For this I used tasmota-sensors.bin – if I were not using any sensors I’d use tasmota-lite.bin
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 (184.108.40.206 development version) and the Tasmota Device Manager software (TDM) version 0.2.6 and now TASMOTIZE as a Windows executable (tasmotizer-1.2.exe) – for flashing Tasmota onto various IOT devices. But not just flashing – EASY flashing – with WIFI, MQTT and module setup all in the same place. For TDM, if you want the Windows EXE versions then head directly to the RELEASES page.
I grabbed TASUI on Dec 21, 2019 but not done a lot with it… http://tasui.shantur.com – and what is THAT I hear you ask? Well, it is a web-browser based UI for Tasmota devices – apparently for Tasmota 220.127.116.11 or later so please don’t bother until you update your devices… my friend Antonio confused the hell out of me by referring to “CORS http://tasui.shantur.com” – what is that I asked. Well if you want to have a play, just take that text without the quotes, paste it into the CONSOLE in one or more of your Tasmota-equipped devices to test – and immediately they know about this new UI (even after a reboot). In a browser on your local network, enter the link (top of this para) and the UI will start up.
Then, tell the UI about your local IP network subnet range for your devices i.e. 192.168.1.2 to 192.168.1.200 or whatever you use). Then tell the page to go searching for your devices. Once done save them. That’s it. You now know as much as me about /TASUI. Later, there will be a LOCAL version of this UI. Here is the Github link – currently not documented – https://github.com/IOTReboot/TasUI/tree/1d928ab – I tried the install but it looks like it wanted ARCH Linux – which I don’t have.
Let’s back-track 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 (largely) 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. Some folk don’t trust cloud-based solutions (for a variety of reasons). Another issue is that every manufacturer seems to have their reasons why you should use THEIR cloud solution. I’m happiest with local control (Tasmota most of the time for ESP8266 – and using Node-Red on a Raspberry Pi for my central controller).
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: “Espurna” 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 is now THE dominant alternative IOT (ESP82666) device firmware as it now supports a WIDE variety of IOT WIFI-controlled devices not to mention Zigbee and features which are growing constantly.
SO, here we are, Tasmota can be installed on, for just one example, Itead Sonoff BASIC (110v-220v power control) boards and used to control them over WIFI, even adding lots of different sensors for the more ambitious. In my case this is all controlled centrally using a Raspberry Pi running Node-Red and MQTT protocol. Others may prefer to control devices directly via a browser as the Tasmota WebUI is in fact excellent.
What’s new? Well, Tasmota now offers support for a LOT of devices, has a NICE interface as well as TASMOTA DEVICE MANAGER (TDM), a new website putting it all together, TASMOTIZER, software to easily FLASH (program) boards with Tasmota – and it is all getting easier by the day. And NOW we have TasUI – lovely.
Flashing (reprogramming) IOT 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 (in some cases TUYA-CONVERT or a serial convertor (FTDI) and is also easily upgradeable “LIVE” via OTA – 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.
Talking of devices in another country – especially one with less than perfect electric power – you should be aware in the Tasmota commands referred to above – SETOPTION commands… “setoption 13 1” disables special button tricks like long press and double press – always do that (once only, non-volatile) if you don’t NEED that. Another non-volatile command “SETOPTION65 1” – set this once a controller is in place and working – the option defaults to 0 to get you out of a jam if you tend to mess up passwords etc, but can also result in Tasmota returning to default settings after repeated power cycling. Set “SETOPTION65 1” to STOP this from happening.
Backups – this is still in progress you might like to check it out.