Teckin SP23 and SP27 Smart Plugs

Teckin SP27

In 2019 I wrote here (now updated) about the Teckin SP23 (for British plugs and sockets) Smart plugs and commented that whether this ends well or not will depend on the company. Well, they wrote back to me on Nov 4, 2019. It would seem they have binned power monitoring on the SP23 product and adjusted the capacity claim for the UK to 13A. It seems also that the chipset has been changed. The SP23 devices I received convert to Tasmota no problem but newer models do not. I also have SP27 sockets in the same boat. So basically you are looking at just another cloud-operated smart socket. I guess it is all down to price and your hapiness or othersie with cloud dependency as to whether or not you use these. Anything about power monitoring below this paragraph is historical.

Theirs are pretty normal looking smart plugs – without any special surprises – but do the SP23 and SP27 have power monitoring and will they work with Tasmota firmware? The early model SP23 did both, the new models do NEITHER. As techies most of you may NOT be interested in the standard off-the-shelf software involving yet another cloud and yet another APP.

I normally choose Tasmota as it is possibly the best free alternative firmware for these kinds of sockets – if not THE best… however, due to a manufacturing change in the latest versions of the SP23 smart plug which I received at the back end of 2019, the power monitoring doesn’t work. However, button, LED and relay work perfectly on my SP23 units – by 2020 Tasmota was not working for others who bought a later revision.

March 24, 2020: I recently received a pair of the company’s SP27 smart plugs to test.. these are thinner than the SP23, but still not thin enough to fit 2 of them side by side in a British 4-way extension socket (a REAL shame) and also – the SP27 neither has power monitoring NOR does it convert to Tasmota.

My thanks to Mr Shark who reminded me that in order to see who makes the chip you just have to look at the MAC number – the first part gives the game away – and these Smart Plugs are NOT now ESP8266 based – apparently earlier ones were (just like the original SP23 which I have). If you have these products lying around, unconverted, check out their APP – EDIT (pencil) – DEVICE INFORMATION – that will take you to the MAC number.

In my case I used this website to check on MAC details – https://macvendors.com/ and it looks like the chip is now made not by Espressif but HANGZHOU AIXIANGJI TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD

SP27
SP27 Smartplug from Teckin

So, what do the SP27 smart plugs actually have going for them? Available at Amazon, not too expensive, pretty but otherwise nothing special it would seem. If you plan to use the “Smart life” App then maybe you don’t care – and that is fair enough. Bear in mind that these devices as well as on-off, have 24 hour, 7 day timers built-in – but unbelievably do NOT have dusk-dawn capability. So lights on at lighting up time? NO. Fixed times only. Good for cheap rate timing, useless for dusk-dawn lighting. Perhaps the designers might re-think this if enough people gripe?

Dehumidifier running with the Teckin SP27

Two images above – and in the above Dehumidifier photo is the SP27 smart plug (in this case running the internal timer to only turn on the living room – slightly noisy dehumidifier in the early hours of the morning when we are all in bed) and below, the somewhat larger SP23.

Of interest, that dehumidifier, now on the SP7 timing, also has a home–made silicon seal to stop that empty tank ever filling up – instead, venting through a thin tube ot the outside. Aside from occasional filter cleaning, this setup should never need maintenance. At the other side of the house near the bedrooms, another SP27 does the opposite, operating only for a few hours during the day – all of this of course is part of the joys of living near a stream. Great to look at and enjoy in summer but you need a little effort to keep the house nice and dry in winter.

Teckin S23 Smart Socket
SP23 Smartplug from Teckin

So, for those with the earlier versions of the SP23 that use ESP8266 – fire away (do NOT try this on non-ESP-based products such as the later model SP23 and SP27).

This is the result of an all day session with Mr Shark AKA Antonio, with me in my office in the freezing wastes of the Northeast of England and Antonio at work in Italy. Warning – this is VERY technical – the original notes were those which Antonio gave me to help me convert the device to Tasmota – it all works but as I said above, no power monitoring.

To use Tuya convert on the original ESP8266-based Teckin SP23 you need a spare Raspberry Pi – or temporarily re-task your only Pi, inserting a new MicroSD card. You should start with a fresh install of raspbian Buster Lite (I tried using my existing setup – too much activity).

You need a Raspberry Pi to set up Tuya-Convert.. grab the minimal Buster from the Raspberry Pi site and install on the Pi using, say, the free BalenaEtcher program (though as or March 2020 I’m staying away from BalenaEtcher and trying USBImager). While the SD is still in your PC (after installing Buster, remove and reinsert the SD into your PC and you will see the boot partition). You should put an empty text file in the boot “drive” called merely “ssh” without the quotes. Remove the SD and put it in the RPi. Then power up the RPi. I used an RPi 3. None of this works on the new versions of the Teckin products which no longer use ESP8266.

sudo apt-get install -y git
git clone https://github.com/ct-Open-Source/tuya-convert.git
cd tuya-convert
./install_prereq.sh

Open two SSH terminals on your PC as user Pi on thr RPi. I use MobaXTerm for that. On the first terminal do this…

cd tuya-convert
./start_flash.sh

Press YES. Connect your mobile phone WIFI to access point vtrust-flash which should become available. Use password “flashmeifyoucan” without the quotes.

On the second terminal..

cd tuya-convert/scripts
tail -f *log

Back on terminal one, press ENTER and wait for the prompt. You can watch progress on terminal TWO… When terminal ONE returns to the prompt, you’ve done the first step of the hack, now to flash Tasmota.

In terminal ONE you should see something like:

Getting Info from IoT-device
VTRUST-FLASH 1.1
(c) VTRUST GMBH https://www.vtrust.de/35c3/
READ FLASH: http://10.42.42.42/backup
ChipID: 4247dd
MAC: BC:DD:C2:42:47:DD
BootVersion: 7
BootMode: normal
FlashMode: 1M DOUT @ 40MHz
FlashChipId: 144068
FlashChipRealSize: 1024K
Active Userspace: user2 0x81000

If it is NOT saying “Active Userspace: user2 0x81000 then you need an intermediate step – the following – to be pasted into terminal ONE…

curl http://10.42.42.42/flash2

If you DO see the above “Active Userspace” etc., skip to step 3 on terminal ONE.

curl http://10.42.42.42/flash3

Monitor what is happening on terminal TWO.

At this point the hack is complete and you should see a “SONOFF-XXX” WiFi access point on your phone, connect to it, navigate to 192.168.4.1 and use the web interface to connect the device to your WiFi network. Be sure to enter the correct ssid and password for your access point. You can always change it later.

Now you can update to the latest firmware in the normal way, for example, this URL for the 2.3.0-based minimal firmware.. http://thehackbox.org/tasmota/release/sonoff-minimal.bin

For the full release – this – http://thehackbox.org/tasmota/sonoff.bin

You could look for a Tasmota template for the device… https://blakadder.github.io/

Now to to your Tasmotized device web page, other, configuration, paste in the template in the top text box, check ACTIVATE, remove any password from the password field and press SAVE.

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61 thoughts on “Teckin SP23 and SP27 Smart Plugs

  1. I bought a few of these a year or so ago. The only issue I have with them is that they are slightly too wide and so interfere with the power switch on my UK single/double sockets. They do still work with most sockets, you just end up with the switch being halfway to the off position and/or the plug not being fully inserted.

      1. Not only Pom….oops British ones!! The standard 10A dual Australian GPO (General Purpose Outlet – what we call a wall socket) can only often accept one ‘smartplug’ (see https://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/i/). There is a special ‘wide’ dual outlet that’s available, but it needs a corresponding wide wall box to mount it. I’ve tried chiding a couple of manufacturers in the past about it, attempting to get them to make a slimmer device but it falls on deaf ears. Strange, really, as I believe our standard outlet configuration is also the standard in China.

  2. As per Terry’s note, the switch not being fully on or fully off could cause the contacts to not fully engage resulting in arcing and the ensuing overheat of the socket and its contacts. I think great care is needed.
    13A socket switch placements vary so I wonder if there is a particular brand of socket that allows the Teckin to be used without fouling the switch. Just musing ………… not suggesting Teckin users should change their sockets. There are also non switched sockets ……..hmmm.

    1. Yes they make different sockets in the UK and switchless too. They are perfect for these.
      UK socket were of course not designed for modern imported and tweaked designs, but for the UK at sandard plug. Not sure how these past our safe for sale in the UK, I would have thought they would fail instantly.

      Teckin do now brand a raised version and a compact version, not sure if they have Power Monitoring though, but look at other “Tuya” products with a better design.

      Or if you are using a strip/extension socket, just buy a smart one of them (tuya made) and flash in the same OTA way.

      As for the monitoring gpio, have you tried just changing through the ports until it work and not just going straight to the template?.

        1. There is a bin file to flash to a d1 mini which does the same as a using a mobile. Just power the d1 from the usb on the pi and you have a easier option.

          1. the bin file you’re saying, i think is the one DigiblurDIY named in recent videos, which just tries repeatedly to connect to the vtrust ssid created by tuya-convert, so you don’t need to use your phone for that…

            nothing to do with finding the 3 gpios used by Pete’s device, though…

    1. Of you are using them unmodified then no doubt they are fine. I went straight for Tasmota and sadly the current setup does not handle power monitoring in the latest release of that board.

  3. Bricked my teckin plug it connected and did the backup then nothing,,had to open it and solder wires and flash it by serial

  4. Thanks for this. I just bought a couple from Amazon, but have made no progress at all with flashing them despite using your instructions or the one at https://github.com/SynAckFin/TuyOTA/wiki/Walkthrough. The plug is just never recognised. (I have now tried on three separate Model 3 RPis with two different Raspbian Lite builds!) The smoking gun in the log is this:
    (‘could not establish sslpsk socket:’, SSLError(1, u'[SSL: NO_SHARED_CIPHER] no shared cipher (_ssl.c:727)’))
    and
    new client on port 443 from 10.42.42.38:51662
    (‘could not establish sslpsk socket:’, SSLError(1, u'[SSL: WRONG_VERSION_NUMBER] wrong version number (_ssl.c:727)’))
    Could it be that they have updated the security?

    1. Well, mine are only a month old, but they DID tell me this morning that they have a new UK version which no longer has that power monitoring – goodness knows whatever other changes they’ve made… ask tech support.

  5. I should have said I used tuya-convert first… On three Pi with two raspbian builds. That achieves nothing. It starts but the plug immediately stops flashing the light when first contacted, and the script fails. One message I saw in the logs with the second plug in TuyOTA the box was:

    WARNING: it appears this device does not use an ESP82xx and therefore cannot install ESP based firmware

    I have given up now, and solved most of my issues using webhooks and ifttt because my WeMo will respond to IFTTT and Google, just not OpenHab.

  6. There is a bin file to flash to a d1 mini which does the same as a using a mobile. Just power the d1 from the usb on the pi and you have a easier option.

  7. Just received a twin pack advertised as Telkin SP23 units, ordered specifically as this model was meant to have energy monitoring. Turns out they have the Realtek MCU not an ESP chip, and no energy monitoring! The MCU daughterboard is in fact labelled on the back as SP27 so I guess those are also now Realtek units. Sad day 🙁
    Avoid these:
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07CVJYV3G/

    1. Interesting as the SP27 are only 10A, not 13A like the SP23.
      Dodgy products now and poor advertising.
      Some are advertising with improved Realtek for WiFi reception.
      Time to wait and find other ESP tuya products.

      1. Look for the Teckin SP23 units which are in packaging labelled 16A, these are the esp8266 design. The other noticeable difference is the newer realtek units have a small amount of stand off in the base to clear UK 13A socket switches.

  8. Just great.. spent the last 3 hours trying to get these flashed. 2 on cheap via Amazon Black “friday” sales.. They are going back tomorrow. Glad I found this page

      1. I was so chuffed to see they had raised them so you can use the switches as well.. Crazy. Wonder if you can buy the older ones still? as I have 2 and they work perfectly.

  9. new tuya-convert 2.3.0 is out, procedure is pretty much automatic now, and you’ll have a menu of firmwares to choose for flashing…
    https://github.com/ct-Open-Source/tuya-convert/releases/tag/v2.3.0

    flashing whatever “additional” esp device you have with this “donor” bin file, you don’t need to join the vtrust network with your phone, too, it will automatically search for that and join as soon as it will appear:
    https://github.com/digiblur/Tuya-Convert-Donor

    1. as far as the device is recognized by the system, you’re good to go… eventually i think there’s a parameter or a config to change its name if it’s not wlan0

      for the tuya devices, as far as they don’t have power monitoring features, it’s easy to have them working… if a template for the specific device is already on blakadder site, you’re fine, otherwise follow this guide to make your own, and share on blakadder site after that: https://github.com/arendst/Tasmota/wiki/Configuration-Procedure-for-New-Devices

      i made a dozen of templates in last months…

        1. no need for any physical access point, but you need whatever linux which can access internet via ethernet, and has a wifi adapter that the hack will use to create ITS OWN access point, simulating the network that tuya use to ota update, faking it and so giving your own firmwares instead of the original one…

          you can even boot a notebook or pc with a debian buster iso, or an ubuntu one, and run it from there, without actually installing anything on that pc (use it LIVE), or owning a raspberry pi at all 🙂

          you can even create a linux virtual machine in windows, using hyperv or virtualbox or vmware, and “passing through” the physical wifi adapter to that virtual machine (of course, given this, your notebook MUST be wired to internet via ethernet), and do all from there 🙂

  10. I’ve bought 8 Teckin SP23’s over the past 3 months. I bricked the first one so have it in pieces. The next 3 all converted fine with Tuya Convert (version 1).

    Bought another 4 in early November and they’re a completely different model. Tuya Convert doesn’t work on them. From various internet searches they’ve also dropped the power monitoring.

    I’m now trying to return them to Amazon as they’re “broken”.

  11. I will see when I get mine. But no way Ali will take them back.
    For what I see of some photos, the PCB may be modular.
    So in case of the Realtek version, may be try to be the new Dr Frankstein and do so “reassembly” 😁

  12. Taken from facebook: “PSA: TECKIN Smart switched are rated for 15 amps but seem to catch fire when running at 13-14AMPS.

    This is the second one that does this to me.

    I recommend staying away from them.”

    Just saying…

  13. FYI, just checked my recent Amazon SP23’s and can confirm the chipset’s been replaced. It’d be worth marking at the top of the page to warn anyone else off. Can’t return mine as I cracked one open to make sure, but these things happen.
    They’re neat cases so I might attempt to retrofit an ESP board in there.

  14. I wish i saw this post before i ordered a box of 4 of them !!!!
    Spent a day trying to do Tuya Convert….with no joy! turns out they are not esp82xx chips !!!!!
    They are going back to Amazon complete with one split apart.
    No good to me at all if I cant reflash them for Openhab.
    What is wrong with these companies ?

    1. Hi

      In my experience this is the exception – and I have written directly to Teckin to tell them what I think – they should have made a change to the product name (maybe a suffix or prefix) when they changed chips. I wasted lots of time on this – eventually getting Tasmota on mine – but without power monitoring. Previous versions apparently worked just fine. I doubt I’ll be taking any more of their products unless they have a rethink about product naming. At least Amazon generally don’t give hassle over returns even if they are not the cheapest place to buy stuff. They must be making plenty of profit to be able to just write off returns unles they have arrangements with suppliers.

  15. I just cut-open my unbranded “Tuya” from Ali Express and as expected the Wifi module is not ESP based. It seems to be a W600 TW-02 module from “Shenzhen ThingsTurn Technology Co Ltd”. A smaller version of the W600 available at SeedStudio/electrodragin/AliExpress. It runs a Cortex M3. More details at https://fccid.io/2ASQV-TW-02/User-Manual/User-manual-4211029. It looks like a lot of details can be found on the Internet, not all in English.

    Photos of the disassembled module available here : https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1GsxYAnR-Bz19K19MqNGq2SbZPhw9URzn?usp=sharing

    As I cut it quite nicely, I should be able to close it back later after I found time to replace the module by an ESP01 or ESP12. But I have a Sonoff S20 to play with before.

  16. Happy New Year to Peter and all the blog supporters. May this new year brings you tons of smart and funky devices for your home and your entertainment 😄🎁

    Just to let you know I’ve been able to successfully tuya-convert 4x “Gosund SP111” from https://www.amazon.fr/gp/product/B07ZS97KL1/
    Huge success after my fail with the other model from AliExpress.
    Now I have to reflash with latest Tasmota and try the power consumption measurement.

    If anyone is interrested, they are also available from Amazon.de/.it/.es but very expensive on AMZ.IT. The “bakibo” ones seems to be the same and cheaper). Looks a good product : the plug is compliant with both FR & EU modes and the socket is EU but most french cables are also compliant wiht EU.
    Unfortunately not available from Amazon.co.uk as this is available only with EU socket.

    Best regards

    1. The price was good – but so few people got the original version which changed witout a change in product name – that really is not on – personally I’m back to using Sonoffs unless I actually need the plug/socket arrangement – but I’ve talked about other similar products in the blog. We just need to keep looking… The Gosund links I have for the UK are now dead, I need to replace those – I’ll do that now. Meanwhile, Bangood recently sent me some EU-style Blitzwolf units…

      Meanwhile I have Banggood links for Blitzwolf BW-SHP6 and BW-SHP7 – I have yet to give these a hammering. These are EU fitting. BlitzWolf® BW-SHP6 10A EU Plug Metering Version WIFI Smart Socket — http://bit.ly/33zZq1E and BlitzWolf® BW-SHP7 16A 2 IN 1 Remote Controller — http://bit.ly/2NZCRg6

      1. thanks both.. I am in the UK so might take a punt on the SP111 thanks. I did buy 4 Teckins on ebay this week that said they were the monitoring versions.. be aware people on there are selling them but arranging postage from Amazon! aka the new ones.

        1. I just found this post after naively going ahead and buying a 4-pack of SP23’s. Can confirm they’re as the photo above, marked “bad” with the extra “chin” on the back. Very annoying as I spent hours trying to figure out what I was doing wrong on my Pi!

          Will continue searching for something suitable, look forward to hearing if any of you find something that works in the UK.

          1. I will keep looking – but after that experience with Teckin I won’t go there again. I noted that TP-Link have some similar stuff, I’ve asked for a sample of the UK version and am waiting for an answer.

    1. Yup, onto that – done – NOT now compatible – blog updated…note that the SP27 is NICE other than that – but like others you may be concerned that anyone with the right account details could control these – as against using PiVPN and Tasmota.

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