The Aqara E1 Camera and New H1EU No-Neutral Wall Switch

Evey now and then I get the urge to update blog entries as I find out something you might find useful. My latest piece of info is about the H2EU switch below – original article March 3 2024…

Aqara E1 Camera

Claimed features – Accurate person tracking, multi-platform access, secure audio and video streaming: Well it does track me and puts a red box aound me – so that works but right now (latest firmware update 4.0.3 as of 15/04/2024) the box still seems to fo some thrashing around before settingly down if I move. Of course, that red box is optional but the actual pan/tilt is moving about for several seconds then stops..

The camera has IR vision, 2K and PT support – I’ve run it at full resolution no problem.

The timestamp can be turned on and off and the format can be changed – I like that. Also, the video can be inverted for upside down installation.

You can set a privacy occlusion area.

Like many similar cameras you have a choice of cloud storage or SD card storage. Cloud storage is of course not free but SD card storage is adequate for all but high security applications.

Overall, a nice clear picture, solid feel to the camera, easy setup – took me seconds – turned on the Aqara APP, I told it to add a new device, it wanted to scan the QR code on the camera – did that in seconds – installed and running. Delays are minimal with good quality video.

Noteably, to test the recording timeline, I inserted an SD card which had been used in a Raspberry Pi (2 partitions) and the camera made no attempt to repartition the SD which meant I had to put the card back into my PC to reformat. A shame but not a deal-breaker. I then put the 64GB Sandisk SD back into the camera and it picked it up immediately. From that point, I could monitor the timeline of events. Very clean and responsive (many timelines are hard to follow or slow to respond).

Beware – as of June 2024 I cannot find a way to integrate this camera into Home Assistant unlike my Reolink video doorbell and Imou cameras.

H1EU Smart Wallswitch

This switch is lovely – it fits the wall no problem and takes in the 2 wires from a typical wall switch socket. L for live – we don’t really have live or neutral in Spain as sockets are generally reversible – I used a lamp and socket to test. See photos.

I Mounted the lamp and wall switch precariously on my bench, applied power and my handy 12w LED lamp came on when I pressed the switch. In the switch, a tiny blue LED activates when the load is ON (just in case the light isn’t in view of the switch).

Next I set my (new – just a few days old – we’re experimenting with using Docker for the various programs – so far, so good) Zigbee2MQTT Raspberry Pi 5 setup to look for new devices – and held the wallswitch button in for 5+ seconds – job done. Aqara say you have to use a suitable Zigbee 3.0 hub like theirs but I know from experience that Aqara stuff works with Zigbee2MQTT – that’s one reason I’m so keen on their stuff.

H1EU Wall Switch

So, short press on/off, 5 seconds pairing, 3 times quick press – effective range test. And that’s it, the switch front is satin black and substancial-looking. To clarify – 2 wires – one to the mains power, the other to the lamp, that leaves the other wire coming from the mains to connect to the free wire on the lamp by a choc-block as you see. The mains coming to the switch went to the switch connector marked L and the wire from the lamp went to the switch connector marked L1.

It doesn’t get any easier. I had an in-line switch in my mains lead so I could check what happens at power up – the Aqara adopts the last state it was in by default – you can change that.

H1EU Wall Switch

Ah! you can flip the state of the blue indicator light or even have it stay off – I LIKE IT. I did all of that in Zigbee2MQTT.

I noticed a “power outage count” in Zigbee2MQTT but that stayed at value 1 – then I twigged that you have to leave the power off for a few seconds as this thing will have a capacitor inside to hold the charge.

After I did that and restored power, that value incremented. I checked everything else and all is fine.

UPDATE for you – wiring to the switch – we obviously have one of the switch wires directly attached to the mains like everyone else – and the other to the lamp load. As I’ve just discovered when using this switch with Zigbee2MQTT for my bathroom lights (total 24w LED) – while working perfectly locally, I could not get reliable REMOTE operation (especially reversing the blue indicator status) until I swapped the two wires around at the switch end. Once I got the wires right – perfect. I have several such remote switches – sadly most require neutral and we NEVER have more that 2 wires coming to light switches here in the wilds of Southern Spain.

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