The Spanish Project

Over time, I’ve trialled many mobile user interfaces for my home control endeavours, from Blynk, through MQTT Dashboard (and variations), Imperihome and the Node-Red dashboard (not to mention its predecessor Node-Red-Contrib-UI).

tmp62A9For a while I settled on Imperihome but they were dead set on focussing on supporting every device known to man whereas I felt the way to go was to focus on generic controls. Oh, well, it looks like Google agrees as they’re no longer rated that highly and I’ve noted little if any improvements and canned that.

I’ve been using Node-red-Dashboard for some time and put a lot of hours into that but ultimately it isn’t very pretty as a user interface and I’m not getting anywhere convincing the guys to re-think the RGB control which simply does not work properly.

Most other user interfaces have their own issues, some are fine unless you need security, others are fine if they are the only set of controls but do not take to sharing with timers etc.

Hence here I am back to where I began with Blynk – still under development and it would seem, working well. Just at the early testing stages but up to now this is looking good. The colour controller works a treat. Don't get me wrong, Node-Red Dashboard still has its place but for controlling my lights it looks like Blynk could be the winner, at least for now. Even better if I can get the local version of Blynk server up.

For Node-Red, there is node-red-contrib-blynk-ws and the author has just improved handling of the Blynk zeRGBa to the point where it works better than other attempts at colour control I've seen and is in fact a very good reason by itself to use Blynk.

In cae you were wondering, Cubot is the name of my phone.

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9 thoughts on “The Spanish Project

      1. Lots of people on the Blynk forum are having problems with sending emails after going to Java10. Doesn’t sound like anyone has got it working satisfactory yet.

        Pete.

        1. they're STUBBORN and insist in this, not realizing that many people use this kind of software on mini "pc" (SBC really) and there java 10 is FAR to arrive (aside the link i provided above...)

          they did the same a while ago, forcing people to go to java9, with result of mass disappointment and then release of a backward compatible java8 version of the jar... same now, there's a java8 version of it...

          but with my script is fine, i tested it again (and updated it online) and it works, of course follow the instructions at beginning of it on how to run and how to setup the MAIL file...

          # how to use:
          # sudo wget --no-check-certificate -O /etc/init.d/blynk https://gist.githubusercontent.com/fragolinux/a5e7d6153afab4c52d91d41ff9860b8c/raw
          # sudo chmod 755 /etc/init.d/blynk && sudo update-rc.d blynk defaults
          # sudo /etc/init.d/blynk install
          # credits: startup and update script based on https://github.com/WhizzCat/blynk_scripts

          # on latest line of server.properties add the account (email address) you will create and then use on Blynk App, to restrict creation ONLY to that account - useful on public VPS servers
          # you need to create a Gmail account and put it's address and password in latest lines of mail.properties file: http://docs.blynk.cc/#blynk-server-advanced-local-server-setup-enabling-sending-e-mails-from-local-server
          # DON'T USE your regular Gmail account, create one ad hoc, because you NEED to enable "less secure apps" to have it working with Blynk: https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/6010255?hl=en
          # these settings are NEEDED to receive emails with tokens to be used in Blynk sketches

          # info on how to access your LOCAL server from Blynk App: https://www.hackster.io/rei-vilo/private-iot-with-blynk-on-local-server-619926

  1. Home Assistant ( https://www.home-assistant.io/ ) provides a pretty nice dashboard as well as a full home automation suite that integrates with MQTT very well (it has an included broker or you can use Mosquitto). The webui looks great on mobile as well. There's also a module to interface with Node-Red.

    It's very nice, one of the best open source home automation projects. They put a lot of emphasis on keeping your stuff private and supporting DIY devices. I've been using it for a couple years now and love it.

  2. I’ve not used Blynk in a while as I was constantly frustrated with having to buy more points or energy or whatever it’s called these days. If I ran a local server, am I in control of this? I seem to remember you saying something about this years ago.

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