We’re back in Spain (Galera) for the summer, time to upgrade my home control setup to the latest ESP-GO and Tasmota versions not to mention some Node-Red and other updates and improvements. More on all of that later, but first things first – new toys on the way soon include the new upgraded Sonoffs from Itead.
I understand the upgraded Sonoffs will surface in May and I have a couple on the way, meanwhile a heads-up. The casing of these (still) low-cost mains control devices looks to be improved at last – with a new smoother, more rounded finish. There is a new “DIY” API which promises to do away with the need to re-flash the devices for custom home control.. and more. As pointed out by reader “Smithy” the new Sonoff is claimed to be “MQTT-enabled” – more on that when I get samples…
If you’re not familiar with Sonoff, they are Alexa-compatible mains control units. Below you see the inside of one of my R3 units after a switch replacement – here in sunny Spain I didn’t have an exact match bit this will do. I put Tasmota on this device as I often do. At the time of this update (August 20, 2019) I’m still working on getting the LED indicators right but that’s just a matter of following the Tasmota docs.. the actual BASICR3 is working a treat.
First of my summer toys is a Bluetooth keyboard called an “Anne Pro 2” courtesy of Banggood. This is a compact (i.e. no room for cursor keys or separate numeric keypad) keyboard, USB rechargeable, substantial and very pretty. I’m no longer a DropBox user thanks to new device number restrictions on free accounts and the realisation that I could do a better job with my Synology NAS drive and a VPN. Having moved from the UK to Spain for the summer once again I was faced with lugging my computer and bulky NAS (Network Addressable Storage) box over here or arranging remote access. With limited room in the car for the drive over here, I chose the latter.
So here, courtesy of a combination of mobile phone, PC, remote (UK) NAS and SnapSeed for Android, are some photos to start the ball rolling. I have no idea why the box shows a white keyboard as mine is black, but here it is…
You get the (USB-C-charged Bluetooth keyboard complete with USB lead, key removal device, instruction sheet and pretty-coloured replacement keys… (possibly useful to replace WASD keys for gaming). I recommend NOT losing the instructions if you get one of these.
I should say straight away that the lack of separate keypad and cursor keys takes this one right out of the replacement PC keyboard market, however, for mobile use its a different matter. This keyboard looks like it will take a beating, it lights up a TREAT (internal rechargeable battery of course) with a range of backlight options from single colour, through static multi-colour to fading and more. Bearing in mind the lack of separate numeric pad etc., this is the essential part of a full size keyboard but using a lot less desk space (handy when you are out and about and don’t have a desk).
And there it is, all lit up on my desk and ready to go. I plugged it into the USB C lead last night and left it to get a good charge and so now it is itching to go. Unlike my AUKEY backlit keyboard which has just enough light for the top halves of the keys, hence leaving much of the info in the dark, this one does the backlighting properly as you can see.
The name of the keyboard (Anne Pro) is strange, I’ll grant you and reminds me of my first and only trip to Tokyo, Japan where I was delighted to see a number of car designs I’d never heard of before – including a Nissan “Sheila”.
You can access the cursor keys using one of several “special function” keys and of course, the numeric and other keys on the top row double up as F1-12.
Links for those interested in finding out more:
Obins Anne Pro 2 60% NKRO Bluetooth 4.0 Type-C RGB Mechanical Gaming Keyboard — http://bit.ly/2CC3piA
More Mechanical Keyboards — http://bit.ly/2TXHc9H
That’s it for now – the underside of the box has the correct keyboard colour and some basic info in Chinese and English…