In a year’s time, we will be ushering in the 2020s, I’m sure you have heard all about making our homes smarter, buying IoT-enabled devices and getting connected to the cloud. I started off just like anyone else, totally oblivious to all these things, not to mention that I live extremely far away from the hub of all these changes. But, I will try to share what I have learnt and we will go off on this journey into the world of home automation.
As with any journey, we need to start off with the basic building blocks of home automation, and with that I present to you a company from China (itead) that produce a brand known as Sonoff, which with the help of the Internet, we will flash it so that it only listen to us and will not send back any information whatsoever to a foreign country.
There are plenty of ways to flash it, ranging from the easiest to the hardest, I learnt my lessons somewhat the hard way, so I will share with you, how I flashed a Sonoff 4CH.
Before you get all these, you need to get a USB-FTDI adapter, I personally use the CP2102 type and also you need the cables and metal prongs needed to connect the Sonoff to the USB outlet on your computer.
First of all, we need to download the Arduino IDE program. As of this article, it is at Version 1.8.9.
And for the code that we want to flash, I chose Tasmota. There are a few other flavours to chose from but I went with the commonest. As of this article, it is at Version 6.6.0
Unzip both and open up your Arduino IDE application, there are a few things we need to set up before we can start editing. First, go into >Preferences and paste this into the ‘Additional Boards Manager URL’ : http://arduino.esp8266.com/stable/package_esp8266com_index.json
Next, go to >Tools >Board >Boards Manager
(Don’t worry if yours doesn’t show up as many as mine did, I have already downloaded the libraries, that’s why I have so many choices)
Due to the URL you entered above, you will be able to download the ‘esp8266’ boards library whch is at Version 2.5.2. This might take awhile, so go and get yourself a cup of coffee, a screwdriver (Phillips-head) and a marker pen.