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Local, LAN control

Last week I lost control over my house, for 12 hours, because something went wrong with iTead systems.


Sonoff devices device works flawlessly per se, and I'm very happy to have 13 of them around my house.

But...

I'm beginning to think there's a glitch in their marketing model. I haven't thought for a moment that they want to spy on us, like some else implied in this forum, but every serious usage require redundancy and backup.

We cannot rely on the whole "cloud" model to be always working: too many things can go wrong on the user side, on itead side and, eventually, on the side of the many third party service providers involved (ISPs and Cloud providers above all).

Every digital and/or networking system might stop working every now and then. While we can surely afford not to remotely switch on a light, what about water heating, house heating, door opening, surveillance systems?

I did my best to build redundancy in my installations, but there are two factors that are not easily overcame.

First, some sonoff device might be (and in my case are) difficult to be physically reached: inside walls or up near the ceiling, the onboard switch is almost useless in these cases.

Second, Dual sonoff aren't capable of manually switching the connected devices on/off: if the system isn't working (i.e. they are offline), the only possible solution is to uninstall them, which is not acceptable at all.


iTead (and coolkit) seem to be trying to sell their solution to third parties (other manufacturers who are supposed to relay onto their whole solution, cloud included) which is cool. If I had to, I would guess that's why they are so "cloud-centered": to offer a easy and rapid solution, all included. It's cool. 


But other than toyish usages, without redundancy their solution is unimplementable: I hope they realize this soon (if they haven't already).


The solution that comes to mind is very simple, and a few have already suggested it here: a dual control system. The cloud is great for remote control, but when the app is on the same local network the sonoff devices are, everything should switch to local. Simply put: automatic switching to LAN control.

If I'm home, I should be able to control my devices even if my Internet connection is down.


If they could do this with an open protocol, that would be top. But after all, not everyone of us wants to build his/her own system: I'm cool with their app, they can keep their protocol reserved as much as they want. To me, the only thing that matters is that I don't ever lose control over my house again.


Other than the above, thank you iTead, I'm very happy with your products!


What do you think?








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...but on the other hand: there are no holidays for the Chinese AFAIK THEIR New Year celebrations start in about a month or so! so why the hell are the European servers offline? since days, with short intermission of work?
Just looked up on Internet: turns out they have off on Jan 1 too.

Seems there are various threads around the same topic, problems with the Cloud services & the need for local control or at least some options to get away from the Itead cloud dependency. Given the low cost of Sonoff devices I'm guessing that the AWS services paid for by Itead are very basic and maybe the success of the Sonoff devices has outgrown the AWS capability at peak times. Either way, some new firmware with alternate control options would be very welcome.

The damn shit is down again.

 


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yes, here too! maybe we should add our localisation to "server down" postings here, for all - also itead devs - to see, which servers are down! AFAIK they host at least 3 worldwide (that is, why ewelink needs localisation permission), for Asia America & Europe I depend on Europe! ps. but yesterday night after a lot of reading and learning i managed to flash alternative firmware for the first time; hooray! testet tasmota and espurna, seem to work, now I've to dive into the mqqt topic. so I hope I won't depend very much longer on their services 

Here in Croatia (EU) also down today from morning. Local control is must have in this situations.


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Same here in the UK. VERY frustrating that I cant control things when their server is not available. Its making me regret adding so many of these devices to my home automated system.


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North of Germany also down - Nils is right when he said "damn shit"!
Down in South Africa as well - so wish I had not bought these. What's even worse is I have laid in underground wiring and installed lights in the garden based on these units and now they don't work half the time.

 


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Want a stable connection? Flash the device with a different firmware!

The web is full of optional firmware and flashing is easier then it sounds.

I've not had a issue with connections since I did so.

If  itead was serious about adding local control they would have done so by now.


Hi "Tuicemen",

yes, that might be a possibility,
But please don't forget that a lot of people need a detailed instruction for absolut beginners. Not everybody wants to start with a new hobby only because he want to switch a few sockets on and off. ;-)

Regards
Michael

 


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But not complaining from America & Asia?


interesting


anyway I recommend the alternatives like tasmota, espurna, espeasy,...

There is only a little more time to invest in the beginning, as you have not only to flash the firmware but also how to setup your own server (e.g. on RasPi or openWRT router) and decide what Administration software to take: fehm, domotiz, open Hab, a.s.o.


but beside being your own master then  you gain even more flexibility as you can program dependencies etc.!


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I agree with Michael. Flashing is a solution and I thought about that before buying a few devices, but to make everything work with google or alexa is not for everybody that easy like Tuicemen says.

@mICHael wERNER Do you know if OpenWRT/LEDE has support for things like OpenHab etc? I have dozens of Alix running LEDE and its good platform since it has x86 cpu and only draws 5w!

 

Actually you don't need to create your own server to used flashed sonoff devices

It is as simple as setting up port forwarding in your router to point to the sonoff IP and Port.


This link has a very length discussion and details on flashing several different sonoff modules

https://community.smartthings.com/t/release-sonoff-sonoff-th-s20-dual-4ch-pow-touch-device-handler-smartapp-5-10-smart-switches/45957


Since flashing with this firmware allows connection to SmartThings you can access the devices with the Smartthings app and even use their skill.

I haven't done that part as I use another method for Alexa control.

I just picked up a Google Home mini and have control using IFTTT It was quick to setup and I may move my Alexa control to IFTTT.

I also may experiment with SmartThings for the Sonoff as I've started to use it for other devices.

and the cool thing no Hub is required. Adding to SmartThings gives you the benefit of the cloud and still allowa local control if you need it with the new firmware.


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