Customizing a Smart Plug

Recently some projects around the house have been in need of some better ‘home automation’ than a standard timer can provide, so I went looking for a smart plug that was either ‘dumb’ enough for my liking (didn’t tie you to some manufacturer’s cloud service), or was modifiable with my own code.

Fortunately the ESPHome project is a great resource both for a list of devices that are reasonably easily modifiable, and for a codebase built for running your own automation on a number of IoT devices.

I looked through their list a bit, and found a few devices that were built around the ESP32, which I am already well familiar with, and which were inexpensive and easily available to me through the usual retailers. In the end I ended up settling on the Wyze Plug Outdoor, and picked up a few units.

Internally there’s some test points that I soldered some headers on to get access to the serial UART and the power pins. After hooking that up, it’s a quick process to flash some ESPHome code on the unit, or write your own with Arduino / your IDE of choice.

So far, I’ve been really happy with these units. They seem to be built reasonably well, they aren’t glued together so they’re easy to open up and reprogram, they’re suitable for outdoor use if needed, and have two individually controllable outlets.

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One Response to Customizing a Smart Plug

  1. Pingback: Customizing a Smart Plug – Part 2 | DigitalNigel

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