Smart Home

Hack your Wi-Fi Thermostat | No Cloud | MQTT

You’re probably wondering why do I want to use a hacked firmware with my thermostat? The primary use case is offline/ non eWelink/ cloud connected usage, as-in leveraging the smart capabilities of the thermostat without having to leverage the cloud to drive it. This also enables you to choose the home automation platform that you use ther thermostat with, for example you can use Home Assistant.

Where to Buy

You can purchase these devices on eBay, AliExpress, Bangood and other auction sites, I’ve also seen them available at some US retailers. These units typically sell for anything between 20-30 Pounds, or about 40 USD at time of writing. With a little time invested you can great ‘big-brand’-like capabilities for a comparatively small outlay.

Look out for:

  • Beca BHT1000, BHT3000, BHT6000 (ensure you get a ‘W’ model that has Wi-Fi support!). These are also re-badged as THP-1000, THP-3000, THP-6000.
  • Moes House

It’s worth noting that you’ll need both a live and neutral connection to power your thermostat. Unfortunately if you don’t have a neutral you won’t be able to use these devices.

Kit List

To hack your Wi-Fi thermostat you’re going to need:

  • A Raspberry Pi 3/4 (this just makes the process easy as you need both Wifi and Ethernet connectivity), running Raspberry Pi OS
  • An RJ45 patch cable, connecting your Rasperry Pi to an Internet connection
  • A Tuya-based thermostat

We’ll be using the awesome firmware created by Klaus Ahrenberg, well actually a fork of it created by Folke Ashberg, links to the associated repositories are in the description below. In case you’re wondering, the drivers for using Folke’s fork is that there is support for custom NTP configuration and Home Assistant automatic discovery.


At this stage I should probably remind you that flashing modified firmware to your device will void any remaining warranty. I’ll also add that any wiring should be completed by a competent and qualified electrician (note these two can be mutually exclusive), you potentially risk your life and /or your home, and that’s on you, not me.

Flashing Time

So with the disclaimer out of the way let’s get hacking… actually you can put the soldering iron away, unless you’re a gluten for punishment and then follow the link and stop watching this video! The simplest way to hack your thermostat is to use Tuya Covert, you’ll also find a link to this in the description below.

We’re going to run Tuya Convert on the Raspberry Pi, that by now you hopefully have setup running Raspberry Pi OS. In all honesty any laptop, or other Linux distribution, within reason, will likely work without issue.

Prepare Thermostat

First you need to get the Thermostat into flashing mode, you can do this by powering off the device using the front panel, then holding the ‘down arrow’ for approx. 10 seconds. You’ll know it’s working when the screen / wifi-symbol starts flashing – the Thermostat is now ready/ waiting for instructions.

Install Tuya Convert

Next we’ll move on to installing Tuya Convert on the Raspberry Pi. You’ll find the commands I use in this part of the video in the description below.

We download the latest Tuya-Convert source files using git.

git clone

Next we download the hacked firmware image, ready for flashing to the Thermostat.

cd tuya-convert/files
cd ..

Now we install the pre-requisites for Tuya Covert to run.


Flash the Device

Now, finally(!), we can flash the hacked firmware to the Thermostat itself. Kick-off the flashing process by executing the script.


When prompted, press Enter to proceed with the flashing process.

It make take a minute or so to progress beyond the Smart Config stage, so just be patient.

Once the Smart Config stage has completed, Tuya Convert will backup the existing firmware, just wait it out, you may be greatful for this back-up in future.

Now the backup has completed we’re presented with firmware images to flash to the Thermostat. Enter the number associated with the image downloaded earlier, for me it was simply a case of entering #3 and pressing enter.

So you’re finally here… the point of no return (well, not quite, but you’ll potentially be soldering). Hit ‘Y’ to continue with the firmware flash, then wait for it to finish.

When the flashing process has completed, you’ll be asked if you want to flash another device… only you know the answer to that question. I did not, so entered ‘N’ and Tuya-Convert cleaned itself up and closed.

Configure the Thermostat

At this point there should be a new Thermostat SSID being broadcast, if not power off the Thermostat as before, hold down the ‘down arrow’ and wait for the backlight/ wifi icon to start flashing.

Using a mobile phone, or other wireless device, connect to this new wireless network, using the password ‘12345678’ – if using an Android device you should be prompted to ‘sign-in’ to the network which will then present the configuration page for the Thermostat.

Hit the ‘Configure Network’ button and then enter your wireless SSID and password.

Enter your wireless network SSID and password. At this stage I’d also suggest disabling MQTT Support, we’ll come to that once we have the device connected to your network. Hit ‘Save Configuration’ and the device will restart, hopefully connecting to your specified network.

You’ll need to identify the IP Address that is provided to the Thermostat as it joins your network. How to do this varies (significantly) by network, so I’ll leave you to figure that out before proceeding.

Once you have the IP address for the device, open a browser on any device connected to the same network, and browse to http://.

Now you’re back to the configuration page return to the ‘Configure Network’ page and enable MQTT support and complete the server/ credentials configuration to match your environment. At this point you can also choose to enable support for Home Assistant Autodiscovery.

Note that if you are using an ACL file on your MQTT server you’ll need to configure this appropraitely.

Hit ‘Save Configuration’ to again restart the Thermostat.

You’re done, and now can integrate the thermostat into your Smart Home platform such as Node-RED (be sure to check out the Alexa and Google Home integration for Node-RED), Home Assistant, OpenHAB etc.

Smart Home

Sonoff Zigbee Bridge | Why Zigbee | How to Flash Tasmota

I’ll start by saying that I’m a huge advocate for the Wi-Fi Smart Home. Wireless is ubiquitous and thus the barriers to entry are low. For a good proportion of automation scenarios it is simply “good enough.”

Why Zigbee?

So you’re probably wondering where Zigbee fits then… well for me Zigbee offers flexibility. I’m able to place Zigbee sensors (for example motion sensors or contact sensors) where I have no means to power them, and where Wi-Fi would drain batteries in days or a few weeks at a push (Wi-Fi simply needs more power than Zigbee does).

It’s not about Wi-Fi VS. Zigbee, Wi-Fi OR Zigbee, it’s about Wi-Fi AND ZigBee, and that is where the Sonoff Zigbee bridge comes in.

Sonoff Zigbee Bridge

You can pickup a Sonoff Zigbee Bridge for around £10-£15, or $15-$20 at time of writing. eBay, Aliexpress, Bangood all have the device available. ZigBee sensors are also good value, I was able to find Zigbee motion sensors for £6/ $8 and contact sensors for similar money, so in reality you can get up and running without breaking the bank.

The Sonoff Zigbee Bridge connects to your Wi-Fi and enables you to control Sonoff and other vendors’ Zigbee devices with the eWeLink App and Cloud, alongside other Sonoff/ eWelink compatible Wi-Fi devices. You can also use Zigbee devices to trigger/ interact with your Wi-Fi devices – so the possibilities here are really interesting.

Why Tasmota?

The next big question is ‘why Tasmota?’ Reducing complexity in systems makes them easier to maintain in the long-run.

Complex systems, comprised of many different components and the software or services required to support become harder and hader to maintain as they grow. The greater the variation, the greater the complexity.

I use Tasmota across virtually all of the Wi-Fi equipment in my smart home. This means that I’m able to have one update process, and primarily need to know the ins and outs of one solution, instead of several to keep my smart home running.

Flashing Tasmota

Flashing the Zigbee Bridge is pretty simple, thanks to the Open Source Communities behind Tasmota, Tasmotizer and Zigbee2Tasmota.

  • First, pull away the rubber feet on the rear of the bridge, revealing the four screws. Remove the screws to open the bridge, then gently free the PCB.
  • Turn the PCB over and identify the location of the ETX, ERX, IO0, GND and 3v3 connection points. You can push breadboard cables through the connection points, meaning this is a solder-free flashing process. Note that dupont cables will not fit.
  • When ready, connect the FTDI adapter to you PC/ laptop, ready to flash Tasmota.
  • Next. download the specific Zigbee Bridge Tasmota binary and flash with Tasmotizer.
ZbBridgeFTDI Adapter
  • Once completed the bridge will restart and a new Tasmota Wi-Fi network will available. Connect to this network using your phone and configure the bridge with your Wi-Fi network SSID and password.

Before proceeding you’ll need to identify the IP address of the Zigbee bridge, likely provided by your router. Once identified, on a device connected to the same network open a browser session and browse to the IP address of the Zigbee bridge.

Flashing the Zigbee Module

At this pont you’d normally be done if this was a traditional Wi-Fi-only module, however we now have to flash the Zigbee module within the bridge.

Tasmota Configuration

You’re now set to configure the device as you would any other Tasmota Wi-Fi device – at the very least set the MQTT server/ credential configuration, friendly name and MQTT topic for your environment.

Zigbee Device Pairing

To pair Zigbee devices, you need set the bridge into pairing mode using the ‘ZbPermitJoin 1‘ Tasmota console command. This will allow pairing for 60 seconds.

Now, on a device such as the Sonoff Zigbee Motion sensor, press and hold the pairing button, then watch the cosole for more pairing confirmation.

And with that we’re done. The bridge is ready, and your Zigbee sensors or devices are paired. It’s time to building your automation(s).

Smart Home

A Wi-Fi MQTT Multi-Sensor

Old but gold, I came across the Bruh Automation Multi-sensor video about 12 months ago. Intrigued, I set forth and built a couple of these Wi-Fi devices. Over the year I have iterated on the design and software – getting to a place where the sensors themselves are reliable for use in environment monitoring and automation flows.

Smart Home

Node-RED Smart Home Control Update Q1 2019

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about the Node-RED Smart Home Control device bridge. In fact, my last update was inOctober. That said, there has been ongoing effort to develop and add new features, some of which I want to share.

Whilst the service is still “in development” the most significant updates for Q1 include:

  • Google Home support added. You can now use the same devices across both smart home platforms (some device type restrictions apply).
  • Service branding/ name changed to “Node-RED Smart Home Control.” URLs and service endpoints updated to reflect multi-platform nature of the service.
  • Device state is retrievable in the Alexa and Google Home App, both Apps reflect real-time state changes fro either platform.
  • You can now send “out-of-band” state updates to the service (i.e. from an MQTT subscription node). Changes sent will then update state in Alexa and Google Home app.
  • New device types and capabilities added. You can find a full break-down in the GitHub Wiki.

If you’d like access to the service, in order to help with testing, or to simply try it out, follow these instructions.

Smart Home

Sonoff T1 Wireless Wall Switch

I’ve spent recent weeks (months even!) looking at how I can bring simple automation and voice control to my home. In my quest to create a “Smart Home” I came across the Sonoff T1 UK-specification wall switch. At just ~£15 and when coupled with Tasmota, an Open Source firmware (from what I have read, I wouldn’t consider using the native firmware) that is suitable for a variety of ESP powered devices, this wi-fi connected switch becomes a very compelling product.

I’ve now got a bunch of these around the house, integrated with the Node Red Alexa Smart Skill v3 Bridge. Over the last three months these have proven to be very reliable (faultless actually) and very effective when paired with the custom multi-sensors I have built using ESP8266 NodeMCU boards to drive automation. I figured I would share my experience/ how I got them up and running.

Note that this guide assumes you have a secure MQTT server available for use, and Node-RED deployed should you want to take advantage of the Node Red Alexa Smart Skill v3 Bridge. If you’ve not got either of these in-place watch this space – further guides to follow.

Smart Home

Node-RED Smart Home Control Updated

Last week I posted about the Node-RED Smart Home Control skill / bridge. I’ve spent the week on ensuring the majority of device types or “capabilities” are are now supported by the bridge. It’s now possible to define devices that support:

  • Playback controls (Play, pause, stop)
  • Input changing (such as HDMI1, Audio1)
  • Volume (in steps)
  • Power (on /off)
  • Brightness (in %)
  • Colour (Red, Green, Blue etc)
  • Colour temperature (in Kelvin or warm-white through to daylight)
  • Temperature (in °C or °F)

Hopefully this means you’re now able to use commands that are more “natural” to interact with Node-RED flows that control your Smart Devices.

To further the usability of the service it is now possible (required!) to set minimum and maximum values on thermostats (in °C or °F) and smart bulbs (in Kelvin).  Any commands that fall “out of range” will not be processed by the bridge and you will get the appropriate feedback from Alexa. Again, hopefully this makes interaction with the service more intuitive.

Finally, I’ve simplified the response node. Use logic in your flows to return a “true” or “false” value as an input to this node. Any flow that starts with a Node-RED Alexa v3 node should return a payload of “true” where the command/ request is processed successfully and “false” where it is not.

I’ll be updating the documentation with more flow examples in the coming week.

Want to get involved, contribute or start testing the service as outlined in the documentation!

Smart Home

Node-RED Alexa Home Skill

It’s been a while since I posted, but I’ve been busy… Somehow, despite having no interest in it six months ago, I got into Home Automation, or setting up a “Smart” Home. Over the last 6 months I have:

  • purchased a variety of sensors and electronic components, Fresnel lenses and NodeMCU boards from China
  • designed/ modified circuits, learnt to solder (badly!)
  • written firmware for NodeMCU based multi-sensors
  • modified 3D designs in TinkerCAD
  • printed 3D models via 3D Hubs
  • flashed firmware of wi-fi light switches
  • (re)written a NodeJS/ MQTT and Amazon Lambda function that drive a Node-RED Alexa add-on

Lots more posts to come, but I wanted to share the latter of these activities with you first.

In my quest to enable voice control over a variety of devices I came across a Ben Hardill’s Node Red Alexa Home Skill Bridge. Ben created a Node-RED Alexa Smart Home  Skill API version 2 add-on that enables Alexa interaction with flows. No sooner had I found this and started to use it I wanted more… ! This is where the Smart Home Skill API version 3 comes in – it allows for a swathe of new voice commands to control playback, volume, inputs and other devices that version 2 did not cater for.

Unfortunately (for me at least) the API syntax has fundamentally changed. This meant figuring out Ben’s service and re-writing elements of it to work with the new API. Whilst I was at it I also updated the web interface to Bootstrap 4, and remediated some NodeJS/ Mongoose functions that were no longer supported in the original service.

The net result… My wife and kids love the fact they can turn on/ off the TV, pause, play and stop video, increase/  decrease and mute volume as well as control the lights with their voice. Couple the lighting control with Alexa “room awareness” and the whole system becomes very user friendly – i.e. “Alexa, turn on the lights.” The multi-sensors add some additional functionality/ capabilities, but I’ll save that for another day.

At this point the skill is in “Dev” – meaning it is not a publicly available Alexa Skill – however, get in touch and I can add you to the list of people able to test the service out.

You can read the intricate detail about the service on GitHub, or request access and get testing.