Goodbye Tuya it really hasn't been great knowing you.

Over the last few months I have been playing with esp32 and esp8266 devices. For those that don't know, one of these amazing chips is embedded in practically every smart device you own, your lights your sockets, anything you control from the smartlife app on your phone/tablet probably has one of these things.

These wonderful little chips run a program that you can upload to them and that can be any program. My pet project at the moment has been "BigButton".

The code for this lives here:

The idea is that disabled kids can use it as a device to control a socket, which might control a light, or act as an alarm, it's actually quite surprising the uses you can make of a single button with an LED in it!

Anyhow I digress, almost all of the devices you buy such as smart sockets are integrated with the tuya cloud service rather then being controlled over the the local network.

I have been making open source contributions to help control them both via the cloud and via the the local network.

The problems though are two fold, to control a socket the parents of children who get these devices are going to have to go through a doable but convoluted process of getting credentials to control the sockets they own.

Secondly with the best will in the world I'm struggling to get really reliable local connections, so the majority of control has to be via the cloud with the lag and dependency that creates.

The whole thing seems a stupid hassle for all involved.

So is there an answer? It turns out there is, you don't absolutely have to buy Tuya devices, there is are open source alternatives EspHome and Tasmota. If you are really adventurous and a little lucky you can even convert old Tuya devices.

I have gone with Tasmota and the simple route of simply buying Tasmota sockets and what I get for that is a simple http API I can talk reliably with the socket without any external credentials.  This works so easily and reliably I feel slightly foolish for the vast numbers of hours put into supporting a Chinese cloud service. It's quite funny to think really, we gen quite a lot of anti China propaganda whilst stuffing our homes with devices China could brick at a whim.


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