If you are in Australia DIY smart home electronic project are not easy. People who like to tinker always think twice before working on electrical devices. IOT connected devices is now very popular in the world. Creating a connected smart house is very easy. Buy some smart device and configure through mobile apps. in few seconds you can you have control over the phone or voice assistant.
Australian standard and certified products
Australia and New Zealand follow similar standardization and it’s a small market compare to the world. As a result not many company spend money to certified their products in Australia. Also you need an electrician to install your main power devices.
In my smart home journey initially I started with some Sonoff products. They produce one of the cheapest products in the market. This products are DIY friendly they provides headers so that you can remove the supplied firmware and youse your own. My favourite firmware is Tasmota which works brilliantly with my home automation server – Home assistant. Tasmota open source firmware build on Espressif ESP chipset. Most of the products from this company are not Australian certified. As a result we are not allowed to use this other than Testing and learning.
DETA & Arlec products
DETA and Arlec both produce low to mid range products for Australia. They have “Grid Connect” series of products that connect direct to WiFi. As this use “Tuya echo system” you can control using Smart life app or Grid connect app.
Changes to Deta connect products
Deta Grid connect initially start producing Espressif ESP products. Deta products initially populated headers, what we use to remove the existing software with opensource firmware. As we are only changing software not hardware Australian certification stay valid. This is our prefeed process for local control devices.
What are we noticing is the changes to the new products from Deta. In this picture you can see the chip is changed from TYWE3S (esp) to non-esp (WB3S). ESP chips are very DIY friendly. Lots of support for opensource frameworks.
Next we notice tx/rx pins is not populated any more to flash the chip.
Why DETA doing all this?
I believe DETA going through all this changes to deter DIY/ tinkerer from modifying the product firmware. We are changes the product to do the following that (DETA is not actively supporting)
- We want local control (not cloud control)
- Control everything from home server (i.e Home Assistant)
- Not to share our usage data.
- Control over our Data/Privacy
- How to mange manage when cloud is hack
- Company stop providing cloud support or start charging subscription
Is Deta still DIY friendly?
In summery, I still believe Grid connects products are DIY friendly because they have provided ways to connect to other smart home echo systems (i.e Home assistant). This should the perfect for the people who want to use the products as is with Grid connect app and Voice assistant.
It is incontinent for use who wants better control and less reliance on cloud. We may have to find other products what we can modify in our poupous. Or request gird connect for firmware upgrade to provide local control within the products