Sonoff NSPanel -  featured at https://tech.techsite.net

The new Sonoff NSPanel has been sitting on my desk for some time now, awaiting the go-ahead to put it on the blog. It has now been released on Kickstarter so you may wish to take a look! And here’s a photo.

The NSPANEL looks great and out of the box it controls 2 relays while displaying time and temperature etc. but there is far more to it than that of course. NSPANEL works with the company’s eWeLink app for Android and IOS.

NSPanel powers up in Bluetooth pairing mode the first time. Once set up in the App you can add the temperature controller and a range of widgets to control other devices including smart-lighting control. At the price of this – many companies charge the same or more just for a thermostat.

The device plugs into the mains, no need for a separate power supply and is very thin (other than the round bulge at the back which should fit into a stanard mains wall fitting depending on your location) so well suited to wall or desk mounting.

The touch-display auto-dims and mine has been sitting on my desk for some weeks now. The unit measures 5 x 5 x 2.7 cm. Oh, worth a mention, the 2 relays internally are only rated at a couple of mps each so don’t plan to control anything major with them other than lighting.

The display is 3.5″ and very clear. Also like other Sonoff (and lots fo other IOT) the NSPANEL works with 2.4ghz WiFi. I’ll leave you to check pricing on Kickstarter – early bird pricing is pretty good but of course it depends where you are. You can also control up to 8 devices you set up in the eWeLink App.

NSPANEL

Ok, here’s the really good thing – there’s an ESP32 device in there so it won’t be long before this can be hacked for those inclined to doing their own thing with the likes of Tasmota. I won’t rip it apart as this has been done elsewhere and I want mine in one piece, thank you.

Of course, as well as App and local control there is always Alexa or Google voice control. Below is one of Sonoff’s stock pics (a clip from one of their videos) controlling smart lighting using the NSPANEL. I can see this ending up next to my bed. In fact at the Kickstarter prices I might have several (we’re looking at early-bird sub-€40 prices).

My NSPanel came with firmware version 1.0.1 but as I’m writing this my phone has updating the panel wirelessly to version 1.0.2 via the eWeLink APP (v4.16.1) – I’m watching the NSPanel screen – this looks familiar.. Ok – done.

AND … I have my MiniR2 and MINIUSB running on NSPANEL – Wheeee. I noted the rubbish default name for my MiniR2 in eWeLink and changed it to “Minir2” and the NSPanel immediately reflected the change. I like it. I suppose “bathroom light” or similar would be more appropriate but I’m a techy.

Lots of suggestions have been made to Sonoff as they’ve been preparing to bring this to market so I would not be surprised to see the feature range be expanded in the coming weeks and months – Sonoff have a whole range of control devices (I’ve reviewed most of them at one time or another) – usually at low cost and I see this device as some kind of central control hub – rather handy if you want your stuff controlled without having to constantly refer back to their eWelink app. As I write this I’m adding more of my Sonoff devices to the NSPanel. It would be nice if they’d support other people’s kit – but hey…

I’m not keep on using node-red-contrib-ewelink to control Sonoff devices but at least it does let me stay within my normal Normal Node-Red environment to control my stuff – and sure enough, the software can turn on and off those front panel switches and also read back the STATE of them – and I have figured out how to check the set temperature and (predicted) outside temperature) but I’ve not yet gotten to grips with adjusting the set temperature.

I can’t seem to seem to find any way to control any of the devices hooked to NSPANEL via NSPANEL but of course, Node-Red-Contrib-eWeLink controls the devices directly – which seems fair enough – all you need is the ID of the device (a MiniR2 in this case) and it can be controlled by NSPANEL, itself or Node-Red – NS Panel sees the state if the change is made externally as does Node-Red so they are all automatically in sync within a fraction of a second. Light control is good but of course you are controlling Sonoff lights which are nothing special.

Any feedback on the above would be most welcome. In case anyone wants to get in touch with them directly, here is Sonoff’s Facebook page.
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