extending Home Assistant (esphome 2)

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If you want to make your own smart measuring device or presence detector or dog watching camera or tea bag lifting robot, the ESP32 and Arduino circuit boards make the gadget you need. A gadget will need software. The software I use is ESPhome with Home Assistant. This is a touch technical, but if you’ve an eye for the grammar and punctuation of technical things, the end result is elegant. And you can go a long way within a day.

I use an ESP32 to monitor how much heating oil is in my tank – see the oil level project; how much electricity I’m using through the day in a meter reader project and whether someone is going to press the doorbell in this doorbell project. You’ll find a cookbook with a few more projects at ESPhome

What’s needed for this project?

  • An ESP32 or ESP32-CAM development board or Sonoff ESP-based device <£10
  • A 5v / 3.3v FTDI UART to flash a ESP32 chip <£5
  • A USB charger and lead to provide 5v power to the ESP32
  • Dupont jumper wires – mostly female to female <£2
  • Optional: a sensor or display or switch or LED or relay. Many are listed at ESPhome
  • A Raspberry Pi and the instructions below to run Home Assistant software with the ESPhome add-in

Add ESPhome to Home Assistant

  • As a prerequisite we must install Home Assistant.
  • Next we install the ESPhome add-on to Home Assistant – as shown by JuanMtech here https://www.juanmtech.com/how-to-get-started-with-esphome-and-sonoff/ – many thanks Juan. Outline of what to do:
    • In the Home Assistant frontend go to > Hassio > Add-on store
    • In the space Add a new repository by URL add https://github.com/esphome/hassio
    • Refresh the Add-on store page and ESPHome will appear at the bottom for you to install

Now you’re ready for step 3: code the ESP chip

Depending on what you have, in step 3 you can flash a chip or flash a chip inside a Sonoff smart plug

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