Updating ANAVI Miracle Controller with esptool

ANAVI Miracle Controller is an ESP8266-powered, open source, Wi-Fi dev board to control two 5 V or two 12 V LED strips. To get all new features it is highly recommended to run the latest stable version of the free and open source firmware for ANAVI Miracle Controller. We have already explained how to do it with Arduino IDE. However, there is an easier way to flash the latest version with esptool!

ANAVI Miracle Controller connected with USB to UART cable to a personal computer

Esptool is a free and open source ESP8266 and ESP32 serial bootloader command-line utility. The source code is available at GitHub under GPLv2 license. It is written in Python therefore it is universal and runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and any GNU/Linux distribution (Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, Fedora, CentOS, OpenSUSE, etc). We have already cover it for our other projects in a previous blog post. Today we will focus on ANAVI Miracle Controller although in general the steps are the same.

Installation

As of today, esptool works fine with Python 2.7 or Python 3. Python 2 has been deprecated since January 1, 2020 therefore it is recommended to use esptool with Python 3.

The easiest way to install the latest stable version of esptool is from pypi via pip. The pre-requirements are to have Python and pip installed. Open a terminal and execute the following command:

pip install esptool

Using write_flash argument esptool flashes pre-compiled binary to devices with ESP8266 or ESP32. Here are the exact steps:

esptool.py --port /dev/ttyUSB0 --baud 460800 write_flash --flash_size=detect 0 anavi-miracle-controller-sw-100-20200527.bin

NOTE: As of the moment the latest stable version is anavi-miracle-controller-sw-100-20200527.bin. Over the time other version may be released so please make sure you are using the latest and replace the file name accordingly in the command above!

Pretty much the same approach can be used to flash the pre-compiled firmware to any of our dev boards with ESP8266, like ANAVI Fume ExtractorANAVI ThermometerANAVI Gas Detector, etc. Apart from flashing firmware to ESP8266 and ESP32 devices, esptool has a lot of other advanced features which I encourage you to explore. Have a look at the video tutorial and run esptool.py -h to learn more.

Last but not least, huge thanks to the contributors of the open source firmware of ANAVI Miracle Controller: Per CederqvistCODeRUS and Daniel Landau. Community always must be priority for any open source project and it is great to see more people involved with ANAVI Miracle Controller!

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ANAVI Fume Extractor Parts Sourcing

The crowdfunding campaign for ANAVI Fume Extractor in Crowd Supply has been very successfully so far so we have already contacted suppliers and started sourcing various components. Most of the mechanical parts have already been delivered and we can have a closer look at them.

As some of you know, we will make and assemble the printed circuit boards in my beautify hometown of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. One of our goals is to support local manufacturing and if possible purchase parts from local factories and suppliers even when their prices are not the best. Of course, ANAVI Fume Extractor contains a lot of parts and some are so specific that nobody manufactures them locally. Because of this the project also relies on trusted suppliers from the US, the UK, Germany, Poland and China.

Parts for ANAVI Fume Extractor

Transparent Acrylic Enclosures

Each kit of ANAVI Fume Extractor contains 4 transparent acrylic enclosures. They have been designed with the free and open source tool OpenSCAD. The source and the schematics are available in GitHub. For the laser cutting I rely on a local Bulgarian company from Stara Zagora.

There are protective films on both sides of each acrylic enclosure. You must carefully remove them before assembly your do-it-yourself kit with ANAVI Fume Extractor.

Screws, Nuts and Stand-offs

20mm M4 stands-offs

ANAVI Fume Extractor contains various screws, nuts and washers for attaching the printed circuit board, the fan, the display and the sensor modules. The most difficult-to-source part is the 20mm M4 metal stand-off. Each kit contains 4 of them. We couldn’t find anyone in Bulgaria making stand-offs with the required size, so through a local supplier we imported the “abstandsbolzen” from Germany.

80mm Fan

80mm 5V DC fan

The key part of ANAVI Fume Extractor is the 80mm 5V/0.25A brushless DC fan. This type of a fan is primarily used in personal computers which makes it relatively quite and compact. Unfortunately, this is another part that nowadays nobody makes in Bulgaria so we are importing it from China.

Packaging

All kits will come in an eco friendly recyclable cardboard box made in another Bulgarian town Lyaskovets. Although we do our best to reduce plastic packaging as much as I can, some small plastic bags made in Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria are still required to store the components in the kit. The stickers will be printed in Plovdiv.

Cardboard box with ANAVI Fume Extractor Advanced Kit

The next step is the manufacturing of the printed circuit boards. Numerous components from various suppliers all around the world have to be assembled on the PCB. We will make it in a small local factory in my hometown of Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The manufacturing is scheduled to start right after the end of the campaign when we know the exact quantities.

Thank you for supporting entirely open source projects like ANAVI Fume Extractor!

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ANAVI Fume Extractor

ANAVI Fume Extractor is a smart, open source, solder smoke absorber. It is powered by ESP8266 with WiFi, 80 mm fan and supports various peripherals: mini OLED display, MQ-135 analog gas sensor for air quality, sensors for temperature, humidity, barometric pressure and light. The filters are replaceable.

Soldering fumes are dangerous, keep them away with ANAVI Fume Extractor

Furthermore out the box the open source firmware of ANAVI Fume Extractor works with the popular IoT platform Home Assistant over the protocol MQTT. This means you can gather sensor data and control the fume extractor remotely using your smartphone, tablet or personal computer!

Turning on and off ANAVI Fume Extractor from a smartphone using Home Assistant

After more than 10 months of development we launched a crowd funding campaign at Crowd Supply! We are ready for manufacturing in Plovdiv, Bulgaria and now we need your support. We hope you’ll jump in and help us bring this entirely open source project to life!

ANAVI Fume Extractor is a must-have tool for any maker!

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Let’s Build Together smart LEGO Rainbow with Home Assistant

Recently the famous toy manufacturer LEGO announced a competition to build a rainbow as a symbol of hope. Although the challenge is targeted primary for kids, there are no age restrictions so veterans can also join.

#LetsBuildTogether ​a smart LEGO rainbow with WS2812B LED strip and control it from Home Assistant

This was a great opportunity to have some fun and to add an addressable LED strip which through ANAVI Miracle Controller can be controlled remotely via web interface or moble application of the popular open source home automation platform Home Assistant.

Front view of the LEGO rainbow with a WS2812B LED strip on the first row

To build something similar you will need:

A LEGO rainbow shining at night thanks to ANAVI Miracle Controller and WS2812B LED strip

Although ANAVI Miracle Controller supports 2 addressable LED strips, for this particular use case only one is used so during the initial configuration set the number of LEDs of the other LED strip to 0. This way only one LED strip will be automatically discovered by Home Assistant over the machine to machine protocol MQTT.

A look of our LEGO rainbow from the top

For more details how to enable Home Assistant discovery over MQTT have a look at our other step by step video tutorials for assembly guide, WS2811 12V LEDs as well as for NeoPixels.

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Getting Started with esptool for flashing firmware on ESP8266 and ESP32

Esptool is a free and open source ESP8266 and ESP32 serial bootloader command-line utility. The source code is available at GitHub under GPLv2 license. It is written in Python therefore it is universal and runs on Microsoft Windows, Mac OS and any GNU/Linux distribution (Ubuntu, Debian, Linux Mint, Fedora, CentOS, OpenSUSE, etc).

Installation

As of today esptool works fine with Python 2.7 or Python 3. Python 2 has been deprecated since January 1, 2020 therefore it is recommended to use esptool with Python 3.

The easier way to install the latest stable version of esptool is from pypi via pip. Open a terminal and execute the following command:

pip install esptool

Flashing Firmware

Using write_flash argument esptool flashed pre-compiled binary to devices with ESP8266 or ESP32. Here are the exact steps:

  • Download an appropriate binary for your ESP8266/ESP32 device.
  • Connect your device to a computer. For example, for ANAVI Thermometer, ANAVI Gas Detector, ANAVI Light Controller and ANAVI Miracle Controller you must use UART to USB debug cable.
  • Turn on the device in boot mode. For example, on ANAVI Thermometer, ANAVI Gas Detector, ANAVI Light Controller and ANAVI Miracle Controller, press and hold the RESET button and plug the power supply.
  • In a terminal execute the following command:
esptool.py --port /dev/ttyUSB0 --baud 460800 write_flash --flash_size=detect 0 firmware.bin 

Finding the Right Firmware

All ANAVI Internet of Things with ESP8266/ESP32 combine free and open source software with open source hardware. The firmware is built using Arduino IDE and a pre-compiled binary file is available at GitHub. Follow the links below to identify your ANAVI device and download appropriate binary for the latest stable firmware:

Of course, alternatively, instead of using esptool you can build the firmware from source through Arduino IDE or PlatformIO.

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Holiday Lights with Home Assistant, ANAVI Miracle Controller, and Olimex WS2811 LED Ropes

This YouTube video demonstrates do-it-yourself (DIY) holiday lights to celebrate Christmas or Halloween using ANAVI Miracle Controller, Olimex WS2811 LED ropes and the popular open source home automation platform Home Assistant!

ANAVI Miracle Controller and Olimex LED-Ropes-10 managed from Home Assistant app for Android

All kits of ANAVI Miracle Controller come with WS2812B LED strip, however the board is also compatible with other addressable LED strips. In a previous update we covered Adafruit NeoPixels and now we are focussed on Olimex WS2811 LED Rope.

ANAVI Miracle Controller with mini OLED display and a couple of Olimex LED-ROPE-10

Required Hardware

  • ANAVI Miracle Controller
  • 5V power supply
  • Two Olimex LED-ROPE-10
  • Raspberry Pi (recommended 3 or newer) with Home Assistant

Olimex is a well-known company in the maker community and I am lucky because their headquarter is my hometown Plovdiv, Bulgaria.

Olimex offers addressable, water proof, sealed with resin RGB WS2811 ropes with various number of LEDs. For this video I used a couple of Olimex LED-ROPE-10. The rope is waterproof so it is suitable for both indoor and outdoor installations. It works with power supply in the range from 3.3V to 5.5V and has a dedicated WS2811 driver for each LED.

The typical color code for Olimex LED-ROPE-10:

  • Olimex rope RED wire – VCC (3.3V-5.5V)
  • Olimex rope GREEN/BLUE (varies) wire – GND
  • Olimex rope WHITE wire – DATA

Each RGB LED in Olimex rope draws approximately 50mA at 5V with red, green, and blue at full brightness. Olimex LED-ROPE-10 has only 10 RGB LEDs with makes approximately 500mA and it is OK to power it through ANAVI Miracle Controller. For installation will longer ropes with bigger consumption wire the VCC and GND lines directly to the power supply.

When using Olimex LED ropes, set ANAVI Miracle Controller to 5V input and use an appropriate 5V center positive power supply!

For Olimex LED-Ropes-10 set ANAVI Miracle Controller to 5V and use appropriate 5V power supply
Wiring of a couple of Olimex LED-ROPE-10 to ANAVI Miracle Controller

NOTE: The color codes of other addressable LED strips, including WS2812B LED strip from all kits, are different!

Due to differences in color codes this wiring is valid only for Olimex LED ropes. Be careful and check the proper wiring as well input voltage requirements if you are using a different type of addressable LED strip or rope.

Software

Home Assistant must be installed on an appropriate device. If you haven’t installed it already, a single board computer like Raspberry Pi (version 3 or newer) is the perfect fit!

MQTT broker is also required and must be installed. You can install Mosquitto from Home Assistant add-on store. Integrate the MQTT broker in Home Assistant and enable discovery. The exact steps have been covered in a previous blog post about ANAVI Miracle Controller and Adafruit NeoPixels.

Please, ensure you are running the latest version of the open source firmware for ANAVI Miracle Controller. It is available at GitHub. You can flash it through Arduino IDE following these steps.

After completing the initial installation and integration in Home Assistant, you can easily control the holiday lights from your personal computer, smartphone or tablet. You can either install the official mobile app on your smartphone or use the web interface from any modern HTML5 web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc). Furthermore, with Home Assistant you can create automation and trigger automatically the holiday lights depending on various events.

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ANAVI Fume Extractor Is Coming Soon…

Stay safe while soldering with ANAVI Fume Extractor

ANAVI Fume Extractor is an entirely open source smart solder smoke absorber certified by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA) with UID  BG000060. ANAVI Fume Extractor is powered by a Wi-Fi development board with ESP8266, 80mm fan and a replaceable carbon filter. It has a dedicated slots for a mini OLED I²C display and MQ-135 gas sensor module as well as slots up to 3 additional I²C sensor modules. Furthermore, there are UART pins for easy flashing of custom software and an extra GPIO for connecting external peripherals.

ANAVI Fume Extractor

We are preparing a crowdfunding campaign to support low-volume manufacturing in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. Learn more about ANAVI Fume Extractor and subscribe for updates at Crowd Supply.

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ANAVI Smiley and ANAVI Tag Manager Certified by the Open Source Hardware Association

The primary goal of ANAVI Technology Ltd. is to combine open source hardware with free and open source software. So far numerous of our development boards have been certified by the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA). In February 2020 a couple new products were also certified: ANAVI Smiley and ANAVI Tag Manager. Both of them have been designed with the free and open source tool KiCad.

A lot of products on the market claim their are open source hardware, however this is not always true. Open Source Hardware certification allows the community to quickly identify hardware that truly complies with the definition of open source hardware. Because of this certification by OSHWA is important for us.

ANAVI Smiley

Image
ANAVI Smiley add-on board for Raspberry Pi as a soldering kit

ANAVI Smiley is a simple add on for Raspberry Pi that comes as a soldering kit. It has a couple of LEDs and a button. A simple Python 3 application for using this add-on board is available at GitHub. ANAVI Smiley was certified by OSHWA with UID BG000061. It has been designed as a prize for the teams competing at Pi Wars 2020. Soon ANAVI Smiley will be also available on sale at tindie.

ANAVI Tag Manager

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ANAVI Tag Manager with PN532 NFC RFID module and an acrylic enclosure

ANAVI Tag Manager is a WiFi development board for using PN532 NFC RFID module. The board is using ESP8266. It is powered from microUSB connector. There are slots for UART pins, mini OLED display and up to 3 I2C sensor modules. Furthermore there is also an extra GPIO pin for custom automation solutions. ANAVI Tag Manager is useful for various applications with NFC, including smart locks and payment systems. It has been certified by OSHWA with UID BG000062.

Stay tuned for new articles with details about both of these exciting new open source hardware gadgets!

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Improving Industrial Manufacturing with ANAVI Light Controller

ANAVI Light Controller is an open source WiFi development board for controlling 12V low-cost analog RGB LED strip. Although it has been designed primary for home automation, recently ANAVI Light Controller was integrated in an industrial environment.

Wing.eu is an innovative French start-up company reinventing the shipping. The company specializes in “first mile” logistics and provides services to e-merchants. Their warehouses in Paris, Marseille, Bordeaux and Lyon package and ship e-commerce orders. Wing.eu can be integrated with all leading e-commerce platforms, including the popular open source solutions PrestaShop, Magento and WooCommerce.

ANAVI Light Controller Andon Manufacturing
Wing’s warehouse using Andon manufacturing system implemented with ANAVI Light Controller and 12V RGB LED strips.

Running around the clock such an innovative logistics business requires excellent organization. To ensure high efficiency of the working process Paul Cancouet, project manager at Wing, implemented the Japanese manufacturing system Andon using ANAVI Light Controller.

Andon is a manufacturing term to alert about a problem in real-time. Pioneered by Toyota after World War II, Andon provides the ability to detect problems affecting manufacturing in real-time and fix them as soon as possible.

Paul and his team at Wing constructed a light indication on each desk at their warehouses, using ANAVI Light Controller, 12V RGB LED strip, appropriate 12V power supply, outdoor wall light, PVC tube and a 3D-printed socket. All Andon light indicators are communicating over the machine-to-machine protocol MQTT. The software on the server is written in JavaScript and Node.js. It spreads the information to Google spreadsheets, Slack channel and a HTML5 web interface that acts as a global monitoring dashboard.

The best part is that Wing.eu shared their server side source code in GitHub. ANAVI Light Controller is also entirely open source as the board has been certified by the Open Source Hardware Association and the default firmware is also available as an Arduino sketch at GitHub. Thanks to open source other factories can easily adopt the same solution and significantly improve the efficiency of their manufacturing process.

Paul Cancouet shared more details as a Crowd Supply field report. His industrial automation has been also covered by cnx-software.com.

ANAVI Light Controller is available at our distributors around the world: Crowd Supply, neven.cz and Pi Supply.

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ANAVI Miracle Controller Successfully Crowdfunded!

Hip hip hooray! The crowdfunding campaign of ANAVI Miracle Controller at Crowd Supply was successful. It ended on 5 February 2020. We met all stretch goals.

ANAVI Miracle Controller is an ESP8266-powered Wi-Fi dev board to control two 5 V or two 12 V addressable (digital) LED strips like WS2812B, WS2812, WS2811, etc. Furthermore, mini OLED display and up to 3 I2C sensors can be attached. It has been certified by the Open Source Hardware Association.

We have already started manufacturing. The first and second batches of boards are ready. Right now we are testing and packaging them. The estimated shipping date remains the same – Mar 30, 2020. In the meantime you can still place pre-orders at the same prices. Crowd Supply will take care of the shipping for all orders placed during the crowdfunding campaign and pre-orders.

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