Hey, Google Turn On The Christmas Tree

Happy New Year! May the open source be with you!

The Christmas tree is among the most popular symbols of the holiday season. Decorating it is always fun, especially for a maker.

Andrey Kozhevnikov a.k.a. CODeRUS, a talented software engineer and a very skilled maker, used ANAVI Miracle Controller and addressable (digital) LED strips to decorate his Christmas tree and to control it with voice commands through Google Assistant and Home Assistant. Home Assistant is a popular open source platform for home automation. Google Assistant is an artificial intelligence-powered virtual assistant that recognizes speech and voice commands. CODeRUS shared a short video in twitter with the amazing result!

ANAVI Miracle Controller

ANAVI Miracle Controller is an ESP8266-powered, open source, Wi-Fi development board to control two 5 V and or 12 V LED strips.  It supports popular LEDs including Neopixel, WS2811, WS2812B, TM1809, etc. A crowdfunding campaign is running right now at Crowd Supply to fund mass production of the board.

As a small gift for the leading contributor to the Arduino sketch for another of our open source projects, ANAVI Light Controller, we sent one of the first stable prototypes of ANAVI Miracle Controller to CODeRUS. We were sure that he will make something interesting with it. His amazing creativity is always inspiring!

CODeRUS Новогодняя ёлка

CODeRUS is also well known in the open source communities because of his numerous contributions over the years to Maemo, MeeGo and Sailfish OS. These names ring a bell in any die-hard open source fan as they were/are brands of GNU/Linux distributions for smartphones, most notably Nokia models like N900 (Maemo) and N9 (MeeGo Harmattan) made a decade ago.

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Connecting ANAVI Gas Detector to Your Wi-Fi

ANAVI Gas Detector is an ESP8266-powered, open source, Wi-Fi dev board for monitoring air quality and detecting dangerous gases. In the previous blog post I have shared the exact steps how to assemble it. Now I will cover the straight-forward process for connecting it to your Wi-Fi network. It is very simple and takes less than a couple of minutes.

Step 1: Turn on ANAVI Gas Detector

When you turn on ANAVI Gas Detector for the first time, it will create its own Wi-Fi Access Point with the name ANAVI Gas Detector followed by a unique five character ID.

These characters are actually the end of the MD5 hash generated from the unique chip ID of the ESP8266 module. To avoid confusion, the same five characters are showed on the mini OLED display included in all kits of ANAVI Gas Detector.

Connect to the Wi-Fi access point created by ANAVI Gas Detector from your smartphone, tablet or personal computer.

Step 2: Captive Portal

Once you have connected to the Wi-Fi access point created by ANAVI Gas Detector, a captive portal will pop-up and guide you to the next steps. Click Configure WiFi as shown in the video.

Step 3: Configure

Select your local Wi-Fi network, enter a password (if it is not open), type in MQTT broker address, port, username and password.

By default, just for demo purposes, ANAVI Gas Detector connects to iot.eclipse.org with port 1883 and no username/password. This is a public MQTT broker just for demonstrations. It is highly recommended to install open source MQTT broker locally and connect ANAVI Gas Detector to it.

Optionally, you can also select a temperature scale. By default it is set to Celsius. Of course, Fahrenheit is also supported. To switch just type in fahrenheit.

Finally, when ready, just click Save. ANAVI Gas Detector will reboot and try to connect first to your Wi-Fi network and after that to the configured MQTT broker. If it experience problems connecting you will be asked to do the configuration again.

That’s it! The whole process requires just these three easy steps and takes less than a couple of minutes. No need to download & install any apps on your smartphone. If you don’t have a smartphone – you can do the configuration from your personal computer or a tablet.

One More Thing…

Once ANAVI Gas Detector is up and running, if you need to change the configurations, just press and hold the RESET button on the board for 10 seconds. Keep the RESET button pressed until the D1 indication LED on the board is blinking.

This way you will wipe out all configuration, reset ANAVI Gas Detector to factory default and you will be asked to connect it again to your Wi-Fi.

For more details please also read our update at Crowd Supply and watch the short video.

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