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eQ3 thermostatic valve control from Blynk

Hi everybody!
I like to ask if is anybody who is using a eQ3 Bluetooth thermostatic radiator valve?
I wondering if it is possible to control it from Blynk application via ESP32 with Bluetooth.

Maciej

From what I’ve read about the limited range using BT, it seems that most people are using several ESP32s around their home and using MQTT to control them.
This approach would fit in well with the way that I use Blynk, which is to use Node-Red as an interface with Blynk and as a ‘rules engine’ for controlling devices via MQTT.

Pete.

Thank You,
basically I have not so long distance between my radiators, but idea with few ESP is maybe a good point.

I like to do simple control, if temperature is lower than … set a new higher temperature on thermostat, etc.

What is a advantage to use Node-Red as an interface and control via MQTT instead of direct control from Blynk?

Now I have only a few Shelly modules control directly from Blynk, in the future probably I will add temperature sensors.

For me, the advantages are:

  • I can still use the Blynk cloud server, but I have a Raspberry Pi set-u in my own network to act as an MQTT/Node-Red server. This means that things like temperature control work autonomously should the internet go down - provided of course they my Node-Red server doesn’t go down.
  • Integration with services like Amazon Alexa are simple in Node-Red
  • You don’t have to use Bridge code when using multiple devices that need to talk to each other (such as temperature sensors and Bluetooth gateways)
  • It makes it simper to integrate other controllers, such as Nextion touch screens for local control over temperature settings.
  • If you ever decided to replace the Blynk app with something else then almost every Home Automation system uses MQTT

With your radiator vales you could use something like this as a ready-made solution if you were running MQTT:

Pete.

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Thank You, I understand.

Maybe is a good idea to use a Node-Red, especially for me is important that I can control devices without Internet access, locally. I think to use local Blynk server on Rpi.

Another option is to use few ESP in each room which collect signal from eQ3, than it will send information to Rpi with NodeRed or to Arduino which can talk with MQTT devices, After I can send information to Blynk.
I need to try with Arduino, but first I need to check how to operate with MQTT devices, how to read and write information.

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Hello again,
I want to come back to topic with thermostatic radiator valve.
I found Zigbee valves ST ZigBee 3.0 TUYA Smart.

Is it a way to do it in following way.
Connect Zigbee adapter to Rpi with Node-Red, than connect Node-Red with Blynk to operate valves from Blynk level?

Yes, that’s possible.
My only Zigbee experience has been using Ikea Tradfri devices via an Ikea hub (not recommended) and a Philips Hue hub (much better).
However, a better option would be a USB Zigbee adapter that plugs into the Pi.

Pete.

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Thank You.

So I should buy RPi with Zigbee adapter via USB with Node-Red as the best option.
Than I can buy equipment which support Zigbee protocol: like temperature sensor, radiator valve etc.

In Node-Red I can write or read command from equipment and send it to Blynk, right?

That’s the approach I’d take.
However, I’m not a great fan of Zigbee as a communication/control protocol. It is better than Bluetooth, but personally i’d Only use Zigbee for those type of situations where WiFi devices aren’t available or practical.

The interface between Blynk and Node-Red is two way, data can be sent to Blynk widgets and Blynk widgets can send data to Node-Red. This is exactly the same as the way that widgets work with hardware running Blynk code.

The communication capabilities between Node-Red and other devices - via whatever protocols are used - will be depend on the device itself and the Node-Red plug-in (know as a contrib, because they are contributed by developers) for that device or communication protocol.

Generally, it’s easier to provide complex control interfacing via Node-Red than it is via C++ libraries running on devices such as NodeMCU’s.

Pete.

I’m using as well Wifi hardware but ESP8266 used for sensors is not good idea. In case of power supply from batteries high current of consumption will drain them very quick. Same story with radiator valves, all them use another tyle of protocol.

So I that case idea is to use a Node Red to control radiator valves and get a readings from temperature sensors. Even I think will be possible to control eq3 valves from Node Red.
For any others equipment I will use classic Blynk connection.
I need get a Rpi and try to play with it.

I guess it depends where you locate those sensors. I use multiple temperature sensors that are ESP8266 based that are powered via USB, but a lot depends on your physical layout.

I’d recommend that you don’t use a “classic Blynk connection” in conjunction with Node-Red.
The best solution is to allow Node-Red to be the single point of contact with the Blynk server. Then, Node-Red communicates with your devices either Zigbee, or vis MQTT over WiFi.

That way, there are no conflicts, and you still have full control even if the connection to the Blynk server is down.
All of my ESP8266 devices (and I have about 25 of them in the house at the moment) talk to my RPI/Node-Red device using MQTT. If I want to turn a device on I send an MQTT message to that device telling it to turn on. If the device takes temperature readings then it sends these as MQTT messages every 5 seconds, and Node-Red evaluates the readings and takes the appropriate actions, such as turning heaters/fans/pumps on or off as appropriate.

Pete.

Thank You, I understand.

It seems to make sense use a Node Red as a single point of contact.

It is only one issue for me - new firmware for all Shelly modules and my own RGB controller on Nodemcu with ESP. At this moment programing modules to run with MQTT is a black magic for me.

But with Node Red my system will be able to work with much more type of equipment.

Maciej

If the Shelly devices are associated with the heating control then yes, but if they are for something else (as presumably the RGB lights are) then you could leave them for now.
Just create a new Blynk device and make that the one you add to Node-Red.

If you search this forum there are a few examples to get you going, and there are many more people worldwide who use MQTT than use Blynk, so plenty of resources out there.

Pete.

No, Shelly and Nodemcu are let say “standalone” modules for lightning control.

Yes, for me will be the best solution to leave them as it is and add additional hardware (Rpi) with Node Red to collect a signals and heating control.

Maciej

I read a little bit about Node Red and it looks not so difficult how I was thinking at the beginning…
I ordered Rpi 4.

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In the past, I’d recommend to people that they use Peter Scargill’s script to do the install, but I think it’s probably easier to do it themselves.

Start by downloading Raspberry Pi OS (Buster 64 bit) onto an SD card using Raspberry Pi Imager…

Enable SSH…

Install WinSCP and PuTTY on your PC and create a WINSCP connection to your Pi and launch a PuTTY session (from the menu bar or using CTRL+P)

Install Node-Red from the PuTTY command line…
https://nodered.org/docs/getting-started/raspberrypi

Then install Mosquitto MQTT Broker…
https://stevessmarthomeguide.com/install-mosquitto-raspberry-pi/

I also like to use Webmin as a web administration utility for the Pi, but this bit is optional…

Once you’re up and running and able to log into Node-Red from a browser on your PC, you can install the Blynk ws plug-in from the Palette Manager.
Be sure to choose “node-red-contrib-blynk-ws” and none of the other Blynk contribs.

You’ll need to add a Blynk connection to the server, this needs the server URL which is:
ws://blynk-cloud.com/websockets
for the Blynk cloud servers.
You’ll also need the Auth Code for the device you want to use. This has no bearing on the actual type of device that you’ll be using, but I normally choose a NodeMCU.
The device will appear as being offline until you deploy the Node-Red flow, and will then appear as Online as long as Node-Red is running.

Once you start working with MQTT then you’ll find it very handy to have MQTT Explorer installed on your PC…

Pete.

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Thank You very, very much for this “starting set” !
It will help for sure.

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I found Zigbee usb dongle on Aliexpress:

8,59 zł 9%OFF | Wireless Zigbee CC2531 CC2540 Sniffer Bare Board Packet Protocol Analyzer Module USB Interface Dongle Capture Packet Module

I think to take with external antenna to have a higher range. This from Ali is ok or should I look for different?

As I said earlier, I’ve never used a Zigbee USB dongle, only an IKEA and Phillips Hue hub.

I’d suggest that you read the “ Hardware Prerequisites” section of this Node-Red contribution…

Pete.

I found information about USB stick:

  • CC2531 - is good if You are using less than 20 devices, and You flat/home is around 60m2 - of course is possible to use another Zigbee devices as a router.

  • CC2531 + external antenna - better range than just a alone PCB with internal antenna

  • CC2652R - have a higher range and support for more than 20+ devices

For my purpose I will take a CC2531 + external antenna, I will change it for CC2652R if it will be neccessary.