Hey in this post I will tell and show you what Tasmota is, as well as the easiest way to flash compatible devices with a new tool called Tasmotizer.
Table of Contents
What is Tasmota?
If you are new in the Smart Home & IoT world you probably wonder what Tasmota is?
With one sentence – It is an alternative open source firmware that allows you to locally control your ESP8266 based devices using MQTT, HTTP or Web Interface.
What is ESP8266 device then?
This probably leads to your next question, What is ESP8266 device? The ESP8266 is a low-cost Wi-Fi microchip with full TCP/IP stack and microcontroller capability. So an ESP8266 device is simply a device with ESP8266 chip inside it.
To demonstrate you the best what Tasmota is, I’ll just flash a D1 Mini device to show you and after that we will continue to talk about Tasmota and Tasmotizer
To flash a device with Tasmota you will need:
- Any variation of the ESP8266 chip based device – in my case it will be WeMos D1 Mini and Sonoff Basic
- You’ll need a computer with a USB port to upload the firmware to your device and configure it.
These two were must haves, next items are kind of optional and depending of the device that you want to flash you may need them as well:
- Serial-to-USB Adapter (optional) – To upload Tasmota firmware on an ESP8266 device without USB, you need a serial-to-usb adapter to start the initial communication with that device. Fortunately these adapters are really cheap. The FTDI FT232RL adapter below is exactly the same as main adapter and it works great, so if you want to buy one I highly recommend it.
- Soldering Tools (optional) – Some ESP8266 devices doesn’t have USB ports on them and the only way to flash them is to hold several tiny wires for a minute without moving anything or eventually you can solder these wires, so you don’t have to do Houdini tricks.
- Wires (optional)
With that being said let’s start flashing.
Steps to execute:
- Go to GitHub site (github.com) and download:
- Tasmota firmware, generally you need tasmota.bin file – https://github.com/arendst/Tasmota/releases
- Tasmotizer – https://github.com/tasmota/tasmotizer
- For Windows – download & start the EXE file from here – https://github.com/tasmota/tasmotizer/releases
- For Linux & MacOS (you need pip3 installed on your system)
- From terminal execute:
- pip3 install tasmotizer
- and then simply run tasmotizer.py (to find tasmotizer.py on MacOS you can use: find / -name tasmotizer.py)
- From terminal execute:
- Connect your ESP8266 device to your computer either:
- Directly via the USB port on the device – as with the D1 mini or NodeMCU.
- Or using Serial-to-USB adapter and connecting:
- VCC on Serial-to-USB adapter to VCC on ESP8266 based device.
- GND on Serial-to-USB adapter to GND on ESP8266 based device.
- RX on Serial-to-USB adapter to TX on ESP8266 based device.
- TX on Serial-to-USB adapter to RX on ESP8266 based device.
- You also have to put the ESP8266 device in flash mode by holding down the board button as you insert the VCC pin (or by connecting GPIO0 to GND with a wire) and then you can let go.
- Start Tasmotizer then click Refresh button to find the newly attached device.
- Click Open button and chose your firmware, in general this is tasmota.bin file that you downloaded in the first step.
- Check the “Backup original firmware” tick and finally click on the Tasmotize! button.
- Restart your ESP8266 device and connect to the WIFI hotspot that your device will create for initial configuration.
- After successful connection to the device WIFI, you can enter your real/local/home WIFI SSID and password click save – the device will auto restart and will connect your home WIFI.
- Find the assigned IP of the device by either log in to your router or by using any kind of network scanner.
- Enter the IP of the device in a Web Browser and you will open the Tasmota web interface from where you can configure your device as I’m showing in the video.
You may ask yourself why to bother installing Tasmota?
Here are some things that can make you join the Tasmota team:
- Privacy – Everything stays locally in your home network and no information is sent to the Cloud.
- OTA updates – once Tasmota is installed you can update it over-the-air afterwards.
- Templates for easy device configuration – When you flash a Tasmota device chances are that there is already a template for your device that you could apply and everything will be immediately configured.
- You can enable automations using timers, rules or scripts.
- Integration with home automation solutions – you can locally control Tasmota devices from your Home Assistant, Node-Red, OpenHab, you name it.
- Tasmota supports up to two WIFI access points.
- Wemo and Hue emulation – Tasmota devices can emulate themselves in order Amazon Alexa, to be able to find and control them.
You can also attach the following sensors on ESP8266 devices flashed with Tasmota :
- Motion sensors,
- Temperature and humidity sensors,
- Smoke detectors,
- Relays and so on and so on.
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I really hope that you find this information useful and you now know what Tasmota is and how to flash an ESP8266 device.
Thank you for reading, stay safe and see you next time.
Happy New 2020 Year,