Wifi light switch teardown


this is Samhain smoked porter from stone
angel brewing in winnipeg it’s apparently a traditional-style smoked
porter that that would go well with the Samhain Irish Halloween festival alright
today I’m gonna do a teardown of this smart wall switch the smart light switch
that I found at my local Dollarama for 4 bucks I know some people in the past
that said “if it’s four dollars then it’s not a dollar store” when they
call a store that’s called Dollarama it’s a damned dollar store deal with it
this is Canadian prices I don’t know where that rant came from so when I
spotted this thing at Dollarama I immediately sought out a staff person
and said do you have any more of these and to which they said I didn’t know we
had that one so I bought it and let’s see what happens so the first thing that
means that I’m not gonna actually use this is it works with apple homekit
ain’t no apple stuff in my house I’m probably not gonna be able to use it so
for 4 bucks it’s a teardown unless there’s something interesting in there
that I can repurpose possibly copyright 2017 I found a few things online saying
that this was released at CES in 2017 and I can’t find any reference to it at
all except when I searched through their help files and I can find a couple
of help articles but there’s no mention of it from the main page you can’t even
get to it from a link from the main page what else does it say about this thing
remotely accessible from your home automation devices DIY install it can
monitor energy use that’s interesting Plug and play except for the installation
part Siri voice control yet another thing
that I won’t be doing with it proximity set accessories to turn on or
off automatically it looks like it’s got a little motion detector kind of window
in there so let’s.. Ahh it comes with somewhere
nuts so please know what else we got that a code in here that’s interesting
we needed for setup okay and we’ve got basic install guide which looks a lot
like what I found on the website but it looks basically like you just disconnect
your existing switch connect this one so it’s got a load in line air about one
neutral input and a load output which I assume is the line and then a frame
ground okay and that just pops off there and that screws onto a standard box the
standard North American rectangular box that this would go in there’d be a screw
goes through there and there are the threads into the box and then these two
threaded screw holes will take the cover plate if you choose not to use their
cover plate with your snaps on okay that’s all fairly standard stuff and for
those of you not in North America these are the standard wire connecting devices
for four means officially these are called wire nuts most people that I know
tend to just refer them as Marit Marit being a brand name of one of the more
common ones and how you use them is basically take you to wires that should
be trimmed to the same length you just give them a twist with your
pliers these are not the ideal pliers for the job but they’ll they’ll get you
there and I mean okay so I am NOT a licensed
electrician just cavi it right there my technique is
not perfect cuz I don’t do this for a living but I am a certified homeowner so
cenotes inside there there’s this spiral spring kind of thing and it gets
narrower as it gets closer to the top and it’s also it’s actually a square
cross-section and the pointy bit of the square is facing inwards so when I
thread that on to here those are going to dig into the copper and tighten in
air and cut through any oxidization now as I screw that in there because that
narrows it gets tighter so now we have a solid mechanical connection and a solid
electrical connection you can reef on that and that’s not going to come apart
but you can unscrew it and if we zoom in closer here you can see where this
spring piece was nicking into the wires cutting through the any oxidization into
fresh copper so that was creating both the mechanical and reinforced electrical
connection that’s a bit of an aside I know that in Europe these Wagle
connectors these are knockoffs but whatever are used for means and they’re
good for this one says 400 volts 20-some a ELPS so yeah yeah that’s a bit on a
side so here would be the standard type of switch that you would find normally
in the Box on the wall and that would get removed to put this in and this was
just barely fit into the box okay this is a double gang box it would take
two two lights or two port or two switches or two plugs in it that’s a
single gang that just happens to have a plug in it right now that’s going to be
part of my experiments later but this guy would just screw in right there
and they’re just barely enough room and then this more standard switch could sit
beside him and there’s room back behind there for the wiring for the slack
wiring and stuff but I’m not gonna put this in a box just for my experiment
today because everything a little bit being really don’t do this at home
caveat because well I mean I could use this in manual mode if I choose to but I
think it’s more interesting to tear it apart and see what’s inside it if I can
get it back together again afterwards if I can reprogram it if there’s something
in there it would be cool if there was just an esp8266 or something similar in
there wouldn’t it let’s find out I see a little screw there on the side okay so
it looks like there’s some kind of clip enos happening there and there that’s
easier than I expected okay we have a circuit board they have a
kind of an insulating little piece of plastic here that little six pin device
looks an awful lot like an off the coupler that’s good to see I have a 3.3
volt uh and a grounder there that’s interesting that’s looking more and more
like my theory may have been correct this board is this board looks like it’s
just connected with header pins it is cool okay so we have this will be the
higher voltage board back here there’s another op-amp there we have a capacitor
we have a fuse we have what looks to me like a relay
we have device on a heatsink there ooh this is the load wire the red one
that is a current transformer current sensing transformer nice wife at wall
switch it says 2017 nine and fourteen so two years and a couple of months old so
this is clearly in the Power Board and the power supply board why can’t I see
what that is under the heatsink he comes off his heat syncope push that back
enough to read it I can’t read that could it be a voltage regulator maybe oh okay no that’s I was oh that is a relay
but this device here is connected one of its connections goes to the line out
where so that is maybe a triac for dimming sure and then power supply stuff
there is an inductor there’s a couple of 47 micro farad four hundred or four
point seven micro farad four hundred capacitors a few diodes on the backside
here so yeah there is some kind of a power supply on there so okay yeah a
triac would make sense because this thing claims to be able to DM right okay
that’s that’s the power board so here is clearly the low voltage board can I get
that out of there okay that lifts out the Wi-Fi antenna
looks just adhered onto there okay yeah that’s just an blue adhesive strip
antenna coming off that little connector there okay Oh interesting things on this
side but is that soldered down it is okay what is that module incipio ws 2017
oh nothing that would be the date it is a MAC address and a serial number and I
think that setup code is that the same as 83 – yes it is okay so what is under
the sticker there by repealing or repealing we are peeling okay RTL eight
one eight eight er RTL Realtek Oh while we’re in here and this is this guy HH
one seven one nine and I guess that’s some kind of a RAM or ROM or prom chip
or something memory chip let’s see what else we can find PHP 4817 not quite sure there is crystal
there running a teat megahertz so that’s that might be a microcontroller or two
actually okay I was able to find a couple of the
chips but not many of them but I did find the two main ones that were on the
Wi-Fi board and the big one has suspected is a real tech chip RTL eighty
one eighty eight er confidential Shh don’t show anybody so
this our Tod 188 is an integrated single chip
you know 2.11 in Wireless PCIe interface oh that’s interesting that’s all the
various RF stuff 150 megabits per second cool obviously overkill it can do multimedia
so fifty sixteen qfn so there’s lots of inputs and outputs on it but it looks a
bit of various different sorts and there it is in all its glory
oh hello it has some GPIO pins yes the air pop you are in no connection pins so
they need to have 56 pins but that’s the package not really seeing any of the
sort of transmit/receive o TR XP t-rex in maybe Rx and TX maybe
but again that would be the PCIe stuff probably I’m not at all familiar with
that okay so there’s a PCIe stuff and tenant controls led interfaces blue to
any GPIO o for Bluetooth coexistence this doesn’t seem to do bluetooth but
that allows it and that allows it to talk to a Bluetooth chip
so it’s voltages runs on you know three point three typically so I’m guessing
that power supply board is probably giving it 3.3 volts nuh-uh I know how it
that the other chip that was on that Wi-Fi module is this three volt again
yeah 128 megabit serial flash and it talks spi though okay so obviously
there’s SPI a on that chip as well I didn’t find what that guy is I couldn’t
find what this guy and the power supply board is these diodes are just fast
switching diodes couldn’t even find this little guy
so that’s disappointing it’s probably my Google foo though that’s the fancy stuff
on this side we have a very obvious PIR sensor we have three tactile switches
and one push on push off push one push off switch is activated by this guy that
just fell out of the corner there and then tactile switches there’s that and
that and that okay oh and there’s an assortment of LEDs on there too a bunch
of them actually Oh probably showing the brightness going through these little
light guides here that make sense once again a lot going on in an overstock I
don’t found it a dollar store Wow do I even need to tell you not to try this at
home I may not be an electrician but I have
been working with electrical thingamabobs for a very long time so I’m
relatively confident that I’m not gonna kill myself doing this okay here we go that’s a good start no corrosions so
volts ac there should be about 124 there yep okay what’s DC I noticed there was a
set of pins over here mark three volts and ground so let’s see what those are
there we go 3.3 volts nice and stable and this one also 3.3 volts okay so that was right
and that’s going on a connector down to the other board that’s on which this
connector here which is coming down to power this guy that makes sense probably
not a lot else to see on there I don’t think where is my neutral there and my
line out there 13 volts oh yeah it’s it’s off at the moment okay so now I got
this guy connected down here and it’s sort of back in its case so it’s not
quite as janky and hazardous I’ve got one side of my meter connected to the
neutral ooh I click and a blue light okay so I guess where’s my other probe
here any power over there right now not really what happens if I push that
button there we go
it’s on and it’s back off again okay if I turn it on and then you use this
little dimmer thing here yeah that’s working and you can sort of see
as I’m dimming it these little blue lights coming up and down that’s cool
oops I’ve lost that so they were back at full
voltage and there we go so I could theoretically just use this as a
standard switch what does that do that’s where I’ll push on push off
switch nothing the lights are coming on here
but nothing’s happening okay so it’s some kind of a bypass which I guess all
right I could probably read the read the book
but these blinking lights here according to this let me just see if I that a
little bit flashing blue light mean is for pairing basically but to pair it you
need an Apple app which I don’t have and I’m not gonna get because they don’t
have any Apple phones that’s a conscious choice so as a Wi-Fi
device I’m not going to be able to use it probably so let’s just see if it
shows up as a Wi-Fi device presumably it sets its own access point and that’s how
you would talk to it push the switch for three seconds I think it said there okay
now we got a blinking pairing light oh look at that what is that that’s what
I thought okay so smart wall so it just putting out a kick-ass signal mmm I
wonder if I can connect to it smart wall switch connecting checking
checking hmm you know providing internet access whatever connect to it anyways
connected to Wi-Fi networks smart wall switch right scanning smart wall switch
okay so smart wall switch what can you do what is it fight X technology fight Rick’s
technology whatever find open ports ooh it is a web server on it let’s try this it wants me to sign in okay wonder if
that’s the password nope it doesn’t like that okay
wonderfully username nope well that didn’t work
and I did a bit of googling and I couldn’t find anybody who was who had
these the password for this thing so I’m assuming that’s not a public-access sort
of a thing that webpage there so I don’t know um well this isn’t going to be
nearly as useful as I had thought it would be might look a little bit more
closely at this board though because it can create the 3.3 volts it can control
this I’m assuming triac over here and it can control this resistor and it’s got a
bunch of other pins on it so I could probably chase out what a lot of these
connections are doing and maybe maybe maybe control this thing
and use it for power three volts 3.3 volts is a very esp8266
a friendly voltage so maybe all is not lost yet it’s got to figure out what some of
these chips on here are doing I’m assuming so I’m guessing that this one
is probably part of the power supply over here given its proximity to the big
caps and more importantly the in the inductor there and I’m guessing that
this guy over here is probably related to the current sensor in some way and
then we’ve got these two opto Isolators and again this one it’s close to this
set of four pins that goes down to the main board and this one is right in the
middle of a power supply area so it’s probably part of the power supply and
that may in fact be connected to this relay that would be cool if it was but
that I think is another experiment for another day thanks for watching I hope
you found this slightly interesting I was uh I was interested to see what was
inside this thing um doing a bit of googling around I found that these
things were about 60 bucks when they were new there abouts which makes sense
with the amount of technology that’s in this quite honestly but it’s two year
old technology presumably they didn’t sell as well as they had hoped because
they no longer said they don’t wanna even mention them on the main part of
their webpage but I don’t know I might be able to use this for something or
whatever it was just a fun teardown thanks again I will talk to you later
well yeah questions comments down there yeah thanks bye

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