CBI Astute Power Monitor / Switch -- Tasmotized!

gbyleveldt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
492
Seeing as everyone is trying to get a Sonoff POW to switch on their geaser (which is borderline on that one), some of the guys here tracked down the CBI Astute Smart Switch with power monitoring. What's cool about this one is that it's rated for 30A, making it ideal for switching on really heavy loads. It's also DIN rail mount, so easy to install in your DB board.

As others have noticed, these don't use the ESP8266 chips so cannot be made to run Tasmota as it uses the WR3E module which is Tuya only. After I've seen some pics I wondered how hard it would be to rip out the Tuya module and fit an ESP12F module. Well, turns out it's possible, but not super easy. Hold on to your hats...

Parts needed:
CBI Astute switch
https://www.liteglo.co.za/shop/cbi-astute-smart-controller/
ESP-12F Module
https://www.robotics.org.za/ESP-12F
You'll need 2 10k resistors as well, as the above ESP board doesn't have those fitted and the base board does not cater for it. I suggest a 10k 0805 SMD resistor and a 10k 1/4w leaded resistor. It'll be clear in the pics.

They come apart easy enough
IMG-7644.jpg
IMG-7643.jpg
IMG-7642.jpg

Pic of the module that needs to be removed. I have a hot air station to remove multi pin parts; you can do it with solder wick but it's fiddly
IMG-7634.jpg
Old module removed and base board prepared for the ESP module
IMG-7637.jpg

To get the ESP to boot properly, you have to fit these resistors as shown. You'll want to flash it with Tasmota at this point as well
IMG-7638.jpg
IMG-7640.jpg

Once flashed, the ESP can be soldered to the base board and the 10k 1/4W resistor can be trimmed and fitted neatly. The small black bit top right is the 10k SMD resistor IMG-7641.jpg

Once you got it all assembled, you can use the following template to for the module to work correctly:

{"NAME":"CBI Astute","GPIO":[131,56,0,0,0,21,0,0,134,17,132,0,0],"FLAG":0,"BASE":6}

Success! I still need to calibrate the voltage and power settings so the readings are accurate, but that's the case for pretty much any power monitoring device you flash with Tasmota.

CBI.png
 

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R4m80

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Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
255
Man, I wish I had any soldering skills. I will just have to forgo the Tasmotizing on my 2 units and use the Tuya app for the power monitoring and the Tuya integration in HA for normal on/off functionality.

These switches gets made in Lesotho by a SA company. Can we not get all the people on the Smartkit/Home Automation forum to sign a petition to ask them to rather use the ESP chip to make it compatible with HA?
 

gbyleveldt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
492
These switches gets made in Lesotho by a SA company. Can we not get all the people on the Smartkit/Home Automation forum to sign a petition to ask them to rather use the ESP chip to make it compatible with HA?

These specific ones made in Lesotho? I got the distinct impression it was very Chinese on the inside. Maybe they only get put in their enclosures locally?

I think their target market isn’t us HA guys. The whole ‘smart things’ market is pretty fragmented actually; there’s very little cohesion or standards in general. So hoping for any manufacturer to care about HA is pointless
 

R4m80

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
255
These specific ones made in Lesotho? I got the distinct impression it was very Chinese on the inside. Maybe they only get put in their enclosures locally?

I think their target market isn’t us HA guys. The whole ‘smart things’ market is pretty fragmented actually; there’s very little cohesion or standards in general. So hoping for any manufacturer to care about HA is pointless
Says so on the box. I know HA is not really on their radar, but what if we could put it on their radar. Just a thought. IMG_20201022_214610.jpg
 

Tinuva

The Magician
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
9,576
Seeing as everyone is trying to get a Sonoff POW to switch on their geaser (which is borderline on that one), some of the guys here tracked down the CBI Astute Smart Switch with power monitoring. What's cool about this one is that it's rated for 30A, making it ideal for switching on really heavy loads. It's also DIN rail mount, so easy to install in your DB board.

As others have noticed, these don't use the ESP8266 chips so cannot be made to run Tasmota as it uses the WR3E module which is Tuya only. After I've seen some pics I wondered how hard it would be to rip out the Tuya module and fit an ESP12F module. Well, turns out it's possible, but not super easy. Hold on to your hats...

Parts needed:
CBI Astute switch
https://www.liteglo.co.za/shop/cbi-astute-smart-controller/
ESP-12F Module
https://www.robotics.org.za/ESP-12F
You'll need 2 10k resistors as well, as the above ESP board doesn't have those fitted and the base board does not cater for it. I suggest a 10k 0805 SMD resistor and a 10k 1/4w leaded resistor. It'll be clear in the pics.

They come apart easy enough
View attachment 938410
View attachment 938408
View attachment 938406

Pic of the module that needs to be removed. I have a hot air station to remove multi pin parts; you can do it with solder wick but it's fiddly
View attachment 938394
Old module removed and base board prepared for the ESP module
View attachment 938396

To get the ESP to boot properly, you have to fit these resistors as shown. You'll want to flash it with Tasmota at this point as well
View attachment 938398
View attachment 938402

Once flashed, the ESP can be soldered to the base board and the 10k 1/4W resistor can be trimmed and fitted neatly. The small black bit top right is the 10k SMD resistor View attachment 938404

Once you got it all assembled, you can use the following template to for the module to work correctly:

{"NAME":"CBI Astute","GPIO":[131,56,0,0,0,21,0,0,134,17,132,0,0],"FLAG":0,"BASE":6}

Success! I still need to calibrate the voltage and power settings so the readings are accurate, but that's the case for pretty much any power monitoring device you flash with Tasmota.

View attachment 938434
Woah awesome work!

That is some awesome skeelz.

I don't have the hot air station but its a must when working with something like this. Really epic how you did it.
 

Rocket-Boy

Executive Member
Joined
Jul 31, 2007
Messages
8,858
Man, I wish I had any soldering skills. I will just have to forgo the Tasmotizing on my 2 units and use the Tuya app for the power monitoring and the Tuya integration in HA for normal on/off functionality.

These switches gets made in Lesotho by a SA company. Can we not get all the people on the Smartkit/Home Automation forum to sign a petition to ask them to rather use the ESP chip to make it compatible with HA?
They definitely arent manufactured by a SA company, being Tuya its sold as a module, the companies then build enclosures if they dont like the stock Tuya ones and add their branding.
The WR3E module is manufactured by Tuya for use in their devices.
 

gbyleveldt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
492
Woah awesome work!

That is some awesome skeelz.

I don't have the hot air station but its a must when working with something like this. Really epic how you did it.
Thanks man. If memory serves I think you sparked the idea in the first place
 

Tinuva

The Magician
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
9,576
Anyone have recommendations for a decent and hopefully not too expensive hot air station or similar to help remove the old WR3E board?

The rest of this howto is decently perfectly laid out really. Thanks @gbyleveldt

Thanks man. If memory serves I think you sparked the idea in the first place
Haha yeah I think so. At least my photos did :)
 

gbyleveldt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
492
Anyone have recommendations for a decent and hopefully not too expensive hot air station or similar to help remove the old WR3E board?

Do you want a hot air station for other things as well or do you need one just for this project? With hot air stations you kinda get what you pay for. That being said there's quite a few on Ali Express and the like. They'll work, I just doubt they'll last long and getting attachments will be a pain.

I use a BlackJack 4050 and it's seen daily use for the last 3 years without missing a beat. They're R3850 from Hot Tools in Edenvale and they carry spares for these. You get the Hakko type clones on Ali for around $150 if I remember, but when all is said and done it's not a LOT cheaper than the BlackJack once you factor in parts and quality. There's even cheaper ones on Ali, but hell that's just pouring money down the drain.

I've also got a Magnum 3004 station here, but it just doesn't seem to have the horsepower that the BlackJack has. Ideal for small SMD parts but just not enough oomph for something like these wifi boards.

Failing that, if you just want to use it for this project alone, you can send me the stripped base boards and I'll take the wifi boards off for you.

EDIT: Sheet, I see the BlackJack units are out of stock...
 

Tinuva

The Magician
Joined
Feb 10, 2005
Messages
9,576
Do you want a hot air station for other things as well or do you need one just for this project? With hot air stations you kinda get what you pay for. That being said there's quite a few on Ali Express and the like. They'll work, I just doubt they'll last long and getting attachments will be a pain.

I use a BlackJack 4050 and it's seen daily use for the last 3 years without missing a beat. They're R3850 from Hot Tools in Edenvale and they carry spares for these. You get the Hakko type clones on Ali for around $150 if I remember, but when all is said and done it's not a LOT cheaper than the BlackJack once you factor in parts and quality. There's even cheaper ones on Ali, but hell that's just pouring money down the drain.

I've also got a Magnum 3004 station here, but it just doesn't seem to have the horsepower that the BlackJack has. Ideal for small SMD parts but just not enough oomph for something like these wifi boards.

Failing that, if you just want to use it for this project alone, you can send me the stripped base boards and I'll take the wifi boards off for you.

EDIT: Sheet, I see the BlackJack units are out of stock...
Mostly for this project only. I don't have many projects where I would use this often at all.

Thanks for the offer, depends though, what city are you in?
 

grok

Honorary Master
Joined
Dec 20, 2007
Messages
22,199
How prudent is running your house wiring off something you soldered into your DB board yourself?
Asking for compliance certificate/insurance purposes & issues etc.
 

gbyleveldt

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2009
Messages
492
How prudent is running your house wiring off something you soldered into your DB board yourself?
Asking for compliance certificate/insurance purposes & issues etc.

If you modify it, you lose whatever certification it came with. That's the short version.

Looking at how bad the soldering is in general with cheap devices from China, it's difficult to do much worse. Same as all these no-name cheap USB chargers people happily buy from the local China mall - those should never be plugged into anything from a safety perspective. Alas, people still do it. So in the greater scheme of things your concern is moot. But, to be clear, refer to my first sentence.
 

MongooseMan

Expert Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2009
Messages
1,326
Man, I wish I had any soldering skills. I will just have to forgo the Tasmotizing on my 2 units and use the Tuya app for the power monitoring and the Tuya integration in HA for normal on/off functionality.

These switches gets made in Lesotho by a SA company. Can we not get all the people on the Smartkit/Home Automation forum to sign a petition to ask them to rather use the ESP chip to make it compatible with HA?

So can you confirm that, out of the box, these CBI Astutes will work with Home Assistant? (I don't care a huge amount about power monitoring, more about switch control)
 
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