I bought two more of theses switches, and bought some second-hand powerlan adapters, also from MyStrom. This ended up being a total waste of time, the stuff I got sold on Ricardo was crap, some of the adapters did not work, others I could not control because they were registered to another user, which was different from the seller, it seems. When I complained, the seller sent (at my expenses) more broken devices, so I have more stuff to dump into the e-tram. The system has three types of adapters:
- Red ones that act as routers and are connected to the local area network using an ethernet cable, they can measure power consumption but cannot act as power switches (they are always on).
- Blue ones that have an ethernet port, so you could connect a device to them. The link speed is nothing special (200 Mb/s), they can measure the power consumption and act as power-switches.
- White ones that have no ethernet port, they can just measure the power consumption and acts as switches, in a sense they are the closest to the newer devices, except they use the power lines as a network instead of Wifi
From the seven devices I got (four in the original order, three replacements), only two of them work fully: the red one and a white one. One of the blue one worked – but as I was missing the code, I could only use the network link, and have a power switch controlled by some random dude on the internet – still I learnt a lot about these devices trying to make them work, which clearly use the same chipset as the ones from AWM Fritz: my Fritzbox was able to control the control lights and the pairing. There is something absurd in being able to control the control LEDs of a power switch, but not the switch itself…
Even the working device had another issue: they are huge and completely block the power connector, this is particularly bad for wall sockets with multiple plugs, or an adjacent switch.
The other thing I was looking at was HomeBridge, I had managed to control the switches by the way of my laptop, but this was not very useful as I want the system to work when my laptop is off. I tried building the package for my NAS, but I ran into build/deployment problems, the system requires some multicast DNS infrastructure, and this something that is not fully standardised between the various Linuxes, and I always run into problems with this on my Synology NAS.
I finally got it to run on a raspberry Pi, which is cool, except by then MyStrom had added direct Homekit support to the newer switches, and the HomeBridge package for MyStrom did not support the old ones – it looks like a simple fix, but I don’t want to run a service for a single switch that uses a full plug.
I found these switches really useful for turning on and off the various appliances that connect to my laptop on my work desk: dock, screen, etc. having a Siri voice command instead of crawling under the table to turn it on and off is nice.
The other switches ended up being on light switch duty – now that we have a baby, being able to turn lights on and off remotely with one hand is actually quite handy. I would also like to automate things a bit more – currently MyStrom is quite limited, you can set the state of the switch from automation systems like HomeKit or IFTT, but you cannot read it. I also need some lights that can be dimmed a lot, the Phillips Hue white lightbulb was promising but is still too bright.