Shelly - new kid on the block?

#1

Thanks @Jon for this channel, it got me interested in playing with IOT devices and sensors.

A couple of months ago I was introduced to a new smart home automation solution while watching The Hook Up on YouTube - The Shelly by Allterco. For a change they aren’t made in China, moreover they are European and made in Bulgaria.

Having used different Sonoff devices around my home, I thought I would spend a few of my hard-earnt euros and buy a Shelly1 - cheapest and most basic type.

For those interested, you can flash Tasmota, Espurna and other firmware but so far, I haven’t bothered. I have it running the stock firmware, using MQTT to a local broker (this disables the cloud connection) and have it controlled through Home Assistant. The flash process is a little more complex that Sonoff which was probably why I haven’t bothered so far. That said, the Shelly App is pretty slick as is their device GUI and with more local control it hardly seems worth it at this time. Additionally, there is a great Facebook page offering support and they are adding enhancements with every firmware release.

The guys at Allterco who design these devices have a completely different design methodology to the Chinese:

  • The Shelly makes Sonoff look huge (they are the size of 2 stacked Oreos!) - and are meant to sit in the wall box behind the switch
  • They don’t have their own switch, it’s all external (may make flashing more complex)
  • The design is completely differently to Sonoff! It switches the live line differently
  • The range is growing, though delivery is a little on the slow side

Now I think where these devices will come into their own is that the company has just started to get UL certification which, if my understanding is correct, means that it opens up a whole host of possibilities to the American ‘tinkerer’. As they are made in Europe, they already have the necessary certification.

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#2

I just bought four of them and I have to say, I am impressed. The first thing I did after pulling it from the box and exclaiming, “Ahhh… how cute!” Was to pop the plug out of the bottom exposing the Gpio pins and built a cable dedicated to flashing these with Jon’s Sonoff FTDI adapter board. I whacked Tasmota on it using the exact same script I use for all my Sonoffs and it went flawlessly. I connected to it via wifi and reconfigured and Viola’… a not-Sonoff smart switch. What attracted me to this device is the ability to jam it into a switch box and use the existing wall switch to keep the wife happy. I saw Digiblur’s video on the Shelly one where he modifies a Decora paddle switch to be momentary and I am doing that with some Legrand switches from Lowes. I would use Sonoffs but they are just too big and my home is already wired so that is no an option. Looking forward to actually installing them.

#3

I started the remodel project that involved some electrical rework which conveniently allowed me to do my first Shelly1 install. My… such convenient timing, huh? :see_no_evil::hear_no_evil::speak_no_evil: So, I can say for sure that the install was really easy. This does however add a bunch of mass to the interior of the box. I put it into the back of a dual gang, large cu. in. volume box and I am glad they used the largest one they could because with 2 switches, one of them being a 3 way, and the Shelly, it was pretty full. I had modified a new flat style switch like what Digiblur showed on his video by putting a small foam weatherstrip block under the paddle so it becomes momentary (because the foam won’t let the switch go over center and latch in the on position). With a couple tweaks to the config on it (Tasmota), I had a working setup that toggles pretty slick like. I put a couple timers in Tasmota for on/off at sunrise/sunset and I am quite happy with it. I can add it into my automation setup and do some Node Red flows once I get all the rest of my outside lighting Sonoff’s installed.