HomeHome AutomationSonoff Micro - IoT switch with more than one secret

Sonoff Micro – IoT switch with more than one secret

The smallest in the family!

Imagine Sonoff Basic R3 (review) or Sonoff Smart Socket (hacking guide) but for USB ports. Is it an outlandish idea or is it something that is actually practical and useful? Sonoff Micro works like any other Sonoff switch, except, it manages USB-A instead of mains power supply. It’s also a device that carries a small secret.

Sonoff Micro for your USB ports

Right from the start, everyone’s question is: why not to use the smart socket instead – like Sonoff Socket? Price is probably one of the reasons as Sonoff Micro retails for $6.45 on the Itead Store which is about half of what would you pay for a smart socket.

The immediate argument would be that the smart socket is more practical, but if you have a specific USB use in mind, Sonoff Micro could be an option.

Like any other Sonoff

This IoT switch works like any other Sonoff device. I’m not sold on QR pairing method, as you have to keep the unique QR label, but it worked flawlessly. Once paired, Sonoff Micro appears among other eWeLink devices.

You have access to the usual settings – timers, schedules, inching and notification when the switch is in use. Since the eWeLink app is integrated with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa, you can toggle it with simple voice commands.

There is a button to change the state and rather small and dim LEDs that display the relay state and the device status. These could be much brighter if I’m honest and they are barely visible in the broad daylight.

Buy Sonoff Micro

Buy it using these links to support NotEnoughTech.

There is one thing missing…

There are limitations that you have to be aware of. The biggest one is – no data pass through. Sonoff Micro uses BC1.2 charging protocol. It uses data lanes D+, D- to negotiate the charging current and boost it up, but sacrifices the data transfer in the process.

You can turn things ON and OFF, but you can’t pass data via Sonoff Micro. It’s a shame.

Power delivery

There are no bells and whistles here either. Sonoff Micro is capable of 2.4A current, no Quick Charge or other protocols than BC1.2. Since there is no USB-C socket, and there is way too much space inside it, I decided to add a USB-C port myself! You can read about this project in this article: Sonoff Micro PLUS.

Inside

Sonoff Micro is hard to open, unlike other Itead products. Inside, the switch is amazingly small! Unlike other Sonoff products, this gadget isn’t ESP8266 based – it uses a new to me CKW04 marked with an eWeLink support label.

There is very little online about this IC. It’s going to be a while before we will see custom firmware available, so if you want to control the switch – your best bet at the moment is eWeLink API or waiting for firmware 3.5 and DIY mode 2.0.

Despite small size and no ESP on the PCB, Sonoff micro comes with the dev pads exposed, so there is a chance that sooner or later someone will come up with a custom firmware.

Sonoff Micro has a secret

I decided to explore eWeLink API in NodeRED further, to create a charge controller. The API allows pulling a detailed description of each registered device with the app. This is where I discovered that Sonoff Micro carries a secret.

Sonoff Micro uses a 4 channel controller firmware. Software-wise, Sonoff Micro can switch 4 relays independently. The actual control of the switch is only via channel 1 (Relay 0) but there are additional 3 channels available. Each one of them works in NodeRED. Why? If you take a look at the USB plug, you will see that the USB 2.0 standard is based on 4 wire interface.

It looks like the initial design of the Sonoff Micro supported data lanes, but during the course of development, the feature was never implemented into the hardware. It’s a shame, but something tells me a 4 channel Sonoff Micro would be more expensive.

Conclusion

Sonoff Micro isn’t going to be a mainstream device. A smart socket has much more to offer, but for the specific use cases, the switch might be just what you need. This product is also a departure from the open-source alike approach to sonoff devices as the gadget is sealed. Despite this, I have one or two projects in mind, and I will be posting about it in my next post (Smart overnight charging). Let me know what are your thoughts about Sonoff Micro in this Reddit thread.

Buy Sonoff Micro

Buy it using these links to support NotEnoughTech.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design
Features
Hack-ability

Disclaimer

This product has been sponsored by itead.cc, but I reserve the rights to a honest and unbiased opinion about the product..

Sponsored byreview

client-image

Other reviews

NAS at the prosumer level: Synology Diskstation DS418

0
It has been years since I looked at consumer NAS solutions. Turns out the space changed a lot and reasonably priced boxes like Synology DiskStation DS418 have a lot to offer

A much bigger power sandwich: MiniWare MDP-P906

0
MiniWare has released an updated MDP-P906 module for their MDP-XP series that brings 300W in an incredibly small form factor!

I changed my mind about GravaStar Venus

0
I looked the the product pictures not sure what to make out. When I finally got Gravastar Venus speaker in my hands I changed my mind.

Shellbot SL60 knows where you left your socks!

0
Shellbot SL60 knows exactly what you left on the floor. It won't just avoid it, but will also let you know that you are messy!

CZUR Aura Pro: 15 years too late to the party

0
Making a great device doesn't guarantee success. Is CZUR Aura Pro able to fulfil its niche and cater to customers?

Imou Cruiser 4MP: CCTV outdoors

0
Designed for the outdoors, Imou Cruiser 4MP brings excellent connectivity options alongside increased resolution and enhanced night imaging.

Sonoff, what were you thinking? Sonoff Cam Slim

0
Sonoff Cam Slim looks great and feels great in your hand, but what Sonoff was thinking? These limitations will make everyone angry!
Sonoff Micro - IoT switch with more than one secretSonoff Micro is the smallest in the Sonoff family. Control USB powered devices from anywhere thanks to eWeLink app! It's just a shame, it doesn't come with data transfer possibility.