HomeReviewIn case RF433 isn't going away - Sonoff RF bridge

In case RF433 isn’t going away – Sonoff RF bridge

RF433 is still relevant!

Long before Zigbee, Bluetooth, WiFi and other protocols become a long awaiting standard at our homes, Radiofrequency 433.92MHz was the bandwidth to use to send radio signals from A to B. With an impressive range and next to none latency, and low power consumption (5-40mA), RF433 quickly become a go-to protocol for remote communication. Unfortunately, the dated technology is capped at 9.6kbps, prone to radio interference from other sources and relatively easy to intercept. Is RF going away? Itead Studio thinks not for a while, offering Sonoff RF bridge to add a modern twist to the dated tech.

Sonoff RF bridge

RF433 won’t disappear overnight. Sonoff RF bridge wants to close the gap between smart automation as we know it, and RF signals. The bridge is small and powered by 5V via microUSB. It connects to 2.4GHz band and is able of receiving and sending RF433 signals.

It’s disappointing to see that Sonoff RF bridge natively supports only RF433 signals from its own ecosystem and there is no access to raw RF data.

Up until now, you could only use Sonoff RF remote with RF433 enabled sonoff devices. Sonoff RF changes this, allowing you to store up to 16 signals in its memory. Here are Sonoff devices that are RF compatible:

RF triggers RF433 devices
RM433 Remote Sonoff RFR3 Basic
Sonoff PIR2 Sonoff RF Basic
Sonoff DW1 Sonoff 4CH Pro & R2
RF Remote 4-button Sonoff iFan03
Sonoff TX series
Sonoff Dimmer D1
Sonoff Slampher R2

Buy Sonoff RF Bridge

Buy it using these links to support NotEnoughTech.

You will be able to link it to any device in your eWeLink ecosystem.

Setup

The pairing process was simple. Select quick pairing, make sure you are connected to 2.4GHz bandwidth and your Sonoff RF bridge will pop to the list of eWeLink devices after a minute.

Sonoff RF bridge is another device that refuses to update the firmware without trickery. It happened to me before with Sonoff R3 Basic where I had to create an AP on my mobile to force the update through 🤷‍♂️.

Remote Paring

I got the Sonoff 4 button remote a while back, so I wanted to pair it. The procedure is simple and easy to follow. I paired my remote on my first try. Add the device type from your list, then press each button on the interface to set it into pairing mode. Tap a corresponding button on the Sonoff RF remote and you are good to go.

Sonoff RF bridge in use

Sonoff RF bridge works in 2 modes. It acts as a hub between RF433 sensors (PIR, door sensor) and uses these as triggers for eWeLink app scenes, or you can pair the Sonoff RF remote, and have the bridge send the same RF signals as you would with your remote.

Come to think of this, Sonoff RF tries to fill a very niche use. It’s not something I really need in my setup, and with Zigbee becoming cheaper and simply better, RF433 becomes more redundant.

Inside we have

I had a cheeky look inside to see what the Sonoff RF bridge is made of. It is an ESP8285 based module with RF433 chip.

It’s nice to see properly exposed pins. There are 4 sets of GPIO pins:

  • Serial (Vcc, RT, TX, GND)
  • SPI(?) (Vcc, C2CK, C2D, GND)
  • GPIO (Vcc, GPIO 04, GPIO05, GND)
  • Serial (SDA, TC, RX, Vcc, GND)
  • ON/OFF toggle (flash)

Two more pins are exposed at the bottom of the PCB: GPIO12 and GPIO14.

Buy Sonoff RF Bridge

Buy it using these links to support NotEnoughTech.

Conclusion

Sonoff RF bridge isn’t expensive (around $15) but feels somehow limited. Adding Tasmota to the mix would enable other RF devices, but due to hardware limitations, you would be still limited to 16 RF inputs. Reading Tasmota documents, it’s possible to get the raw data from the RF signal, but considering Zigbee alternatives, I’m inclined not to explore this further (for now). I only have Sonoff RF devices at home (mostly for testing purposes) so I’m lacking the drive to explore this further. What do you think my dear reader? Let me know in the Reddit thread.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Compatible Devices
Features
Range
Price

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

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!

I torture-tested yeedi vac 2 pro

0
I have a new smart vacuum at home - yeedi vac 2 pro with an oscillating mop - will it make the difference to my floors?

Trying ASMR with Tonor TC30 microphone

0
Tonor has sent me a new desktop mic - this time Tonor TC30 and I'm going to find out if I could become a next ASMR sensation
Aqara Camera Hub G3

This camera is everything: Aqara Camera Hub G3

0
Aqara Camera Hub G3 brings more features and options than any other home gadget. Zigbee, AI, Camera, and more - all in one

OBSBOT Tiny 4K – now, with something cooler than 4K

0
The most exciting feature of OBSBOT Tiny 4K isn't 3840 x 2160 sensor resolution, but much improved image quality and...

SwitchBot Camera PT dropped the antlers

0
It's the second camera from SwitchBot, this time with 360 degrees of movement, tracking and more. Check out the full review of SwitchBot Camera PT
In case RF433 isn't going away - Sonoff RF bridge Long before Zigbee, Bluetooth, WiFi and other protocols become a long awaiting standard at our homes, Radiofrequency 433.92MHz was the bandwidth to use to send radio signals from A to B. With an impressive range and next to none latency, and low power consumption...