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Sonoff WiFi relay switch connection problem (and some questions)

Asheekay

Member
So I got a sonoff smart WiFi switch (RE5V1EC) to safely initiate all my potentially lethal chemical ignitions (methane balloons, chlorate powered rockets, enclosed butane vapors and all other cheap pyrotechnics you can imagine).

I quickly realized that:

1- it's a headache configuring this sonoff switch and successfully connecting it to my phone.

2- it was built for this type of rare use, but for a permanently powered type scenarios (smart home and all).

Here I discuss the first issue. After I was able to put the device in connection mode (after much frustration and googling), I was finally able to connect to it as a WiFi router.

Now comes the puzzling part. It's about the app eWeLink.

Screenshot_2022-09-28-13-13-31-77.jpg


I select Quick Pairing (because the device supports eWeLink) and I get this:

IMG-20220928-WA0002.jpg


This takes me to my phone settings and no matter what I click or select, it never successfully finds an "access point for device sharing" (whatever that means).

Any help in this regard will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

rjenkinsgb

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I believe it means the device must be connected to your home WiFi (or some other accessible WiFi) at some point in the setup sequence, and that is what it is telling you to select in your settings.
 

For The Popcorn

Active Member
Apparently you want to use the Sonoff as a portable device, not connected to the wifi network.

One way to do this would be to turn on your phone's hot spot and connect the Sonoff directly to your phone rather than a different wifi network.
 

Reloadron

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
I believe what For The Popcorn mentions is the issue. Most newer smart phones can be set as a mobile hot spot so if your phone has the feature you may want to look into that. I have used my phone this way when we lost Internet and it worked fine.

Should that be the case here is another option. Use a simple wireless relay card. You can find dozens of them on Amazon and inexpensive. One channel to four channel and more. I played around with a X001M1KEXF which came with two key fobs. Open areas I can get about 100 yards less with walls or losing line of sight. Anyway if you want to play with remote pyrotechnics one of these should work fine.

Ron
 

Asheekay

Member
I believe it means the device must be connected to your home WiFi (or some other accessible WiFi) at some point in the setup sequence, and that is what it is telling you to select in your settings.
That's what I initially thought, too.

Alas, if/when I click on my home WiFi router, it immediately disconnects my phone from the sonoff WiFi and connects it to the home WiFi router.

It does not "select" the home WiFi router.

Also, what if I want to use this sonoff in situations (outdoor) where my home network isn't available?
 

Asheekay

Member
Apparently you want to use the Sonoff as a portable device, not connected to the wifi network.

One way to do this would be to turn on your phone's hot spot and connect the Sonoff directly to your phone rather than a different wifi network.

Wait. How would I connect the sonoff to my phone when I use my phone as a hotspot instead of using the sonoff device as a WiFi router??
 

Reloadron

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Your sonoff devices or similar are just client devices they are not a router type device. Next when you enable most phones as a mobile hot spot it disables the WiFi. You can read about it here and while the reference is to Samsung Galaxy flavors it pretty much holds true for all phones when used as a hot spot.

I assume your Sonoff device is one of these? I have the same relay card, actually two of them. While they work fine with E-Welink I just use Amazon Alexa since all my other stuff is on Alexa. When I initially set them up it was with E-Welink and as I recall it took a few tries. I assume you have an E-Welink account all set up. You do have the instructions for setup where you press the Match button on your relay card and in the E-Welink account on your phone you tap + You hold the Match button for about 7 seconds till the red LED on the relay card id doing a fast blink. Again, if you plan to use the relay board outside your home network range I suggest a simple wireless remote with key fob.

All of this needs done within range of your home network. Again, those relay cards will not work beyond range of your home WiFi network. Within range you should be able to setup the relay board. Also your home network must have 2.4 GHz band enabled if it has more than one band. I power my boards with the 7 to 30 volt connector using 12.0 volts.

When you get the screen shown in your first post on your phone you select Quick Pairing.

Ron
 

Asheekay

Member
Should that be the case here is another option. Use a simple wireless relay card. You can find dozens of them on Amazon and inexpensive. One channel to four channel and more. I played around with a X001M1KEXF which came with two key fobs. Open areas I can get about 100 yards less with walls or losing line of sight. Anyway if you want to play with remote pyrotechnics one of these should work fine.

Ron

Yes. This is exactly the case.

I do have a couple of ESP8266 - ESP01S WiFi relay switches for this purpose.

The problem is: they start lagging in their switching on-off and sometimes become completely unresponsive (usually after 5 minutes of usage).

I was unable to find a solution for this really annoying issue and that's why I ended up buying this sonoff switch. I was thinking this would be easier to use and more reliable ...
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
Yes. This is exactly the case.

I do have a couple of ESP8266 - ESP01S WiFi relay switches for this purpose.

The problem is: they start lagging in their switching on-off and sometimes become completely unresponsive (usually after 5 minutes of usage).

I was unable to find a solution for this really annoying issue and that's why I ended up buying this sonoff switch. I was thinking this would be easier to use and more reliable ...
The sonoff switch is almost certainly just an ESP8266, and you can download new software to make it locally controllable (but as you don't have the original code, you can't restore it afterwards). The sonof software is designed for distant control via a server (presumably in China?), and requires setting an account up (for free) in order to use it.

I've had one a number of years now, and it took months and months to be able to get an account working, and the switching running OK - you're supposed to receive a reply when you register, and I never did. Then, after giving up for ages, I tried it again and that time it worked - it's been happily running ever since, using Alexa to switch a bed side light for my wife.
 

ronsimpson

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
The sonof software is designed for distant control via a server (presumably in China?), and requires setting an account up (for free) in order to use it.
I use Sonoff without an account. I can turn on/off and have time/temperature functions all locally.
There are powerful functions that require and account.
When my internet is down the local functions work.
I say "China server" but actually there are many servers worldwide.
If you want to talk to Sonoff+ewelink directly, there is a Facebook connection.
 

Nigel Goodwin

Super Moderator
Most Helpful Member
I use Sonoff without an account. I can turn on/off and have time/temperature functions all locally.
There are powerful functions that require and account.
When my internet is down the local functions work.
I say "China server" but actually there are many servers worldwide.
If you want to talk to Sonoff+ewelink directly, there is a Facebook connection.
Yours is perhaps later than mine then?, mine had/has no local options.
 

Asheekay

Member
The sonoff switch is almost certainly just an ESP8266, and you can download new software to make it locally controllable (but as you don't have the original code, you can't restore it afterwards). The sonof software is designed for distant control via a server (presumably in China?), and requires setting an account up (for free) in order to use it.

I wish it were ...

When trying to pair with it through ewelink, it demands a "WiFi access point" and wouldn't let me be content with using it offline.

And I don't know how to connect to it through my home WiFi (because I can't "select" the home WiFi when demanded to. It simply disconnects the sonoff wifi and my phone connects to the home WiFi).

It's getting frustrating at this point ...
 

For The Popcorn

Active Member
Since you don't want to use it at "home", don't set it up with your home wifi network.

If your phone supports being a wifi Hotspot, do this.

1. Set up your phone's Hotspot. The pictures are from my Android phone.

SmartSelect_20220930_103023_Settings.jpg


Be sure to choose the 2.4GHz band.

2. Open the Ewelink app, click the plus sign at the top to add a device, and click quick pairing.

Fill in the network name and password from step 1, make sure you phone Hotspot is enabled, and follow the instructions from here.

Screenshot_20220930_103551_eWeLink.jpg


After this is done, you will be able to use the Sonoff device any time your phone Hotspot is on and within range.

If your phone does not have the Hotspot feature, you're out of luck if you want to use the Sonoff away from whatever network it's configured for.
 

Reloadron

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Since you don't want to use it at "home", don't set it up with your home wifi network.

If your phone supports being a wifi Hotspot, do this.

1. Set up your phone's Hotspot. The pictures are from my Android phone.

View attachment 138793

Be sure to choose the 2.4GHz band.

2. Open the Ewelink app, click the plus sign at the top to add a device, and click quick pairing.

Fill in the network name and password from step 1, make sure you phone Hotspot is enabled, and follow the instructions from here.

View attachment 138794

After this is done, you will be able to use the Sonoff device any time your phone Hotspot is on and within range.

If your phone does not have the Hotspot feature, you're out of luck if you want to use the Sonoff away from whatever network it's configured for.
The problem is if you setup most smart phones as a mobile hot spot, as I posted earlier, they have their WiFi disabled so now how do you use the phone with a Sonoff device?

For about $20 USD a wireless relay card can be had which will offer 4 channels and an effective range of about 100 meters for playing with pyrotechnic devices.

Ron
 

For The Popcorn

Active Member
Ummm. When a phone is a "hotspot", the wifi is turned on to share cell eithernet access with other devices via wifi. I guess some older phones used USB for network sharing. My Android Note20 will even act as a wifi Hotspot sharing a wifi connection with other devices (e.g., my phone can be connected to "TheirNetwork" by wifi (no cell service available) and I can connect devices to "MyNetwork" and those devices can access internet provided by "TheirNetwork". This feature (sharing a wifi connection) isn't available on my partner's iPhone.

I'm not arguing that the Sonoff is an ideal solution. But the solution I suggested is workable for phones that can act as a wifi hotspot.
 

Reloadron

Well-Known Member
Most Helpful Member
Well short of taking screen shots here is what I just did. Wife and I both have Samsung Galaxy phones. Making a hot spot disables WiFi which is covered in the link I posted when I mentioned this.
Things to keep in mind before using a hotspot:
Mobile hotspots are extremely useful, but there are some things you need to keep in mind when using one on your device:
  • In order to use a hotspot, you must have a tethering plan on your service account.
  • Mobile hotspots consume battery power and use data service.
  • While a mobile hotspot is active, your device's apps will use the mobile hotspot's data service.
  • Roaming while using your phone or tablet as a hotspot may incur extra data charges.
  • Activating a mobile hotspot will disable Wi-Fi.
  • Only LTE tablets can create hotspots, not regular tablets.


  • Enter the problem. So I went ahead and enabled my wife's phone as a mobile hotspot and used my phone with the E-Welink and it worked fine but I can't make my phone a hotspot and use anything WiFi on the phone just like the directions covered. I can also use the Alexa App using wife's phone as a hot spot. I see you mention Android which is exactly what these two phones are.

  • Ron
 

For The Popcorn

Active Member
You can underline, bold and italic that all you want, but Sir, you are incorrect. How do you share your phone's cellular internet if not by wifi????

Ok, you are right to a very limited degree with some phones. If you turn on your Hotspot, you may not be able to be connected to upstream wifi (i.e., your home wifi) but the use case of using a Sonoff with a "local" network provided by your phone will work.
 

Asheekay

Member
I use Sonoff without an account. I can turn on/off and have time/temperature functions all locally.
There are powerful functions that require and account.
When my internet is down the local functions work.
Pray tell me how you accomplished this impossible feat, o great sage.

For the love of all that's holy, I haven't been able to turn on a single LED with my sonoff ...
Since you don't want to use it at "home", don't set it up with your home wifi network.

If your phone supports being a wifi Hotspot, do this.

1. Set up your phone's Hotspot. The pictures are from my Android phone.

View attachment 138793

Be sure to choose the 2.4GHz band.

2. Open the Ewelink app, click the plus sign at the top to add a device, and click quick pairing.

Fill in the network name and password from step 1, make sure you phone Hotspot is enabled, and follow the instructions from here.

View attachment 138794

After this is done, you will be able to use the Sonoff device any time your phone Hotspot is on and within range.

If your phone does not have the Hotspot feature, you're out of luck if you want to use the Sonoff away from whatever network it's configured for.

I am already doing all of this.

The problem arises after I hit "NEXT". It demands to be shown a "WiFi access point" and won't add the device until I do that.

I'm stuck at this stage

I believe it means the device must be connected to your home WiFi (or some other accessible WiFi) at some point in the setup sequence, and that is what it is telling you to select in your settings.

Yes. I think the same.

Question being: how do I connect the sonoff to my home WiFi?

And more importantly, why, when I intend to use it offline as a simple WiFi relay switch just like an ESP8266? I don't want some overseas, out of town control of a smart home or anything like that.
 
Last edited:

For The Popcorn

Active Member
I am already doing all of this.

The problem arises after I hit "NEXT". It demands to be shown a "WiFi access point" and won't add the device until I do that.

I'm stuck at this stage

As I have explained twice now, the phone Hotspot IS THE WIFI ACCESS POINT to allow you to operate away from your home wifi. Perhaps I don't understand your use case.
 

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