Just an observation- does no one build their own devices any longer?

When I started using Home Assistant a few years ago, and Node Red before that, many users made their own devices. Usually with an ESP8266-01 or really fancy with a Wemos D1 Mini or NodeMCU.

People would share schematics, their PCB files and discuss design ideas. Have the DIY crowd become OTS users?

I avoid OTS, 80% of my devices are hand built. as long as they aren’t mains powered things like lights and power switches

Some things like power switches and monitors are slightly modified off the shelf ones… but they are failing rapidly after a couple of years, I’m actually not going to replace them, while they were good initially and it was great to see where my power usage was, now they are just numbers I never really look at. last week the power monitor switch that I use to monitor my HA server and security cameras and wifi etc died while I was away… couldn’t see what was happening at my place and missed some deliveries… but saved $2 worth of power while it was down haha

I’m working on a DIY plantation shutter project, the details are shared on the forums here. finding time to sit down and concentrate is getting harder now days.

I posted about the module connected to my 20 year old daikin AC unit… while it wasnt me who made the device, its very much a DIY project and took some reverse engineering to get it going.

I also made some changes to the AC dampers round my house too so i can control them via wifi and using “endstop covers” i can control the position of them. it was relatively simple with a 16ch relay module, an i2c current sensor, and a couple of bme280 pressure/temp/humidity sensors that i use to monitor backpressure. I’ve just ordered a few more dampers and I’m setting up a fresh air intake and doing some upgrades to a differential pressure sensor to monitor the backpressure. ill take some pictures when i make the changes.

Ive built several and regularly use room presence sensors. an esp8266 with an ld2410 and a bme280, added some neopixels for nightlight/alerts etc… these work well to turn lights on and off automatically. one day ill get an automation going to control the temperatures in the rooms. at the moment its just a notification when the solar is producing enough power and the temperature is above a certain level.

But i do agree there does seem to be less project shares these days… and i love seeing what other people are building!. while it is nice to go to the shop and buy something off the shelf its just not the same as 3d printing some parts, soldering together modules and programming it up… and saying i made that

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I build my own stuff, have done for years now. But then I am the kind who does everything myself. From diy around the house to gearbox rebuilds on cars.

Right now I am messing about with ESP32 s3’s running voice and media players in the hope of replacing Google assistant.

Right now I have 24 esphome devices and 3 in development. These devices often run more than one thing, like the presence sensors (ld2410) that also do temp, humidity and light levels

I do not think so.
It is just that the ESPHOME have made ESP devices accessible to a huge group of users that do not know how to design their own PCBs. These users typically just connect sensors and stuff with wires and then get a case where this can be fit into.

The PCB designing crowd is still there, but their percentage share of the community have fallen drtastically, due to the growth of the community.

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That would be someone like me

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I’m one of this small group, even though retired I like the keep my PCB design skill up to a reasonable level and with cost of boards being so cheap its a good way to keep busy.

Current project is a power controller for my solar hot water booster that fell of the radar when winter finished last year.

On my last project, the shipping cost more than the boards.

Here is a sensor I made to detect if my trash bins are present. That is, not out for pickup).

Breadboard:

PCB:

I have a mix of DIY, hacked OTS, and straight OTS devices, but my rate of both DIY creations and “hacking” existing devices/appliances has dropped off over the past year. For me, one of the main reasons for that is that I’ve moved away from WiFi for my devices and there is a distinct lack of an easy-to-use, ESPHome-or-Tasmota-like system for Zigbee. I even have a couple dumb-to-smart conversion projects that I’ve put on the back burner until I have the time to learn how to convert them to Zigbee.

If your programming skills are up to it, you can put Zigbee on the ESP32:
Expressif has a development kit for Zigbee and Matter; I’m pretty sure the IDK’s are free because Expressif wants to sell chips, not software. But programming this is way above my pay scale.