V-Tac Wifi Switches

Emboldened by DigiBlur’s video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_O24tTzv8g&t=3411s) on setting up Tasmota on new smart devices I was on the look out for some nice WiFi wall switches. The Sonoff T1 is OK - but I’m not keen on the faceplate.

The V-Tac VT-500x range looked pretty similar but with a much cleaner plate. You never quite know which chip is inside so on the off chance I mailed the manufacturer. Within a day I had a response from a UK based representative who confirmed it as an ESP8285!

Not the cheapest buying through Amazon…VT-5005 but it was on prime and always gives the option to return. [VT-5005]

Appears identical to so many of the similar chinese clones. I popped the front off and could immediately see the relevant flashing pins exposed in nice little accessible solder pads. Just selecting the right options for an ESP8285 and had Tasmota on very quickly. (GPIO0) is exposed so can be grounded easily to put it into flash mode.

I found the relay pins but then could only find 1 of the touch switches. The Generic option doesn’t expsose all the ESP8285 possible pins. Scratching my head I then just tried a few of the Sonoff ESP8285 based options. In fact its exactly pin compatible with the Sonoff T1 it appears as that firmware works perfectly. Controls the blue blacklight to be off with 1 or more switches on…and on when all switches are off. Armed with the Pin details I moved onto ESPHomeYaml which I prefer for the direct API rather than MQTT.

I managed to recreate the basic operation in ESPHome after some messing about. Still feels there are some obvious elements missing still (w.g. why Can’t I have a trigger “on_state” for a switch…why do I have to template a sensor that follows the switch?!) but the ridiculously easy integration into HA is worth it.

End to end took a few hours as I struggled with ESPHome triggers…and HA YAML formatting… but its already on the wall and working now 24 hours after amazon delivered :slight_smile: I shall be buying a few more that’s for sure.

With my wires temp soldered for flashing…

And on the wall…

Nice work. Always good to see more local hardware wifi switch options.

I don’t fully understand what you mean by this though:

Only problem for me is the size. All my switches are architrave types mounted on door frames and in a lot of cases there isn’t room beside the frame on the plasterboard for full switch plates (e.g corners of rooms, kitchen back splashes, bathroom mirrors etc…).

in ESPHome you can define automations to make the switch more autonomous. In this case I wanted to handle the control of the backlight wholly within the switch rather than rely on HA automations. So its a limitation of what can and cant trigger events witihin ESP home (not a limitation on HA). Juts took a bit of trial and error to find a working solution.

Interesting. The lambda ESPhome functionality looked as powerful as the HA template functionality to me but I haven’t actually used it much.