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Automate blinds with Sonoff Dual

Part Three: Dashboard Configuration

Last edited: 01/09/2019

The Sonoff is an electrical device that uses high voltage. If you are unsure of the operation and connection of the Sonoff, ask an expert electrician for help. I take no responsibility for the installation of electrical materials and for the suggestions provided on this page.

Android App

Download the Android App Smart Blinds for Sonoff Dual only available for tablets.

Available on Google Play

This application implements the two main systems needed to control the Sonoffs:
  1. An MQTT broker that acts as a server and receives all messages from clients (Sonoff switches);
  2. A Dashboard that allows the user to interact with the Sonoffs to control the blinds.
This means that it is not necessary to have another device (eg RaspberryPi) as a MQTT broker because the app already implements one.

The app is only available for tablets because the bigger screen allows for more devices being shown in the dashboard. Plus, the tablet can be wall mounted to resemble a realistic smart dashboard.

The tablet and the Sonoffs must be connected to the same WiFi network!

MQTT configuration on the Sonoff Dual

MQTT is a publish-subscribe messaging protocol which is widely used in the Internet of Things. If you want to learn more about it, look for MQTT on Google.

To prepare the Sonoff for the connection, go to its web page and navigate to Configuration, then MQTT Configuration.

Once configuration is complete, click on Save to apply the changes.

Adding a new device in the app

First thing is to add all the Sonoff devices you wish to control. To start, simply click on the + button at the bottom left. This screen will appear:

After entering all the data, click on the check mark at the bottom right to confirm. If everything is successful, the new device will appear in the list on the left.

Starting the Dashboard

After adding all the devices (one at least) we will find ourselves with this screen:

Before starting the Dashboard we can choose some settings:

Eventually click Start the Dashboard to load the Dashboard in full-screen mode:

When the dashboard starts there is a short period of loading during which the tablet tries to establish the connection with the Sonoffs. In the image above the test device is connected. This can be seen by the color of the buttons.
The second device (entered for demonstration only) did not successfully connect and the buttons are gray until connection is made.

The configuration is finished. The app currently allows the addition of up to 11 devices. Probably this limit will be cut down with future updates.

Recommended scenario

I personally installed the application on a tablet and mounted the tablet to the wall.
To simulate a real dashboard I activated the screensaver from the Android settings. Here is a guide on how to activate the screensaver on Android devices.
In the application it is essential that the Keep the screen active setting is unchecked. The other two settings can be checked or not depending on your needs.
In this way we allow the tablet to activate the screensaver after a few seconds of inactivity. This way you can reactivate the tablet with just a single touch. Plus, the tablet will reactivate directly in the application.
I tried different combinations and I think this is the best so far.