The ‘Wevolor’ (referred to hereafter as ‘Wevolor’, or ‘device’) is software running on an ESP32 development board. It takes commands from 'If This Then That' (hereafter IFTTT). IFTTT can be triggered by many events including home automation such as Amazon Echo (hereafter 'Alexa') and Google Home. The Wevolor relays the actions to the Levolor Premium 6-Channel Remote Control (referred to hereafter as ‘remote’). If configured correctly the Wevolor can take (via IFTTT) Google Home or Alexa such as “Alexa, trigger close the blinds”, or timed commands like closing the blinds at sunset and opening them at 6am. Those commands are then relayed to the remote to execute the action.
You should have an IFTTT Account and optionally a home automation hub such as Amazon Echo.
You should have a Levolor 6-channel remote which is paired with one or more blinds so you can successfully open and close the blind(s) using the remote. Make sure the remote has good batteries and is physically close (within 10 feet) of your Wevolor.
Note: The Wevolor requires IFTTT, and the Levolor Premium 6-channel remote. Amazon Echo / Google Home etc. are optional. See IFTTT for home automation and other triggers supported.
Power the device on by connecting a USB power supply to the device micro-USB connector.
Check the bright blue LED on the board is on. Note: some devices have a dim constantly flashing blue LED or a red LED - this shows the board is powered and can be ignored. The bright blue LED signifies the board is in ‘setup mode’. If this is your first time powering your Wevolor and the bright blue LED is not solidly lit, you may need to reset the device using the reset button on the device itself, or by removing and reconnecting power. Note: If you are using a board other than the Lolin32, the blue LED may not light. contact the developer for details on how to solve.
A WiFi network ('access point') is 'served' by the Wevolor device to allow setup. On a phone or computer, connect to the 'Wevolor' WiFi network. Password is 'setupmode'. Note: It may takes a minute or so for the WiFi network to show up in the available networks list on your phone or computer, if it’s not there, wait a minute.
Once connected to the Wevolor WiFi. Type '192.168.4.1' into the browser.
A 'Configure your Wevolor' page should be presented.
IMPORTANT: The unique 16-character identifier(UID) for your Wevolor should be noted. It is needed when setting up IFTTT and for accessing the myWevolor website.
Configure the following sections:
WiFi - enter the SSID (name) and Password of your home 2.4G WiFi. Note: ESP32 boards do not support 5G WiFi. Both have a maximum length of 31 characters. The password is shown as you type it, but you are the only one who can see it. It's important you get the SSID and password correct, so double check.
Name - If you have only one remote you can leave this blank. If you have more than one you can specify which you want the Wevolor to connect to. The name should match exactly the name the remote was given in the Levolor phone App.
Group - Set what blind group or groups you want to open and close. These are the same as the 6 numbered buttons on the remote. Default is Group 1.
Note: The remote-key required in version 5.1.x is no longer required.
'Submit' the form with the green button. A red 'RESTART' button will appear. If you are happy with your settings, hit the RESTART button to apply your configuration.
Close the browser window or tab, as configuration is now complete. The bright blue LED should now be off, and there should no longer be a 'Wevolor' WiFi network available.
You can check whether your Wevolor connected by going to https://wevolor.com/myWevolor and entering your unique 16-character identifier(UID). If status pops up then your Wevolor connected to the server and is configured correctly. At this stage the 'set' and 'acknowledge' will be blank since no commands have yet been sent.
Go to the IFTTT web site or Download the IFTTT app on your phone. If you don't already have an account, sign up for free.
IFTTT has 'triggers' (this) and 'actions' (that). Using Alexa as the example, a voice command "Alexa open the blinds" is our trigger and the Wevolor activating the remote is the action.
On the IFTTT web site, click the 'Create' menu item taking you to a 'Create Your Own' page. Click on 'This' and select the Amazon Alexa service or your preferred service such as Google Assistant etc. Follow the steps to configure IFTTT to access your account, and set your specific trigger. For example, with Alexa the trigger can be "Say a specific phrase".
Next click on 'That'. Wevolor uses the 'Webhooks' action service. Click on it and select 'Make a web request'. This is where the unique 16-character identifier you noted earlier comes in. Let's assume it was '00112233AABBCCDD'. The URL field should be set to 'https://hghst.net:9443/set/00112233AABBCCDD/open' to open the blinds. 'https://hghst.net:9443/set/00112233AABBCCDD/close' would be the URL to close the blinds. Make sure you use your Wevolor's unique 16-character identifier and the correct action. Also note that alpha characters in the identifier are always upper case, and the actions lower case.
Wevolor supports 'open', 'close', 'tiltopen', 'tiltclose', 'stop' and 'favorite'.
To override the default group(s) that commands are sent to, simply add '/123' to the command to execute on groups 1,2 and 3. Adding '/123456' would execute the command on all six groups.
Multiple Wevolors can be 'set' with a single command if required. Add additional 16-character identifiers to 'set' commands
separated by a '+'.
For example 'https://hghst.net:9443/set/00112233AABBCCDD+22446688AACCDDFF/open' would send the open command to two Wevolors.
As well as the actions listed above, one additional is 'toggle'. Sending toggle will open your blinds if previously closed and vice versa. Note: If toggle is used before an 'open' or 'close' command is set, it will initially open your blinds. Toggle allows a single IFTTT action to be set up which both opens and closes your blinds (handy since IFTTT recently changed to only allowing three applets to be configured without paying for a Pro account).
Other field can be left as their defaults. Note: The Method must be left as 'GET', and the Content Type can be 'text/plain'.
Save. IFTTT should show you your new 'Applet' for example 'If you say "Alexa trigger open the blinds", then make a web request'. Note the 'trigger' word in there. If you prefer not to have that you can set a routine in the Alexa app to recognize "Alexa, open the blinds" without the 'trigger' word.
Go ahead and say to Alexa "Alexa, trigger open the blinds" and your blinds should activate.
Repeat for the other actions you wish Alexa to perform (close, tiltopen, etc.).
If there is an issue, see ‘Troubleshooting’ below.
If the bright blue LED is solid-on at any time the device has not been able to connect to the WiFi and has gone back to setup mode. It will cycle between retrying the WiFi and setup. If the bright blue LED is on you can repeat the ‘Steps to Configuring’ above, to make changes to the WiFi or other settings.
If the device is connected to the WiFi and operational you can make changes by navigating to https://wevolor.com/myWevolor and entering the unique ID of your Wevolor. See 'Other Useful Features' below for details.
To access your Wevolor during normal operation, go to https://wevolor.com/myWevolor and enter the 16 character unique ID of your Wevolor. Once the correct Unique ID is entered, status of your Wevolor will be shown (this is accessible anywhere):
The second panel has a link that allows you to connect to your Wevolor directly (only works if you are on the same WiFi network):
Wevolor Local Status and Commands gives additional information about the state of your Wevolor and a way to send commands directly to it. This is good when you want quick response time - like when issuing a 'STOP' command - however commands sent this way will not be shown in the 'myWevolor' status.
The top panel gives a way to access the Setup page of your Wevolor to reset configuration details. It also shows any available software updates. In general if there are software updates available, it's recommended to install the latest.
If you believe the device is properly configured, yet is not performing as expected, try resetting the device with the ‘reset’ button.
If you still believe the device is not performing properly, please take a look at the 'Wevolor Status' panel at https://wevolor.com/myWevolor (if not previously entered, you'll need to enter the 16 character unique ID). On the lower panel, click one of the links. If setup is not shown, or the command interface panels remain grayed-out, make sure you are on the same local network as your Wevolor.
If you are on the same network, but your Wevolor is not being found, check whether the bright blue LED is solid-on (remove the lid of the box if it's in a box). If it is, then the device has reentered setup mode. Retry the ‘Steps to configuring’ being especially careful about the spelling and capitalization of the WiFi settings.
If the Command Interface page connects to the local Wevolor, the Status Panel display the 'BLE State'. The ‘BLE State’ should be one of the following:
"BLE INITIAL" - the device has not found the Remote. Move it physically closer – within 10 feet. Make sure the batteries in the remote are good. If you named the remote, make sure it exactly matches the name in the Levolor app.
"REMOTE FOUND & READY" – the Remote is found and is ready to receive commands. This is the expected state if all is well.
"REMOTE CONNECTED" – the Remote has received a command and is executing it. The Wevolor will automatically disconnect from the remote once the action is complete, in order to save the remote’s batteries. If your blinds are not responding check the remote is working properly by using it to open/close. Also check the ‘group’ is set properly in the Wevolor configuration.
Any other problems, please contact me via e-mail at email@example.com. Please send as much background information as you can, and a description of the error. Suggestions for features and changes are also welcomed.
The https://hghst.net:9443 website mentioned above sits between IFTTT and your Wevolor. Your Wevolor polls that site to see if new commands are available to execute. The advantage of this method is your Wevolor stays safely on your local WiFi network with no special ports needing to be opened which otherwise might be a security risk. If for whatever reason the hghst.net site is down, your Wevolor will not operate correctly. While every effort will be made to keep the website operational, occasional outages can't be ruled out. Also, your Wevolor sends information to the website for purposes of recording status, and developing/improving the Wevolor code. That information is limited to the last boot time of the Wevolor (to understand how stable it is). No confidential information (such as WiFi credentials) are ever sent or visible in any way to the developer. An encoded version of your Wevolor's local IP address is send (so the wevolor.com/myWevolor page knows where to find your Wevolor) but that is only readable by the Wevolor code and is secure. If you are interested to view the information sent, go to https://hghst.net:9443/status/your-unique-16-character-Wevolor-id. If you want to know what the time numbers mean http://hghst.net can help with that.
There's no membership or cost to running your Wevolor but if you feel inclined to help me pay for the website hosting etc. you can Buy me a coffee
(©) Copyright 2020, Roger Hoggarth.