The ‘Wevolor’ (referred to hereafter as ‘Wevolor’, or ‘device’) is software running on a small microprocessor board (ESP32). It is paired securely with a messaging server ('server') which can take commands from a variety of sources. Assuming the main use will be from Amazon Echo ('Alexa') or Google Home users, it utilizes 'If This Then That' ('IFTTT'). The Wevolor connects to the Levolor Premium 6-Channel Remote Control (‘remote’). If configured correctly the Wevolor can take (via IFTTT) Google Home or Alexa commands such as “Alexa, 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.
If you wish to use Alexa or Google Home, you should have an IFTTT Account.
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.
If you have multiple remotes, and wish to name the specific one to use, you will need to install the Levolor app on your phone, name the remote, and ensure you can send commands to the blinds from the app.
Note: The Wevolor only works with the Levolor Premium 6-channel remote.
Configure the Wevolor to connect to the WiFi and the remote, and optionally to the messaging server.
Power the device by connecting a USB power supply to its micro-USB connector. The supply should be good for at least 1A @ 5V. Devices usually have a dim constantly flickering blue LED or a red LED - this shows the board is powered.
Check the bright blue LED on the board is on. 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 (typically labeled 'reset', 'rst' or 'EN') on the device itself, or by removing and reconnecting power. Note: If you built you own Wevolor the blue LED may not light. Setup allows for testing and setting (see 'Other Settings' below) other LED pin numbers and the correct polarity.
A WiFi network ('access point') is served by the Wevolor 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 your browser.
A 'Configure your Wevolor' page should be presented.
IMPORTANT: The unique 16-character (made up of 0-9 and A-F characters) identifier for your Wevolor should be noted. It is needed when sending commands, setting up IFTTT and for accessing the myWevolor website.
Configure the following sections:
WiFi - select from the dropdown where the WiFi networks available are shown in order of signal strength. Choose a network that is 'Strong' or 'Ok', and is 'Secure'. Networks shown as 'Unsafe' have network security settings that are not recommended. Alternatively, 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. The performance of your Wevolor is highly dependent on a strong and stable WiFi connection.
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.
Send To Server - uncheck this if you want your Wevolor to be on your local WiFi network only. See the '...stay on my local network...' section below for details of how your Wevolor can be used when this is unchecked. Note: The following two options are irrelevant if this is unchecked.
Send IP Address - if checked the IP address of your Wevolor is sent to the server so the myWevolor web pages can find it. If unchecked the IP address is not send, and you will need to find it yourself and type it into the myWevolor 'Local Status and Command' page.
Security Phrase - if provided, any set commands (see Steps to connect IFTTT below) will need to include the security phrase. This adds additional security beyond the 16 character unique identifier. The Security Phrase can be anything but is limited to 31 characters.
Other Settings: LED Pin - allows Wevolor users who loaded their own ESP32 board to set and remember the correct LED Pin (the 'Blight Blue LED' mentioned throughout these instructions) and polarity. Only change this if the blight blue LED doesn't light during setup. Enter a number such as 2, -5 or -22 (three common values for the LED pin) and hit the test button. If the correct value, the blue LED will flash slowly and go off. The '-' sign says the LED pin is active low (set it off and the LED comes on). If the LED flashes and stays on, the pin number is correct but the polarity wrong. Add or remove the minus sign and retest.
'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) and Security Phrase if you set one. 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.
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.
The https://do.wevolor.com:9443 website mentioned above sits on a cloud server. Your Wevolor links with 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 do.wevolor.com 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://do.wevolor.com: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.
do.wevolor.com replaces hghst.net for sending set commands. While hghst.net continues to work its use is deprecated.
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 2020-2021, Roger Hoggarth.