Author Topic: Open Beken and elektroda.com  (Read 8671 times)

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Offline morgan_flintTopic starter

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Open Beken and elektroda.com
« on: October 02, 2023, 10:41:46 am »
Hi all, I've been posting here since a long time ago, but I think this is the first thread I open... wish me luck  ;)

I'd like to introduce here something I've found very interesting. Although I don't see here a lot of information about IoT devices' hacking, I'm sure lots of you have heard about ESPHome, Tasmota, and the other alternatives to free from the manufacturer's clouds IoT devices based upon ESP8266 or ESP32 chips/modules. But, since not so long ago, Chinese manufacturers of these devices are moving to cheaper alternatives, like Beken's BK7231T, BK7231N which are the heart of multiple WiFi modules like WB3S, WB2S, WB2L, NCB2S, CB2L, etc. These are very frequent in most of the cheap Tuya devices that can be bought from $2 at Aliexpress but, at the beginning, they lacked open firmware support

As you probably know, the philosophy behind these devices comprises giving them access to your WiFi, then they connect to a remote server (manufacturer's or other company's owned), where the proprietary apps (or even open source apps, as Home Assistant, via integrations) also connect to control the aforementioned devices. The implications are: that you depend on those servers' survivance (owners can go broke) and, of course, doubts about your privacy. So some users prefer to "free" them from these external clouds and operate their devices more locally.

A first possibility is to intercept traffic going to the external server and redirect it to your own server where you mimic the external one and fool de device into thinking that it is working with the manufacturers' one. There are open-source solutions for this but, as you may advance, manufacturers are fighting against it, implementing some "security features" to make it harder and some of these alternatives don't go with newer versions of the devices.

Another (better for me) possibility is flashing the device with an alternative firmware that completely avoids the dependence on an external server. This is the case with ESPHome, Tasmota, and the like, but they don't work with these newer/cheaper chips.

And here is where the title of the thread comes in (sorry for the long introduction, probably redundant for some of you...). Open Beken has come to the rescue as a flexible, multiplatform IoT firmware compatible with Tasmota for these new devices based upon Beken's chips and modules. It has the features of their cousins including MQTT and Home Assistant compatibility (but can also be operated from a webpage hosted on the own device).

Its GitHub page is complete and has links to all the relevant complementary information, but I would like to highlight here the link to the forum elektroda.com (elektroda.pl in its original language) where, thanks to the support of the community behind it, together with the great work of p.kaczmarek2, the firmware developer, compatibility with most of the devices on the market has been achieved, along with a collection of teardowns and device database to facilitate the identification, flashing and configuration of said devices with the correct options.

Sorry for the "marketing" post, but I really think it is worth spreading the work of the developer of this wonderful firmware and that of the forum contributors. I have no personal interests in it beyond having contributed with a teardown in that forum and having received the selfless collaboration correctly support my device.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2023, 12:35:19 pm by morgan_flint »
 
The following users thanked this post: shakalnokturn, Bikkel


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