Vote for a future version of the iotawatt with ethernet

The main purpose of this thread is to gauge the demand for an iotawatt with ethernet support. Would you be prepared to pay extra for an ethernet-enabled device?

overeasy has mentioned that he eventually hopes to port the iotawatt from the ESP8266 to the ESP32. The ESP32 supports ethernet, so I’m hoping that it would be technically possible to add ethernet to a future version of the iotawatt. The iotawatt could then be connected to the router via an ethernet cable or HomePlug/powerline device.

There is no wifi signal in the vicinity of my electricity meter, hence my interest in an iotawatt with ethernet.

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Big yes from me. Also POE ?

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I’ll certainly take this under advisement, but as a practical matter, it’s a long way off if at all. I have an ESP32 bench prototype and do work on it as time allows, but building a prototype is way short of being manufactured, safety certified, regulatory testing, documentation, testing, and eventually selling. There will also be practical considerations such as whether to use the limited available pins of the ESP32 to support Ethernet or other functionality and what cost adding the connector and making enclosure modifications for it adds.

I’ve said in the past that the solution in hand is to use a wired access point in proximity to the IoTaWatt. We’ll see what kind of demand develops for this, but my sense is that it’s going the other way. Arduino and RPi used to be only ethernet and they had to migrate to WiFi.

Just sayin.

For what it is worth, If there had been an Ethernet version when I bought mine that would have been the version I would have chosen. Wi-fi is a nightmare in my house and the distribution board is far from the core. I had to repurpose an old access point I had lying around to get connectivity. The iotawatt is the sole client on the access point. It’s only a few watts but it seems wrong to have another device drawing power 24x7.

If Wi-fi had already been in that area I would probably have chosen that option.

While we are wishing, it would be nice if it were possible to change the ssid/password of an already configured unit from the setup screen instead of clearing the Settings and mucking around with local connection on the laptop or tablet.

It’s a great unit though and I am delighted with mine.

If there had’ve been an Ethernet version I’d have chosen that over Wifi, but unlikely to need a 2nd, so happy with what I have.

aggiee’s review of the North America Bundle mentions that he would have preferred ethernet.

…my sense is that it’s going the other way. Arduino and RPi used to be only ethernet and they had to migrate to WiFi.

As a counter example, the Open Source Electric Vehicle Charging Project previously used WiFi only, but has recently added ethernet.

Add me as another user that would have preferred a model with Ethernet (I almost didn’t buy mine because of it being WiFi only). I would also buy a second model with Ethernet to replace my current one if given the choice.

In my opinion, WiFi gains adoption with things like Arduino and RPi because they’re marketed to people who want to tinker and learn so it’s all about convenience. Hobbyists can play with a single-board computer on their bench or in their living room on the TV, they can take their toy to a friend’s place for help, they can create battery powered sensors/loggers that are portable, and students/teachers can put them on WiFi in a classroom setting to avoid a tangle of wires. WiFi also helps to sell cheap “smart home” stuff so that the barrier for entry stays low - a potential buyer doesn’t need to hire an installer and run wires just to dip their toes in home automation. The manufacturers know that ease of use and vendor lock in are what matters most to their bottom line.

WiFi capable IoTaWatt models would still always offer a big selling point for people that can’t or don’t want to run a cable to their panel, but I would imagine many of the people purchasing the IoTaWatt are a bit more savvy than the target market for a color-changing “smart” bulb, who would welcome an Ethernet jack in many installations. I know there are many out there who wish the IoT market in general offered more products with the option to use a wired connection. I for one would love to see more IoT devices that support Ethernet with PoE when possible for one-wire installation (see wESP32, no affiliation). Obviously with regards to the IoTaWatt, it needs its AC reference input and will already have many wires run to the electrical panel so PoE would be of limited benefit for this particular application (though it would still mean one less bulky transformer to plug in for power).

Wireless networking is great at home for mobile devices that come and go or move room to room like your phone, tablet, and laptop. For anything related to infrastructure that stays in place and is always running (IP cameras, alarm systems, access control, etc.), wired is almost always the preferred option for quality products. IoTaWatt is a finished product (in contrast to hobbyist boards - I’m not talking about ongoing development and product improvements) meant to be installed and left to do its thing as opposed to being a device intended for a technician to carry in their bag (even though it’s a great tool to have in one’s bag!). While I understand all of the issues you raise overeasy, and agree that they’re worth taking into consideration, I humbly suggest that there should be an option for an IoTaWatt with a wired connection in the future.

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Prior to overeasy’s response earlier in this thread, I had not appreciated the cost and time involved in safety certification and regulatory testing. So a belated thank you to overeasy for jumping through these regulatory hoops. In hindsight, the regulatory burden may be the major impediment to the development of new products which are manufactured on a small scale.

I would also have chosen the Ethernet option, however, I have the WiFi option, so am unlikely to buy a second.

I agree with all of David’s points

I would also very much like an ethernet version as the device will be sitting in a metal cupboard, making wifi connection difficult if not impossible. Since the ethernet switch for the whole house is in that cupboard, it would make more than sense to connect it to that switch. Power over ethernet would be fantastic.

Put me down as someone who would like an Ethernet version. I just moved into a newly constructed home and will be purchasing an IotaWatt very soon, but would absolutely purchase a wired version if it existed. I’d even be willing to pay more for the wired version.

Generally speaking, it really annoys me that my garage door openers/appliances/ecobee/etc can only connect to wifi. And most can’t even use WPA2-Enterprise (more secure), they can only use WPA2-PSK (less secure).