Arlec 5 Outlet Smart Powerboard with Grid Connect $39.98 @ Bunnings

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This used to be $59.98. Not sure, if this is a permanent drop as well. Remember that there's two versions of this board

  • One with an Always on outlet
  • One with Always on USB/C outlets

The Grid Connect App is just a rebranded version of the Smart Life app from Tuya. This works great when you have multiple devices connected with the same powerboard next to the router perhaps.

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Comments

  •  

    Not bad. I remember paying that much for a single smart power plug from DLink back in the day.

  • +1 vote

    https://blakadder.github.io/templates/anzac.html

    Not listed here, but surely it would work right? Anyone tried it?

    •  

      it's not listed, but I already have them working. They show the Arlec theme when added.

      •  

        I'm talking about flashing Tasmota firmware. I believe you are just using the Grid app?

        •  

          I'm not using the grid app, I'm using the Tuya app. But I don't have this flashed with the Tasmota firmware. I did that with the other smart plugs but then didn't think it was worth the effort.

          The function of the device doesn't extend much to what it does. So everyone can try their own.

    •  

      What is the purpose of flashing them?

      • +1 vote

        Running open-source firmware. No backdoors etc.

        •  

          You lost me

          • +2 votes

            @caviar: For the average Joe, it probably makes no difference.

          • +1 vote

            @caviar: Many cheap internet-connected devices have bare-minimum security measures, and often badly implemented so the devices aren't really secure. It's only a matter of time until a hacker breaks the security, for example the Mirai botnet used badly-secured routers and IP cameras to attack some websites.

            Open-source code is considered to be much more secure than the proprietary code that most internet devices come with. So if you can load open-source code onto your internet devices, you'll almost always be making them more secure.

            For example, a hacker might think it fun to turn on the power points in this device for 30 seconds, then off for 30 seconds, over and over from 10am until 3pm every weekday when many people aren't at home. With that sort of activity, whatever is plugged into the powerboard will probably fail within a few days or hours, possibly causing a fire.

            •  

              @Russ: Is the theory that because the source code is open to scrutiny it's more likely someone will find bad or malicious code?

              • +2 votes

                @bigpallooka: Yes, but also, in this case, they have a higher chance of people supporting (applying security patches) past when a manufacturer would keep supporting it.

              • +1 vote

                @bigpallooka: As well as what spaij said, with commercial products there is always pressure to sell the product as soon as possible, which means thorough security testing (usually the final step in coding) often gets omitted. There are also occasions when trivial encryption algorithms (e.g. ROT-13) are used, which is about as secure as a padlock made from glass.

                With open-source, there is little pressure to skip proper security testing, and if trivial encryption is used then it is easy for anyone to see. Open-source programmers tend not to use trivial encryption, they would be ridiculed for it.

                Also, with commercial software, you never get to see the source code, so you never get to know how secure it is.

            •  

              @Russ: does this happen a lot?

              •  

                @ubcool: I don't know how often. But there have been some pretty bad ones, like the video baby monitors that were easily hacked. Or the sex toy that reported back to its manufacturer, every time it was used. Implanted heart defibrillators that could be hacked. Jeep 4WDs that were rendered undrivable by being hacked. All of these were in the popular press.

                If large companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars (e.g. Jeep) get caught out this way, I would imagine smaller companies with less to spend on security would be more likely to skimp on proper testing.

                Or you could look at it this way: open-source has produced Linux, a complete operating system. Less than one virus per year is found that can attack it, which is why server computers overwhelmingly use it. Compare this with Windows, which has multiple security patches EVERY WEEK. Despite Microsoft being an incredibly rich company, they just don't test their software properly before releasing it, and according to recent press, are getting worse.

      •  

        BUT - you dont have to have them Internet connectable. Just leave them protected from intruders by your router firewall. You still have LAN control of the outlets when you get home.

        I'm thinking of using them to schedule on/off times when I'm not at home or asleep etc. UPS >> Smart board >> TV /Audio

        I wonder what the power board standby power usage is?

        •  

          While that's true, I suspect maybe 1% of the population knows how to do that, and maybe 10% could do it if they knew that option existed. 99% don't know the option exists, and 90% will say "it's computer stuff, too complex". Which is sad.

    •  

      someone would need to crack it open or just try tuya convert on it with blank firmware.

      The tricky bit will be to determine how it is mapped with a count of 4 relays, 5 leds, 1 button. That is quite alot for more basic esp packages commonly used eg esp12.

      I can see this being of great help for a tv area. Being able to control power to tv, receivers, speakers etc. separately through HA sounds fun.

      I am however slightly dubious of plugging alot of tech into something which has possibly sacrificed surge protection for smarts.

      •  

        It says Overload Protection,Yes. I'm thinking that means Surge protection? I see the override switch on the board.

        • +3 votes

          Overload and surge protection are different things. Overload means too much current, surge means too much voltage (e.g. from lightning striking a nearby power pole and "zapping" all the electrical goods in your home). Different components are needed for each type of protection.

      •  

        Being able to control power to tv, receivers, speakers etc. separately through HA sounds fun

        Well, if you just want to turn on your TV and speakers when your receiver turns on, a "green" powerboard will do that, for example
        https://www.selby.com.au/avico-6-outlet-energy-saving-usb-po...

        It costs one cent more than the powerboard in this deal, but has surge protection and free delivery. And there's no way it can be hacked, it's not internet connected.

    • +1 vote

      I picked it up yesterday and flashed it to the latest version of Tasmota. Works great so far. I will share the template sometime when I'm not feeling lazy

  • +1 vote

    Here's the other one if anyone was wondering, now $49 down from $78.

    •  

      Thanks for link. Any idea what 3.4A means in terms of wattage? Ie would it enough to power PD devices?

      •  

        I wouldn't think so. They haven't specified any standards for the C port but 3.4A at 5v is only 17W. Unlikely it's going to maintain that current at higher voltages if it actually does any but I'm only guessing.

  •  

    If I was to connect my pc to one of these, could I power the pc on or would it just do the same as flicking the power switch on the wall?

    •  

      It's the same as flicking the wall switch but can still power on the the PC either way.

      In the BIOS/UEFI there is usually a setting for what to do after power loss. If you set it to always turn on, it would work.

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