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The Base of my Car Automation System

This BMAX Mini PC and a ZWave USB Stick are the foundation to the Car Automation in my Toyota Prius!

I wanted a way to control lights on my Prius with my smartphone but all of the options on the market just didn’t do what I needed.

In the beginning, I made LED light strips that were controlled by their own app from China and I didn’t feel warm and fuzzy keeping the application installed. I found out I could reflash the devices with Tasmoto and that’s what started me down this path.

Tasmoto is an open-source firmware for ESP devices. AKA an operating system for the wifi switch that allows full control of the device without needing the manufacturer’s software on your phone.

BMAX Mini PC with ZWAVE USB Hub
BMAX Mini PC with ZWAVE USB Hub

Next, I configured a mini PC with Home Assistant, an open-source home automation software that doesn’t need the internet/cloud to operate. Home Assistant utilizes a USB Zwave Hub to communicate with the Zwave motion detector and other components Zwave based products. This is the base for the system.

My Prius with LED lights and Sonoff 4CH Pro R3 Wi-Fi Smart Switch
SONOFF 4CHPRO installed under the hood.

The feature most have asked me about is my LED lights on the exterior of the car. These lights are switched with a Sonoff 4CH Pro R3, a 4 switch wifi, and RF remote controllable device. Tasmoto was flashed on this device as well.

ZWAVE Motion Detectors
ZWAVE Motion Detectors

Once configured in Home Assistant the rest was cake, now I can control my lights using either my phone and the Home Assistant app or with a mini remote control.

To run this in your car, you will need a wireless router and all of the above.

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