ESP32 based Panasonic airconditioning WiFi interface
A little while back I came across this great github repo by ‘Dominik’ a 26 year old .NET & Web developer from Austria. He made this custom esphome.io component for a esp32 or esp8266 based airconditioning Wifi interface. A great way to get those damn things off the Cloud and into Home Assistant locally. The Panasonic app and failing cloud service had been bothering me for a while now.
While his component is not perfect (yet), it is really close to getting these units successfully and permanently of the cloud. The component does not expose all features of the original Panasonic integration and some features are exposed in separate sensors and switches, but it is a great component anyway. I will be making some recommendations for further optimising the component where I can, and I am quit sure that Dominik is still actively developing it.
The only thing missing was a drop-in hardware replacement for the original Panasonic DNSK-P11 Wifi-interface so Paul and I started measuring and fiddling around until we came up with this design:
Paul really did a great job on this PCB!
Usually we design PCBs with through-hole technology, but since that would not fit within the small footprint of the original PCB’s we had to design this one with SMD components.
Therefore we will not publish this design yet. We ordered 20 pieces and when those are sold with a small margin to recuperate the expenses we made for these 20 pieces, we most likely will publish the PCB on PCBway so the experts among us can order the PCB and source and solder those tiny SMD components themselves. 🙂
We will NOT publish the PCB source files as these files tend to end-up in the hands of people who commercially exploit them.
A few details about the module:
- 100% drop in replacement for the original PCB. The PCB is a little thicker, and therefore the enclosure is a tight fit. It will fit though 🙂
- ESP32, so you can also use BLE for location tracking of your phones etc.
- The original connector seems to be Panasonic proprietary so we just installed a 1.27mm pitch 8 pin header which works just fine with the original cable and plug.
- No soldering required
- Micro-USB terminal for (initial) flashing
- Pre flashed with a default esphome config with AP, captive portal and web server enabled, so you can upload your own config OTA!
I am willing to sell the rest of the modules (2 left) for €18,00 excluding shipping, including packaging, which is a fraction over the cost price for prototypes, components, our shipping expenses and these final 20 pieces.
If you require more then one. the first module is €18,00, each subsequent module is €16,00.
I can ship from the Netherlands or Belgium (as I practically live on the border). Shipping is at your own risk. Off course when choosing a trackable package, the tracking number will be provided. Check out the shipping rates at bpost will see to it | bpost or Sending | PostNL
You can pay me via a Amazon gift card or bank transfer. No paypal available!
Please first check what shipping type you prefer exactly and then provide all necessary information via the contact form, so our communication does not turn into a novel. 😉
Each module has been tested and is pre-flashed with esphome.io firmware, with the AccesPoint, Captive Portal and webserver enabled, so you can flash your own esphome config (or any other compatible firmware) using OTA (wifi) flashing.
Just connect to the esp32-airc-xx WiFi network, use password qwe12345 and access the web-interface by entering the IP -address or hostname of the module in your webbrowser.
In esphome, create your own new configuration, press install, select “manual download”, download and save the file and upload that file in the web-interface of the module (refer to the screenshot above). Power cycle the module and it will then appear as “online” in the esphome dashboard.
If you need to flash using USB for some reason, do not forget to close the jumper when booting the ESP32.
Connect the module using the original DNSK-P11 cable. The connector needs to go on the bottom of the PCB, the flat part of the connector facing towards the PCB. Please be careful as the pins are tiny. If you use your brain in stead of brute force, you’ll be ok 🙂
Even though we have done our very best to make this module fit perfectly in the original case, the PCB thickness was a factor we did not take into consideration. The original PCB is 1mm thick, this batch is 1.6mm. Because of that one side of your original enclosure will have a < 0.5mm gap on one side. This is no issue at all, as the case will still perfectly fit in the chassis. If you are a nitpicker like me, this might bother you a little. 😉 In that case either 3d-print one, or shave off a bit of the plastic on the inside of the case on the side where the gap resides.
We have also slightly improved our design which makes it easier for us to solder the header and USB-terminal, but as production of mostly assembled PCB’s is expensive and there is only a low demand, for now we won’t be ordering any more. Maybe at a later time (and those will be 1mm thick 🙂 ).