HowTo: Ubiquiti mFi mPower

Ubiquiti recently made their 3 port mFi mPower (EU plug only) available in Europe. It provides 3 plug sockets that can be controlled via WiFi using their freely downloadable mFi controller software. Setup is fairly straight forward.

mPower Initial config

In the first instance the mPower becomes an access point that you can connect your PC/Laptop or in my case my mobile phone to. The access point will have the name of mFi followed by the last 3 octets of its MAC address. There’s no encryption of password required to connect at this point.

Then it’s simply a case of opening your browser and typing http://config.mfi into the address bar.

If your own WiFi network does not appear in the drop down list you can click rescan to attempt to find it. Once you’ve selected your network, and provided any login details for it, you can provide information about your controller, more correctly the PC that it’s running on.

Once again, this mFi device is running linux and this gives us a little scope for having a hack about. The areas of the file system we’re most likely to be interested in are /proc/gpio and /proc/power

To find out the state of the LED we can simply cat led_status, not only does it tell us the current status but it also tells us how to change it.

A simple echo value to the led_status will change it for us, for example

will give us an orange led. You’ll probably notice, if you haven’t started up your controller that the led will be flashing orange. That’s where the led_freq comes in.

The LED will stop flashing. If you replace the 0 (zero) with a value somewhere between 0 and 7 you’ll see the rate of flash change. Although 7 is going to look pretty much like it’s not flashing to most people.

As mentioned, /proc/power is the other area of the file system that we are interested

and straight off (no pun intended) we can find out the status or the relays

Similar to the LED status, we are being told that this relay is on. To turn it off, as expected

The physical sockets are numbered so it’s straight forward to identify which relay controls which socket. If you cat most of the other files, even with the relay on you’re going to be a little disappointed because all the values are 0.

There’s a little trick, have a look at the enabled1, enabled2 and enabled3 files,

They all say off. Even if your relay is on, these will say off. So, turn them on.

Leave it for a minute or two with something plugged in to the socket and then have a look

If you take a look at the outlet files, which appear to be a summary of the individual socket ones,

The downside of not using a controller is that you’ll need to echo 1 to each enable file for each socket at every boot. You can of course do this with ssh but you’d need to be sure the device was up. You can of course also control the relays over ssh

You might want to setup ssh with keys to make this more flexible and not prompt for a password or, if you’re not particularly bothered about security you could use expect, spawn and send. For example, here’s a little expect script to turn relay 3 on. Simply pass the ip address as the first parameter and the password as the second parameter.

You could use a similar script, for example, to cycle the power to your adsl modem if the connection dropped.

euMpower

2 Comments

  1. Ganesh_AT says:

    Do you have any info on how to interpret the contents of /proc/power/outletX ?

    For example, I have this output:

    MF.v1.2.3# cat /proc/power/outlet1
    Time = 71582
    callbackT = 4
    v_rms = 0x1e53106f
    i_rms = 0x6f8cf
    Active Pwr = 0x103fff0
    CF Count = 0x1
    Target Pwr = 0x11def774
    Meter Const= 0x3bf
    W_PULSE = 0x4c4b4

    How do I correlate v_rms hex value to the decimal value? (and so on for the other parameters too).

    In addition, how often do these values get updated?

    I am writing a standalone script for power measurement. Any information would be really helpful. Thanks!

  2. LinITX says:

    I haven’t had the chance to sit down and look at this as yet, sorry

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