Alexa Killswitch

Using the ESP8266 to cut power to the Echo Dot

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One of the main reasons I bought an Amazon Alexa device is because you could change the wake word to "Computer" like on Star Trek. Unfortunately, that turns out to be a fairly common word in my life, especially when I'm on a conference call with the rest of the Hackaday writing staff...

After suffering though more embarrassing Alexa outbursts than I'd care to admit, I decided to put together a simple network-controlled relay which would allow me to cut power to the Dot by sending a UDP command from my desktop. In addition, with the ESP emulating a Wemo Smart Plug, it's possible to craft a Routine which gives Alexa a brand new skill: the ability to commit suicide.


Box lid with Hackaday logo

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 467.66 kB - 06/14/2019 at 16:42



Blank box lid if you'd like to add your own art

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 216.35 kB - 06/14/2019 at 16:42



Standard base for either lid

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 746.14 kB - 06/14/2019 at 16:30



Arduino source code for Wemos D1 Mini

x-arduino - 3.15 kB - 06/14/2019 at 16:30


  • 1 × Wemos D1 Mini Probably bootleg
  • 1 × Wemos D1 Mini Relay Shield Definitely bootleg
  • 1 × USB A female breakout

  • Recent Unstability

    Tom Nardi10/09/2019 at 02:56 0 comments

    I've noticed that lately the Echo doesn't stay off, after awhile the relay audibly clicks back on and power is restored. The time it takes for this to happen seems to be random, sometimes it takes 15 or 20 minutes, but at least one time it was only a minute or two.

    My first assumption is that the ESP is crashing and restarting, which naturally returns the relay to its normally closed position. I'll have to pull it off the wall and connect it up to the serial monitor to confirm.

    But the bigger question is why? Perhaps the relay is drawing too much current and it's causing something to overload. Or else the USB power supply that's running the ESP/Dot just isn't up to the task and is faltering.

  • Files Uploaded, Build Details Coming

    Tom Nardi06/14/2019 at 16:47 0 comments

    I've uploaded the Arduino code for the Wemos D1 Mini. Seems to work well enough for me, but no promises it won't burn your house down. I should also mention that the state-of-the-art seems to have moved from emulating Wemo Smart Plugs to emulating Hue lights, so you may need an older (read, outdated) version of the library.

    STL files for the case are also available now. I've generated STLs for the lid both with and without the Jolly Wrencher, for anyone who might want to put their own art up there. If anyone is interested, I can put the OpenSCAD source for the case up as well.

    I'll be adding build details and images soon, as there's some modification required to the relay shield.

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Mike Szczys wrote 06/14/2019 at 14:17 point

This one makes me chuckle... now if we could just get my google assistant to stop waking up on those conference calls we could all talk in peace. The future is weird.

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