Flashing Sonoff Switches with Tasmota firmare to Work with Home Assistant
What a mission! It should have been simple but cost me 2,5 days in the end. The short of it was the problem was likely with my network routing and not the Sonoff or the firmware, but once you are fixated on where you think the issue is, you waste time. I could see the IP address come up on my router but going to it brought now webserver config screen like attached below. When I realised I was actually getting "host unreachable" pings (instead of timeout errors) I suspected it was my router and I removed the allocated DHCP and rebooted the router and there it came up fine.
I also had a lot of compile errors on the Arduino IDE and that was largely from following old videos where things have got simpler. I won't go into how I downgraded the versions all to match the videos and even resorted to using Windows. It flashed but that was not where the problem lay.
So the outcome, in the end, was the Tasmota developer himself (Theo Arends) responding to a problem I posted on his Github forum (the absolute wonders of open source software) and he pointed me instead to his Wiki which is way way simpler and works with all the up to date versions of te software. The Wiki is at http://bit.ly/2mui0DZ. The only thing was Linux was blocking the Arduino IDE from writing out to the USB port, and all I had to do for that was issue "sudo chmod 666 /dev/ttyUSB0" from the command prompt to allow write permissions. And the flashing took all of 4 minutes or so.
The Sonoff switch is connected now and is communicating over MQTT to the Home Assistant dashboard. All I must do now is configure it to appear in the dashboard so we can switch it on and off from there, and then also configure it to work with Google Home via Home Assistant.
I've updated my Home Assistant webpage (https://gadgeteer.co.za/homeassistant) to signify another notch carved into the tree....