Dec 172017

I was having issues with one of my new tp-link HS110 smart plugs reporting >28,000 watts current power consumption (obviously not correct since that device would light on fire and explode at that point).

In the app, it reported the firmware was v1.1.1 and there were no updates available.

You can check firmware version by clicking on the device in the Kasa app then clicking on the settings icon in the top right. This will show device info including firmware version. My devices are all hardware version 1.0 although I’ve read there may be a 2.0 hw version with different firmware. I checked for updates from the main screen in the Kasa app by clicking the 3 horizontal bar menu in the top left then Settings > Firmware Update. That screen reported no updates.

I contacted tp-link support who said they’d investigate. Shortly thereafter they sent me a link to use their firmware upgrade tool

The upgrade tool is no longer available on their FAQ page like it previously was, but it’s still located at the same location. It appears the device is written in Python and contains a small HTTP server bundled with it to serve up the firmware over the local network.

When I tried to scan from inside the utility, it couldn’t find any of my outlets/plugs.

My network subnet is and the devices have static DHCP addresses all set to The tool appeared to be sending a UDP broadcast to I couldn’t see this anywhere in Wireshark and these devices appear to listen to TCP 9999 not UDP 9999. I found the UDP broadcast information by watching main.exe with Process Monitor.

I ended up using pyHS100 Python module which is a 3rd party interface to communicate with tp-link smart devices. The official version doesn’t have support for modifying firmware although someone has already added this and has a pending pull request. Someone has already reverse engineered and documented the API including firmware updates

To update the firmware:

  1. Download tp-link’s upgrade tool found here
    1. Extract the contents and notice there is a firmware folder with firmware for various devices inside. For my HS110 U.S. version, it has a firmware v1.2.3 file
    2. Inside the firmware/ directory there’s an application called hfs.exe–this is a light-weight HTTP server used to serve firmware on your local network
  2. Download the SmartDevice-API-Addition branch from kdschlosser’s fork of pyHS100
    1. You may want to check the official version to see if this code has been merged in/there are any updates
  3. Start a web server to serve the firmware directory. You can use hfs.exe by opening it and selecting Menu > Add folder from disk… and selecting the firmware folder. You could also use Python’s http.server or anything else. Note the URL to the correct firmware file for your device and make sure it can be successfully downloaded with the web server
  4. Start python3 and import the SmartPlug module from pyHS100
  5. Create an instance using your device’s IP
  6. Send the device the firmware URL
  7. Check firmware download status
  8. Flash the device
  9. Wait about 1-2 minutes while the device updates, power cycles, and comes back online
>>> from pyHS100 import SmartPlug
>>> plug = SmartPlug('')
>>> plug.hw_info
 {'sw_ver': '1.1.1 Build 160725 Rel.164033', 'hw_ver': '1.0', 'mac': '50:C7:BF:xx:xx:xx', 'hwId': '60FF6B258734EA6880E186F8xxxxxxxx', 'fwId': '060BFEA28A8CD1E67146EBxxxxxxx', 'oemId': 'FFF22CFF774A0B89F7624BFxxxxxx', 'dev_name': 'Wi-Fi Smart Plug With Energy Monitoring'}
>>> plug.firmware_download_url('')
>>> plug.firmware_download_state
 {'ratio': 100, 'flash_time': 66, 'reboot_time': 20}
>>> plug.firmware_download_flash()
>>> plug.hw_info
 {'sw_ver': '1.2.3 Build 171016 Rel.100427', 'hw_ver': '1.0',  ...}
Apr 182012

A while back I set out to find a way I could control my computer through my phone with text messages.


  • Speed (less than 2 minute response time)
  • Reliability (works for the most part)
  • Expandability (features are easy to add)

How it works:

  1. Phone sends message to Google Voice
  2. Google Voice forwards a copy over to Gmail
  3. Gmail filter forwards it to Mercury mail server setup on my home computer
  4. Mercury mail rule launches a batch file when it receives a new message (based on a subject and from address)
  5. Batch file copies the mail file from the incoming mail folder over to a processing folder
  6. Batch file launches a small php app with the message as a parameter
  7. PHP app (with the help of a library) confirms that the message is from a trusted source
  8. PHP app then extracts command from body of message
  9. Body of message contains a command (with a certain symbol to indicate it is a command)
  10. The first part of the command is a function, the rest is parameters separated by a delimiting character
  11. PHP app loads “modules” from a folder. Each module contains a function
  12. PHP app executes function and passes parameters
  13. Module executes commands and returns data
  14. Data is prepared and sent out (through PHP mail())
  15. PHP app moves message to executed folder and adds a log entry

Programs used:

  • Google Voice & Gmail
  • Mercury mail
  • PHP


It’s been working fairly well so far. Right now it’s able to fetch weather data using a module I made that interacts with Weather Undergrounds API. It can also execute certain commands like ipconfig, ping, uptime.

Aug 262009

Tired of GMail only checking the associated POP accounts every few hours when your waiting for an important email? Lifehacker came up with a great answer! Well, except for the fact it only works with Mac and Automator.

I’ve made an AutoHotkey app that uses sendmail to send an email to your email (GMail) account.

Download the zip file [here] containing all installer.

Extract and run setup.exe

Enter information when the installer asks.

Automail.exe is the main executable and is located in \Windows\Automail.exe

Automail.exe checks automail_config_time.txt to determine how often to send an email. Automail then sends the email and waits (time in automail_config_time) and sends message again. Automail will show up as the GMail logo in the system tray when running. \Windows\gmail.txt stores the message sendmail.exe sends.

This is fully open source and you can use it for what ever you want as long as:
1. You give me and my website credit (link)
2. You cannot sell this for money

Jun 222009

Welcome to the PCEasies blog. You can find simple guides for common computer tasks. This page shows the most recent posts and you can also browse posts by clicking on the categories on the left. Feel free to leave comments and questions on posts.