node-red-contrib-ninja 1.2.1

Node-red nodes that allow one to communicate with a Ninja Block.

npm install node-red-contrib-ninja

A NodeRED module which allows one to control a Ninja Block. It provides two NodeRED nodes, one to transmit data (Ninja TX) to the Ninja and one to receive data from it (Ninja RX).


Change directory to your NodeRED installation and issue:

$ npm install node-red-contrib-ninja

Getting Started

In this repo there is example-flow.json. You can import that into a NodeRED workspace and it will provide a template for getting working with the Ninja Block.

How do the Ninja TX and RX nodes work?

The Ninja Block has an Arduino cloak for communicating with its hardware (internal sensors and 433mHz tx/rx). It sends and receives data via the serial port at /dev/ttyO1 (9600 baud). NodeRED can easily communicate with serial devices using ‘serial in’ and ‘serial out’ nodes.

The Ninja TX and RX nodes take care of marshalling between NodeRED and the JSON messages required by the cloak.

At this stage, it's worth reading this as it explains the messages that go back and forth via the cloak.

For example, when the Ninja tells us about the temperature, we are supplied with this string of JSON:


The Ninja RX node cleans it up and parses it out into a NodeRED message.

Conversely, if we wanted to turn on the 433mhz lamp in our lounge (0x155157), we need to send this JSON string to the cloak:


The Ninja TX node takes care of building the string so you just specify 11 and 0x155157.

For reference, here's what the JSON properties refer to:

Property Description
D the device ID, unique within a manufacturer's devices
DA the data value being reported by the device
V the vendor ID of the device, unique to the manufacturer
G a number corresponding to the port that the device is attached to

Receiving data from Ninja sensors and 433mz peripherals

A 'serial in' node is wired directly into the Ninja RX node.

Ninja RX

The Ninja RX node understands the JSON payloads that the cloak sends and parses them into a NodeRED message so the data can be acted upon in a NodeRED flow. For example, this output can be wired into a switch node (part of NodeRED) so that action can then be taken depending upon the received data value.

These are the values that you can expect:

Identifier (D) Value (DA) Description
11 Hex value e.g. 0xc0f33 The value received by the cloak over 433mhz.
30 Floating point Humidity value. Received every 30 seconds via the cloak.
31 Floating point Temperature value. Received every 30 seconds via the cloak.
999 Hex colour value Current status led colour, received every 30 seconds via the cloak.
1007 Hex colour value Current eye colour, received every 30 seconds via the cloak.

For example, the output of the Ninja RX node for temperature would look like this:

    "topic": "31::0101::0",
    "payload": {
        "T": "DEVICE",
        "D": 31,
        "DA": 23.8

The above message is described here:

Property Description
topic A composite value of the identifier (D) , the vendor ID (V) and port (G). The format is D::V::G.
payload.T The type of the message, DEVICE
payload.D The identifier, 31 i.e. temperature
payload.DA The value, e.g. 23.8

Dealing with Errors from the Ninja Cape

Recent reports from users have suggested that the Ninja cape (via the 'serial in' node) can report significant volumes of errors via the Ninja RX Node. This has unfortunate side effects such as filling up the NodeRED log and causing crashes etc.

The Cape provides no other context to help diagnose the cause, you simply see:

{ "ERROR": [ { "CODE": 1 } ] }

The Ninja RX node has the ability to ignore errors. Generally this isn't a great idea, but in this instance there are limited options. Simply enter the codes you want to ignore into the Ninja RX node configuration in NodeRED.

Sending data to Ninja sensors and 433mz peripherals

A 'serial out' node is wired into the output of the Ninja TX node.

Ninja TX

The Ninja TX node takes care of building the necessary JSON required for comprehension by the cloak via the serial port.

Supported values

When sending data, you can use the numeric identifier or the friendly identifier as specified below:

Identifier Friendly Identifier Value Description
11 rf Hex value e.g. 0xc0f33 This instructs the cloak to broadcast the value over 433mhz.
999 led Hex colour value This instructs the Ninja to turn its led to the supplied colour value
1007 eyes Hex colour value This instructs the Ninja to turn its eyes to the supplied colour value

Note that you cannot send temperature and humidity, you can only receive data from these Ninja sensors.

Static sending of data

You can configure the data to send via static configuration in NodeRED. When you drag this node on to the workspace, you can enter the values you want to send as per the table above.

Dynamic sending of data

Any configuration entered when configuring this node in NodeRED can be overridden by the incoming message.

For example, to turn the ninja eyes green, send a message to the TX node like this:

    "topic": "eyes",
    "payload": "00ff00"

Further reading

There's an excellent tutorial here for setting up NodeRED and this ninja module:

Node Info

Version: 1.2.1
Updated 3 weeks, 6 days ago
License: MIT


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