Making the Amazon Dash Button useful
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Amazon Dash Button Fun

The aim of this project is to make the Amazon Dash button useful (sorry Amazon, but now it is quite useless). To accomplish that, we developed a simple IoT framework that can connect the button to any HTTP or MQTT server.


This repository provides two methods that can be used in three different ways to use any Amazon Dash button for your own purpose.

  • Quick Hack: Observing the traffic
  • Dash Endpoint
    • On an openWRT router
    • Using a Raspberry Pi

Furthermore, the project provides a simple Python IoT framework, that allows to publish button presses as HTTP or MQTT messages. It supports all three ways of observing button presses.

Listening to the Button

For a quick test, you can try the traffic observer. This quick hack monitors the network traffic for the dash button's DHCP request. If you want to use the button for a real project, I suggest either setting up an openWRT router or a Raspberry Pi as an endpoint. (Either click on the links or checkout the in the respective folder)

Both methods provide a Python script ( that allows to test the setup. It can also be used as base for own projecs.

IoT Framework

We provide a simple IoT framework that builds upon the scripts. The framework provides an abstraction from the used method and can be used with both methods.

With the framework, a handler can be installed for each buttons. Whenever the button is pressed, either a MQTT or a HTTP message is published. The code is as simple as

from dashiot import DashIoT

# Create an MQTT publisher that uses the network observer for detecting button presses
mqtt = DashIoT(DashIoT.Connector.OBSERVER, DashIoT.Protocol.MQTT)

# If button with mac address "ac63be5aea19" is pressed, send the mac address under the topic "dash/button1"
mqtt.publish_handler("ac63be5aea19", lambda x: ("dash/button1", x))
# MQTT server that accepts our messages
mqtt.connect("", 1883)

# Publish all detected button presses forever

The DashIoT constructor takes the connector (either DashIoT.Connector.OBSERVER for the traffic observer or DashIoT.Connector.SERVER for the endpoint) and the protocol (either DashIoT.Protocol.MQTT or DashIoT.Protocol.HTTP).


If MQTT is used, the Python package paho-mqtt has to be installed (e.g. using sudo pip install paho-mqtt). The sample ( uses Eclipse's public MQTT server ( However, any other MQTT server can be used.

For every button, a handler has to be configured using publish_handler. The first argument is the button's MAC address, the second parameter is a callback function that receives the MAC address and returns a tuple of topic and message.

The script is a simple MQTT subscriber that displays the published messages.


If HTTP is used, the framework issues an HTTP GET request to the given URL. As with the MQTT handler, the publish_handler function takes the MAC address of the button as the first parameter and a callback funtion as the second parameter. The callback function returns a tuple of GET parameter name and GET parameter value, e.g. if the GET request should be "?msg=data", the callback must return ("msg", "data").

A simple HTTP test server can be started using sudo python -m SimpleHTTPServer 80.