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Author Topic: Automation with Alexa  (Read 46379 times)

Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #150 on: February 01, 2017, 01:59:34 PM »

Thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding Dave.
I personally don't like the Idea of having to have all these extra Hubs(mini pcs) running.
I'd like to only have one running, my idea is to use less power not more.
Thankfully the BWS systems guys are constantly actively improving their HA-Bridge. :)


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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #151 on: February 01, 2017, 06:22:12 PM »

..... So what's to stop all your WiFi bulbs from coming on whenever the power flickers because every one of them "sensed" that you toggled an upstream switch somewhere?

That's exactly what happens! I hadn't thought about it.... but just tested. I unplugged and re-plugged the lamp while OFF... and it came ON.
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #152 on: February 01, 2017, 06:55:00 PM »

Thanks for clearing up my misunderstanding Dave.

It's all new to all of us (to everyone). I thought if we all share our findings/experiences it would/will benefit everyone.

I personally don't like the Idea of having to have all these extra Hubs(mini pcs) running.
I'd like to only have one running, my idea is to use less power not more.

Yeah. I prefer to use the lest to get the most... when possible. But I refuse to spend dollars to save dimes too. There is no recovery... real or imagined... from lighting control now-a-days. At least not where I buy (and use) my electric. Which would make HA kind of a waste of money.

But the security, safety, and convenience of good Home Automation is priceless... once you've already committed to a modern lifestyle. The time, effort, and money I and others have often invested in a simple automated setup/process is impossible to ever recover. As for many of us... HA is more or less a hobby. But I think our findings can often add real quality of life to others who depend on automation.... if we share what we've learned and done here.

I also like the idea of a single hub and flavor/brand of automation product. It just sounds simpler. But realistically... at this point in time... that just isn't the way it works. If there was another hub out there that could also function with X10... AND even had the function and power of a CM15A... it would still have the flaws and faults inherent with X10.

So... I may continue to experiment a bit with some of the different products. While I wait for the new X10 interface.   
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toasterking

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #153 on: February 01, 2017, 07:36:29 PM »

..... So what's to stop all your WiFi bulbs from coming on whenever the power flickers because every one of them "sensed" that you toggled an upstream switch somewhere?
That's exactly what happens!
Good to know, right?  ;)  I hope that there's at least an option to disable this "feature" -- an option that X10 never gave us directly!
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #154 on: February 02, 2017, 01:35:58 PM »

I finally got round to switching back to Alexa! I could never get use to using computer, funny how not so long ago that seemed so natural.
Any ways I've been looking into some of the new options the HA-Bridge has and looking to be able to incorporate those into Alex10. I think some I'll be able to trigger with Alexa and maybe even map a x10 RF or PLC signal to trigger other devices when not in range of my DOT.
 >!

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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #155 on: February 02, 2017, 10:04:44 PM »

Good to know, right?  ;)  I hope that there's at least an option to disable this "feature" -- an option that X10 never gave us directly!

I am pretty sure it's the default. But like you posted... "good to know"... although not a game changer. Particularly since I only have the one Cree bulb (and it only uses a handful of watts).

I finally got round to switching back to Alexa! I could never get use to using computer, funny how not so long ago that seemed so natural.

Not always..... but mostly change seems natural to me. And more often than not it's even welcomed.

I have been a bit surprised at the somewhat limited... control opportunities... of the NEW system(s) I've tried so far. But the control/automation portion of my X10 setup... rocks. But, together... Alexa and it's devices along with X10 and it's macros/CM15A.... this is what the future was always supposed to be. But there will always be room for improvement.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2017, 10:12:24 PM by HA Dave »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #156 on: February 03, 2017, 07:36:19 AM »

I've read the Wink hub will see a hue hub and can utilize it.
The HA-bridge emulates a hue bridge and I've also read reports of HA-Bridge users linking to the bridge with a Wink.
If I couldn't already control all my stuff with Alexa  I guess I'd be looking at a wink. >!
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #157 on: February 03, 2017, 10:20:10 AM »

I've read the Wink hub will see a hue hub and can utilize it.
The HA-bridge emulates a hue bridge and I've also read reports of HA-Bridge users linking to the bridge with a Wink.
If I couldn't already control all my stuff with Alexa  I guess I'd be looking at a wink. >!

Wink does see the Hue (Philips) lights... along with a BUNCH of other flavors/brands of HA stuff. And I only have the original (updated) Wink Hub.... that I got cheap at a Home Depot clearance ($39).

HA Control... is an interesting term. The Hubs work more like the CM15A.... with Alexa functioning more like a super cool, hi-tech, voice controlled, palm pad. I prefer the control function of automation to be programed. But I really prefer voice control/over-ride over other remotes.

i.e. I now have some kitchen lighting controlled by X10 on a timer/sunrise macro. Some other kitchen lighting is controlled by an ihome module. But.... using the wink Hub I can create a similar timer/schedule robot (macro).... so the ihome lighting will mirror the X10 setup. However.... I can always control the X10 lights outside the macro control using a remote/palmpad/BVC or iPhone (app). Whereas... with ihome modules I only have the app (on my phone) or Alexa.

Your plan of using your software, and a mini PC.... to create a X10 bridge is a great idea and way around the lack of an X10 hub. The PC/CM15A..... IMHO... is the best HA control on the market... still.

I continue to shop/look at the stick PC's and read about the various DL's and apps to create a DIY X10 hub myself. And... of course follow your progress. Your way... may be the absolute best/only way to go with at least the X10 side of automation. I just wish X10 would get on the ball and introduce a hub. Or partner with some other hub already on the market.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2017, 10:38:12 AM by HA Dave »
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #158 on: February 03, 2017, 01:22:44 PM »

I continue to shop/look at the stick PC's and read about the various DL's and apps to create a DIY X10 hub myself.
I played with the stick PC's but I found they tended to get to warm for my liking if left on 24/7 the mini PCs even the fan less ones have a far better way to handle heat. My Asuss EEE Box is about the size of 2-3 CM15s but my android TV box is about the size of 1 cm15.
Probably by the time I get my mini android TV box running as a x10 hub, X10 will have the Wi-Fi module released. B:(
At least Alexa keeps my mind off that a bit! >!
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #159 on: February 03, 2017, 08:37:51 PM »

............ At least Alexa keeps my mind off that a bit! >!

Yep! IMHO Alexa is a boon to HA. I think we're at the beginning of a new golden age of HA.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #160 on: February 17, 2017, 01:41:51 PM »

My Dot got another update which allows outlook calendar integration. it supposedly allows you to sync sound on all Alexa dots/echos/and taps though I don't have a second device to see if that is a actuality.
I did manage to do a firmware flash of one of my sonoff devices which was to make it compatible with SmartThings only it can't be discovered (maybe the modle I tested isn't compatible yet)
In any case I can now control it with out the cloud if that connection ever fails.
I also was able to add it to the HA-Bridge so Alexa can control it :)% so no need for the SmartThings app.

I also read about the RM Broadlink and ordered one hoping to simplify my IR control with Alexa.
This also is to work with SmartThings using a RM Bridge on an android which since my TV box was on 24/7 anyways it could be installed on it.
The RM Broadlink learns all my IR devices except my cable box power button for what ever reason. ::) :'
It will not however learn anything using the online interface which is needed for it to work with the RM Bridge  B:(

The SmartThings approach looks and sounds very promising as no actual hub is required though they do sell one.
Setup with out a hub is a bit of a task and that maybe why I'm having issues as I don't have a actual SmartThings Hub.
However Alexa does see my SmartThings routines and can activate them :o

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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #161 on: February 18, 2017, 09:33:17 AM »

Looking more at the Samsung SmartThings Hub makes me think this may be the Hub to actually get.
The new version has 2 USB ports for future expansion and has Z-Wave and ZigBee radios built in.
There is also a large developer community adding new possibilities regularly.

It is possible to use smart devices with the app and without the hub in some cases.
You can control these devices via Alexa with out the SmartThings hub however the hub would make doing it so much simpler. ::) :'

I see now the firmware I flashed my itead sonoff safe voltage module to requires the hub to work with SmartThings  B:(
There is no code yet to by pass that requirement (yet).
Do I get a new mini dual boot PC to use as a bridge(hub) or get a SmartThings hub both are about the same $ wise. ??? ::) :'
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racerfern

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #162 on: February 18, 2017, 10:34:55 AM »

Which dual boot are you thinking of? My mini PC is having trouble keeping up with everything I'm throwing at it.

Last November the smartthings hub was briefly on sale for <$50USD, so hold out for good pricing. I didn't buy it back then but I wish I had. I "assume" the next time the price drops will be just before the 3rd gen comes out. It seems to be a good product for the money.
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Tuicemen

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #163 on: February 18, 2017, 11:09:09 AM »

Which dual boot are you thinking of? My mini PC is having trouble keeping up with everything I'm throwing at it.
I haven't narrowed it down to a particular one yet. It seems once I get close something stops me.
I want one with at least 4g of mem and 64g rom.
I just about grabbed one  for a media streamer but my son picked me up an Android 4k TV box for Christmas.
So I stopped looking and have just started looking again though I'm not sure I ever really stopped looking ::) rofl.

The SmartThings hub is currently $99 with a 20% discount at check out so the 3rd gen may just be around the corner. ;)
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HA Dave

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Re: Automation with Alexa
« Reply #164 on: February 28, 2017, 10:35:19 AM »

Coming soon (?) Voice ID. That would/will be a nice feature. Then... I might feel safe to include my garage door in my setup. Currently... the idea of a grandkid, TV show, or some low-life yelling in the window opening my garage door... seems like a risk.
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