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Automation in the Great White North.

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Automation in the Great White North.
« on: January 01, 2018, 11:53:01 am »
I've been using Home automation for over 25 years mostly X10, which I still use today.
With the roll out of Alexa in Canada many are jumping in only to find what they can do is limited by GeoBlocked skills.
I've been programing for several years and created several X10 HomeAutomation softwares. I even created a means for Alexa to trigger devices in said softwares by interfacing with HA-Bridge.
HA-Bridge is a hue emulator which will run on just about any device.

While recently looking for a new way to add Google Home control to my softwares I discovered SmartThings Cloud.
Google Home stopped working with Hue emulators >:(
OK I already knew of this when I was attempting to control my TV with a RM Broadlink. ::)
Logging in allows users to create device handlers for virtually any protocol you can even use already created device handlers.
Some require using a SmartThings hub while others don't require any HUB.
The cool thing is these devices show up in the SmartThings App as well as the SmartThings Skill  which is available to Canadians ;)

So there are two opions (I use) to intergrate you home automation products into Alexa if a skill isn't yet available in Canada.

HA-Bridge: https://github.com/bwssytems/ha-bridge/blob/master/README.md

SmartThings Cloud: https://graph.api.smartthings.com/

There are other ways and I'm sure others will jump in with ideas like Tasker and IFTTT





Re: Automation in the Great White North.
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2018, 12:18:29 pm »
I've been using Home automation for over 25 years mostly X10, which I still use today.
With the roll out of Alexa in Canada many are jumping in only to find what they can do is limited by GeoBlocked skills.
I've been programing for several years and created several X10 HomeAutomation softwares. I even created a means for Alexa to trigger devices in said softwares by interfacing with HA-Bridge.
HA-Bridge is a hue emulator which will run on just about any device.

While recently looking for a new way to add Google Home control to my softwares I discovered SmartThings Cloud.
Google Home stopped working with Hue emulators >:(
OK I already knew of this when I was attempting to control my TV with a RM Broadlink. ::)
Logging in allows users to create device handlers for virtually any protocol you can even use already created device handlers.
Some require using a SmartThings hub while others don't require any HUB.
The cool thing is these devices show up in the SmartThings App as well as the SmartThings Skill  which is available to Canadians ;)

So there are two opions (I use) to intergrate you home automation products into Alexa if a skill isn't yet available in Canada.

HA-Bridge: https://github.com/bwssytems/ha-bridge/blob/master/README.md

SmartThings Cloud: https://graph.api.smartthings.com/

There are other ways and I'm sure others will jump in with ideas like Tasker and IFTTT

Thanks for your post.

We have similar backgrounds, but have a slightly different focus for our HA at present, because I have a history of using Harmony products for Home Theatre automation, I have started my integration with Alexa using Harmony Hub as the main integration point for other devices. In turn Harmony Hub supports many other devices. I chose it rather than Smart Things when I bought it in December, but I assume Smart Things works well also.

I have recently looked into IFTTT, which looks like it might fill in some gaps, but I am reluctant to add layers before I fully explore what I can do with the setup I currently have. Some people are using Yomino, but I am generally reluctant to add to much linking software at present.

I am also curious why you went with Broadlink as an integration layer? Is it because you already had some of the technology before?

Maybe I will rummage around in my workshop to dig up my old X10 devices to put them into the mix, just for something to try out.

An independent consumer hoping to drive discussion and offer advice on using Echo and Alexa in Canada and home automation in general.

Re: Automation in the Great White North.
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2018, 12:58:40 pm »
The reason I went with the Broadlink was the ability to learn RF as well as IR codes.
Since 99% of my home automation is X10, I knew from reading other posts on different forums that it would learn those codes.
Also the price of these things are hard to beat.
Most old time automation users have a box full of X10 modules laying around. The Old X10 WTI use to give these away (maybe just one reason they went belly up).
The new owners (Authinx) which handled the Pro line have made some real improvements in the X10 modules. They have a new Wi-Fi module coming out this month which I've been beta testing. I'm told an Alexa skill will follow, however that maybe GeoBlocked as well ??? ::)
Since I do chat with the owner I might be able to get the skill release in Canada at the same time as it becomes available in the US ;) Though that really depends on the developer. ??? ::)
« Last Edit: January 01, 2018, 01:02:37 pm by tuicemen »