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  • Alexa Beginner

    I've had a couple of Echo Dots for some time and did play around initially; in fact one of them is still in the box. Now it's time to get serious as I plan to buy three or four more and deploy them around the house when they go on sale again around Christmas.

    Up until now, I've been using the HS Alexa Skill exclusively and am able to control lights/appliances. It's a bit klugy as I have to state room and device names exactly, and there seems to be no way to determine which Dot initiated the command. In addition, I've had no success with having Alexa recognize Events using more natural sounding names for initiating actions, even though said events are enabled for Voice Control exactly as are devices which do work. Is the skill capable of this?

    What I'd like to know is how are others dealing with Alexa. Based on all the chatter, something must work well.

    Running around the board, I see several options... The HS Alexa Skill, Spud's plugin and Jon00's solution as well as perhaps others.
    I really don't want to waste time cluttering up HS with options I'll end up not using.
    So...
    What works best?
    Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

  • #2
    Found part of the answer anyway.
    HS has two Alexa skills. The Homeseer Smarthome skill, which I've been using,
    and the Homeseer Home Automation skill, which does support events, but for whatever asinine reason, is only available in the US.
    Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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    • #3
      Really? I think I've been using it for close to 3 years now along with Jon's helper.
      HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by langenet View Post
        Really? I think I've been using it for close to 3 years now along with Jon's helper.
        https://homeseer.com/amazon-alexa-integration/

        And if you look for it in the Alexa skills page (from within Canada), you won't find it.

        I've looked at Jons script, and it's my next step. Seems to be the best overall option short of creating a thousand virtual devices and events yo get the job done.
        Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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        • #5
          Jons helper is the only way to go. You can totally customize what is recognized, and it can be customized by which echo device heard your instructions. If in kitchen, just say Alexa, tell ten lights off. If elsewhere, say Alexa, tell ten kitchen lights off. (my house name is 'ten')
          tenholde

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tenholde View Post
            Jons helper is the only way to go. You can totally customize what is recognized, and it can be customized by which echo device heard your instructions. If in kitchen, just say Alexa, tell ten lights off. If elsewhere, say Alexa, tell ten kitchen lights off. (my house name is 'ten')
            I haven't used Jon's for years, although I did love how powerful it was. I just hated having to start every statement with "Alexa, tell homeseer to...". Do you know longer have to do that with Jon's PI?

            Wadenut I found that using the standard alexa skill works pretty well when combined with routines you can setup in the Alexa app. You can associate devices and echos to a room (sonos too), and that gives you some flexibility that might get you close.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by tenholde View Post
              Jons helper is the only way to go. You can totally customize what is recognized, and it can be customized by which echo device heard your instructions. If in kitchen, just say Alexa, tell ten lights off. If elsewhere, say Alexa, tell ten kitchen lights off. (my house name is 'ten')
              I'm coming full circle on that. It was the first option I'd looked at over a year ago. I just wasn't thrilled with having to say "Alexa tell Homeseer to...". About that time HS came along with the Homeseer Smarthome skill, and I was impressed I could say "Alexa turn on the...". Well, that went nowhere for me and I eventually shelved the whole thing until now. The Echos will be going on sale quite soon, and I want to be ready before I stock up. I'll get used to the extra verbiage. I see the Homeseer Home Automation skill uses the same syntax anyway.
              Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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              • #8
                Just an FYI for anyone who passes by here in future. I contacted Amazon first re the availability of the HS Home Automation skill in Canada. This was their response:

                This is Diego from Amazon Customer Service. Thank you for contacting us today.
                It's been a pleasure to help you with your Homeseer Smarthome skill inquiry.

                Applications are made and develop by third parties. Amazon just offer the platform.
                Many companies different apps , depending of the markeplace.
                In this case, if the Homeseer Home Automation skill is only available in the US, you will need to contact Homeseer and ask them for the app in Canada.

                It's something completely out of our hands.
                I apologize for the inconvenience


                So, now an email to HST to see if this can't be addressed even though I'm unlikely to need the skill myself.
                Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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                • #9
                  Well... that's interesting... I hope it's not just a matter of time before I Iose the skill.


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                  HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

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                  • #10
                    Conversely then, I hope this situation doesn't prevent me using Jon's helper.
                    Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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                    • #11
                      ... but it appears it does.
                      Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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                      • #12
                        Yes... that's the whole point to Jon's helper. I'm curious about the response you get from HST.
                        HS3PRO 3.0.0.500 as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by langenet View Post
                          Yes... that's the whole point to Jon's helper. I'm curious about the response you get from HST.
                          Wanna bet it's "Amazon determines..."
                          Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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                          • #14
                            Just as I expected. Great service HST.
                            Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

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