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Unbelievable Alexa Experience -- GOOD

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    Originally posted by freeon View Post
    I have tried a few different voice control option and haven't had much success with any. This is giving me a bit of confidence but would like to verify something before I go spend money on this.

    1. Does anyone know if this will work in Canada? The Canadian Amazon website doesn't sell it so want to make sure before I get one on ebay.

    2. Can you program the exact key phrase you want and it will trigger the event. With Siri sometimes she will just google what I says instead of triggering the event.

    3. How well does it work with ambient noise and how close do you have to be. I tried Kinect and didn't have success when the TV was on.

    4. Lastly do you get any false positives? Meany events triggering without calling them.
    2. Using the IFTTT interface, you specify the phrase, such as: turn on all lights
    to run the recipe with this phrase you say: Alexa trigger turn on all lights. So far, I have only used the recipe channel that runs an event. So, I just build a recipe that triggers on Alexa hears: turn on all lights with a homeseer THAT of run event that I specify (that turns on all lights)

    3. I've been very impressed with its recognition. I've talked to it from the next room and it has recognized command every time. Have not played with many different scenarios with ambient noise.

    4. Have not used it much (wrapped and hidden away right now), but I have had no false positives yet



      New HomeSeer Echo interface:



        Originally posted by Automated View Post
        Too bad I will never trust my automation to a cloud provider.

        Surely the local voice control options can be just as good without needing to round trip through the cloud....if not now, then some day.

        None of this will work if the internet is down. HST, you tout internet-independent, but you're no longer sticking to that. Although impressive, I'd much rather have something that was not internet-dependent.
        HS4Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi4
        68 Z-Wave Nodes, 175 Events, 359 Devices
        UPB modules via OMNI plugin/panel
        Plugins: Z-Wave, OMNI, HSTouch, weatherXML, EasyTrigger
        HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler


          i agree i had some issues with the internet yesterday and half the times i told alexa to do something it was down and i actually had to walk over to a switch or pull up the app on my phone and it was a pain but until there is a good offline echo type system i am not going back as it works far too well and makes the automation system so much more useful now that i can just tell it what to do from anywhere

          if i get board sometime this winter i may have a hack at the echo and see if i can use the mic and speaker parts with a local PC


            The power is in the recognition engine which is in the cloud



              You are a lucky man to have a wife that likes gadgets.

              Here the only gadget I ever purchased for my wife was a Philips Pronto for one Valentine's day.

              I did have it wrapped in a nice red fluffy bag with white satin and all that stuff.

              Well she did tell me that the Philips Pronto was NOT a romantic present and never to purchase a gadget as a gift to her for any Valentine's day, Anniversary, Easter, Birthday, or Christmas.

              So I never did afterwards.

              That said my cousin is enamoured with her Amazon Echo and she spoke of it more than her husband at the last family get together.

              I think she purchased it herself and now doesn't sleep with her iPhone or talk much to Siri these days.
              Her husband looked a bit aloof at the last family get together. He didn't mention the Amazon Echo at all.

              BTW here the Amazon Echo is off behind some shelf in the family room due to WAF. Think it was because of the monolith look?

              I am tinkering with the Alexa (Spuds HS Plugin) and Grace (Spuds HS Plugin for the Kinect) these days. (only in my home office for the time bean).

              Alexa is on demand and Grace is from Australia (but she lives on the HS3 computer).

              I can also utilize the new Homeseer Amazon plugin with virtual Alexa.

              With the multiple Alexa applications running I can just have them talk to each other.

              Last edited by Pete; December 9, 2015, 09:27 PM.
              - Pete

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              Homeseer 3 Pro - (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
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              X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant


                While I have my own skill working and I'm happy with it, I still want a way to turn things on and off without having to start by saying "tell homeseer to". It looks like the HA Bridge really is the best way to do that currently and tonight I started playing with it. The only real problem with it is you have to set up each device individually with its own on and off URLs. That's a lot of cutting and pasting for a house like mine with a ridiculous number of individual lights.

                So I got to thinking, in my Alexa Skill I loop through devices and generate sample utterances for the skill. The HA Bridge has a REST api for adding new devices. Why not combine the two and create a feature that will configure all your devices on the HA bridge!

                I've got a working prototype already. In the next few days I'll release a new version of my script with an option for automatic configuration of the HA bridge. You'll just need to specify in the ini file the domain and port of the Bridge server, and the domain and port of your homeseer server to put into the on and off URLs. Using the latest ha bridge I now have 53 various on/off/dim devices configured in the bridge and discovered by the Echo.
                Last edited by Thrag; December 10, 2015, 04:23 AM.


                  Thrag that is sweet i have been trying to hold out to get a faster computer before i add anything else but i may have to make an exception now. are you you using the Synology for the ssl or is there an easier way?


                    Originally posted by usLEDsupply View Post
                    Thrag that is sweet i have been trying to hold out to get a faster computer before i add anything else but i may have to make an exception now. are you you using the Synology for the ssl or is there an easier way?
                    For the HA Bridge part there's no SSL to set up. It just uses http on the local network for everything. I installed the bridge on my HS box.

                    In order to set up my skill, I did use my Synology box to generate the SSL certificate rather than install and use openSSL from the command line like the Amazon documentation outlines. So it was a shortcut for me, but it's not required to have a Synology box.

                    I'm using a different version of the HA Bridge application than the one listed above but it works the same. It's located here: The main difference is that with the other bridge I could only get 28 devices configured. This one seems to support up to 56. I haven't delved into the source of the bridge to figure out the reason for the limitation. One odd thing is when I went to register devices, the Echo announced no devices were found, but it did create them.

                    The main problem I'm dealing with now seems to be that when using the HA bridge's on command that includes a dim percent, "on" is 100 percent. However my Leviton switches apparently only take values up to 99. So saying turn on fails but setting a dim level works. I'm looking for a workaround.

                    Whether I solve my specific switch issue or not, today I'm going to add some instructions and package up my new script with the bridge configuration feature so others can try it out.


                      great if you wouldn't mind posting the instructions for using the Synology SSL i would like to use that as well as i see mine has that option

                      if you don't want the dimming you can hard code the on value to 99%. but i love the dimming option so maybe you could add a filter that would change 100 to 99 but all my switches work fine with 100% so not an issue for me

                      cant wait to try it out



                        I just solved the On problem. The HA bridge can pass either a raw 0-255 value, a 0-100 percent, and most importantly any math expression that can be passed into, using X as the raw value. So I have "On" working, and managed to make "On" really mean "On Last Level" with this expression "X==255?255:X/255*99". It uses "255" when you say on, which is the raw value for on last level on my switches. So if it's 255, I just pass that, and for any other number I take a percentage and weight it down slightly by multiplying the fraction by 99 rather than 100. The flaw in this plan is that if I say dim to 100, or just say brighten when the light is already at 95% or higher, that will come through as an On Last Level command and so might behave unexpectedly. I think I can live with that in order for one to set the last level.

                        I'm going to make the math expression an optional ini parameter so that it can be customized to work with any lighting system's expected values. If nothing is specified, the percent will be used.

                        Now I should get back to my real job. Release is definitely on for tonight!


                          I've released a new version of my script that performs automatic configuration of a HA Bridge install.


                          Thank you usLEDsupply for posting the bridge instructions again and inspiring me to finally install it. The rest of the credit for this work goes to Alexa itself, for responding to my attempts to tell my skill to turn off a light with its "no connected home devices..." message so many times I finally got fed up and figured "Fine! I'll give you some damned connected home devices! Will that finally make you happy!"


                            Originally posted by usLEDsupply View Post
                            great if you wouldn't mind posting the instructions for using the Synology SSL i would like to use that as well as i see mine has that option
                            To have your synology box create a certificate for you, first log into your unit and open the control panel window. Click Security in the Connectivity section. Now look at the tabs across the top and click Ceritificate. Click the button to create a certificate and choose self signed certificate from the options. Click that and fill out the short form with whatever you want. It will generate the certificate.

                            Synology will now start using that certificate. To use it with my plug in and apache we've got to get a copy of it. Hit the export certificate button on the certificate tab. You'll get a zip file which contains server.key and server.crt files. Drop both into your apache\conf folder. Then in the Amazon developer portal where you set up your test skill, copy the content of the crt file into the certificate page. Open the .crt file in notepad and literally copy and paste.


                              Originally posted by usLEDsupply View Post
                              I have copied some of this from ultrajones post that is gone now and updated it to the new version

                              1. Download and install Java 8 from

                              2. Open a command prompt using Start > Run > cmd, then run:

                                   netstat -an | find ":1900" 
                              netstat -an | find ":8080" 
                              netstat -an | find ":5000"
                              Each command above should return nothing. However, chances are you'll see a result for 1900. If you do, then disable the SSDP Discovery service from Windows Services, then re-run the command to make sure it's been disabled.

                              (Or in most cases if you just disable the "SSDP Discovery service" and "World Wide Web Publishing Service" from Windows Services you will be fine) (or you could change the port to an open one if you would rather)

                              3. create a new folder named Echo in C:\ (C:\Echo)

                              4. download this and place it in the C:\Echo folder

                              5. Create a new text file and paste this into it
                              cd c://echo
                              java -jar amazon-echo-bridge-0.2.1.jar --logging.file=ha.log >log.txt
                              (change the IP address to match the IP of the PC running this mine is the HS3 PC)
                              then save changes and rename it to "Echo Java Startup v2.1.bat" and place it in the startup folder
                              if win 10 it should be here C:\Users\Admin\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup

                              7. double click the file you just made and it should open the cmd window and start the bridge (you can minimize the window)

                              8. open a web browser and go to


                              enter your Homeseer IP address in the top then
                              type a name you want to say to alexa in the
                              Name field like "Kitchen Light" then paste this in the
                              On URL field:
                              Off URL field:
                              just change the IP to match your HS3 Computer and change the xx after ref=xx your device ID number (you can find with the tenScriptAid or under the advanced tab of the device or i just hold my mouse over the device link on the device management page and look at the status bar for the id#)

                              if you don't want to enable dimming but want the lights to come on to a set value enter it at the end like this (when you tell alexa to turn on the bedroom lights they will turn on to 50%) (in the link below the ref id is 108)
                              On URL field:
                              when you are done you can click test for the on and off lines then click add device

                              when you are done adding devices ask Alexa to discover devices (e.g. "Alexa, discover devices").
                              After about 30 seconds, Alexa should indicate she was able to find x number of new devices.

                              You can navigate Settings then Connected Home in your alexa app to view or delete the discovered devices
                              Interestingly enough I had set this up for the Echo (works great) and also found that it worked for the Harmony Hub IR remote software. I can now control lights with my Harmony remote. Sweet!


                                Thanks for this. And yes, I'm thankful but I am also posting to make this thread easier to find again when I need it...