Alexa does not discover Blinds integrated by Device Handler

motorizedblinds

#1

Smartthings Community-

I am trying to solve a discovery issue with Alexa in regards to my Somfy motorized rolling shades that around controlled and integrated via a device handler produced by imnotbob. As I am able to control and interact with the blinds and the control aspects afforded to it, I am not however able to discover these blinds when alexa is asked accordingly.

I am able to discover other devices like my homeseer switches and dimmers that are as well leveraged and integrated/controlled by a device handler developed by dardwin.

Any help would be greatly appreciated as I moved over to ST from Homeseer where these devices via “plugins” worked flawlessly not only through integration but as well through alexa as well.

Thanks for the forum and audience to discuss my issue.


(Micheal ) #2

I assume you are referring to native Alexa integration? Shades usually are seen as dimmers, so they should be recognized. If not, there are a couple solutions. You could tie the blinds open/closed/position to a virtual dimmer that CAN be recognized by Alexa. The other option is to us a custom skill like Ask Alexa to utilize the blinds. I am the author of Ask Alexa and am pretty sure these would work with the app. However, the installation is quite lengthy and I don’t recommend it unless you are really committed to an ‘alexa centric’ house (i.e. you want to do more than control blinds).

Let me know. if you are interested in installing Ask Alexa, you can start here:http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Ask_Alexa


(Jimmy) #3

Make sure the device handler has capability for either switch or dimmer.


#4

I am using the DH from Imnotbob


#5

I assume I can relate this to a plug-in from my homeseer work that really bridges the gap to control devices not natively supported. I would be very interested. Are the instructions included in the reader.md in your github repository? If not, can you point me in the right direction please.

Thanks for the support


(Micheal ) #6

If you mean the instructions for Ask Alexa, they are here :http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Ask_Alexa. The instructions were too long and detailed for Git Hub.

As for the plugin to homeseer, I am not a user of that and don’t have any information.


(KL Forslund) #7

Have you tried:
make a pair of Scenes in STC for open and closed blinds
Discover those scenes in Alexa app
Make a pair of Routines in Alexa to set those scenes using nice phrasing like “Open the Blinds”

As MichaelS talks about in reference to using Ask Alexa, if Alexa won’t execute the Scene because it doesn’t recognize the device (or in my case, it wouldn’t do an ST scene because it realized it contained a Lock I wanted to Lock). then the idea MichaelS has to makea Virtual Switch (or dimmer), and then automate in STC when the vswitch changes state to manipulate the blinds. Then get Alexa app to recognize the vSwitch and the effect is the same. You could use this in combination with the Scene trick so you can “open the blinds” rather than “turn on the blinds”

I could be missing something, but I don’t see a need for Ask Alexa with the Scene and vSwitch tricks.


(Micheal ) #8

Agreed…using Ask Alexa to JUST open the blinds is like swatting a fly with a frying page…kind of overkill.


#9

I apologize for probably not being clear here. I can get Alexa to open and close blinds based on statement of On and Off. I would assume with your Ask Alexa, I would be able to customize and allow it to be a more natural Open vs. close statement of execution that in turns make the API call to On or Off respectively. Is that the case?

WRT to Homeseer, I understand and didnt expect you to have possible knowledge of it, but used it as a comparison as they have native AVS statement structures you can load to make a command more natural for a given device, event, scene, routine, etc…

If “Ask Alexa” smart app can customize the AVS natural message behavior I can create to map to the action, that is what I am looking for.

Lastly, I see that Alexa does see my ST routines, but I cannot get Alexa to recognize and execute to them. This is one that stumps me for sure.

Thanks for the support and look forward to potential feedback,


(KL Forslund) #10

if Alexa sees your ST Routines/Scenes (treats them as the same thing in Alexa when it imports them as Alexa Scenes), then make a new Alexa Routine. That Routine can set an Alexa Scene, which is one you imported from ST.

Since the Alexa Routine can have any command you want to say, that gets you your goal.


(Micheal ) #11

To answer your question, yes…Ask Alexa can do blinds with open/close commands. However, the ‘path to least resistance’ is indeed an Alexa Routine (and this coming from the author of Ask Alexa). Sometimes easy is best.