Alexa + SmartThings + IFTTT + Harmony to turn TV on and off by voice (2015 version)

I’ve tried several times and I can’t get the virtual switch for the on/off to work.

I created the switch in ST (Media Power), but when I got to tell a Harmony activity to turn Media Power on as part of an activity, I get a red band across the top and an error message that Harmnoy couldn’t connect. Am I missing something now that ST and Harmony talk to each other directly without IFTTT?

Try this topic:

Thanks, but ST is connected to Harmony and all my momentary switches work, it’s just that one virtual switch to use the on/off that I can’t get to work.

Is the red banner in the Harmony app? Or in the smartthings mobile app?

You have an activity that exists in harmony, and you are trying to use the harmony logitech triggers smart app to associate to it? Or you already got everything set up, it just doesn’t happen to be working today?

Here are my steps to set up a momentary button called Netflix activate a Harmony activity which is also called Netflix. (The names or just a coincidence. They could be different.

I just tested and everything worked fine here.

One time setup for harmony hub

One) use “harmony connect” smart up to establish my hub as a device too smart things that’s a one time set up process what you’ve already done.

One time setup for a new trigger, in this case Netflix

One) Create a new virtual momentary switch. I called this Netflix. It’s going to trigger a Harmony activity which is also called Netflix, although it’s fine if they had two different names.

Two) go into the marketplace section of the smartthings mobile app, select “harmony logitech triggers” smart app and install it. You need one instance of this smart app for every trigger rule that you will have.

Three) stepping through that wizard choose “switch on” as the trigger, and select my momentary switch called “Netflix” as the switch to use

Four) still stepping through the wizard, choose Netflix from the list of activities

Five) still stepping through the wizard, save this trigger under the name “harmony trigger Netflix” and finish installing it.

This completes the one time set up of the trigger.

To Use the Trigger

Now that everything is set up, whenever I want to activate the harmony activity called Netflix, I can just find the Netflix switch in the SmartThings mobile app and tap it and the associated harmony activity should start.

Sometimes you can get a timeout error here, it’s just a problem of harmony not responding.

When that happens, first check to see if your harmony has a firmware or app update pending.

If not, just try again.

3 Likes

Hey guys new v2 user. I was able to add my harmony hub to smarthings. I set up the controls in harmony to turn on my tv and cable box. I know how to create a switch on ide. How do i get Alexa to turn on the tv. I was able to create an on trigger, used Alexa helper and harmony trigger, Alexa found trigger but nothing happens. Can someone put a step my step for v2 hub?

One) if you toggle the switch manually in the SmartThings app, does the harmony activity come on? If not, see the following thread (this is a clickable link.)

Two) if it does toggle manually, but nothing happens with Alexa, then did you authorize echo to use that switch? See step 10 in the first post in the set up. thread.

1 Like

Yes switch does nothing when I turn it on, so in other words I have to check my harmony and see if there are unconnected hubs lying around?

Yes, I think so, but that would be a conversation for the Harmony connection thread.

Tried it again this morning and was able to turn the tv on with the switch in smart things. Weird. Will have Alexa connect to it and test later. Now to turn everything off I have to create another seperate switch correct?

Stupid question but momentary switch is momentary tile button?

Not stupid. Yes, it is that one.

If you only want to have one activity (ie turn on/off tv), you could do it with one virtual switch and be able to say “turn on tv” and “turn off tv”. If you want to be able to go to Netflix, go to a certain channel, etc etc… Then momentum tiles is the way to go, but you’ll have to change the name up for on and off (ie “turn on tv” and “turn off entertainment center”)

Yep that’s what I did this morning, made a simulated switch to turn on and off tv, it turned it on but did not turn it off…

In order to turn it off you have to have an activity that will turn off what you want turned off and then you have to set up a “harmony trigger” on the SmartThings site so that that switch going off triggers the activity off. There’s no toggle option when you set up an activity trigger where on means activity on and off means activity off. It takes two triggers for the one switch.

But you don’t have to do anything else with echo, once the switch is authorized there it can be turned on or off. The difference is just inside the SmartThings mobile app that you need two triggers.

That’s what I thought from reading the posts and what you guys did. Thank you for all your help, just to make sure I have this right, set up a virtual device on ide, do I select momentary button or simulated switch? Once device is created I go to harmony trigger app and set up trigger to turn on device. Once device is set up I add it to Amazon echo app in st, then discover thru Alexa. Now I can turn on tv thru smart things or ask Alexa to “turn on tv”. In order to turn it off i have to create another virtual device. Harmony trigger off and turn off tv. And continue same process. Now what would I say to Alexa to trigger off, Alexa turn off tv?

Momentary button tile is like a door bell button. You only turn it “on” then it automatically turns itself back off again.

The “simulated switch” is a binary switch like a plastic light switch toggle. If you turn it on it stays on until you turn off again.

So if you name your power switch “TV” and it is a “simulated switch” (binary switch), then you can turn it on and it will stay on until you turn it off again.

So you would have one harmony trigger that starts an activity when it goes on.
And another how many trigger that ends an activity when it goes off.

Your Amazon commands would be

“Alexa, turn on TV” and

“Alexa, turn off TV”

A different method: the off switch, is only used for off, it is not used for on

That said, I don’t do it that way.

I have multiple possible on triggers.

“Alexa, turn on Roku”

“Alexa, Turn on ESPN TV” "

“Alexa, Turn on Netflix” etc

These are all momentary button tiles. Each can turn on and activity, and then the switch turns itself off so it’s ready to be used again the next time.

Then I have one "simulated switch " which I never use to turn anything on, I only use it to turn the whole entertainment center off. I call it “TV” because that’s the physical device that is my master power device. So I have one more extra trigger and my Amazon command is "

"Alexa, Turn off TV. "

I can say “Alexa, turn on TV” and echo will turn the switch on but I don’t have any harmony activities associated with it so nothing would happen.

Instead, in every single harmony activity I create, I add a step that does nothing except turn on the virtual TV switch. That’s just so it will be available to turn off when I want to turn off the power.

This way I never have to worry about things getting out of sync if I start from “Alexa, turn on Netflix .”

2 Likes

Perfect! Now I completely understand! Thank you! Can’t wait to mess more with this, sorry took a while, for me to wrap my head around but now I see how you can tell that tv is on by adding it to the other momentary tile triggers!

1 Like

Can someone confirm which Harmony Hubs? There is the “Smart Control”, “Harmony Home Control” and “Harmony Ultimate Home”. I guess my question is does it work with the previous “Smart Control”?

I would check with Harmony to be sure. But members have reported that if it has a hub, and it is updated to the latest firmware, then it will work.

From Logitech:

As Harmony and SmartThings communicate over your home Wi-Fi network, Harmony remotes that do not come with a Wi-Fi enabled Harmony hub will be unable to control it.

I’m willing to bet that the “Smart Control” will not work. Its the previous generation, and can be found on ebay much cheape than the Home Control. Just curious.