BigTalker 2.0 -- Development

Hehe…Thanks for the shout out! I was sending you a PM when you tagged me :slight_smile:

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I have the (notoriously buggy and unreliable) Samsung Multiroom paired to my SmartThings 2.0 hub.
I have been looking for a solution to announce the time over these speakers at regular intervals (more frequently during certain times of the day, like every 10 minutes in the morning before work and thereafter every hour on the hour.)
Is there a way to setup BigTalker to do this? From what I have been able to figure out, one can only set BigTalker to announce the time once at the pre-set time, but I’ve been unable to figure out a way to get it to announce the time say every 10 minutes between 06:00 and 07:30?

CoRE, Talking Alarm Clock maybe?
. . . .

Thanks for the suggestion. I tried the Talking Alarm clock, but unless I’m being stupid, it doesn’t seem to be able to repeat the announcement (alarm) every say 10 min.

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You are correct. The alarm clock is really for waking up…I designed this long before the Alexa was used and didn’t have a snooze. However there are ways to get it to do what you want if that is like a “snooze” feature.


Thanks Michael, but what I have in mind is for an app to announce the time every 10 minutes between e.g. 06:00 and 07:30, interrupting the currently playing music, so that everyone in the home knows how long they have to get ready for school/work etc. This should obviously happen automatically during that period. And maybe, during other times like over weekends, interrupt the music every hour on the hour to announce the time (or chime the time like an old-fashioned grandfather clock)

Ironically, I have a feature just for that in the next month or so using the Ask Alexa app. Not sure if you have an Alexa, but it actually isn’t required for this ‘scheduler’ feature. I can go into more detail if you’d like, but if you don’t have an Alexa I actually don’t recommend you go through the hassle of the install as it is a very large app for just this little feature. However, if you DO have an Alexa, it will give you EXACTLY what you are looking for in terms scheduling and voice notifications/reminders to external speakers.

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I do have Alexa.

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Excellent…In that case you will want Ask Alexa…either now to get the installation over with or after I release the scheduler extension.

Let me know if you need assistance setting it up. I would start here:

The nice this is that Big Talker is compatible with Ask Alexa in that you can pump output from BT to Ask Alexa…not much use right now, but when push notifications come from Amazon all partner apps will then be able to use Alexa as their output device.

Let me know if you need anything with the setup. If you ALREADY have Ask Alexa I may be able to give you a sneak preview into the new features to ensure they work for you.

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I recently started testing BT2 and am running into similar issues I was having with BT1. The issues revolve around events that happen back to back and that only make sense if announced promptly and in the correct order. An example is the door unlocked, door open, door closed and door locked. The announcement has to happen quickly and in sequence… but both BT 1 and 2 suffer from some degree on “tongue tripping” so to speak. Messages are stuttered or truncated and in some cases there is a long delay. I realize that a component of this is how fast the contact sensor and lock both report their status so addressing this may be impossible… however I keep wondering the same thing, which is:

Some “things”, such as a door, can have more than one correlated status… open / closed and locked / unlocked. Why doesn’t ST support an object “Door” that has device lock, and contact open/closed associated with it? Given ST doesn’t support this, it may be ideal for BT to have the ability to configure correlated announcements for the same “thing”. Right now, if I were to use the default setup, I would get messages that say “front door lock is now unlocked” and then “front door is now open”. The first issue is that I prefer it say “front door is now unlocked” rather than using the actual device name (which has to be more detailed than just ‘front door’) and the second issue is that unlocked, open, closed and locked often happen very quickly so it would be ideal to consolidate them when possible. To address these issues I have 1 child for each door so that the unlocked / locked can be hardcoded with the door name rather than having to use the door lock name, and then I shortened all the messages eliminating “is now”. It is still not ideal though… If BT had the concept of door, with a name for it that it can use to announce a status, this would eliminate the issue of devices with longer more descriptive names, and then it might even be able to say “front door unlocked and open” or “front door closed and locked”… this may be harder to achieve given the multiple devices communicating at different times but I just have to wonder…

It would be nice if ST supported this natively though. It appears ST, Alexa, etc are all setup for those who have a tiny number of devices that can be given non descriptive names such as “front door”, “light”, “lock” but as soon as you have a number of devices where you need to know which aspect of a door, or which light, etc then you have to use longer names like “Master Bedroom Table Lamp” which can be a tongue twister to say but it tells you room and device. Now… if Alexa supported the concept of “Room” and an Echo associated to that room… we could say “turn on table lamp” and it would know which light to turn on… but this is a totally different topic…


This has been a struggle forever. Events are instantaneous and the newest event can interrupt execution of the previous. I attempted to resolve the back-to-back notifications in BT2 by introducing a talk queue with a minimum delay time between events. Can you try adjusting line 3216 of the parent app (parent app version P2.0.a8) in BT2 to increase the delay between talk events?
Line 3216 sets this delay to 6 seconds.

def minDelay = 6 //Minimum seconds between talking

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Can someone point me to the correct post? I’d like to use the Sonos as TTS for events via BigTalker but cannot find how to get Sonos to show up as a speech device in BT. I used LANnouncer in the past with BT and it worked well. What’s the piece I’m missing in BT? A custom DH for Sonos? A TTS SmartApp?

Ah, I suppose I need to change the speech synthesis mode someplace. Digging more. It’s been awhile since I set this up.

Unfortunately, musicPlayer or speechSynthesis mode can only be set during the install of the BigTalker SmartApp.
For Sonos, you need to be in musicPlayer mode.
For LanNouncer, you need to be in speechSynthesis mode.

You can either uninstall and reinstall the app from the SmartThings mobile app or go to the Marketplace (since you already have the BigTalker code published in your IDE) and install another instance choosing musicPlayer mode during initial setup.

I recently got a Google Home, and I’ve set it up to announce BT events using the MediaRenderer SmartApp and BubbleUPnP server running on my Synology.

This combination strikes me as sub-optimal for a number of reasons, not least of which is the long delay between the time an event is triggered and an announcement is made on the speaker.

I stumbled across a DTH that implements the Cast API here, and I’m working on a Docker image for the node.js proxy that is required. I’d be very interested in seeing Google Cast devices supported as a native device type for BT.

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Any chance of adding this feature into 2.0. Or is it only going to be available for 1.1.12? Adjusting the volume for announcements.

This is in 2.0. In the parent app you set the default volume for announcements. then in the child app you can override the default announcement volume.

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I must be blind because i can not see it. I am looking in the BigTalker-Dev-Parent app and I cant find it. Can you message me a screenshot.

Can you please add more personality to the app? Thanks.

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