CoRE for Dummies (How to get started and make your first Piston)

I’ve yet to find a scenario that was not possible with CoRE. And then with the askAexa integration, all of it voice controlled!

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Just ask and someone will probably say it is or it isn’t possible :slight_smile: – and maybe point you to other resources that may make it possible.

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This thread started by @bamarayne, back in June, has the potential to provide tons of example CoRE pistons. Unfortunately, it’s not being used very frequently :disappointed:

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True, everyone keeps posting their piston questions in the build threads, which makes them impossible to follow.

Where do I send a minor bug report?
When building a piston, When building the condition, it requires entering the comparison twice.

  • presence sensor
  • user1
  • user2
  • Evaluation mode
  • All
  • Comparison
  • is
  • Value
  • not present

I have to clear the Comparison value and re-enter it for the condition to be accepted. Is this normal?

Well, again the thread you should be on is…

My thread is just a very basic primer and I’m afraid is just not intended to answer all questions you might have with CoRE. Whereas the other thread is viewed by the developer and he often provides help and answers. And I totally understand that thread is a bit long (number of posts) but it is the better place to go IMO.

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Great job on your tutorial… All help is appreciated by everyone.

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Ok, Now I can see why apps can be better. Server outages.

Wouldn’t you be able to do the same thing with the smart lighting app in smartthings?

Only a very basic rule. The walk thru above is just an example to get you started with CoRE. But it is extremely robust in terms of options (types of triggers, layering of conditions, etc.), so it can far exceed anything you could ever do with just the standard Smart Lighting app.

That being said, if all you require is a very simple “turn on lights at sunset” type of rule, then something like Smart Lighting would both work and might be a better way to set it up.


Smart Lighting is extremely limited, extremely.

But, if your devices are eligible for local processing and you are looking for simple automations, then smart lighting is the way to go.

Every app has a purpose and every propose is different.


Would I be able to use a piston as a widget on my phone? The reason I ask is because if I want to quickly dim the lights to watch a movie it would be better to just click on my phone and press one button.

Maybe you can set it up as a Tap piston, it will take a couple extra clicks though.

A shortcut to the Dashboard on your phone (this is probably where your delay would be), click it, then Click the Tap piston.

Well, the way I think of CoRE is more like the HAL9000 computer (or really any scifi movie where the computer controls the workings of the spaceship). So most of my pistons are created to do things without me “stating” what I want with button presses, etc.

There are some I have that “sense” what I want done, for example turning on a light in a room when it’s dark and I walk in (motion sensor, etc.).

However, for something like a “watching movies activity” (if you think of it that way) you may want to just set up a routine. @JDRoberts has a nice explanation of modes and routines in this post…

The Tap piston sounds cool, never heard of that one. @eibyer is that the “DO” one? And if so, how would you set it up to be on the ST dashboard?


You can create a virtual switch.
Set that switch as one of the trigger to fire your piston.
Create a routine that only turns that switch on and off.
Setup the ST widgets on your phone and that routine will be there.
Tap that routine --> switch turns on --> piston runs.


The TAP is a feature of the dashboard view in CoRE. You can not currently set that up to be on the widget screen. Only routines and modes show up there.

See my above post for how to get it to work.

Very basic problem (sorry about that). This guide was very helpful. However, I am still unable to get CoRE into my SmartApps. I see it in the IDE, but not on my phone app for SmartThings. I’m guessing it is because I did get an error during the linking process: In Git Bash I typed: git remote add upstream https://github.comSmartThingsCommunity/SmartThingsPublic.git and it returned the following error message: fatal: not a git repository (or any of the parent directories): .git

If this is not the right place, please point me in the right direction. I am very new to this, but excited to get started with CoRE. Thanks

Hmmmm, just copy and paste…

Yep, that doesn’t sound good at all.

But if it’s in the IDE does it show as “Published” in the status? Also when you click on it (the link that should say “ady624 : CoRE” in Namespace/Name does it actually show code?

Love the TAP, I wonder how much would it take to bribe @joshua_lyon to work with @ady624 on a magic widget…

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