FAQ: Amazon Echo: The Official SmartThings Integration is here! (Initial SetUp FAQ)

Don’t worry about this issue… Mine has been offline for months… But the thing works every single time. You’ll get used to it.

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Yesterday Alexa told me it couldn’t find the device I selected, so refresh in WeMo then search in Alexa fixed it, what a pain. In Pollster app from ST I was able to ping the switches every 30 minutes and it seems to help, but since it works in SmartThings but not in Alexa since I turned them off in the Alexa ST app.

My setup worked yesterday and now today stopped working. When I tell Alexa to turn off the Christmas Lights it responses “That command doesn’t work with that device” What the heck does that mean?

A lot of people reporting the same thing today. See the following thread.

I thought I would report here how I finally got ST and Alexa and Harmony Hub working together nicely. It was not a journey that was simple, but now that I look back upon it the whole thing is quite straight forward but only if you know a few specific hints and tricks that don’t seem to be captured anywhere. So I am capturing them here. First, I integrated ST into the Harmony hub app so I can control my devices from the Harmony app just in case I ever want to do this. It works but quite honestly I can’t see myself using it much.

Next, I added the Harmony hub to ST and activated it using my Harmony log in. It follows pretty much the typical OATH pattern we see with other cloud-to-cloud integrations so nothing new here. However, I added both the hub and the suggested activity virtual buttons. This was a mistake in hindsight. They work if you use them manually but they confuse Alexa. If you try to add these to Alexa and then talk to active them, she turns them on and then says “that command is not supported by this device” even though it works. The off command doesn’t work at all. I tracked this down to be because Alexa only knows how to turn on switches which also works with momentary buttons that are just switches that close temporarily. The Harmony virtual devices are a custom device type that is like a switch but not quite so it confuses Alexa.

So instead of adding these virtual buttons it works better to just add the hub. Then add a standard Simulated Switch for each activity. Be sure to call it something unique with two words. I found that Alexa does not like short words like “TV” and “Music” because she confuses this with built in services. I used “Cable TV” and “Sonos Music” and “Apple TV” for my activities. Make these Switches not Momentary Tile buttons. This is important in my opinion because it allows you to then talk naturally and say “Turn on Cable TV” and “Turn off Cable TV” instead of something like “Turn on Cable TV” and “Turn on Cable Off” which is weird. Anyway after adding a virtual button for each activity, go to the Marketplace SmartApps tab and select “More”. Scroll down and you will find an app called “Logitech Harmony Trigger”. Add one of these for each virtual switch. Select the virtual switch as the trigger and the Harmony Hub Activity you want to control as the Action. When done, add one more and select all the activities under the Switch Turned Off trigger option as the trigger and select Activity Off as the action under the hub. I also selected to trigger this action when mode changes to Night but this is a matter of personal taste.

Test each virtual switch to make sure they turn on and off your items correctly. Once this is working with the usual manual controls in the ST app, you are ready to add them into Alexa as devices. The instructions provided above by JDRoberts can be followed to do this. But remember what you are adding into Alexa are the Virtual switches that you created, not the Harmony Hub itself. I like the ST app approach which only requires you to select your devices under the Amazon Echo smart app. After you do this be sure to tell Alexa to “Discover New Devices”. I found that it sometimes takes about a few minutes after the discovery is complete for the cloud to catch up and recognize the new devices.

Hope this helps someone. Sorry about not including any screen shots. If I have more time later I will come back and update this post with added images.

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don’t your echo switches get out of synch if someone uses voice to turn them on and then someone else uses the Harmony remote to turn the tv off?

This is a common occurrence at our house and is the reason I went to momentary switches. :sunglasses:

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yes that is a bad side effect but for us we won’t use the buttons often now that this is working. It isn’t so bad because Harmony is smart enough to ignore duplicate on switches. And off is off - Harmony turns everything off when you say off. It only is a problem in what it shows on the app and my wife never looks at the app but she loves Echo. I think adding a polling feature to keep the switch settings in sync will be easy and a nice thing to add.

That’s the reason for using momentary switches–the switches stay in synch. Momentary switches are more work to set up initially, but then less work, for us any way, in everyday use. But different things will work for different households. :sunglasses:

You can fix that by adding the virtual switches to the harmony hub. Once added, include them in the start and end sequences. For example, your Watch TV virtual switch is set to be toggled on under the harmony Watch TV activity start sequence and off during the end sequence… Since the activity is already running, the hub won’t restart it and your smartthings switch is toggled on to reflect the current state. Works perfectly and keeps everything in sync, regardless if you used an app, alexa, or the remote. I used this before trying out the new Harmony [Connect] app. I prefer the new app, as I hate needing a separate power off virtual switch. Just wish I can get alexa to stop giving me the error message.

On my Harmony hub you can’t mix Home Control devices into Entertainment activities. I tried adding a SmartThings device to the entertainment page and it didn’t work. It saw ST but there was no obvious way to pick which ST device to add. I typed in Simulated Switch and then it prompted me for the remote so I could teach the hub how to access it. This is obviously not how to do it. How did you add your virtual switch to your entertainment devices list? Without this it doesn’t work for me because the Activities task doesn’t list the home control devices. Maybe this is a limitation of my old hub version. I have the very original Harmony hub that was updated in firmware to work with ST.

It’s not an entertainment device. It’s a home control device. So you can add it to the activity, but as a home control device.

The difference is that the entertainment device is controlled directly from the harmony hub while home control devices are controlled by harmony sending requests to the home device control Manager, in this case SmartThings.

In order for this all to have worked, you have to have authorized harmony through to talk to SmartThings before you set up any individual activities.

I’m not sure how that’s done in the current workflow.

Yes I understand but the option to add a home control device directly to an activity simply does not exist on my version of the hub and the application.

V[quote=“kewashi, post:97, topic:20903, full:true”]
Yes I understand but the option to add a home control device directly to an activity simply does not exist on my version of the hub and the application.
[/quote]

It should look like this when viewed through the MyHarmony site or accessed through the Harmony app

First, under settings>devices, you should see SmartThings as a home control device manager. If not, that’s the first thing you have to get set up.

Once you have that, you should see a home control devices option when you go to edit the start sequence for any activity:

If you’re not seeing that, you need to contact support for either Logitech or SmartThings.

thanks JD – my app on the computer does not look like this at all… I then checked the iOS app and it allows me to do this. I am working through it now. My first attempt broke my ST switches - they simply stopped working. I am resetting and trying again. Stay tuned - and thanks so much as usual. I have no clue what is going on with my desktop app… probably just out of date.

Update:
Okay - I reset my hub and tried again. This time it worked. Pretty slick.

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Those of you that are able to open AND close your garage door: any tips or tricks?

I have a myQ hub with 2 garage doors (and a sensor on each), which I’ve integrated into ST using copy-ninja’s MyQ (Connect) smartapp. I have two ST devices: “Garage One” and “Garage 2”, both of which the Echo can open, using a command like “Alexa open garage one”. However, “Alexa close garage one” or “Alexa open garage one” (thinking that maybe it would initiate another “button press”) don’t close the door, despite Alexa saying “ok” in both cases.

Kewashi - do you mind posting screenshots on how to add the simulated switches? I’m getting the “That command doesn’t work with device…” and was wondering how you got around it.

First I wanted to say thanks to everyone. I just recently installed echo/ST system and this community was a lot of help. My way of giving back is the following summary to anyone else starting out with a garage application.

Hardware:
Amazon Echo
Evolve LFM-20 (relay)
SmartThing Multi Purpose Sensor
SmartThing Hub

Installed relay on Sears/Craftman 1/2 Hp. Begin connection search in ST app. Press and hold connection button relay. Go to ST configure website to configure relay as virtual-momentary from device page. Select Alexa app in ST and add devices for control for Alexa.
Installed sensor on door (dont need magnet). Connect within 15 feet of hub, range is extremely short range. This is fairly sketchy device (poor connectivity) for me and because it does not give status to alexa “garage is open” or ‘garage is closed’ it does not do me a lot of good.

One last thing - alexa open the garage easily. It has only closed it once and I have not been able to replicate. Not sure if it is a command structure thing with echo where the “close garage” command does not turn on the relay to tell the garage to close.

There is it, my little give back to someone just learning. Thanks.

Hey there and welcome aboard… Fyi, right now ST is having a problem with external devices, like echo. Things are just not working.

I have see a lot of people using relays and multi sensors with their garage doors. I want to ask, how much does that setup cost?

I ask because I have quite a few posts about people having trouble with this setup and others like it.

I have a gd00z (made by multiple companies) that sells for about 100.00.

This opener works wonderfully with ST and Alexa, if is open, telling Alexa to open the door will not close it.

Is it worth the time and trouble to save a few bucks?

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I completely agree, this is all luxury for me. Yep, been following the postings on the current issue with ST/echo and z-wave devices.

Cost: relay was $43.00, ST Multi sensor was $ 39.00, ST hub V2 was $ 99.00. I will look up a gd00z. So far its been pretty good and my wife likes it. I did tell her to close the garage manually, its separated from the house and we have to walk past its push button anyway and it lessens the chance of crushing the cat (how is that for motivation). if you said “alexa, open garage” it does close the garage. I need to figure out how to get the same command by saying close garage. Range is my current obsession and deficiency. Now I have a bunch of lights so its only expanding.

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Well, welcome to the obsession!

There is a custom code for the gd00z that works great.

Alexa open the garage - door opens and this will not close it
Alex’s close the garage - door closed and this will not reopen it.
While closing and the barrier beam is broken, door will reverse and the app refreshes to the correct status.
App refreshes to correct status after power outage as well.

Honestly, the thing took me 10 minutes to install and it was well worth the 99.00 I paid.

So if you find yours not working the way you want, give this one a shot.

It, ask lots of questions cause there is a lot of knowledge here and it’s gladly shared.

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