Harmony Control from ST


#1

Is there anyway to use the harmony to control various function of devices connected to the harmony?

I have a tower fan (with remote), a heater (with remote) that I would like to be able to turn on and off via ST. I can currently do this only via activities but when you switch activity it turns off your current activity. Like if I’m watching TV and use ST to switch activity have the fan be on, the TV get turns off.

Would be nice to be able to send button press for various device directly from ST. Like if the room is too hot, turn the FAN on.

Any thoughts?


#2

Give this a try, it requires an always on pc or mac to work though.


#3

You can edit the power settings on those devices so they stay on until you hit the “off” button. That’s what I am doing for now.


(Vhamcy) #4

Problem is with “turn off” activity. If you power off “Fan activity” , Harmony would power of all IR activities.
lets assume this sequence.

  1. Turn on - Watch TV (TV and all related devices turned on.)
  2. Turn on - Fan
    Based on power setting of devices in watch TV activity the following would happen.
    a) Power off when not in use: TV and other related devices would turn off as you came out of Watch TV. Turn on Fan
    b) keep devices powered on until you hit the “off” button: TV and other related devices would keep on and fan would be turned on.
    Until now with option b, ever thing looks logical. However, if you now turn-off/power-off “Fan” activity, Harmony sees the “off” command and powers off TV as well as Fan. which does not make any logical sense.

To over come this, you have to create two activities for fan. “Fan Start” and “Fan End” . Also make sure you set the Power setting for “Fan” device to keep alway powered on. Now instead of ending the “Fan Start” , you would turn on “Fan End” activity.
My case with Alexa,

  1. Alexa, Turn on Watch TV
  2. Alexa, Turn on Fan Start
  3. Alexa, Turn on Fan end
    Trick is never ever calling the Off command.

#5

There are multiple ways to approach the problem.

  1. As already suggested, you can set up your activities with duplicates so that you get every combination of on and off that you want.

  2. You can get a second harmony hub and only use it to control The mutually exclusive HVAC activities. So you put heating and cooling devices on one harmony hub and the entertainment devices on the other. And you coordinate them through smart things If desired.

  3. you use the method linked to above which gives you more granular control of harmony, but requires setting up your own server

  4. you used to be able to contact harmony support and ask them to change a specific device on your account from being listed under entertainment devices to being listed under home control devices. But I don’t know if they are still doing that. Home control activities don’t automatically turn off other activities, which is why your lights can stay on while you’re changing from the Roku to the Xbox. By default, anything controlled with IR is listed as an entertainment device even though obviously an air-conditioner isn’t. So it could be worth asking them. If you get an answer either way, let us know.

There are other methods as well which involve other IR control devices but I think the four above are easier. The last one would be easiest of all, I just don’t know if it’s possible.


#6

Thanks guys…I’ll give some of the suggestion a try this weekend.