Newbie: First automation of Keen HVAC vent. Misc questions


(Mike Reed) #1

So I’m brand new to ST. All I have so far is a v2 ST Hub and a KEEN SmartVent. I have STSC (ST Samsung Connect) installed on my iPhone (because I was initially told to do so by support). But since STSC didn’t seem to work on my iPad, I installed STC (ST Classic) on the iPad. Did all that a few weeks ago…

So today, I decided to write an “automation”, since I saw that listed in both STSC and STC. So on my iPad I opened STC and created an automation I named “Turn Heat on in Guest Rm”. I didn’t see a logical choice for my KEEN vent, so I chose “Turn on these lights or switches”, and assigned it to act on KEEN. I saved it, then tried to run it. Nothing happened at vent (louvers were/are still closed). Then I thought - maybe this literally just turns the vent on/off, rather than control the louvers of the vent which can open from 0 - 100%. But I see no way to control the louvers… Obviously a newbie lack of understanding :slight_smile:

Oddly, when I look at STSC on my iPhone, it does not list any automations. It’s been over 20 mins since I created the automation on my iPad, so the cloud couldn’t be that slow in syncing, right?

I also stumbled into the ST IDE web site - I did not know that existed until yesterday :slight_smile: . I see no signs of automations in this IDE, just My SmartApps. And they look like they are code-based (Groovy, which I know nothing about, yet).

Lost in ST Space :slight_smile:


(Mike Reed) #2

I’m also wondering what the best resource(s) are for starting off with ST? The ST “Getting Started” page sounded like it would be a good place, but it doesn’t really get into any of the details, like how do I create an automation? Instead it quickly fades into oblivion… Or I need another coffee because it’s right in front of me? :slight_smile:


#3

SmartThings (Samsung Connect) And smartthings classic are using two completely different rules engines. In general, you shouldn’t expect to see automations created in one show up in the other, although it’s not impossible. It just gets supercomplicated. Samsung‘s intention is that everyone will eventually be on STSC, But the problem is that right now it is missing a lot of the functionality that is in smartthings classic. So people have to continue to use classic in order to get that missing functionality.

I don’t have the keen device, so I can’t comment on that, hopefully someone who does will. But I think it quite likely that You are not supposed to use the official smart lighting feature for that one, which is what it sounds like you did. There’s probably a more specific smartapp that can do what is needed, but again I’ll leave that for someone else to address.

The main thing I wanted to say is at this point, do not expect anything you do through classic to “sync” with anything you do through STSC, or vice versa. They just aren’t set up to work that way. In fact, if you’re like most people, they are defined as two different “locations.“ But again I will leave others to comment on those issues. At the present time, though, most people will not be using both of the apps. The exception will be those who had a smartthings account set up prior to March 1, and also have a 2018 Samsung smart television, or who have the Samsung connect home Wi-Fi system, as those people will have to have STSC But may be relying on functionality not yet available in that app.

I’m going to tag @jkp As someone I know who has some Familiarity with both of the apps under iOS. But hopefully others will comment as well.


#4

There is community written starter information for smartthings classic, but not for STSC yet. So I’m a little hesitant to give you those resources, just in case you end up deciding you are going to abandon classic for now. But if you do want to see them, and you promise not to get angry with me if you end up deciding you should just never have tried to use classic to begin with :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:, here they are:

In the community – created wiki, look on the quick browse lists, then look at the project reports near the bottom of the page and check out the topics on the “get started” list. Just remember that almost all of those will apply only to classic, not to “smartthings (Samsung connect) “.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

And then in particular, this:


(Mike Reed) #5

Thanks so much for the info JD! So how does the ST IDE web site related to these 2 apps? Like I said earlier, there’s no sign of the automations feature I saw in STC on my iPad…

I wonder what people are doing that have, like me, an iPad and iPhone? I could not get STSC to work on my iPad - app would launch and display main screen, but if I clicked on the Devices tab (bottom, middle), it would auto-minimize. I’d then bring up the iPad’s home screen and I could see the app as running, but it went back to the main screen as if I had never clicked on the Devices tab… Support just said to use STC on my iPad… I must say, it’s very confusing for newbies. And the lack of a structured “Getting Started” guide/docs is very disappointing. All they have is a mini infomercial :frowning:


(Mike Reed) #6

I’m also puzzled as to why the STSC or STC’s Dashboards allow me to drill down into my KEEN device and change the louver opening as a percentage. Yet the “automations” wizard offers no such percentage control? Something is missing, somewhere :slight_smile:


(Yves Racine) #7

Hi, controlling vents is not the same as other “dimmer switch” (lighting) devices as you’d need to take into account different variables to open/close the vents in a smart way…

For examples:

  • Temperature of the room where the vent is located vs. other rooms to control all your vents in a proportional way (0-100) at your home
  • The concept of zones and schedules (as you may want to open only the vents in your upstairs bedrooms at night, and close them during the day to direct more cool/heat airflow to different areas of your home).
  • Safeguards to avoid closing all your vents and putting too much pressure in your ducts against your HVAC’s air blower.

That’s why I’ve created some specialized smartapps to orchestrate any connected thermostat(s) with smart vents.


Regards.


(Mike Reed) #8

That all makes sense. I was just trying to create my first simple little “hello world” program/automation to attempt to get familiar with ST. But I’m sensing that there’s no real good tutorial to get newbies up to speed. Though I still have to look at JD’s links. But the “Gettng Started” link on ST main website is very disappointing :frowning:


(Mike Reed) #9

I only noticed the vent’s pressure data today - that’s an interesting piece of info!


(Mike Reed) #10

In contrast to the minimalist Getting Started section on ST website, the Developer section (is that called the IDE site?) seems to have a good bit of info and is well organized👍
But, I don’t think that’s where ST newbies would start out, right? I would think we might start by writing some simple automations, then maybe look at the actual code (Jelly, Jolly or whatever it’s called😸). Then again, maybe automations don’t show up in the IDE?


#11

Keen vents are pretty much useless without yvesracine DTH! Just buy it, trust me. Opens the Keen vents up for automatons. I use webCore to control mine after installing yvesracine DTH.


(Jimmy) #12

Can you explain more the automation you are trying to create? What is it based on if the vent if your only device? Does the vent respond when you manually control it from either app?


(Yves Racine) #14

Yes, and the terms of services are indicated at my store.

I was manually pushing updates at that time via emails which was a lot of work. Now, people just need to get the new versions themselves via the download links at sellfy (my ecommerce server)…


#15

OK, thanks. I’m going to delete my post above then since it no longer applies. I appreciate the clarification. :sunglasses:


(Mike Reed) #16

I am just trying to learn how to use ST, create a simple first “Hello world” automation etc. I tried creating an automation named “Turn Heat ON in Guest BR” - and all I wanted it to do was open the KEEN smart vent. I selected “Turn on these lights or switches” and pointed it to the KEEN vent. But now I’m thinking that ON does not translate to “open the louvers”. Instead, I think it turns the KEEN on/off - I guess essentially putting it to sleep? AND - I do not recall seeing it yesterday, but now I see an additional setting “Set dimmers to this level” which I can select from 10% to 100%. I imagine this translates to how much the louvers should open/close. I’m going to go test it now…


(Mike Reed) #17

It worked - woo hoo! That’s the part I was missing (setting the dimmer percentage) :slight_smile:
So, does this automation translate into Groovy code somewhere (IDE?). I’m trying to fathom how one transitions from using these automations to writing their own code? I’m sure the automation must be getting translated/compiled into some form of underlying code?


#18

WebCore is your answer. It’s an incredible powerful rules engine. Here is my basic vent control I use. When heat is on, open the living room vents and close the bedroom vents to 10%, reverse that when the air is on. And open all vents when idle or just the fan is on.


(Mike Reed) #19

So do “automations” constructed using the older STC (Classic) app translate into any form of code I can look at, like the WebCore you mentioned? Is WebCore written in the Groovy language? Sorry, too many questions - I know :slight_smile:


#20

It’s important to also know that in addition to the two completely separate apps (with everybody eventually going to transition to “smartthings (Samsung connect)”, Smartthings is also going to transition to an entirely different operational environment, and they are partway through that process.

The old platform used groovy running in the smartthings cloud. The new platform is not going to use groovy at all. Old code written in groovy will be supported for awhile, but they haven’t said for how long.

Webcore, Which is written in groovy, is essentially a scripting language for smartthings (developed by the community, not the company, but it does not run on the new platform. Instead, the original developer was hired by smart things and is working with an entirely new team to create an entirely new rules engine for the new platform.

Many community members in these forumm are completely unaware of these changes, so you’re going to get a lot of answers that refer to the old development environment but will not apply to the new one. Including webcore.

Just as with the new app, the new platform is only partially complete and a lot of stuff still missing.

So this is just a very complicated time to talk about any of the platform architecture.


#21

I’ll clarify here. Groovy is the language device handlers (DTH) and smartapps are written in. You can create your own code for device handlers or write your own smartapps, or import ones created by members here. Once the code is imported and published, you do not need to edit them, other than updating it the creator updates.

Webcore is a smartapp you import through your IDE, publish, then install in the smartthings app. Once this is done and you go through the setup process, you then get access to a web based dashboard. This is where you write your code. It is a simple IF THIS THEN THAT rule engine but with DEEP control.

See HERE to get started with webCore. Feel free to ask more questions if you have them.