[OBSOLETE 1.1.6 5/25/16] Big Talker - Talk when events occur

Yes, I intend to submit to the ST GitHub repo.
I enabled my IDE GitHub support last night. I just need to figure it out and make sure that I know what I am doing before submitting to it.

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@rayzurbock, I use your 1.1.3 release with VLC Thing on Raspberry Pi. It works well for some device state change notification. For example, I have Aeon Minimote button. It announces the button press correctly with the Device name. I try to add 3 door contact sensors to the list. It only notifies 1 sensor correctly with device name. I don’t hear anything from other 2 sensors. I know that the VLC Thing works OK with all contact sensors when using with Sonos Notification smartapp. I like your Big Talker smartapp since it announces the device name. Is there any limitation in device name, name length, or number of device in 1 group?

The app crashes for me every time – at the same step – during setup. Specifically, when I try to adjust the “ending time” of when speech is allowed.

This isn’t happening for me. I just edited my time by a minute to make sure.

I’m using the version available on github – version 1.1.3 beta 5.

I configure to use with Sonos, choose a Sonos speaker; set Check device status every 5 mins; set volume to 35; choose 6 modes in which to talk; set Don’t Talk Before to “6:30 am”, then…

When I click “Don’t talk after”, no time window appears. If I click it again, the entire ST app (iOS) crashes.

Repeated this 4 times.

Oh sorry, I’m not on the beta. I’m on 1.1.3

Hi @binhton
Thanks for your feedback, it is helpful. I use and test BigTalker using VLCThing. I am working on rewriting the Talk() function of BigTalker for better results based on community feedback. I hope to have a solution in the next release soon. Please stay tuned.

Thanks for this very descriptive analysis.
I have attempted to reproduce the same settings and issue on my iPhone 5. It did not crash when entering the “Don’t talk after:” time. I tried clearing the “Don’t talk before” time and then entering a “Don’t talk after time” as well. I also tried setting a “Don’t talk before” time which came after the “Don’t talk after time” and it was still accepted. I wish I could reproduce this issue so that I could try to fix it.

I have version 2.0.4 (1189) of the SmartThings iOS App ( Press the 3 vertical dots in the top right corner, then press Support, scroll down and you should see your ST App version).
My iPhone is running iOS 9.1 (13B143) as seen from Settings > General > About > Version

No problem. The only difference between our setups is that I’m using iOS 8.4.

Any way to get big talker to give me a weather report when a switch is turned on? Would be an awesome feature.

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I’ve had several requests for weather reports. I just need to figure out how to integrate it.
It’s on my road-map for a future release.

Awesome! A feature I’d be willing to pay for!

I planned to release a new version this weekend. I’m backtracking slightly. I’ve added weather functions tonight and due to this, I am instead releasing a Beta version before calling it good to go.

Important Note: I’m still seeing issues with SmartThings ability to convert some text to speech (mainly new unspoken phrases). I’m catching the error that SmartThings throws when it has trouble converting text to speech ( java.lang.reflect.UndeclaredThrowableException ) and am instead throwing your message to your phone/device/SmartThings App via your notification settings (push/text) so that you at least still get the notification when the speech phrase cannot be converted from text to audio.

BigTalker 1.1.4-Beta1 has been published.
Please test and let me know via PM or by posting an issue (clickable link) to the project on GitHub.
Major thanks to @Greg for using/testing/reporting on several unpublished Beta versions to make this happen and get us this far!
If nothing major is reported, this will soon become BigTalker 1.1.4.

Changes from 1.1.3 to 1.1.4-Beta1:

  • 11/8/2015 - 1.1.4-Beta1
  • Metadata Update: Update Copyright from 2014 to 2014-2015
  • Feature Modification: Re-write of Talk() to better detect latest playing track and play status (latestValue() instead of currentValue()).
  • BugFix: Corrected default phrases for Water sensor (Thanks ST Community: @Greg) (was using acceleration phrases)
  • BugFix: Corrected home mode change issue if exclusion was not set (Thanks for the report ST Community: @Greg)
  • New Feature: poll() or refresh() on Talk() to try to update current status of player. Protect crash using try/catch routines.
  • New Feature: Added detection of failure to convert text to speech (SmartThings intermittent issue with textToSpeech function), send notification instead so message is not missed.
  • New Feature: Added new Talk variables %weathercurrent%, %weathertoday%, %weathertonight%, %weathertomorrow%. Can be added to any supported event.

Download 1.1.4-Beta1 from: https://github.com/rayzurbock/SmartThings-BigTalker/tree/1.1.4-Beta


I used your latest 1.1.4-Beta1. I got this error when trigger:

java.lang.NullPointerException: Cannot get property ‘status’ on null object @ line 2886

Love BigTalker, thank you. The feature I would like the most is a door left open notification, something that will annoyingly repeat it self 10 or so times after a set time left open.

Should be resolved in 1.1.4-Beta3(clickable link). Thanks @binhton for reporting and testing.

This feature has been requested and is planned for a future version(clickable link). I’ve been focused mostly on resolving bugs lately and also waiting on SmartThings to fix the somewhat broken textToSpeech() function. Until this is implemented into BigTalker, you could use my modified version of the Door Left Open SmartApp(clickable link) which adds verbal announcements and repeat up to x times.

Just a head’s up… Big Talker works great with my SmartThings/Android driver pair (LANdroid) to turn an Android phone/tablet on the LAN (and also via SMS) into a SmartThings speech device/alarm. Love it.


Hi Brian

Can you please explain me better where I can add the zip code to determine the weather?
I would like to be able to add an italian zip code

It uses the zip code of your SmartThings Hub Location.

  1. Launch the SmartThings app
  2. Press the 3 vertical dots in the top right corner
  3. Press My Locations
  4. Press the gear in the top right corner of your location
  5. Scroll down and press "Tap to set where home is on the map, so things can happen when you come and go.
  6. Set your location.

I may adjust the variable before releasing 1.1.4 to allow you to add a custom zip code in the variable string. Perhaps something like %weathertoday(xxxxx)% where xxxxx would be your desired zip code for the announcement.

This is now available in the latest beta code: 1.1.4-Beta6 Available here if you wish to try and give me feedback on it: https://github.com/rayzurbock/SmartThings-BigTalker/tree/1.1.4-Beta

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