[RELEASE] Alexa Helper

Did you get updated?

Thanks to everyone sending me private notes about how Alexa Helper is still your ‘go to’ app even through the Echo now allows for direct thermostat control. While it is nice to have this integration, it doesn’t go as far as Alexa Helper by allowing you to change modes, and more importantly, set limits in case the Echo misunderstands the temperature.

Anyway, I have updated Alexa Helper with a new scenario…voice reporting. While I would love to have the voice reports come through the Echo, that is not as easy as it may seem. However, if you happen to have a Sonos in addition to your Alexa you will like this new addition. In my case, I use my Alexa to turn down the heat, set the mode, and turn off all of the lights. However, being paranoid (;)) I always need to verify that everything was set properly. Now, I can ask Alexa to turn on my ‘nightly report’ and it gives a report of the switches, doors/windows, thermostat settings, and mode/alarm settings. Now I fall asleep knowing the mode is set correctly for my Talking Alarm Clock app. More information can be found here: http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Alexa_Helper#Voice_Reporting_Scenario

The files are updated now in GitHub. Enjoy!

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This is Great! But I’m so sad… I’m too cheap to buy a super fancy speaker system… I use Alexa to play my music… lol…

Would it be possible to include the use of LanDroid?

Thanks

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I have not idea what LanDroid is…can you send me the location of the code so I can take a look on how they do it?

Every time I turn around you are making some AWESOME updates to Alexa Helper.

Not to mention your are extremely responsive to questions or issues.

Thank you very much.

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Here is the website on installing it. I’ll get you more later. And the thread link on the forum.
I’m not currently using big talker with it though. But as long as the device your and deuce are created, smart apps can use it.

http://www.keybounce.com/LANdroidHowTo/Installation.html

Thanks for the comments…I love doing this, and I love being able to control my house with my voice…so it is win-win :slight_smile:

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Sorry @MichaelS haven’t had a chance to update yet or get github integration together…so no…i will today though…

I do have another question for you as well…I have a unique use case (maybe not that unique) …i am integrating Alexa with my harmony remote…so I can use Alexa to trigger a switch (harmony activity)…here’s my scenario…

I have a switch (command) for turning on tv, video game, dvd, etc…turning on the individual actions is no big deal…each momentary button only responds to the ON command…

i want to be able to say alexa, turn TV off no matter what activity i am in…i have a button from the logitech harmony connect that sends the activity all off command…i have THAT tied to the off command for the tv switch…for the on it responds to trigger the tv activity, for the off command, it triggers the all off logitech button…

my issue is when i call the alexa, turn tv off…it seems to want to turn the switch on before turning it off…if say for example i launched the tv via a different activity (thus the tv switch is not already in the ON position)…

does this make sense???

essentially i need to be able to tell alexa to turn off a switch, even if it’s already off and have it execute all the off commands…i know this is a mouthful…let me know if you need me to explain further…

awesome app thanks again! (my kids love it)

I updated…but am still getting the error trying to add another switch…

How many switches do you have in your account? When you uninstalled the last version did all of the other switches disappear as well? Do you see it being a hard limit of 10 within the app?

I uninstalled and reinstalled and don’t have this issue, so I am curious if you are hitting some sort of hard limit. Can you add additional switches (virtual) in the IDE?

The Alexa Switch is ‘non-stateful’, which means even if it is off, it still passes the ‘off’ command to the app and it SHOULD execute. Have you tried using the Alexa Switch in this case?

Thank you MichaelS for creating such a great smart app. Your detailed instructions made installation and setup a breeze
even for this novice in the ST IDE. My question for you is what is the best way to keep the Alexa Helper code current as you make updates to the smart app? Would the procedure be to copy and paste the raw code from Github in the Alexa Helper Parent, save and publish to me, then same for the Alexa Child and just save. Thanks in advance for your time.

Thanks for the kind words…I recommend reading here: http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Alexa_Helper#Advanced_Installation for integrating the IDE with my GitHub. More specific instructions on that are here: http://docs.smartthings.com/en/latest/tools-and-ide/github-integration.html?highlight=git

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I am trying the Alexa switch now…I don’t THINK I am having problems…but a little more testing is in the works…I’ll let you know.

Tony

It’s interesting you say 10…I have 10 switches in Alexa helper at the moment. I can still create devices in the IDE no problem…in fact, have been doing that in lieu of since the issue. I am hesitant to uninstall just because I put a lot of time into multiple scenarios already and didn’t want to have to re-create them all.

If I uninstall, I assume I would lose not only the scenarios but the switches created by Alexa helper???

Either way, stuck at 10 and can’t add more.

:frowning:

Tony,

If you delete the scenario the switches will stay. If you delete Alexa Helper, ALL of the switches and apps should disappear. There was a rather big issue with ST on Friday that required a code change, so if you didn’t uninstall after that point and re-install, I recommend doing that. If you did re-install after Friday and got all of the latest code, you should be fine. However, I just tested this and here are my results…

There is nothing in the code that is limiting you to 10 switches. Is there an error when you get to 10? What if you switch the type of switch? Outside of the app, what is the log saying?

Let me know and we can attempt to work through it.

I did update the code, but I didn’t uninstall/reinstall…I guess just updating the code is not enough huh??? bummer…

I will take a look and see what I need to do. Once I do, i’ll check back…might not have time until this evening or tomorrow…

i really appreciate the help!

Before going through the work of uninstalling, look in the logs for any red items when attempting to create the switch and send me those.

All,

I have updated the child (scenario) app of Alexa Helper to 2.8.1. This is a generalized bug fix, code optimization, and the addition of voice reporting of dimmers as well as switches. In addition, you can now output to a speech synthesis device in addition to a connected speaker (thanks to @bamarayne for his help in testing this at his home with LanDroid).

The documentation has been updated and is here: http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Alexa_Helper

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The update will probably not resolve your issue, but I am interested in seeing the logs when you get an opportunity.