[RELEASE] Ask Alexa

Nice! Glad you got it working! Looking for the ‘first 24 hours’ feedback after people play with this…


Just following the instructions now, was going great, nearing the final steps. getting…

Error: There was a problem with your request: Unknown slot type ‘LIST_OF_SHCMD’ for slot ‘SHCmd’

when adding the sixth Custom Slot, Im getting a Red Error note which stops me going further.

was trying to add these details from my setup info…


armed stay
armed away

any suggestions?

Sorry to hear that…that is one of those areas that order is important…did you first add the intent schema and then add the slots, then the utterances?

If not, can you send a screen shot of the developer page and the error?

you rock, nailed it!

I got ahead of myself - now able to perform some tests :slight_smile: - this is really good stuff.

one follow up question, if I want to add more devices, do I simply tap and configure in the Smart App, then go back to Amazon and edit/update the LIST_OF_DEVICES section?


Correct…the steps will be the same…however, it will ONLY be the slots that change.

I will update the document to reflect the order in which the items should be added (top to bottom).


MichaelS is absolutely correct.

the AskHome programming is for programmers. Those that like to and have the ability to fully program and customize their system.

AskAlexa is for those that are not programmers, but want the ability to do the same as the programmers. Michaels software allows you to have that as well.

I’m away on a business trip this week but loaded the app and configured everything at the hotel. Thanks for the all tips and documentation on getting this installed. Can’t wait to try it out when I get back tomorrow. looks great @MichaelS

@bamarayne lots of great clarifications tips and helps as well on post 110 and 119. I think I have it set up right the first time . So I should remove Alexa Helper since everything will be in Ask Alexa then?

[quote=“bamarayne, post:110, topic:46786”]
When you create a report ensure that the name you have it in the app is exactly the way you spell it in the AWS web site. You do NOT need to include the word report in the name. . . [/quote]

If you download the app called “Roger”, you can have access to your Alexa voice account from your phone. It’s very handy for doing things while away from home, like getting status reports!

Are the apostrophes a no go? Or can we comfirm that they don’t break things. I know from experience that they are developer’s worst nightmare, but I could really use them in some of my devices. @ady624 sorry to bring you in on this, but what’s your suggestion?

I know you didn’t ask, but I’ll say it anyway… I used a bunch of apostrophes in my banking as well. I have been having some trouble with things do I’m going to remove them and see what happens.

My whole system is in turmoil right now! With this release, changing of names (cause that is always a good thing right), and my transition from rule machine, everything is crazy!

I eliminated 24 rule machine rules last night, as well as 14 virtual switches. I am now, for the first time since last October using stock ST routines.

Everything fired this morning like it was supposed to. But at 0400 when the bedroom lights turned on, woke the baby, the wife was pissed!

But I don’t blame ST. I fell asleep with my phone open to the routines page in the app and my finger ran across 3 of them. For about 3 minutes my entire house was going crazy!

Oh yeah, apostrophes… Bad. I think.


If there is no way to ammend the host’s software to escape apostrophes, several ways may be at hand:

  1. Before passing execution to the host software (AWS?) escape the apostrophes yourself. Replace EACH apostrophe with two apostrophes (’’) or backslash-apostrophe (’)
  2. Use backticks instead (on the same key as tilde, under ESC key)

UPDATE: if you mean Alexa can’t match a name with ’ in it, try replacing the ’ with - when populating Alexa with devices?

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I will have to do some testing… I purposely remove exclamation points from the modes and routines, and I could do this with devices…However, I really want the users to get used to the voice interface thing…when you see two devices named ‘kitchen’ for example, you know which is which because of icons, placement on the screen, etc. A voice interface has no context…so you have to have different names. Same with possessive vs plural…'s and s sound exactly the same so Alexa has no ability to know what you are talking about…you could leave them in, but it may have unknown results…

When I get the groups thing done this may solve some of this…you can then add weird named items to groups you can control…


I am setting this up but I am kinda stuck doing the lambda setup.

The istructions say to select Alexa Skills Kit from the drop down. But Alexa Skills Kit is not listed.

Below I have my setup(just so you can see it) And one of the dropdown.

Didn’t install yet… will I have a problem if I have devices named with the same word in each? example… Kitchen Table Light, Kitchen Table High Hats, Kitchen Island Light… If I need to do some renaming before install I will…

Let me know…


Or completely remove all possessives? 's becomes nothing :wink: maybe the speech to text engine matches the name properly then? I know Amazon does the Speech To Text, but who’s doing the text parsing? Is it Amazon who parses it and send a “command” or is there any hooking mechanism where you can register certain keywords and have Amazon pass you the text for you to interpret and respond with a “got it” (stop the hook chain) or “have no clue” (move on to your next hook) answer?

That should not be a problem, but… The best thing to do is try it and see. We’re running into a whole new realm of issues because of naming and speech.

I do recommend that you come up with shorter names. Alexa really doesn’t care for names over 3 syllables. It works, but sometimes it gets flakey.

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After giving this some thought I am going to have the app remove the apostrophes like I did with the modes…you then don’t have to change your names but it should recognize the “s” at the end of the words…

You should be fine, but these are a mouth full…if you are comfortable saying these things you will be fine.

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I would recommend starting over with the Lambda part…I have never seen it where the Alexa Skills Kit is not listed…give it another try and post your results.

Could it be your browser? I know that list is longer than what you show…can you scroll down?

@ady624 @bamarayne Thank you guys for your quick responses… I don’t know what was I thinking. I guess the caffeine didn’t hit my brain when I posted that! I don’t care about “visual correctness”, because I rarely look on my phone, so “Victors Room” should do it, for example. I’ll see what Alexa thinks about that :slight_smile: I won’t bend my own naming rules just to please my ears :slight_smile:

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