Still frustrated with Harmony - Switch to iTach?

I posted a while ago about my problems with the Harmony hub and I still have not managed to get it working reliably.
The main problem being it randomly switches off devices when using an activity on another device.
This is despite all the devices being set to 'Keep Device Always On But Switch Off When Off Is Pressed’
I also find the Harmony software very awkward and slow to use.

My question is should I give up on Harmony and switch to the iTach Wi-Fi to IR adapter or am I doing something wrong?
Will the iTach give me more control over what I want to happen ?
Has anyone used the iTach in the UK ?

I’m curious to hear what other think of iTach as well. After the Remotsy Kickstarter sadly failed I looked at this. I too have had issues with harmony although it has been relatively reliable of late. The iTach just seems way too expensive for what it is, particularly with no remote like you get with Harmony. And it’s going to take a lot more work to get it up and running I assume. Maybe I’m wrong and others who have used it can enlighten us both.

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If you are a techie, the Itach can work well, but you have to set up some kind of scheduler for it. The following thread goes into details. One of the options discussed is to run a mini Mac as a server and put the hambridge software on it to run the ITach.

HAMbridge costs $29. If you write your own python scripts, you should definitely take a look at it.

If you’re not a programmer, there are some other options, but they tend to end up being more expensive than harmony.

I have had an iTach for going on two years. It powers three rooms of components (15 components in all), using an IR blaster in the media room, an emitter wired over a single pair of cat5e to the garage/deck system, and another emitter whose output is transferred to the Master BR via an IR repeater. In two years it hasn’t missed a beat.

I have whole house scenes set up with HAM Bridge, triggered via virtual switches in SmartThings, as well as independent control from iRule on mobile devices, and simple shell commands from my laptop and desktop computers.

While it will take a little more effort to initially set things up with iTach, once set up, creating scenes, editing things, swapping out components, etc. is far quicker when your working with a simple scripts (text files). Moreover, iTachs’ API really let you get your fingers between the fan blades when it comes to setting up IR command repeats, offsets, and timing… something that is completely hit and miss on Harmony. For instance my Pre/Pro is a little finicky with establishing an HDCP handshake from the TiVo through to a Panasonic Plasma. The Panny needs to be on and ready to receive input before I fire up the Pre/Pro otherwise there is a chance the handshake will fail. There is a similar issue in the BR where the LCD’s backlight interferes with IR commands to the receiver while it is warming up. In both cases, changing the timing and repeats of the IR commands to get things rock solid is a simple as editing a few lines in a text file.

Note that I am using a old Mac Mini to run these scripts, with a modified version of the “Big Switch” SmartApp assigned to virtual switches for ST control. While it is possible for ST’s to send iTach commands directly from a SmartApp, the kind of control I want would make that very cumbersome. For instance… if I pull into the the garage after 5PM, the lights come on, the main and garage systems fire up, and the TiVo starts playing the 5 o’clock news before I even get out of my truck.

And all of this is good with Alexa and Google Home… so if I run upstairs for a second while the football game is on downstairs and then realize I’ll be up there longer than I intended, I can just say “Ok Google, turn on the media freeze” and it will pause the game until I get downstairs again.

As for the UK, the iTach is just a dumb local endpoint. You send it a string over TCP and it executes. There is no cloud dependency, or any other provided you have the IR code available. And if Global Caché doesn’t have it in their data base, you can usually find it on the net or the iTach itself can recorde it from your IR remote.

So in case you hadn’t noticed by now… I am a huge fan!

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I am a little confused. So in the UK do i need to run HAM bridge or can SmartThings send the required code directly to the iTach.

I don’t need anything complicated, just simple on, off and changing inputs.

Yes… As I said above, a SmartApp can send the string to an iTach. Or, you could build a device handler for it with the necessary inputs other SmartApps could talk to.

Either way, your writing code to get SmartThings to talk to it as I don’t recall any device type template exists for it currently.

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@scottinpollock Thanks for your experience. I’m definitely intrigued. Just curious with your setup do you still have a remote that can control things as well or is it all through an app/Alexa etc?

The only time I really need a remote in hand is when watching the TiVo. Here in the US it is now over 20 minutes of commercial breaks per hour, and it is even worse with sports (where it seems I am skipping commercials every five minutes). For this i use the TiVo remote as it is well made, RF, and I have the button layout memorized.

For everything else I use iRule on my mobile devices (again, no line of sight needed).

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Its why I backed the Neeo Remote over a year and half ago rumours are they will ship any day now. Hoping it will be better than the Logitech

Yea, I’m a backer of this Cluster F*** as well… I’m no longer holding my breath, they honestly seem more interested in winning awards than getting anything into production…, much less shipped…

FFS, it would appear that they don’t even have their zwave certifications completed…

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Thats the problem when kickstarters make 30 times the original goal there whole business plan goes out the window. I have also backed dots, knocki there in the same boat