Your home user manual

So, we had some guest stop by for the weekend and they were extremely curious about all of the automations. They wanted to know about it, what it did, and how to control it.

So, I decided my house needs a user manual.

Has any one else done this? Do you mind sharing? I’m looking for ideas.


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First thing you see when you come through the front door: :wink:

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Awesome. I’ve thought about printing things up and framing them to go around the house.

But in the meantime, I wrote mine up in word, put each page in a presentation slip and bound them in a binder. Lol…

This is mostly centered around using the askAlexa app.

And since I can’t upload a word file, here are pics.


You guys are all missing the essentials:

Why are you here?
How long do you plan on staying here?
When are you really planning on leaving?



“Alexa, ask -skilPhrase- what it does?”

response: “To watch TV, say, turn on media system, or bedroom system. For music, play media music, or bedroom music or deck music, followed by a playlist number, odd numbers for jazz, even for rock. For lighting, say, set the lighting to morning, evening, night, theater, cooking, dining, or outdoor.”


“For any other departments, please press 8” - confuse the heck out of your guests. Find the button contest :wink:


How completely funny that I didn’t even think of the automatic voice part of this… Lol

If I have a new babysitter, I just tell her to be aware that the home is fully automated. It should act and feel natural. Lights come on and off, doors lock and unlock on their own. She can say commands like turn the cable on, increase temperature, etc. Sometimes things go south and the home acts as if it is possessed. If that happens, “you know know my cell phone, right?” I learned my lesson a long time ago to warn people.


That’s why I printed something out… So they can refer to it from the safe room… Lol…


And the ever so popular announcement, weirdly coincidentally happening right about dinner time: “Hey everybody, there’s a Pokemon in the dining room!!!” Yeah, adults too…


So, does anyone have anything to post? I’m looking for examples on how to do this better than what I’ve done so far.

I’m thinking of tablets for each room… running SmartTiles and having a link to the user manual???

So I just finished doing a whiteboard / tablet / Alexa integration

Basically, it’s the best of both worlds with SmartTiles to handle most of the automation, and a Whiteboard for the old school stuff, and well… Whiteboard Pr0n…

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Very nice install… My wife is wanting something along the same line, but I don’t think she wants the automations in it… But of course she’s going to get that anyway! Lol.

What are the switches for?

Hopefully one of them turns the wife on, I am hoping. Now that would be HA!

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So that’s in the kitchen/dining room. The left switch is the “Dining Room light” and the right is “Kitchen Light” There is an Echo dot on the other side of the room (directly behind you as you are looking at the picture which will ultimately be mounted to the ceiling. A Sonos Play:5 sits on a kitchen counter to the right.

The Kindle is powered by a Smart Outlet which I labeled “Kindle”; which was good because I currently don’t have a way to access the power switch on the Fire tablet, so I power cycle the outlet to bring up the lock screen. Ultimately, I’ll either put a PIR sensor above it in the ceiling looking down, or find a button that runs the power cycle command.

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Name one of your switches after your wife, or significant other and then assign it to Alexa: “Alexa, turn on my wife…”; “Alexa, turn my wife off…” Yeah, you’ll get a look, and possibly a brick thrown at you.


How about an Ask Alexa macro: Alexa, tell my home to pause ‘my wife’, so I can watch the …movie, game, etc. I think I’ll get the expected quietness after that.

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@bamarayne you have inspired me sir! I definately want to do this now. It’s a great introduction to your home and for anyone that is curious as to how it all works. You have also now caused me to reimagine some of the things I can do at my house however, and I will have all sorts of questions for you on how you set it up. You brought this on yourself! :wink:

As far as feedback, I’m assuming by your first screenshot that you have this set up as a webpage that can be pulled up on a phone, tablet, laptop? If that’s the case, how does one find the address? Would a QR code work or do you have that already? I’m going to print up your screen shots on a word doc so I can see it all together, but it seems like you have all the essentials. Great work!

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I was thinking about seeing up a website… That’s a great idea! I can put in graphics and ask kinds of stuff…

I can put a QR in each room that will take the person to a website for that particular room…

Time to dust off the web development software.

If you wanted to do something simple while you set up a website, you could always use Google to host the document you have and share it via QR code.

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