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Author Topic: Alexa, Scenes and TURN ON and TURN OFF commands  (Read 4082 times)

Offline esilvester

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Alexa, Scenes and TURN ON and TURN OFF commands
« on: August 22, 2017, 08:23:19 am »
I  was stuck for a while on this.  It might be painfully obvious to everyone and I?m just a dimwit but for other dimwits out there here?s what I found:

I had a scene called ?Turn ON Red Room Lights?  
and ?Turn off Red room lights?  these two scenes then trigger on/off binary switches to various lamps around the room.
I wanted to simply ask ALEXA to trigger these scenes but I was met with ?I found multiple devices with that name, which one do you want??  and could not see how to proceed.

To clarify things here, I re-named in the custom name field from ?Turn ON red room lights? to ?Fred? as a unique test name
and re-named ?Turn OFF red room lights to ?Bob?

I tried saying ?Turn ON Fred? (without giggling) and it worked.
I tried saying ?Turn OFF Bob? and Alexa told me that that was not supported.
However ?Turn ON Bob? did set the desired scene :  turning off the lights. Lucky Bob.

So that started to make sense - the Lights and On and Off parts of a scene name were being ignored and the scene name Red Room was a duplication that Alexa could not fathom. Also On and Off is something that does not apply to a scene - they can only be turned on. Regardless whether the scene contains an ON or OFF action, Alexa can only run scenes with the command Turn ON (as far as I know)



That was not very user-friendly - I can?t ask my family to turn off the red Room lights by asking Alexa to Turn Bob on!

Workaround:
I used Alexa to switch on and off a single device only and custom named that device "Red Room Lights"
I created two triggered scenes, using one lamp as the trigger. one for off and one for on. When this lamp is turned on or off, this is the trigger used by the on/off scene and all the lamps are switched.  I ask Alexa to turn this one device on or off and then vera triggers the on or off scene for the others.
"Alexa, turn ON red room lights" now works, as does "Alexa, turn ON red room lights".



Hope that helps someone.



Application Version:
1.7.963
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Offline Sammy2

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Re: Alexa, Scenes and TURN ON and TURN OFF commands
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2017, 11:44:13 am »
I read somewhere that using Alexa Groups with Vera or even Insteon Devices will allow Alexa to correctly interpret "on" and "off" commands. I haven't had the time to test it yet.

Offline Fryswatter

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Re: Alexa, Scenes and TURN ON and TURN OFF commands
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2017, 07:45:27 pm »
I think you might find creating a "virtual device" more convenient. At least I did. Then you can create an "on" scene and an "off" scene within Vera and attach the trigger for each scene based on the on/off actions of the Virtual Device. Keep in mind you will need to query the status of the devices involved in your scenes if you want to guarantee Virtual device to scene synchronization. In other other words, in the unlikely event that you turn off/on the Virtual Switch and the actions involved with the scene did not respond, you want to poll the status of some or all of those devices to guarantee the true state of the Virtual Switch. ;)   

Or you could just use a 3 state switch like this http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,50609.0.html
« Last Edit: October 20, 2017, 08:08:48 pm by Fryswatter »

Offline lukehumphrey

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Re: Alexa, Scenes and TURN ON and TURN OFF commands
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2017, 02:26:40 am »
How do you create a virtual switch?
I'm just now getting Alexa hooked up, realizing for my "Downstairs on" and "Downstairs off" scenes I really need a virtual switch called "Downstairs" instead to trigger these and work better with natural language.

I don't see that option when adding a new device in the web UI (latest version/firmware).


Thanks~
« Last Edit: November 20, 2017, 02:29:27 am by lukehumphrey »

Offline Fryswatter

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Re: Alexa, Scenes and TURN ON and TURN OFF commands
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2017, 09:41:09 am »
How do you create a virtual switch?
I'm just now getting Alexa hooked up, realizing for my "Downstairs on" and "Downstairs off" scenes I really need a virtual switch called "Downstairs" instead to trigger these and work better with natural language.

I don't see that option when adding a new device in the web UI (latest version/firmware).


Thanks~

Try this link. It doesn't show UI7 but it's basically the same

http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Create_Virtual_Switch_Manually

Offline tomasbj

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Re: Alexa, Scenes and TURN ON and TURN OFF commands
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2018, 06:48:54 am »
Hello,

I have a Virtual Switch, but it does not appear in the "Your controllers and Devices" where you enable which devices and scenes that Alexa is allowed to access/control.

I tried removing the VS, and adding a new one (from the Apps section), but it does not appear so I can give Alexa control over it.

Any suggestions?

Offline shallowearth

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Re: Alexa, Scenes and TURN ON and TURN OFF commands
« Reply #6 on: November 19, 2018, 12:36:53 pm »
Search for vitual switch alexa on this forum, there is a edit you have to make to one of the files to make it recognizable by Alexa.