Author Topic: Harmony Hub Extender  (Read 19767 times)

Offline lingerba

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Harmony Hub Extender
« on: October 09, 2015, 09:47:27 am »
Is anyone using this yet?  It looks like it has finally been released.  http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/harmony-home-hub-extender

It specifically lists VeraEdge as a compatible device.  It goes on to say:

Harmony Home Hub Extender can join the existing Z-Wave network for this Vera MCV Vera Edge. This allows you to view and control the devices currently connected to your MCV Vera Edge from both Harmony and Vera apps. Harmony supports model number: MCV Vera Edge.
- https://support.myharmony.com/en-us/compatibility#hubextender

It seems like because of the description above, it should be just as compatible with VeraLite as it is with VeraEdge, but I'm not sure.  I was hoping to get some feedback if anyone has tried it out yet.

Offline qwen3579

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2015, 11:26:49 am »
I just ordered mine. I'll report back once I give it a go.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2015, 01:36:51 pm »
I just ordered mine. I'll report back once I give it a go.

Not sure if any of this is needed if you already have a VERA.

It has Z-wave and zigbee built in like a controller. Are you guys also buying a 130.00 home control remote with HUB to make this work?
I'm trying to see the benefit of this vs. say the FREE Phillips Hue bridge that allows you to turn on and off your lights via Home control remote to the VERA.

Offline lingerba

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2015, 01:42:17 pm »
That is why I was curious to see what people thought about it prior to buying it.  Right now I am using the Kira IR receiver to use my Harmony to control lights, etc.  It works fine, but from start it finish there is a lot to setup (including the Harmony setup, Kira setup, Vera scene setup, etc.)  and it is a pain to make changes.  I am hoping the Hub Extender makes it easier.

I found it interesting that the Harmony Hub without the extender works directly with SmartThings with nothing else needed.  I wish it would work with Vera like that.

@integlikewhoa, can you tell me more / share a link to detail about the Phillips Hue bridge that you are talking about.  I don't have any Hue bulbs, can this still be an option for me?

Offline qwen3579

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2015, 04:44:41 pm »
I just ordered mine. I'll report back once I give it a go.

Not sure if any of this is needed if you already have a VERA.

It has Z-wave and zigbee built in like a controller. Are you guys also buying a 130.00 home control remote with HUB to make this work?
I'm trying to see the benefit of this vs. say the FREE Phillips Hue bridge that allows you to turn on and off your lights via Home control remote to the VERA.

Uh... I wasn't aware of the Hue bridge solution...  :-\

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2015, 04:55:55 pm »
I found it interesting that the Harmony Hub without the extender works directly with SmartThings with nothing else needed.  I wish it would work with Vera like that.

@integlikewhoa, can you tell me more / share a link to detail about the Phillips Hue bridge that you are talking about.  I don't have any Hue bulbs, can this still be an option for me?

Bit of info in laymans terms that even I can understand.

I have not one HUE device either, so we are the same. I have a VERA (alot of devices) and I have a Harmony Home Remote which comes with the Harmony HUB. I also have an Amazon ECHO but that is not needed.

What it all started out with was a emulator or Fake Hue HUB (software) which runs on JAVA. This can run on a windows computer (has to be left on) or a Raspberry Pi. I have opted for a PI myself.

We had our amazon echo that communicates with HUE lights. We have our Harmony Hub that also communicates with hue lights. Someone (don't know who was the first but there are several software updates and new versions out now) created this HUE Hub emulator that sends commands to VERA via HTTP and can turn on, off and dim your devices. Well ECHO and Harmony Hub also can communicate to it.

So now I have a Raspberry PI running a HUE HUB BRIDGE software and it plays the middle man. I can tell echo to turn on living room light or I can press the light button on the Harmony HUB and they both talk to the raspberry PI which sends HTTP command to VERA to turn ON,OFF or DIM lights. You can also run scenes or other things in order to control non standard groups or devices like AC controls or the like.

Now setup you might think is hard or difficult and I would say the hardest part is running the file on Raspberry Pi. I never used a PI before and the instuctions on this forum is good, but it does take bit of learning if you never used a PI to download a file to the pi and tell it to run this now and every time the PI is rebooted. Now it is rock solid, never crashes, is on wifi, uses little power, is very small, can be used for other projects. Once your up and running on the PI i can unplug and re-plug, move it anywhere in the house and it just works again.

Setting up the VERA is easy. There is a web UI that you login to the Raspberry PI IP after the software is running on it. Enter your vera IP and it find all your devices in the VERA and will create Http commands and setup each device you choose to put a check box next to. After that you can now use your ECHO or Harmony Hub Discovery setting/button to search for a HUE HUB (which you ofcourse don't own but have a fake) and it will find all the devices you have just created in the Web UI of the PI.

From there it works just like anything else.

Here is some info and this is a big thread but the latest software is on post #772 as of today.
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,31920.msg251520.html#msg251520

Instructions for install are further back. 

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2015, 05:19:37 pm »
Uh... I wasn't aware of the Hue bridge solution...  :-\

Well in your defense we need a guinea pig and maybe it will offer us some knowledge or extra features we currently don't have. If you don't have a Raspberry PI or windows computer on all the time you would need a 40-70.00 pi unit anyways so you would save a bit.

The Pi and Bridge software are more versatile as it works with other devices besides just the Harmony HUB. My Amazon Echo for example. Really it in theory should work with anything that can connect with a HUE Hub.

If you have multiple rooms and Harmony Remotes does one Extender work with every remote or do you need one per room/remote?

I only use the cheaper HOME remote not the ultimate. It only has 4 home control buttons. So I only really control lights and fan in that one room and have a scene to run all off and a hallway light for leaving the room. I'm assuming the ultimate remote can make more buttons on the touch screen part and control more devices. So to make things clear I don't find the remote useful outside the room much. Each remote for me is only good for a very limited task and is mostly limited to that room. If I needed more or wanted to use the Harmony HUB phone app to control more I wouldn't. While I have my phone out I would rather use the Imperihome app on my phone witch I have every light and current state showing on their.

So I'm not sure if you guys are using it for more but I feel it doesn't make much sense to control much outside of the room with that remote due to lack of buttons.

What are your guys thoughts and current uses for the HUB to control VERA?

Offline qwen3579

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2015, 08:47:53 am »
Well hell....I just setup the bridge on my Windows server and I'm able to do exactly what I was aiming to do with the home control buttons on the remote. Looks like I need to cancel/return the Hub Extender.

Offline lingerba

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2015, 09:01:31 am »
Well hell....I just setup the bridge on my Windows server and I'm able to do exactly what I was aiming to do with the home control buttons on the remote. Looks like I need to cancel/return the Hub Extender.

I set up the bridge on a Windows PC this weekend too.  I am able to do everything that I want to, but it isn't 100% how I want it.  My two issues on the Harmony-side are:
  • I can't include the "Hue Devices" in any activity which means that I have to switch the remote from the current activity to "Devices" and then control the items (I am not sure if this would be any different with the Hub Extender)
  • I can't change the order of the devices.  It looks like they show up in the same order as they do on the bridge configuration, but I can't figure out how to change the order there either.  Sometimes when I add a device it goes to the bottom of the list and sometimes to the top of the list.

Another issue I have is that when my Windows PC is restarted, I lose the devices from my bridge settings.  I am thinking this is a user error of some type, but I can't figure out how to get the devices to save.

Offline qwen3579

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2015, 09:40:07 am »
I have the same issue with devices as well. I suspect it is due to not being able to store/write to the the devices.db file -

"[qtp32559373-35] ERROR com.bwssystems.HABridge.dao.DeviceRepository - Error writing the file: data\device.db message: data\device.db"

I don't see the directory or file so it may be a configuration issue like you stated.

Offline alpha1

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2015, 09:55:01 am »
Well hell....I just setup the bridge on my Windows server and I'm able to do exactly what I was aiming to do with the home control buttons on the remote. Looks like I need to cancel/return the Hub Extender.

I set up the bridge on a Windows PC this weekend too.  I am able to do everything that I want to, but it isn't 100% how I want it.  My two issues on the Harmony-side are:
  • I can't include the "Hue Devices" in any activity which means that I have to switch the remote from the current activity to "Devices" and then control the items (I am not sure if this would be any different with the Hub Extender)
  • I can't change the order of the devices.  It looks like they show up in the same order as they do on the bridge configuration, but I can't figure out how to change the order there either.  Sometimes when I add a device it goes to the bottom of the list and sometimes to the top of the list.

Another issue I have is that when my Windows PC is restarted, I lose the devices from my bridge settings.  I am thinking this is a user error of some type, but I can't figure out how to get the devices to save.

So are you both able to have a scene in Vera to power the TV on and other tasks?

I have been looking for a while for a method in which Vera can powers on a TV for a scene

Offline qwen3579

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2015, 09:57:00 am »
I do. That is handled by the Harmony Hub app in Vera. We're talking about the Phillips Hue Bridge emulator which allows the remote control z-wave devices.

Offline lingerba

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2015, 09:57:34 am »
Well hell....I just setup the bridge on my Windows server and I'm able to do exactly what I was aiming to do with the home control buttons on the remote. Looks like I need to cancel/return the Hub Extender.

I set up the bridge on a Windows PC this weekend too.  I am able to do everything that I want to, but it isn't 100% how I want it.  My two issues on the Harmony-side are:
  • I can't include the "Hue Devices" in any activity which means that I have to switch the remote from the current activity to "Devices" and then control the items (I am not sure if this would be any different with the Hub Extender)
  • I can't change the order of the devices.  It looks like they show up in the same order as they do on the bridge configuration, but I can't figure out how to change the order there either.  Sometimes when I add a device it goes to the bottom of the list and sometimes to the top of the list.

Another issue I have is that when my Windows PC is restarted, I lose the devices from my bridge settings.  I am thinking this is a user error of some type, but I can't figure out how to get the devices to save.

So are you both able to have a scene in Vera to power the TV on and other tasks?

I have been looking for a while for a method in which Vera can powers on a TV for a scene

Yes, I have been able to do that all along with the Harmony app for Vera.  Vera has (mostly) always been able to control the Harmony.  The new(er) part is having the Harmony control Vera.  The thing you need in both cases is a Harmony remote that includes the Home Hub (not the Hub Extender).

Offline alpha1

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2015, 10:01:19 am »
Well hell....I just setup the bridge on my Windows server and I'm able to do exactly what I was aiming to do with the home control buttons on the remote. Looks like I need to cancel/return the Hub Extender.

I set up the bridge on a Windows PC this weekend too.  I am able to do everything that I want to, but it isn't 100% how I want it.  My two issues on the Harmony-side are:
  • I can't include the "Hue Devices" in any activity which means that I have to switch the remote from the current activity to "Devices" and then control the items (I am not sure if this would be any different with the Hub Extender)
  • I can't change the order of the devices.  It looks like they show up in the same order as they do on the bridge configuration, but I can't figure out how to change the order there either.  Sometimes when I add a device it goes to the bottom of the list and sometimes to the top of the list.

Another issue I have is that when my Windows PC is restarted, I lose the devices from my bridge settings.  I am thinking this is a user error of some type, but I can't figure out how to get the devices to save.

So are you both able to have a scene in Vera to power the TV on and other tasks?

I have been looking for a while for a method in which Vera can powers on a TV for a scene

Yes, I have been able to do that all along with the Harmony app for Vera.  Vera has (mostly) always been able to control the Harmony.  The new(er) part is having the Harmony control Vera.  The thing you need in both cases is a Harmony remote that includes the Home Hub (not the Hub Extender).

Brilliant.. Thanks

Ebay... here we come!

Offline tomgru

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Re: Harmony Hub Extender
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2015, 10:18:52 am »
HI all...

I think I'm missing some key piece, or just can't find it in the various posts that seem to be talking about this.

I have the Harmony Ultimate with the hub and not the extender.  I have this working great with the harmony plugin so I can control the hub with Vera.

I also have the hue bridge plugin working perfectly on a windows home server, and use this with Echo to control devices/scenes through vera.  Again, works awesome.

Sounds like using the hue bridge, I can now control zwave devices via the harmony remote .... but i'm not sure how to set this up?  Do you do this within the Logitech harmony PC app? 

THanks.