Author Topic: IR Over WiFi Solution  (Read 1408 times)

Offline ShawnInFL

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IR Over WiFi Solution
« on: January 09, 2018, 12:01:40 am »
I need a reliable ir solution for a bathroom TV and DirecTV box. Want to control trough Vera UI7. This was the setup I was thinking would do the trick with Vera scenes. Are these the correct items and are they compatible and reliable with current UI7? Thanks for any input. It's gonna run about $120, figured I'd ask first. I have a Harmony Hub already running in my living room.

PROPOSED SETUP:
Global Cache iTach Flex Wi-Fi (Flex-WF)
Global Cache Flex Link Tri-port Cable (FL-T3)
Global Cache IR Emitter (2-one for tv, 1-for sat box)
iTachWifi (Mios App)

Offline cc4005

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2018, 01:48:55 pm »
Although it doesn't answer your question I wanted to offer that there may be a less expensive option--albeit with different capabilities and limitations. You could set up second harmony hub (~$75) in your bathroom--with or without blasters, as needed. I don't think it can be integrated with your existing hub, so it would run completely independently and controlled by the Harmony phone app. Then create a second Harmony Hub Control device in Vera.

I don't have this configuration, so you'd need to do some research to confirm it will work but I don't see why it wouldn't.

Offline ShawnInFL

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2018, 02:42:27 pm »
Looks like you can have multiple harmony hubs with current plugin. As you say, no need for remote, hub is plenty. Cheaper, cleaner, easy to install and more powerful. Thanks for the post.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2018, 09:35:41 pm by ShawnInFL »

Offline ShawnInFL

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2018, 09:15:21 pm »
The standalone Harmony Hub is without a doubt the way to go for IR. Have always loved my Harmony Ultimate in the living room, but needed ir control in the master bathroom. Didn't need the remote, just ir. Just installed my 2nd Hub on the same network, same Harmony account and used the Harmony App (plugin) for Vera. I simply created a second device under Harmony App in Vera, gave it the ip for the new (2nd) hub and all is well. Zero learning curve and works great with scenes. By creating a child device, you can really dial it in nicely. Now, when I go into the master bath, I can tell Alexa to turn on Shower. She tells Vera to turn on a set of lights at a certain level, depending on day or night and the exhaust fan. Since installing the 2nd Harmony Hub , she now also turns on my TV and DirecTV box to my favorite news channel. All without touching a button. Joked with my wife about putting ZWave valve on the shower heads too LOL. Thanks for the suggestion!! Gonna take this ball and run with it for sure.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2018, 09:41:32 pm by ShawnInFL »

Offline Fryswatter

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2018, 11:27:19 pm »
The standalone Harmony Hub is without a doubt the way to go for IR. Have always loved my Harmony Ultimate in the living room, but needed ir control in the master bathroom. Didn't need the remote, just ir. Just installed my 2nd Hub on the same network, same Harmony account and used the Harmony App (plugin) for Vera. I simply created a second device under Harmony App in Vera, gave it the ip for the new (2nd) hub and all is well. Zero learning curve and works great with scenes. By creating a child device, you can really dial it in nicely. Now, when I go into the master bath, I can tell Alexa to turn on Shower. She tells Vera to turn on a set of lights at a certain level, depending on day or night and the exhaust fan. Since installing the 2nd Harmony Hub , she now also turns on my TV and DirecTV box to my favorite news channel. All without touching a button. Joked with my wife about putting ZWave valve on the shower heads too LOL. Thanks for the suggestion!! Gonna take this ball and run with it for sure.

That's great that you were able to make this setup work for your needs. Personally, I like the idea of the Harmony Hub, but don't like the way they developed the interface. However, I never tried to integrate the Vera plugin with the Harmony Hub. Coming from the Arduino world and all the great things you can do with IR and the Arduino, the Arduino way is far more better for creating custom options. But as you said, it's not the most simplest route if you haven't ever messed with Arduino.

BTW i have looked into controlling the shower, and you are in for a expensive ride if you do it right. There is the 'ole ball valve' trick with zwave, but all that is good for is off/on functions. If I'm going to rip out drywall and tile, I would much rather install something more optionally versatile. If you have some patience, I noticed at the CES 2018 show that Delta is getting on board with the whole IOT world falling shortly behind Moen..lol, meaning that you will soon see more options with Alexa and wireless control of your plumbing needs. Albeit, given that Moen will have some competition, you will see some competition between the 2 major manufacturers which may result in some price dropping on hardware.  ;)

Offline ShawnInFL

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2018, 08:45:08 am »
I would strongly suggest checking out the harmony hub. For about $80, hard to beat the simplicity. It's Wi-Fi, super easy to program and the activities and backend software make it a dream to work with. You get ease of integration using the Vera Harmony plugin and can easily control the hub from any desktop, smartphone or tablet. They used to include the zwave chip in their remote years ago. Now, this Wi-Fi hub is a much smarter approach. I cant imagine a need to do more than it offers really. You can use the single blaster that comes with it, or add individually controlled emitters. Control delays, firing sequences and much more. Best of all, Harmony is constantly adding new devices to the endless library of ir commands. You even have learn capabilities. All in a very easy to use GUI. Great for installers too as the hubs can all be congured through the Harmony app or deaktop software remotely. The actual remotes are pretty awesome too. Simply plugging power into the hub and deploying emitters is a breeze. The Wi-Fi connection is just so painless. Check it out when you can, could always return it if ya don't dig it. As for the shower, think I'll pass LOL All travertine here, no Thanks! That's one task that will remain from the stone ages, manual water values. Like you say though, tech is getting smart and seeing a market for it. Perhaps if we ever move it can be an option. Enjoy!

Offline cc4005

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2018, 08:54:42 am »
Wow, that's some pretty tall praise for Logitech LOL! Glad the setup has worked out for your bathroom!

My Harmony experience hasn't been quite as perfect as yours. Buggy firmware nuisances, etc, but overall I've been generally pleased as well.

Offline ShawnInFL

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2018, 09:06:23 am »
I hear ya for sure. Seems everything has it's hiccups here and there. Only issue I ever had with my harmony was Wi-Fi related. I used to get these times when my ultimate remote would not respond for a couple of min, drove me nuts! Finally tracked it down to access point for Wi-Fi. I have 2 ubiquiti ceiling AP's in the house and one outdoor about 150' from the house. For some odd reason, the harmony hub would jump to the outdoor AP which had very little signal in the house causing it to seem disconnected. Once resolved, it's been flawless.

Offline cc4005

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2018, 09:14:30 am »
Interesting. I have 2 Ubiquiti APs as well. One in the attic well away from the Harmony but fortunately haven't seen that behavior. But for the past few months I've had to choose between having functioning favorite buttons or IP control...not both. Inexplicable how they introduced the bug but mine isn't an isolated case based on the Harmony forum. Also the remote randomly turns off my TV from time to time while pressing unrelated buttons. Rebooting the hub corrects it for a while--a day or 2 or 10, but the issue always comes back.

Like I said, nuisances for the most part. Hopefully the favorites/IP thing gets fixed soon.

Offline ShawnInFL

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2018, 09:19:00 am »
Weird for sure, maybe a reset on the remote and download again? I come in to my zone4 on my yamaha receiver from time to time. It's not connected so I only notice when in the cabinet. Not sure what's turning it on though. Maybe gremlins! What remote are you using? I love my ultimate but it's a bit sluggish at times. Was wondering about the ultimate. Seems a bit large for me though.

Offline Fryswatter

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2018, 09:19:35 am »
I would strongly suggest checking out the harmony hub. For about $80, hard to beat the simplicity
I know, I have a client that owns one I setup for him. And the firmware has it's problems. Setting up logitech scenes is counter-intuitive in my opinion.

Offline cc4005

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2018, 09:23:40 am »
maybe a reset on the remote and download again?
reset multiple times during troubleshooting with harmony support but no help

What remote are you using?
elite

Offline ShawnInFL

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2018, 10:17:18 am »
Wonder if the issues you're having Are Elite related since I don't seem to have any of those issues with my ultimate. Other than the bugs, how do you like using the remote? How's the speed, responsiveness, and size & weight in your hand?

Offline cc4005

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2018, 11:03:38 am »
Wonder if the issues you're having Are Elite related since I don't seem to have any of those issues with my ultimate. Other than the bugs, how do you like using the remote? How's the speed, responsiveness, and size & weight in your hand?

I'm not a power user--don't watch TV all that much--so take this with that in mind. For size and feel reference, I wear XL gloves--long fingers, skinny hands. Size and feel are comfortable for me...just about right to grip and throw against the fireplace wall next time it randomly turns off the TV in the middle of a movie. ;-)   Upgraded from a Harmony One and definitely prefer the feel of the Elite but had no particular complaints with the One. No responsiveness issues that I've noticed other than activity start takes longer than I'd like (could speed that up with some timing tweaks but haven't gotten around to it). I'm currently only using IR in the immediate room due to the IP issue mentioned above.

Offline rbakley

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Re: IR Over WiFi Solution
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2018, 03:46:18 pm »
I would like to throw another alternative into the suggestion box.   

I use OpenRemote to control IR around my house using several Global Cache IP2IR boxes.   It works great!

A couple of caveats.   it does require a computer that is always on and with a fixed iP address to use as a server.    It also requires quite a bit of programming, but the results are worth it. 

To get started, you create a free account on openremote.org.    Then you design your interface using the online web tool.   You can design multiple formats for different deivices and screen resolutions.    Once you have designed the layout of your remote, you then have to add the remote commands.   Global Cache has an online database where most of the common ones are found.  Otherwise you need to either learn the commands or find the IR HEX commands elsewhere.   Global Cache has solutions to learn any remote control signal to be used.  They also have tools that will convert IR codes between different manufacturers formats.

After the remote app is designed, you download the small server program to the computer you want to use as a server.   The correct java version is required to run the server.   The server runs in a command prompt window using a batch run command.   You login to the openremote server and it downloads the designed template to the server.   This only needs to be done once, or if you change your design.

You can then install a Global Cache IP2IR box at any location that you need IR signals.   You can use one or multiple depending on your situation.  They have wired as well as wireless boxes.  The IR commands that you use in the online design determine the IP address and Output port of the IP2IR box.    Because of this you can use multiple devices that share the same IR codes.   Just put the devices on different ports or different boxes.    This also solves the problem of devices that react to codes of another device.   

I have been using this solution for a couple of years now and it works great.   They have both Android and IOS apps available.

-bob