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Home Automation and Alexa, Google Home Minis, Sonoff, etc


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With Sonoff I set the dog house heater to on/off at temperatures, or times. Even when the network is down it works. When the internet is down it works. There are some advanced functions that I have not tried. (if event1 and event2 then turn on device5) I think the advanced functions are a product of 'the cloud'. But I don't know.

My internet is not good and is down some. I wifi 5 miles to the nearest town.

Will Google Mini work if the internet is down? What about the other 'ask the box a question' things? My phone will not 'voice to text' if the internet is down. I see that the Google Mini is a good human interface but am I loosing control of my house? Any thoughts.


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The "talk to the box" devices all interpret your audio at the server farm, not at the box. Those devices will not help you when the internet is down.


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Many people flash Sonoff devices with Tasmoto and use a local MQTT server running on something like a Raspberry Pi. That still won't help with Goggle.

When our network has been down, I have launched my phone hotspot with the the same SSID and password as our network, and then I've at least been able to control modules nearby my phone.


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Homeseer can use windows built-in voice recognition, but it is a rather expensive package.
HAL / HALPro have built-in speech recognition. Again, not cheap, but the basic version is not too bad.
Mycroft is free and can be set up to work with a local install of a voice recognition system.

Homeseer is the most versatile as regards compatibility with other hardware and systems, but most interface add-ons also need to be bought separately.


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Many people flash Sonoff devices with Tasmoto and use a local MQTT server running on something like a Raspberry Pi.
Have you used Tasmoto? I spent the last hours looking at Tasmoto and do not understand what it does. "it does everything" is not a answer. I like the MQTT but I think Tasmoto will brake the temperature/humidity/time/delay/ functions.

I have a number of Sonoff devices that function independently. They can also work in groups (if device1=on and device2=off and time=10am to 5pm and temperature is above 25 then device7=off) But that requires China Cloud to be working.

I almost have Node Red working with Sonoff in native mode. (I am not software) But it only works with one device. To get 10 devices working with Node Red you must register each device under a different email address. Now they will not talk to each other. (Node Red is graphical Java and built for internet of things) With out knowing java I have a number of things working.

Just frustrated with youtube videos "easy to get home automation going" and 20 hours later I find comment #53 where it turns out the demo does not work. Or you need to spend big money on some compiler I don't have.


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I have never used it – I've been able to do everything I want with Ewelink, Samsung Smartthings and a little IFTTT.

I've considered it a few times when Ewelink servers were down (they haven't had any major problems in a couple years) or when there's been an internet problem. It's my understanding that with Tasmoto, a local server takes the place of Ewelink's servers at the basic level, but with a lot more potential. Flashing new firmware into Sonoffs is a one-way trip – it's not possible to restore the original firmware.

Documentation for programs like this often seems to me like you already have to know what it does and many details before any of it makes sense.

Good luck!


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There are a couple of automation functions, I'd like to do.
1. Mute the TV
a. doorbell
b. telephone/intercom(nurse call)
c. New limited remote
2. un-mute the TV
a. Auto-magically - probably not, e.g. some time after telephone call hang up - maybe
b. New limited remote

TV is a Samsung system 6 and the remote is some combo IR and bluetooth, I'm going to try to play with a pulse-eight hdmi-CEC adapter. https://www.pulse-eight.com/p/104/usb-hdmi-cec-adapter and this https://www.cec-o-matic.com/ tool. I have no idea if this thing responds to IR. Samsung smartthings and IFTTT might also work.

These are the most annoying for now. Maybe, say a rasberry PI behind the TV?

Then I want some lighted indicatiors in the bedroom.

doorbell + an indication of front and back (no back doorbell yet). 10W LED light for like 2 minutes and smaller LEDS indicating front or back.

telephone / nurse call gets a bit complicated.

If you look at telephone only:
a) Off hook
b) off hook and talking
c) off hook and not talking for 15 minutes
d) ringing

The deal is, you really wan to know if the telephone is off-hook, but off hook and not talking for 15 minutes is what I really want,
I do have a commercial product I attached to a LED on top of the TV. It will immediately indictate off-hook and will indicate ring by flashing. I need to be able to turn that off remotely. Turning it back on when the phone goes on-hook would even be better.

I use a baby monitor to send the ring tone of a less used base to two parental units. That has LEDs that monitor intensity, I plaan to put a magnetic plug on the monitor so it can be disconnected easily.

I should be able to differentiate intercom from telephone, I would have ring or off-hook/(off-hook and talking) for telephone. ON hook + baby monitor is intercom/

If someone is talking on intercom, you get an interruption tone (very low ring)

The doorbell would require an interface too. For now it's a tradiional coil bell with an 16Vac supply. I had it lighted for a while. I added a resistor and LED inside the button.

The back doorbell will be a commercial DXS alarm transmitter with battery supervision.

I'd have to interconnect the doorbell to the pi and the light interface in the bedroom with RF. The entire interface in both locations would be really good except not as bright.

Some of this is available in a commercial product. They use light detection when your cell rings, It can do telephone, baby cry and have a builtin alarm clock with a bed shaker.


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Update: I have Sonoff & Node Red working with three devices, reading temperature and humidity. Also I have it scanning the network for more devices.

For those interested in internet of things programming. Node Red is a event driven, multi tasking language. Every piece of code needs to have a event to start it. (timer, pin going high, or face book posting or something happening) I had code that every 10 minutes would go and read divide 1, 2, 3 and post the results on a web browser. But only 1 device would respond. Added delays with no luck. I changed the code last night to have one timer-one network read which works and then copied that block four time and it works fine. I don't know why I needed 4 timers for 4 network reads.
This is what Node Red programming looks like. Inside Timer "=10 minutes". Inside Living Room Lights "=password, =Sonoff device ID". Inside debug "check box=32 characters long".

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