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Has anyone a truly working Alexa / HC2 system?


jodohl
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Question

I am hoping for some useful advice from people with at working Alexa / HC2 system. After endless hours of Fibaro Support emails, testing, deleting and restoring my LAN, HC2 and Alexa, my problem still remains the same:

 

Alexa picks up my command (e.g. "Alexa, Turn off Kitchen Table") and one out of three things happen: (1) Light is turned off, Alexa responds "OK" (2) Light is turned off, Alexa responds "Sorry, Kitchen Table is not responding" (3) Light is NOT turned off, Alexa responds ""Sorry, Kitchen Table is not responding". Totally erratic, no pattern. Failure statistics: 1 out of every 4 (25%, N=40). Enough to reduce the WAF to Zero.

 

Fibaro Support finally made me aware that the problem is response time: If the time from command is given to remote Alexa/Fibaro server response is received, exceeds 7 seconds, Alexa times out. Fibaro Support keeps on insisting that the problem is my LAN/Internet connection. I have however gone so far as to disconnect all other devices on my net but for the HC2 and Echo Dot and confirmed my Internet speed is 92 Mbps Up/Down. Even followed the rather extreme Fibaro Support advice of reducing the physical distance between HC2 and the Fibaro Dimmer2 to less than 300 cm (!). I am now starting to suspect that the problem is the Alexa/Fibaro API server integration. 

 

And I have of course upgraded firmware, reconfigured z-wave net, dis/enabled Fibaro skills, deleted and restored my HC2 from Fibaro ID, confirmed Alexa has selected my HC2, reset the Echo Dot, reset the HC2 and restored the system from backup and so on and so forth. Friendly guys at the Fibaro Support desk, but so far advice has not brought me any visible result, except for loosing all my custom Scene/VD icons, which apparent are not part of the HC2 back up file :-(

 

Any wisdom out there?

 

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Get a raspberry pi and install HA bridge. It's much better.

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Guest fat

I gave up on the official Alexa skill because I had similar issues to you. I have an Intel NUC running Windows 10 as a Plex server and I run the HA Bridge on that which works perfectly 

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@jodohl,

 

attached a mp4 movie as proof that my Alexa works fine with my HC2.

The response is not super fast but very acceptable for me.

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  • Inquirer
  • OK, what I get from these two replies is that Alexa/Fibaro may, - or may not - work.

     

    And nobody, -  including Fibaro - has any ideas whatsoever to why.

     

    "Get a raspberry pi and install HA bridge" may sound simple to some, but as I am not primarily interested into diving into a lot of code or setting up more machines to maintain on my system.

     

    But a thought crossed my mind: I have a Synology NAS running on my LAN. Is it so that this "HA bridge" could run on my NAS? If so, then maybe it is time to develop a friendship with this "HA bridge" animal. 

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    3 minutes ago, jodohl said:

    OK, what I get from these two replies is that Alexa/Fibaro may, - or may not - work.

     

    And nobody, -  including Fibaro - has any ideas whatsoever to why.

     

    "Get a raspberry pi and install HA bridge" may sound simple to some, but as I am not primarily interested into diving into a lot of code or setting up more machines to maintain on my system.

     

    But a thought crossed my mind: I have a Synology NAS running on my LAN. Is it so that this "HA bridge" could run on my NAS? If so, then maybe it is time to develop a friendship with this "HA bridge" animal. 

    Here again @jodohl,

     

    Alexa & HC2 work together for sure.

    I have a Raspberry Pi too but I don't use it and I also have a Synology NAS and my NAS also can be used as a Home Automation server but I never tried

    because it works fine directly with my HC2.  I've read you can install Domoticz on your NAS and can let it run as a server. But two systems  running at the

    same time isn't preferred by me.

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  • 4 minutes ago, TRicky said:

    Here again @jodohl,

     

    Alexa & HC2 work together for sure.

    I have a Raspberry Pi too but I don't use it and I also have a Synology NAS and my NAS also can be used as a Home Automation server but I never tried

    because it works fine directly with my HC2.  I've read you can install Domoticz on your NAS and can let it run as a server. But two systems  running at the

    same time isn't preferred by me.

    That was well put and exactly what I had in mind. Two systems both trying to Control my Devices.... No way

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    3 hours ago, jodohl said:

    OK, what I get from these two replies is that Alexa/Fibaro may, - or may not - work.

     

    And nobody, -  including Fibaro - has any ideas whatsoever to why.

     

    "Get a raspberry pi and install HA bridge" may sound simple to some, but as I am not primarily interested into diving into a lot of code or setting up more machines to maintain on my system.

     

    But a thought crossed my mind: I have a Synology NAS running on my LAN. Is it so that this "HA bridge" could run on my NAS? If so, then maybe it is time to develop a friendship with this "HA bridge" animal. 

    Alexa with rasp pi and ha bridge will work great.

    light on/off works within a second

    3 hours ago, jodohl said:

    That was well put and exactly what I had in mind. Two systems both trying to Control my Devices.... No way

    then you will end with no Alexa or wait for many seconds for things (lights on/off) to happen

     

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    3 hours ago, jodohl said:

    OK, what I get from these two replies is that Alexa/Fibaro may, - or may not - work.

     

    And nobody, -  including Fibaro - has any ideas whatsoever to why.

     

    "Get a raspberry pi and install HA bridge" may sound simple to some, but as I am not primarily interested into diving into a lot of code or setting up more machines to maintain on my system.

     

    But a thought crossed my mind: I have a Synology NAS running on my LAN. Is it so that this "HA bridge" could run on my NAS? If so, then maybe it is time to develop a friendship with this "HA bridge" animal. 

    Hi @jodohl

     

    I have Alexa Dot integration at a bit better than 1 in 4 but not perfect. I would say 19 out of 20 times it works if there is no background noise and also it is within 1 to 3s. I think a bit more tuning and it would get better but diminishing returns.

     

    but I found few issues getting to this point.

     

    1) The Alexa dot WiFi connection needs to be good. By good that does not necessarily mean close to your WiFi access point or pump up the power of your WiFi. My experiments indicate that it is probably easy to overload the bandwidth of the dot . If a WiFi interface is overloaded the signal will probably be clipped resulting in a poor signal to noise ratio and poor results. It also did not like being at an extreme distance.

    2) Only include devices that you want to control by Alexa in the Alexa device list. My setup with over 500 devices was a little sluggish. It took a lot of time to remove the ones that I did not want.

    3) Simple Names: For any device that did not respond effectively, I made sure the name was totally phonetically unique and simple. I found differences as small as light and lights are an issue.

    4) Train my wife not to add unnecessary word like "please". She is so old fashioned and polite she even tries to be polite to a computer????/

     

    Also the groups work but names need to be phonetically unique again.

     

    cheers,

     

    Robert

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    @jodohl hi, also my HC2 / Amazon echo 'aka Alexa' integration is working fine. Some delays upto 4 or 5 seconds but nothing more than that. 

    As Robmac is saying, a good wifi connection is required. Here in Belgium at a certain provider we can choose a 'channel' on our internet modem. Some 'channels' on wifi are of better quality in parts of the house than others.

    As far as I could read, you didn't mention if your Alexa is responding correctly on other commands (Joke, weather, news, wikipedia, ....). Is that working fine?

    BTW, I was that happy with my Alexa and HC2 integration that I've created my own skill (house status). It's published but not yet approved. It tells me some status of the house after asking Alexa 'Alexa, Open house status'.

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    10 hours ago, wpeeters said:

    @jodohl hi, also my HC2 / Amazon echo 'aka Alexa' integration is working fine. Some delays upto 4 or 5 seconds but nothing more than that. 

    As Robmac is saying, a good wifi connection is required. Here in Belgium at a certain provider we can choose a 'channel' on our internet modem. Some 'channels' on wifi are of better quality in parts of the house than others.

    As far as I could read, you didn't mention if your Alexa is responding correctly on other commands (Joke, weather, news, wikipedia, ....). Is that working fine?

    BTW, I was that happy with my Alexa and HC2 integration that I've created my own skill (house status). It's published but not yet approved. It tells me some status of the house after asking Alexa 'Alexa, Open house status'.

    Hi, I see you made your own Alexa skill; I would like to do so; do you have any information how to make it? I made the Developer and AWS account, but then I got lost. If you could provide some info how to do it would be great.

    I'd like to use it more to control my devices and more to start scenes.

    Thanks for any input.

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    Hi, my Alexa works with HC2 before, to switch lights on and off.

    Now I found all my Fibaro Devices in Alexa are gone. Even after reset of Alexa and HC2 I can't discover it.

    HC2 Firmeware is 4.153

     

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    @vanni177 Hi, see post below . But why controlling devices and scenes through API and. That can be done directly via the fibaro skill.

    Mayb better to answer in below post instead of hijacking this one.

     

     

     

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    +1 with HA Bridge

    works pretty much flawlessly and on my Pi i have :

    HA Bridge

    Sonos Bridge

    Webserver 

    Dasher

    Domoticz HA software (this is for Nest sending info to the HC2)

    no issues and everything works pretty much instantly..

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    6 hours ago, wpeeters said:

    @vanni177 Hi, see post below . But why controlling devices and scenes through API and. That can be done directly via the fibaro skill.

    Mayb better to answer in below post instead of hijacking this one.

     

     

     

    Hi, thanks for the info, I will look into it and come back to you

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    Alexa Dot + Sonos Play ONE (with Alexa) + HC2 ---> working 99% of time OK (lights ON-OFF). Only thing that I can't understand is why I don't see my block Scenes in Alexa app. It is written in docu that Fibaro skill supports only block scenes, but it seems to me that it is not the complete truth.

     

    Vedran

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    @Veki

    It  does work, but you cannot execute scenes or VD directly in block scene...

    Please see

     

     

    Edited by cag014
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    Thank You 

    Please login or register to see this link.

     . 

    Now I see my block scenes.

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    On 05/01/2018 at 12:39 AM, jodohl said:

    OK, what I get from these two replies is that Alexa/Fibaro may, - or may not - work.

     

    And nobody, -  including Fibaro - has any ideas whatsoever to why.

     

    "Get a raspberry pi and install HA bridge" may sound simple to some, but as I am not primarily interested into diving into a lot of code or setting up more machines to maintain on my system.

     

    But a thought crossed my mind: I have a Synology NAS running on my LAN. Is it so that this "HA bridge" could run on my NAS? If so, then maybe it is time to develop a friendship with this "HA bridge" animal. 

    HA Bridge on Synology worked fine a few months back when I tried it utilising Docker app on my NAS.

    Cheers,

    al.

     

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    Alexa was working with HC2

     

    But now, I don't know why,

    I can't discover any Devices or Scenes!!!

     

    Anyone has a hint what to do?

     

    I did:

    • Reset HC2
    • Reset Alexa
    • Disable and Enable Fibaro Skill
    • Change Alexa WiFi 2.4/5.0GHz

    Nothing works.

    Do I miss some settings?

    I can see my Hue's in Alexa.

     

    please can someone help on that, I'm totally frustrated

     

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