HA on Synology DS918+ via Docker - basic network/presence/mobile app question

I installed Home Assistant on my Synology DS918+ using Docker (not the Hass.io version) 3 days ago. Overall, it seems to be working well except for one thing - presence detection.

I installed the Home Assistant Mobile app on my iPhone as well as my wife’s hoping for one killer integration - opening the garage doors when we come home (have a Chamberlain myq device). I figured out the trigger to open the cover but, no matter what automation I used, I could not get it to see my device or my wife’s.

What’s interesting is that if I pull up the Map Card on Overview and track entities - device_tracker.my_iphone, it shows it at home and never moves from there. Same for my wife’s.

I’m wondering if I missed something very obvious like setting up Home Assistant to access the network and receive data from the home assistant mobile app on my/her location.

I started reading up on using DuckDNS and wasn’t sure if that was solely for outside access of the Home Assistant or also helped the system receive info from outside the home network.

I may be overthinking this and the answer may be far simpler. Anyway, greatly appreciate your helping out this newbie…


im using a Synology DS918+ with HA in Docker etc

I had a small esp8266 (WEMOS) chip in the car via USB, when connected to the WIFI network (ie starting the car up) it would open the garage door. When it lost WIFI connection (250 m down the road) the garage door would close … there is a thread about this option.


In the end i went with Google assistant , ie “Open Door” or “Open” and the garage door would open , also have “Close” working too. I found this approach more useful in the long run , 1 did not use the USB socket in the car for the esp8266 (wemos) and i was able to open the garage door for others while i was driving around and could not access HA (remotely) … Ie daughter rings , i left my key at home , “Hey google open” , garage door opens …

General overview
Google Andriod —> Ifttt —> HA web hocks ----> HA automation …

I also have this working with Google routines , but that does not work with Android Auto at the moment …

so in your case , wife is driving along the road towards the house and says " Hey google open"

Thank you and sorry for the late reply

I ended up installing the Hass.io version but am still trying to get location data outside the house to update via the Home Assistant Companion App

As for other ways to trigger the garage door, I appreciate the thoughts but am not using Google Assistant and don’t want to get into additional hardware such as Arduino.

Why don’t you give your daughter a login for your HA? She’s unlikely to leave her phone at home.

One thing I’ve found annoying with both Google and Apple’s HomeKit, they both impose security restrictions on you that you may not want. Like Google requires developers like HA to use a PIN for garage control. Apple is always changing their requirements and it’s annoying when they break things. I got around this by creating a “PINLESS” cover and exposed those to my AI controllers instead of the actual device. For example, my real garage door has an entity of cover.garage_door_opener.

      value_template: "{{ is_state('cover.garage_door_opener', 'open') }}"
        service: cover.open_cover
          entity_id: cover.garage_door_opener
        service: cover.close_cover
          entity_id: cover.garage_door_opener

When I exposed cover.garage_door_opener to Google Assistant, somehow Google knows it is actually a garage door. And I suspect it knows it’s a myQ device as well as the make and model. Google doesn’t want to expose themselves to liability, hence they added the PIN requirement, which unfortunately the HA dev team decided to implement. My workaround is fairly simple. Using the google_assistant: component, I pass along the bare minimum to Google a generic cover. It’s either open or closed and that is determined by the actual garage state. Now this isn’t perfect because the garage could be opening or closing, but it’s good enough for having Google control it. I then added some routines in Google Assistant (“Open/Close the Garage) because it only wanted work with on/off commands with this cover. This workaround was a bit of a hassle, but it does exactly what I want and has been quite stable for at least a year. I did the same thing for my Schlage ZWave lock, because HomeKit was giving me some grief as well.

In fact, the garage door and incompatibility with other devices is what led me to HA. A couple of summers ago the chain on garage door opener broke. While the motor was still good, the cost of a new one installed wasn’t that much more to repair it. Plus I wanted one that was smarthome ready. The myQ technology is what controls Chamberlain garage door openers was pretty much the only option, and needing it fast that’s what I went with. It comes with an app that lets you open/close the garage. And for a fee, it has a service that you can subscribe in order to link it to Google. And while it was cheap, I’m against service fees for a product I already own. And this one wouldn’t let you close the garage with Google Assistant for “safety” reasons. However, you could do this with HomeKit. I asked their tech support and she told me the reason I could use Siri to close the garage (with HomeKit) was because “she” was personal assistant. Then I got into a pointless discussion with her about semantics.

I was browsing their support forum and everyone was complaining about the service fee and restrictions. Someone mentioned something about HA as a possible workaround. So 15 minutes later I has installed HA on a spare RPI I had laying around and web page came up the first time. I was impressed how easy that was. I configured the myQ component and the garage worked straightaway.

Little did I know I was hooked on HA and spent months rebuilding my already smarthome around this amazing interface.

so you are not coming over to the dark side luke ?:slight_smile:

Blockquote Why don’t you give your daughter a login for your HA? She’s unlikely to leave her phone at home.

That’s the easy part…

Guess what I’m trying to wrap my head around here is whether I should be able to use the Home Assistant iOS companion app (installed on everyone’s iPhones) to send current locations without having to sign up for the Home Assistant Cloud.

If you do go the Companion app route, install the Cloud3 device tracker. It provides better location updates.