New guy here with 25ish device HA install with hardware reviews... UPDATED after being in use for over 2 years and now 70ish devices

Hi All,

I just wanted to introduce myself to the community. I’m not sure I’ll have much to contribute in terms of development, as my programming skills are fairly basic.

That said, I’ll start by describing my setup.
Initial Install:
Raspberry Pi 3 with Aeotec Z-Stick
2x Amazon Echo Dot (haaska skill)
4x HomeSeer HS-WD100+ Dimmer (still working great after 2yrs)
6x Linear/GoControl Bulbz Z-Wave LED bulbs (Have moved into new locations in favor of color bulbs, but still working great)
2x First Alert ZCOMBO Smoke/CO Detector (have been hit or miss, and I am looking for a little more, like ability to silence from my phone)
2x Enerwave Z-Wave PLUS ZWN-RSM2 Smart Dual Relay Switch Module Control 2 Loads (still working great)
1x Enerwave Z-Wave Outlet Plug-in Power Light Switch Adapter (Still working great)
1x Logitech Harmony Hub (can’t live without this) I have a 2nd one, just not linked to Alexa
1x Yamaha RX-V Series Receiver (Currently controlled directly from HA)
2x 2GIG/Radio Thermostat CT30 ZWave thermostats (would not recommend)
2x ecobee3 thermostat (replaced the CT30, which will then get relegated to basement and 3rd floor duty)
1x gogogate2 garage door controller (not tied to HA yet)
4x Amcrest IP security cameras
1x QNAP NAS (hoping to tie into HA for Surveillance Station similarly to Synology setup), and possibly move HA to a docker install on the QNAP and free up the Pi 3 for another project
1x Ubiquiti Unifi Wireless setup (currently using for device tracker, not integrated into Automations yet)
Added 2/25/17:
1x Ring Pro Doorbell
1x Schlage Connect Door Lock

2yr+ Update:
I bought a 2nd Pi, a Pi 3 B+ this time, and started with a fresh install of HASS.IO and slowly imported and updated my config to modify to the breaking changes. I went the easy route this time and am using HASS Cloud for the Alexa integration and have added a Google Home.
I have added more hardware (updates to above):
1x gogogate2 garage door opener (now tied to HA!)
1x Ring Spotlight Cam
4x LIFX+
3x Philips Hue Color with Hub
1x Ecobee Switch+
1x Google Home
1x Echo Show
5x Echo Dot Gen2 (new total)
1x Echo Dot Gen3
2x GoControl WNK01-21KIT (motion and door/window sensors)
1x Dome z-wave water leak sensor and shut-off valve
1x Zooz ZSE40 4-in-1 multisensor
2x Wyze Cams
3x GE z-wave wall switches (one controlling a fan, one in a 3-way)
4x TP-Link/Kasa mini wall Plugs
2x Logitech Harmony Hub (added one)
1x Yamaha WX-030

I have built much of my setup “borrowing” ideas and configurations from Ben (BRUH Automation)

Product Reviews:
The Echo Dot with haaska skill is seriously making me lazy… by that I mean that it works well. Audio quality leaves a bit to be desired, but I knew that going into the Dot instead of the full size Echo.
-Update 2/4/19 The 3rd Gen Dot has improved the audio quality significantly, though now uses a barrel plug instead of micro USB, so if you’re planning to replace one that is plugged into a multi-usb receptacle like mine was, you need to plan something different for power.

The Homeseer Dimmer switches I probably have the most amount of time with, and they work amazingly well. I would like to tap into the double-tap and triple-tap features, and have come across some discussions about this, but I’m not seeing that it is mainstream supported yet. (some customization of CentralScene)
-Update 2/4/19 Just rebuilt recently and updated, haven’t had time to mess with CentralScene to see if I can get 2x and 3x tap working

Linear Bulbz have been rock solid, especially after I programmed in a delay for the refresh. The slow dim to off feature lasts too long to have it without the delay. Otherwise, the HA interface will show it go off then back on again even if the bulb is in fact off.
-Update 2/4/19 Still going strong

First Alert ZCOMBO - Very simple install. Not much to say here. Makes me feel more comfortable knowing that if we’re away I can be alerted of a problem.
-Update 2/4/19 I’m looking for more from my Smoke/CO than this provides… I think I will be looking to a Nest Protect system, it’s just quite a bit more money, but I think in the long run worth the piece of mind to have 2 or 3 of these mixed in my system.

Enerwave Z-Wave PLUS ZWN-RSM2 Smart Dual Relay Switch Module Control 2 Loads - This was the cheapest way to convert 4 normal switches into Zwave controlled switches, and basically just made the physical switch a toggle switch while retaining the ability to wirelessly control them. I had a couple boxes with multiple switches in them for outdoor lights and this fit right in there. It is a tight fit in the older metallic boxes I have (not deep) but they fit just fine with a creative manipulation of tucking the wiring in there. These work 90% of the time. I have some automations to turn on all lights approaching sunset and changes depending on cloud cover (thanks BRUH). The odd thing is that though these are a 2 load relay, Open ZWave CP see it as having 3 loads. I haven’t done a ton of testing, but it seems that 1 load just gets duplicated (and this is the load that isn’t 100% accurate in control). For me it is fine (not critical), but a critical application I would just spend twice the money and use full on reliable zwave switches.
-Update 2/4/19 still going strong

Enerwave Z-Wave Outlet Plug-in Power Light Switch Adapter - Solid functioning switch that keeps the lower wall plug free, and gives you a non-zwave controlled port on one side and zwave controlled port on the other (giving you 3 outlets from a regularly 2 outlet socket). They also offer a dimmable one, but limits you to devices without a ground plug. I used this one for the christmas tree lights this year.
-Update 2/4/19 This is now relegated for use with a tall lamp, and has been rock solid

Harmony Hub - Installed, and using both Alexa skills. Initial testing has been successful and I can see this being a great addition as I have more opportunity to use it.
-Update 2/4/19 Over time Alexa integration has changed slightly and some commands that used to work no longer do, but I think there is some similarly named entity to one of my activities somewhere that Alexa just doesn’t like.

Yamaha RX-V series receiver - Auto discovered by HA during my initial setup, now with configuration changes I have it manually defined, but I have full control of both Main and Zone 2 with input and volume control. I was pleasantly surprised to see that support right off the bat. The Harmony Hub should make my usage more seamless as I use activities with my current Harmony Remote, and my Samsung TV gets discovered by HA, but gets grayed out and cannot use it for control (only basic control anyway).
-Update 2/4/19 Will need to sort out some issues after updating to the latest version of as something just broke

2GIG/Radio Thermostat CT30 ZWave thermostats - These have been the bane of my existence for 3 weeks. They work, then they don’t. HA rarely shows an accurate real-time current temperature, or even the target temperature if HA didn’t set it. Firstly, you can either program them locally with a schedule, or you can control them by zwave (NOT BOTH). I figured, no biggie, just setup automations to set the schedule. One thermostat just simply will not take set_temperature commands more than once, so the automations are useless and it inevitably ends up hot through the night wasting oil. The odd thing is that thermostat will take mode changes instantly 100% of the time, but I don’t want to trigger off temp and turn Heat mode on and off because it shouldn’t have to work that way. The other thermostat, however, reacts to commands most of the time instantly. It misses a few automation commands and so its schedule doesn’t perform as planned on a few occasions. The real problem with that thermostat is that (even with a C-wire) it goes through 3x AA batteries a week! That’s right, 1 week! I’m thinking the difference is that the A/C isn’t also hooked up to this T-Stat yet, as I have yet to fish the wire up to it (currently controlled by another t-stat 1 stud over), and perhaps it’s not getting as much power fed to it as the other thermostat (which has plenty of battery life left on the original 3x AA’s)
-Update 2/4/19 Just installed one in the basement that I recently semi-renovated for exercise and kids play area. Integration in HA is a little nicer on the new version of, but it seems battery life is still terrible. The basement is heat only, so I ran some additional wiring to the T-stat to hook up C wire to the A/C system, but seemingly still running on batteries only. I’ll eventually figure out these stupid things. This time I have rechargeable batteries in there.

ecobee3 - Honestly impressed. It has all the features I could have asked for. I had to do some re-wiring for power, as I wanted to use a C-Wire rather than the included PEK kit (personal preference). I have multiple ways to manage the thermostat now, and above all else, it is far more reliable than the outgoing CT30. I just installed the one unit today, and I have already ordered another for my other primary zone (which I re-wired today in anticipation of the new Ecobee). It can be managed directly at the thermostat, by mobile app, by Alexa, and thanks to those that came before me, straight from within Home Assistant. The motion sensor in the thermostat and remote sensor can be used as triggers for motion based automations, though I have minimal testing for how real-time it really is. The programming is super simple with many options. The only downside I could foresee is the lack of a battery backup, but I’m not really sure how much that matters. It comes with two different backing plates, one small sleek mounting plate that is the same size as the actual face of the thermostat, and one that is a couple inches extra on either side to help cover bare spots from old thermostats. I don’t have quite a lot of experience with it yet, but I sort of wish I could force it to favor one temperature sensor over another (prioritize sensors) rather than the system deciding based on its detected occupancy.
-Update 2/4/19 I still like the Ecobee system, but have been keeping an eye on the Nest ecosystem since they have added remote sensor capabilities, and the Google Home Hub has a much nicer integration with the Nest ecosystem than Echo and Ecobee and Ring

gogogate2 - Amazing Standalone garage door controller with some IFTTT capabilities, but no IFTTT triggers, and no other way to tie into HA yet. I’m trying to get them to develop something, either direct API control or even just some IFTTT triggers. Aside from this obvious lack of functionality, the standalone app is good, and has the ability to assign users different access levels (which doors, and time of day based on day of week). The install was really easy on my Chamberlain Pro 1/2 HP, still yet to wire up my Genie on another bay). The tilt sensors also report temperature, which is likely off a bit, but it’s close enough for my garage space. Nothing critical in there that even a 5* F difference will affect.
-Update 2/4/19 Now that these are supported in HA, my life is much better not having to say “Alexa Trigger Open…” And I have direct visibility in HASS of the 3 garage doors it controls, and I can use HASS for automation now, rather than IFTTT. So much better. I had finally broken down and bought some Linear Z-Wave garage door openers on sale and ended up selling them to a friend once the Gogogate was supported.

Amcrest IP security Cameras - I got the IP2M-841 and IP3M-954E. The IP2M-841 is a PTZ indoor wireless camera. During setup is when I found out the IP2M only supports 2.4GHz wireless and the IP3M version of it supports 2.4GHz/5GHz. This meant that connecting to the wireless during initial setup was not possible on my network (I use a single SSID across both bands to provide a more seamless transition) following the quick start guide. This ended up not being a problem as I connected the camera by ethernet and was then able to add the wireless network from within the device configuration by accessing the web interface to configure the camera (after using my phone to get it connected to the ethernet network). I have yet to jump into ALL of the configuration options, but there are TONS. I’m very impressed by what I’ve seen so far (coming from a basic QSee solution I bought years ago, which was utter garbage in comparison). The image quality is very good, even with the infrared at night. Much better than my Summer Infant baby monitor setup for the kid’s room in terms of night vision. I bought this camera as a possible option to replace or supplement that system, as it has two way audio and a better range for PTZ and apparently better night vision. Also, you will not be short on mounting options given the included brackets.
Secondly, the IP3M-954E is an outdoor PoE camera. I haven’t wired it up outside yet, but initial impressions inside the house equal that of the wireless unit. I will update more once I get it properly wired and mounted.
-Update 2/4/19 All Cameras mounted… as you’d suspect the one wireless camera has the most delay issues with the HASS feed, but image quality is good on all of them and motion triggers are all actionable for automations. These have been great cameras, and my thoughts have been solidified even more after trying the Wyze Cams.

QNAP NAS - mostly just hoping for the Surveillance Station connection to HA like is supported with the Synology. I have lots of experience with Synology NAS’s, but the QNAP came with more SS camera licenses than the Synology at the same price point, and had a good number of other features that just made it outshine the Synology.
-Update 2/4/19 After much use I can say without question I would prefer the Synology over the QNAP. While the QNAP boasts various extra features, they don’t nearly work as well as I would have hoped. It’s still a good NAS, don’t get me wrong, but given the opportunity to do it all over again I would choose the Synology.

Ubiquiti Unifi (UAP-AC-Pro) - I really love this stuff. For the price, it cannot be beat for a mesh network setup. I had 1 AP covering the entirety of 3300 sq ft. plus the basement and half of the garage (enough for the gogogate2 to work just fine). I recently added the Unifi Controller to HA, and it pulled in all of the devices on the wireless network. I’m not sure exactly how I feel about it, as it will pull in devices from the guest network as well, and I’d prefer to ignore those. I haven’t put much time into figuring that out. The device tracker piece updates the Home status almost instantly, which I have been tracking and testing for use in automations. It doesn’t quickly update Away status, which can actually be a good thing if your device has periodic disconnects for power save, or your battery dies. It seems that the Away status can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to update, which like I said could be perfect for some. Personally, I’ll set automations to detect my phone and work laptop, along with my wife’s phone. I frequently neglect to charge my phone when I get home and it can die, but I’ll usually have my laptop up if I am. This way away mode will only be triggered if all 3 devices are “not_home”
-Update 2/4/19 I no longer use this for tracking, instead I have used Owntracks, but even this is not 100% for me. Still trying to figure out the best way to track me and my wife and have automations really simplify some things for us.

New Reviews 2/27/17
Schlage Connect Door Lock - Physical installation was as easy as any other door lock. Despite the size of the pad and inner housing there are no additional holes needed, unless you also get the handleset and are replacing standard knobs with the lever and handle type. The addition to the z-wave network was pretty easy through the Open ZWave Control Panel Add Device (Secure). I was originally able to lock/unlock from the control panel, but not in HA. I removed and re-added the lock with a factory reset on the lock and was patient and payed attention to what I was doing and remembered to Save Changes in OZWCP before closing. I also added the following to my HASS customize.yaml:

    refresh_value: true

This allowed for the switch status to update appropriately. This has worked very well. I’ve added a few different codes and set the alarm mode and sensitivity. You can get a chime on ‘activity’ to know when the door is opened or closed (much like a standard alarm system). The alarm is REALLY loud, which I tested by kicking the door. I would think it is enough of a deterrent in most cases. So far so good.
-Update 2/4/19 Solid door lock, probably one of the best things I’ve added to this install. I have switched to using rechargeable batteries due to one set of “new” batteries not lasting nearly as long as the first set I installed it with. I’m getting (aside from one set of batteries) at least 6 months out of the batteries with heavy usage.

Ring Pro Doorbell -
Installation is pretty easy if you’ve already got a wired system with the appropriate voltage. I used one of the wedge packs to change the angle of the camera, which also has a side benefit of giving you more leeway with the wiring and moving the bell a little bit side to side or up/down. I love the alerting on motion feature since the mail lady and delivery guys never knock or ring when they drop a package. I caught the mail lady walking away the other day after I went to my phone and opened up the video stream. The night vision is also pretty good. I don’t like that in order to capture video you need to subscribe to their service, but with their free trial provided, I have found it pretty handy. You can select an event from the log and it will show you the video from that log entry. The subscription isn’t that much, and I might consider it, but I just don’t like the principal of having to pay for something I should be able to gather myself from an IP’d device on my own network. Overall very pleased with this.
-Update 2/4/19 My Ring Pro Doorbell has, within the last month, decided to periodically drop off the network and only a reboot of the doorbell fixes it. It worked flawlessly for well over a year, but now I need to work with Ring support to try to get it replaced. It seemingly goes offline right when/after someone presses the doorbell button. Maybe time to try out the Nest Hello??? I like the idea of facial recognition.

NEW Reviews 2/4/19:
Ring Spotlight Cam -
This seemingly has much better video quality than the Ring Pro Doorbell. This has been a great addition to the driveway. We can use the Echo Show to “show me the driveway” and get the video feed right up.

These bulbs are NICE! The color is vibrant and bright… much brighter than the Hue bulbs. There are a number of cool features to them also. The LIFX+ have added amazing night vision to my indoor cameras, and I am considering the BR30? BR38? version they have for my outside cameras. My biggest gripe with these bulbs is that they don’t group well like the Hue bulbs or even my z-wave bulbs. The bulbs act individually, even when grouped in the LIFX app. They’re not synched in making changes, or in effects. A little disappointing when compared to the Hue bulbs in that regard.

Philips Hue Color with Hub -
I had bought these a while before the LIFX bulbs when on sale with a Google Home. The bulbs are good, but the color and brightness leave a bit to be desired. As mentioned with the LIFX review, however, they act simultaneously when grouped.

Ecobee Switch+ -
I bought this on the promise of the ability to use it as a room sensor with my Ecobee with the feature originally supposedly being released last summer… that came and went. This thing is nice in that in a kids room I don’t have a separate Echo Dot plugged in somewhere to be messed with. That is as far as the good goes. The bad… My initial setup ended up with the thing getting really hot, freezing up, getting stuck playing music loudly via Alexa when it was time to put the kids to bed (my son started the music and we couldn’t get it to stop). I messaged in and complained and seemingly a firmware update likely fixed at least a part of this issue. I noted the additional heat of the switch and told Ecobee that the temp sensor readings would likely be really skewed by how hot the switch was running. I’m guessing they’re still trying to figure that out and why they haven’t added the feature yet. I’m about to completely switch over to Nest/Google if they can’t get their stuff together. It’s too bad, because I like the thermostats, this product and pipedream feature release dates have just left a bad taste in my mouth.

Google Home -
Some things are a little better with Alexa, like the followup command capability, but aside from that I really am liking the Google Home experience. Haven’t dug too deep into Google Home as I have been really busy otherwise.

Echo Show -
Cool piece, works well, but I think we’re under-utilizing it. I also think the Google Home Hub has better integrations with Nest (for thermostat control and Doorbell integration) that Alexa does with Ecobee and Ring. A major reason why I’m considering a switch.

Echo Dot Gen2/Echo Dot Gen3 -
These things are everywhere… and I love them. As mentioned the audio quality on the Gen 3 is far superior, as are the looks, but functionality is really the same for me.

GoControl WNK01-21KIT (motion and door/window sensors) -
These work great… update quickly in HASS. All I can ask for. These have been installed for nearly 2 years on the original batteries, and HA still reports 100% battery… not sure I can believe that one.

Dome z-wave water leak sensor and shut-off valve -
I have yet to install the shut-off valve controller, but the water leak sensor works amazing. I had a flood in the basement and the sensor instatnly updates in HA. I couldn’t believe how fast the status changed. The audible alert is good, too, just a little weak if you’re not in the same room (then again the basement mechanical room is pretty loud) I’m very happy with this sensor and will be buying more

Zooz ZSE40 4-in-1 multisensor -
I haven’t really setup any automations off of this yet, but it does appear to have fast response to motion triggers, but the temp seems a little bit warmer than another sensor in the same room. It’s likely due to being close to a bunch of electronics. So far I like this sensor, I just don’t have enough experience with it in automations to speak to its reliability.

Wyze Cams -
I bought two of these on recommendation of a friend with a HomeSeer setup. He replaced his Amcrest cameras with these, likely for the cloud recording. Personally, I think the video quality is extremely lacking in comparison to the Amcrest. Yes, these are much smaller and less obtrusive, but I couldn’t see replacing my Amcrest cameras with these. I will still use them in less critical areas or where a face shot will be much closer or for motion tracking. I have yet to get them to integrate with TinyCam or flash them with other firmware in order to integrate them with HA. Without integration, these are largely useless to me unless they happen to catch something I can retrieve from the free cloud storage, which I’m still not sure I really want my “security” footage stored someplace I don’t control.

GE z-wave wall switches (one controlling a fan, one in a 3-way) -
Another solid switch product, though I do prefer the HomeSeer Switches

TP-Link/Kasa mini wall Plugs -
Awesome product! Definitely like these over the similar Wemo switches. These have been great for controlling various lamps, including some LED shop lights in the garage

Yamaha WX-030 -
Good sound quality speaker, so-so integration. The Yamaha MusicCast system is nice, but a little clunky when compared to Sonos. I thought I’d give it a try since my receiver supported it, and it works well in some regards, but terribly in others. When trying to sync the receiver and this speaker for audio from Cable TV, the delay is awful… unless they’ve managed to fix it withe newer firmware. However, when streaming a media source like bluetooth, Spotify, Pandora, etc… it sync’s up just fine. I like the Yamaha speaker system, I really like the quality of sound they produce, but they need a little work on the Smart Home integration front.

I look forward to any input and am open to any questions about my setup. I will work to get my configuration uploaded at some point as well.

Questions: (OLD/Answered)
I’ve noticed some lights flashing or lights turning on at midnight. (I’m assuming this is related to the zwave network self heal schedule) anyone else experience anything like this?
Does anyone else get horribly inaccurate results? Or is the wireless connection and CPU/RAM on the Pi 3 just not up to the task?

Future planning:
Install 2nd Ecobee3 (upon succuessful testing of 1st) - Completed
More IP cameras -
zwave or wifi LED Under Cabinet lighting
build more automations
water sensor for attic based A/C to detect and set automations to turn off A/C and send notifications
ZWave Door Lock (Schlage Connect) - Completed
Smart Doorbell (Ring Pro) - Completed


Thanks for the reviews! People are always looking for this kind of first person experience so this info is a great addition.

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Keep it coming! We have a lot of Tribal Knowledge on this site but sometimes it is hard to find - active reviews of these products are very helpful - I am already looking into the Sm,oke/C02 alarms you mentioned, I have been thinking about doing that for a while!

I gave up on it for that very reason.

How do these look in HA? Do they come up as sensors or something different? How are you handling the alarms?

I had found this before setting them up (I wish I could say I invented the wheel, but I didn’t):

I have basically done the same for my automations.

Each smoke/CO detector shows up as two sensors (one is TYPE, and the other is LEVEL)
Type sits at 13, and level sits at 255 once initialized and in standby

Great - thanks!

No problem.

Also, I have updated my original post with reviews for the Amcrest cameras and Harmony Hub. Though I’ve only had a couple hours of experience with them as I setup both last night, initial impressions are favorable for both.

Great - I’m looking at harmony, and also thinking about cameras :slight_smile:


Thanks for sharing, a very nice setup!

Just wondering… I’ve seen a few people mentioning Haaska, my understanding was that this is now legacy as the “emulated Hue” component replaced it? Am I missing something here?

I am using emulated Hue with my Echo/DOT which works very well. I’m also using a couple of API intents with a Skill that’s controlling things like starting a script by saying “Alexa, tell home its time for bed” rather than “Alexa, turn on bedtime”. Also using the skill to return information when I ask things like “How much energy am I using”, “WHat’s the temperature in the bedroom” etc…


Good to know. I setup Haaska initially, as that is the first thing I came across. I learned about emulated Hue and started to set that up, but haven’t taken the full time to get it setup. The haaska skill has been working fine for me, but I can see there are some functions with emulated Hue that I would like to employ, such as asking Alexa the “status” of things. I also like some of the ability for a more natural way of speaking to Alexa as you mentioned. I may have to pick your brain about finishing up the emulated hue setup. I was back and forth between that and habridge? IIRC. I’m forgetting what one has over the other.

Honestly, I’ve only really been at this setup since mid-December, and with most of my spare time spent troubleshooting the $@&* Thermostats I haven’t had the time I was hoping to put into figuring out these other things and making more automations. You could say I have jumped in with both feet, but some good deals have come my way, and others have been absolute impulse splurges. For instance, you should be able to find the Harmony Hub bundled with an Echo Dot for $130 on Amazon. Which gets you $20 off. That deal may not last, so if you’re looking for both you might want to grab it. Honestly, I’m planning, or seeing a need for a 3rd Echo Dot. I have one in the bedroom, one in the Kitchen, and can see a need for one in the living room. By “need” I totally mean unnecessary want to perpetuate laziness.

That kind of thinking has netted me an Echo and 5 dots :wink:

No problem, it’s really easy to setup!

This is how I have configured mine:


  name: Home
  latitude: !secret latitude
  longitude: !secret longitude
  elevation: !secret elevation
  unit_system: metric
  time_zone: Europe/London

  customize: !include customize.yaml   

      listen_port: 8300
      expose_by_default: false
        - light
        - switch
        - script


  icon: mdi:television
  friendly_name: TV
  emulated_hue: true
  emulated_hue_name: "Telley"


OK… it seems I came across something and had started to configure it with this (and just #'d things out until I was ready to do more with it):

type: alexa

- script

- home

aimc, this is the exact product I have by Harmony. Harmony came out with the remote to capitalize on the early adopters, and I don’t really the Home Control buttons much at all… but recently have integrated it with the Harmony HASS component and it works amazingly well. The remote has a nice feel and weight to it, and is curved so it fits in the hand very nicely. The hardware has a very solid build quality and it just feels great! I enjoy the ability to manipulate my develop presets (called “Activities”) and control my various AV receivers and TVs through HASS.

I have a Chromecast Audio hooked up to my AV receiver, and it’s REALLY awesome to be able to trigger an automation that allows me to start it up and play specific media without even touching the remote - that’s where the truly fun automation comes into play, I think! I have yet to integrate voice commands through the Google Home into my setup. I’m halfheartedly waiting for official support through HASS but I know I could easily set it up via emulated_hue and have the same Alexa skills setup that tkvtec has goin’ on.

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I have to say this has worked flawlessly for me, there was a recent issue (bug) where it would cause Alexa to respond with “device not responding, check network or power supply” but still actually send the command to HASS. I fixed this by applying a patch but it may have been fixed in latest release (I’ve not upgraded to 0.36.1 yet).

My tip would be to use customise to rename what Alexa sees as the name using “emulated_hue_name:” for example "emulated_hue_name: “Telley”… my switch in HASS is called TV, which is correct but Alexa didn’t like the word “TV” so I changed it so only Alexa sees it as “Telley”…

Originally I was putting them into Groups within the Alexa app (e.g. a group named “telley” with switch “TV” inside) however there was an occasion where I rebuilt HASS due to a failed SD in my Pi so I now name everything within HASS, this makes transitions and starting over fresh easy! I don’t use any groups in the Alexa app now…

I also have a Harmony Hub.

You might be interested in my config for changing TV channels with Alexa:


  - platform: harmony
    name: HarmonyHub
    scan_interval: 5


- alias: TV BBC ONE HD
    platform: state
    entity_id: switch.bbc_one_hd
    state: 'on'

    condition: and
    - condition: state
      state: 'on'

      - service: homeassistant.turn_on
        entity_id: script.bbc_one_hd


  - service: remote.send_command
    entity_id: remote.harmonyhub
      device: 37324755
      command: Exit
  - service: remote.send_command
    entity_id: remote.harmonyhub
      device: 37324755
      command: 1
  - service: remote.send_command
    entity_id: remote.harmonyhub
      device: 37324755
      command: 0
  - service: remote.send_command
    entity_id: remote.harmonyhub
      device: 37324755
      command: 6


  - platform: command_line

          command_off: ""

Basically I expose the switch.bbc_one_hd to alexa, when I ask her “Alexa, turn on BBC One HD” she turns on the switch, which tiggers to automation, which starts the script to send the commands to my Humax Freeview set top box > “back button” (to clear any menus that might be open) > “1” > “0” > “6” (which is the channel number for bbc one hd.

I’m also using it to switch on TV, Xbox one, 360, PC, appleTV, Nvidia Shield.

Hope that helps.

Yes, I noticed this as well. I decided to just plug the RPi 3 in. Speed test is accurate once plugged in.

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I thought that might be the case. Thanks for confirming.

@badgerhome, thanks for the input on Harmony. It seems though that the Alexa Harmony Optimized for smart home skill allows for that when you add favorite channels to your MyHarmony account. I haven’t tested it much, but that looked like it would be one of the ways to do it. Of course that doesn’t perform the other automations you’re accomplishing, but it is another way to go about it. (with seemingly less work)