Send Harmony commands when no activity is running

I have an IR-controlled AC unit that I want to control in HA via Harmony Hub.

I want its operation to be 100% independent of whatever else I’m doing with Harmony (sometimes when I’m watching TV I want AC, sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I want to control the on/off state of one, without affecting the other.

The auto on/off behavior of Harmony makes this very difficult, because even if I make a dedicated “AC” activity, when I turn on the TV it turns off the AC. There are ways around most of this limitation, but the most elegant solution is to control my AC completely independently using HA.

I made a test script calling on Harmony remote commands but found that it would only allow me to send commands for an activity that was already running.

Is there a way to send individual IR commands even when when no activity is running? (I’d basically like to turn Harmony into a “dumb” universal remote.)

Am I approaching this all wrong and there’s a really simple and obvious solution staring me in the face?

Essentially, no. But there are workarounds, such as including your AC in every activity. And then modifying the power off command to leave the AC on. But if you are “all off”, there’s no control over the AC, unless it can be setup as a “light” that the Harmony can turn on/off.

Yes, this is the workaround I had planned to implement before dreaming of something better with HA.

It drives me bonkers that Logitech won’t allow this via an “advanced” mode or something

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Yeah, the only other way I can see around this is to ditch Harmony entirely and go with LIRC for the AC. Kind of surprising that the dedicated activity doesn’t work though.

Maybe I get the discussion wrong.
You want to control your AC in HA and not via the remote and independently from activities?
I do that and it works for me.
I have activities for TV, Music, Radio etc. and some IR LED stripes.
I just use the direct commands to switch on/off, change color etc. via scripts in HA
Works nicely, sometimes with some seconds delay but for an aircon this should be no problem I suppose. And It is 100% independent of activities as I don’t have the LED Strip integrated in any activities and the Harmony AllOff switch does not switch it off :wink:

Here is an example script that works for me. I am pretty sure this is not what you were looking for and I just didn’t get the question :wink:

    - service: remote.send_command
      entity_id: remote.wohnzimmer
        command: PowerToggle
        device: 43165933


This is exactly what I was looking for. I don’t remember what script syntax I previously used to try and make this work, but it would only let me issue IR commands for a device added to the currently running activity. Modifying your script sets me completely free of that limitation – I can now control my AC no matter what activity is running, or even when no activity is running at all. Switching activities doesn’t affect my AC power in any way, and setup couldn’t be easier.

Now Harmony is a smart device when I want it to be, but also a dumb IR blaster when I want it to be. Perfect!

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