Home Control Assistant Newsletter for January 24

Have you looked over the version 17 release notes? Lots of changes that you can incorporate into your designs right away. Easy upgrade.

Looking for answers to the most common questions about HCA? Check out our
Frequently Asked Questions page.
An “Action” of triggers
I don’t know what the collective noun of “triggers” is, so I invented one. Kind of like a “army” of frogs or a “troop” of monkeys.

Last weekend I was creating a program for my own home that connected a sensor that reports humidity with a relay wall switch to control a fan. In building that I used a technique that may be useful to you.

The program is simple in that it looks at the humidity level recorded by the sensor, and if it is over an amount the switch is controlled ON. When below a selected amount the fan is controlled OFF.

Just a slight diversion here: Several weeks ago, I wrote about using a light sensor to determine light and dark. In that weekly message I wrote about how I had to try various lux values until I was happy that “light” and “dark” matched my perceptions. It was the same with humidity. When I started out I had no idea what was the percent that should start the fan. But after watching the humidity values before and after a shower I found a value that seems right. Doesn’t matter what that value is as yours would be different.

The sensor I am using is managed by Hubitat and auto reports when sensor values change, so I was able to use a “tag change” trigger for the program like this:

But what about the other triggers on the program? Let’s tackle the Generic ON and OFF triggers first.

Those are there to facilitate testing. I want to be able to simulate a high and a low humidity level to see what the program does without messing with the sensor itself. I can’t just go change the humidity tag value on the sensor, as an action from the UI like that doesn’t cause a program with “tag change” triggers to start. So I added these ON and OFF triggers – which will never be used outside of testing – to test the program: If started by a generic ON, I simulate a high humidity level, and by an OFF a low humidity level.

The reception triggers are there to allow me to stop the program from controlling the fan. What’s that you say as you thought this was all about doing exactly that?

The switch device – that controls the fan – sends a scene activate message when the switch paddle to is used to turn on the fan and a scene deactivate when the bottom paddle is tapped to turn off the fan. These generate signals that HCA picks up and causes the program to trigger when the switch is manually controlled. That gives the user – me in the real world now – a way to say to HCA“ I don’t care what the sensor says, stop messing with the fan”. When the switch is manually turned OFF then the program can suspend itself for one hour. When manually turned ON it doesn’t do anything.

The reason I bring this up is that you can see that one program through different triggers expresses three different actions, yet they are all related. The primary action is to control a load based upon a sensor value. Secondarily, it is a way for a person to stop that action for an hour, and finally other triggers provide a means to test the program from the HCA UI.

Sometimes it is just as important for a trigger to stop a program - in this case to suspend it – as it is for a trigger to start something.

User-to-User forum

An HCA User who wanted to set up a forum for user-to-user communication. I'm passing this on, but please know that this is not a HCA company project and I will not be spending much time there so I don't know how this will work out. Here is a link to what he set up.

Want to take the next step in automation? Want to get started with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant and control HCA by voice commands? Even if you are a long-time user of HCA, the Getting Started guides have all the info you need on client-server, mobile applications, DDNS, and voice assistants.

All of the
Getting Started Guides are available on the support website.
Copyright © 2021 Advanced Quonset Technology, Inc, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp