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Home Control Assistant Newsletter for May 23 2021

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.
 
Library Updates
In the online library this week are updates to existing packages and one new one added.

The Sonos package has been updated to now show the error it got from the Sonos cloud if something went wrong.

The Hubitat mega-package is updated with many improvements to the Hubitat managed thermostat class and a new class for support of a programming z-wave keypads. Do a search for a the “Nexia Z-Wave One Touch Control model NX1000”. It’s a very cool device and the new class supports it by recording which button got pressed, and you can build programs that respond to those button presses. I want to mention here that all this work on the thermostat and keypads was done by Kevin Wilcox, a long time HCA user.

The Ecobee package was updated as I described a few weeks ago. The date-time of when the thermostat last updated the Ecobee cloud is now available as a tag on the thermostat device. I use this in my own home to ensure that the data I am basing decisions on is current. I added a program that periodically executes to check the thermostat data. If it is older than 90 minutes then it sends me a text message telling me that my thermostat could be offline. 

The Zone Manager and the Elapsed Time Image utility packages have been updated with various improvements and bug fixes.

A new package called “Sort” was added. This sorts a list of items - expressed as a comma separated list – into increasing order. I find it somewhat amazing that an HCA program can do this. It’s not the most efficient but it works.

TAKE NOTE: HCA tries hard to update your design when you import from the library any programs that you already have. This is not an easy thing! I urge you to always make a backup of your design file before you import from the library especially when you are updating a package you already have. Really, make the backup!

You can download any of these packages to your design if you have a cloud account. The cloud account yearly subscription gives you access to all the packages in the library which you can use to extend and improve your designs.

 
Backup!

When was the last time you made a backup of your HCA design? Not a month goes by without at least one tale of woe from a HCA user. Please use the "Design Backup Assistant" on the Tools ribbon category. The work you save will be your own.


 
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.
 
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