Home Control Assistant Newsletter for Feb 5 2023

Have you read the Important Announcement posted on August 1, 2021? If you haven't you need to.
X10 free in twenty twenty three!

As you can imagine my own home has a mix of various automation technologies. Mostly it was due to needing to test lots of different hardware as they were added to HCA. I have both a Nest and an Ecobee thermostat, and both Hue and Lifx lighting, just to name a few.

Slowly I have been trying to cut down on my own automation mix during the slow path to closing HCA down. Many of the recent “maintenance” changes in the HCA software have been due to my doing this. Over the last few weeks I took on one of those tasks that I have been meaning to get to for a long time now.

While most of my interior lighting is controlled by UPB, I still used several X10 motion sensors. Why? Well, mostly because when I put them in there wasn’t much of an alternative and they were reliable – never had one stop working unless I forgot to change the batteries. And of course, there is the “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it” rule.

So why change now? I just wanted better. I wanted to be able to better “aim” them as the X10 ones didn’t have that feature. I wanted more adjustments in sensitivity, timeout, blink/no-blink motion settings, and battery level reporting. What did I choose? I went with these from Zooz.

While they don’t contain other useful sensors besides motion – they do have acceleration but that’s of no use to me – they meet my other needs. While I replaced the remaining X10 motion sensors this last week, I had a few of these Zooz sensors already in my home for about a year now and they have been very reliable with a long battery life.

Does any of this matter to you? Maybe. Maybe not. I’m reporting this because we are in a time of rapid change in what is possible. I was clinging to the past too long and missing out on easily obtainable improved function just because I didn’t want to take some time to change. Now what else can I change? Going to think about that!
HCA Cloud Termination Countdown

Each week I’m going to update this section of the weekly message. If you use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control HCA devices and programs though the HCA Cloud, and if you want to keep doing that, you need to act this year. The HCA Cloud is terminating in
336 days.

Hubitat can provide that bridge between Alexa and Google Assistant when the HCA Cloud shuts down. Without an alternative to the HCA Cloud, voice control will be a thing of the past for you. And its not hard! Clear step-by-step instructions are in technical note #703.

I've received several questions recently about the HCA Cloud termination and what it will mean to you. Next week I will answer those.
If you are using a version of HCA prior to version 17, you may have questions about the wisdom of upgrading to version 17 given the future of HCA. Here is something to consider:

The support policy for older HCA versions has been changed
 as I can no longer devote time to past version users. Support will only be available for HCA 17 users.

If you are on version 16 or earlier and want to continue using the cloud features and want to be assured that if you have a question that it gets answered, it is indeed time to upgrade.

HCA is fully operational for several more years so the update cost, spread out over that time, is very little. Knowing support is available when you need it is worth it.
Upgrade to HCA 17
Anyone who is using Hubitat with HCA – not SmartThings – please drop me a note as I would like to add you to a discussion list for those users. I have some Hubitat ideas that I would like to “kick around” and it would help to have a group of users who have experience with Hubitat. Please just send a note to the regular support address saying you would like to be added to that discussion list.
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