Home Control Assistant Newsletter for November 22

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.
Predictive Control, Part 2
I was wondering if anyone has worked with the Predictive Control package I added to the library a few weeks back. I’ve installed it in my home and while it is still in the “Learning phase” I have kept track of what it is doing, and it has found some common patterns. I’ll leave it in learning mode for another week or two and then I’ll enable playback and see what happens.

Several users have pointed out that the “recordings” could also be used to create a schedule to make a home look “lived in”. While HCA programs don’t quite have the capability to do this, this is such an interesting idea that I expect in a future point release that you may see those capabilities added and so make it possible.

The questions I get asked each year
A few weeks back I talked about using the HCA Calendar to set up for holiday lighting. That’s a real common question for this time of year. Another I get asked a lot is about outdoor control and do I know of anything that could be used. Recently I worked with a user who did lots of research on this – good for them and I really appreciate it when users don’t rely on me to know everything – and they found a WiFi controllable dual outdoor plug. It’s made by TPLink so HCA supports it via the TPLInk package available from the library.

It works so well that I wanted to pass it on. As always, I link to Amazon as that is simple, but we get nothing if you buy from them and it is available elsewhere also.

Interested in a deal?
I don’t only support HCA, our company markets other products as well. During development on one of these other projects, a key need was finding a small footprint fan-less Windows computer. We looked at lots and most didn’t pass the test. We settled on one and continue to use it in a product we have been shipping for several years now. Because this machine makes – in my opinion – a swell computer for running the HCA server, we started selling them on to HCA users and have sold a lot.

The supplier is in the process of introducing a new model – a bit faster but that doesn’t matter for HCA use at all. We have only two of the current model machines in inventory. They have Windows 10 installed and are configured to make them great for HCA Server machines. They are the same machines we have been shipping for some time.

As it is almost “Cyber Monday”, I figured in might be a good idea to offer some deals to the HCA Community.

If you want to acquire one of the Windows 10 machines configured for use as a dedicated HCA Server machine, you can purchase one at a $50 savings from the published price shown on the website. Also, if you don’t yet have HCA 17, we will install that on the machine at no additional cost.

Interested? First read over the
web page as it describes the machine and all the details. Second, don’t use the “Buy now” buttons on the website but rather send me an email and I’ll give you the procedure for buying at the reduced cost.

And while we can’t put version 17 upgrades on sale, we can do this: Starting today, if you upgrade to V17 before the end of the November, I’ll add a free 3 extra months to your HCA Cloud account subscription as a bonus. Just purchase the upgrade and send me an email with the HCA Cloud account username.

Happy “Big Meal Day” and please stay safe.
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.
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