Home Control Assistant Newsletter for November 13 2022

Have you read the Important Announcement posted on August 1, 2021? If you haven't you need to.

The latest version of HCA is 17.0.48 with new features!
Read about how you can download it.
IP addressed devices
I was working with an HCA user who was using several Shelly and TP Link devices for some projects. If you are not familiar with these, they are Wi-Fi based and each manufacturer has a range of products. To name just one, TPLink has a great all-weather 2-outlet device that is useful for outdoor lighting.

Here is a key point when using devices with HCA that have an IP address: You must make sure that IP addresses they are assigned don't change over time. In the old days this would have meant a static address, but all the non-ancient routers I have seen have a method to reserve an IP address. This happens by recording the MAC address of the device and the IP address it was granted in some internal table. The next time that device requests an IP address, it is found in that table and assigned the same IP address. Exactly what is needed.

The only problem is that one must remember to go make that router configuration. To help, I created a small HCA program that looks though your design and finds all the devices that have an IP address and creates a file showing their name and address. This is a handy list to have as you go do that router configuration.

I’m describing this for several reasons: First, these Wi-Fi devices work really well, and you should know they exist and HCA supports them. Also, this is a small program that you can look at to maybe increase your HCA program creation skills. I took some care to add comments so you should be able to follow along to see how this program works. You will see how to create a program that looks though devices in your design, how it can do simple text parsing, and how it creates and writes to a file.

It's in the library now called “IP Address Finder”.

Since I get asked this all the time, the library is accessed from the “Design” ribbon category, “Library Browse/Import” button. Find the package you want in the list – make sure the “Show” dropdown says “All” or “Only Utility Programs” and press the “Import Selected” button.

And the second question I get is about getting an “Can’t import” error if you try and import. As the popup says you either need a current Cloud account or a library card. What’s a library card and how to get one? I discussed that all in a previous weekly message.
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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