Home Control Assistant Newsletter for Jan 22 2023

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

This week, I want to highlight a new technical note contributed by one of the more experienced HCA users. This technical note is a step-by-step guide to integrating an EcoWitt moisture sensor with Hubitat and HCA.  Aside from being yet another device now supported, I think the key this time is not in the details – unlike the Blink camera support from a few weeks ago – but in the fact of how he discovered that support.

As the story was related to me, he first found the moisture sensor because he was concerned about water use in his California home. With many of the new “Smart Home” devices, it has its own ecosystem of hardware and software. There is an app for it and that is only what most people use. But he wanted to integrate it into all the other automation aspects of his home. He searched and found that there was a third-party developed Hubitat driver for it. That means that neither the sensor manufacturer, nor the Hubitat people developed it. 

The important point here is that there is a range of devices out there that HCA doesn’t support directly but now does through Hubitat. Some of these devices are supported by Hubitat because of individuals adding that support. If you find something you want to use, and if you don’t see immediate support for it in HCA or Hubitat, go looking for a driver that someone has developed. You may just find it.

This is exactly what I was discussing last week: There are a lot of good devices out there but there isn’t a good “brain” to allow the programming that ties them all together. That’s what HCA can do and remains so until we get better tools.

One final point I didn't want to miss communicating is that the EcoWitt product line supports lots of other sensors types so it is worth a look.

If you want to learn more, technical note #711 is available on the HCA website.
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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