Home Control Assistant Newsletter for Jan 9 2022

Have you read the Important Announcement posted on August 1, 2021? If you haven't you need to.
New hardware and failing hardware
A few weeks back I wrote about the added support for devices made by Shelly. I don’t know what it is about Bulgarian engineers – yes, the company is really in Bulgaria – but so far all reports have been very positive. Some users have started to work with more than their relays and dimmers. I’m told about Wi-Fi connected white and color bulbs as well as some of their sensors. Everyone seems to like their gear for function and price.

I had an interesting conversation with a user yesterday who suffered a power outage – rare for their in-city location. When power was restored he found that several of his Insteon devices had hardware failures. Unfortunately I hear this more and more. I also hear that replacement Insteon is getting hard to find. I have no additional information to pass on vis-à-vis Insteon availability but just know that you are not alone in wondering what is up in the Insteon world.

To finish up today on Shelly, my first email said that support was available in the online library but that still isn’t the case. But if you are at all interested, please drop me an email and I’ll let you know what is available to get started.

New gear
Like all of you, there was some new automation gear under my Saturnalia tree this year. I have had a Davis weather station for many years now (20+) and it was still working fine but recently the rain collector, attached to a post in my yard, toppled over and broke. No way to get a replacement for something that old. Thanks to a holiday gift, I now have a new
Davis Vantage Vue wireless weather station and it is working great. One of the nice features is what they call the Weather Link Live. This is a device that gets data from the station and uploads it to the Davis cloud which I can then see in a mobile app and on the computer. Weather Link Live also contains a local web server so it is possible to get current data from it using a HTTP command.

I am in the process of constructing a HCA Weather Class for it so that all my weather tests and reporting in my automation design will now operate with the data from my station updated every minute. When completed, I’ll be happy to share this with anyone who wants it. I’ll let you know when it is ready.

A few weeks back I released an implementation of support for the Shelly series of Wi-Fi devices. If you are working with these device types, I really would like you to send me an email and tell me how it goes. I am considering making some major improvements but want to gauge how much they are being used.
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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