Home Control Assistant Newsletter for Feb 26 2023

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

For the next 5 weeks my weekly message will be a bit more focused. No, don’t worry it will not be on programming philosophy, or obscure Japanese and Roman holidays. It's all going to be all new stuff that you can use. First a new build of HCA and then a series of new or updated packages from the online library you will want to use. Some of it will be of use to everyone, and others targeted at those who use HCA with Hubitat. All good stuff I promise!

To get all this new stuff, you will need to be ready with the latest HCA and a way to download from the online library. I know that many of you already have all these requirements, but I also know that there are some users who aren’t quite there yet. So here is a helpful guide.

First let’s look at HCA…
Are you using HCA 17.0.46 or later? If so, then all you need do is to wait for the release notice, download and install. 

If you are using HCA 17, but a version prior to 17.0.46, then you need to purchase the upgrade. That was explained
here and here. Go to the Get HCA page and it’s the first PayPal button.

If you are using a version of HCA prior to version 17 then you are way out of date! Purchase the upgrade on the
Get HCA page using the PayPal button that fits your situation.

Now let’s look at your library access…
The obvious question is do you have library download access? That requires either an HCA Cloud account with a valid subscription, or a library card. To check your HCA Cloud account if you have one,
login from a browser and look on your account page. Don’t have a Cloud account or the subscription is expired? Then get a library card. Purchase on the Get HCA page, the 2nd PayPal button.

Even after all this time I still get questions about the Online Library. To access it go to the “Design” ribbon category and click on the “Library Browse/Import” button to see what’s available. Select a package and press the “Import” button and it is added to your design.

I think you will like all this new stuff heading your way. We begin next week.

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
309 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.
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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