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Alexa Mysteries

PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 10:46 pm
by rlebel
I have both Mobilinc skills installed. I have the following issues:

I have four thermostats, one of them has the spoken name "thermostat"
"alexa whats the thermostat temperature?"
She: that command doesn't work on device thermostat,

"Alexa ask mobilinc the thermostat temperature"
She: Temperature for which device?
She: 75 degrees

I have a program "All Shades Up" in Mobilinc Voice folder I want to say "Alexa all shades up" The only way to run the program seems to be "Alexa turn on All Shades Up". "Turn off all shades up" runs the else path.

I have many scenes that include lights and KPL buttons, but it seems I can't dim them:
"Alexa dim living room" (a scene)
She: that command doesn't work on device living room lights.

Re: Alexa Mysteries

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:27 am
by AdminWes
Hi rlebel,

Did you tell Alexa to "Discover Devices"? It sounds like your items haven't been synced with the Alexa Smart Home yet.

The full configuration for Alexa is up on the website:

If you can't get this working, in the Alexa app under Smart Home, select "Forget All devices and scenes". Then unlink from both MobiLinc Skills and then relink the MobiLinc Custom skill first and sync your items. Then link the MobiLinc Smart Home skill and confirm that Alexa pulls in your items from MobiLinc during the Device Discovery.


Re: Alexa Mysteries

PostPosted: Sun Apr 02, 2017 11:41 am
by rlebel
Thanks, I did all that. Notice that "Turn on living room" works fine but "Dim" doesn't. Similarly I can get the thermostat temperature but only after repeating "thermostat".

Re: Alexa Mysteries

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:42 am
by AdminWes
Thanks rlebel,

Make sure to read through the bottom of our website where we outline all the possible commands for Alexa:

Dim should work if the device you are trying to control is a dimming device (not a scene).

Naming the thermostat "thermostat" is likely the issue. The Alexa Smart Home skill does better if you name your thermostat something like "upstairs" or "house". Thermostat is a key word and it sometimes can't tell the difference between the reserved word and the name of your device.


Re: Alexa Mysteries

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:20 am
by rlebel
Why can't I dim a scene?

Re: Alexa Mysteries

PostPosted: Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:41 am
by AdminWes
Alexa Smart Home has no idea what a scene percentage is or how to dim a scene.

MobiLinc does in the app, but that's only because the MobiLinc app uses a custom algorithm to calculate scene percentages. The ISY/Admin Console doesn't have scene percentage either.


Re: Alexa Mysteries

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 7:30 pm
by webminster
Is the lack of scene dim/brighten something that can be added? Am looking at using this, but most of my lighting is scene based, multiple lights per scene, so this is a concern.

Re: Alexa Mysteries

PostPosted: Thu Jun 01, 2017 7:03 am
by AdminWes
Hi webminster,

The short answer is no.

The longer answer is there's a fundamental difference between how INSTEON works with scenes and how Alexa voice control works for dimming devices. Alexa doesn't have a concept of scenes provided by a partner. You can create scenes in the Alexa app, but this is really just an ON/OFF group. So for dimming, Alexa is assuming that the thing you are controlling is a device that can move to a specific 50%.

INSTEON doesn't support dimming scenes to a specific percentage. INSTEON does support dim or brighten a scene and the scene generally moves in that direction by a few percentage steps overall, but what we find is you'd have to issue dim, dim, dim, dim, etc to get it where you want it. Not a great voice experience.

What we've done is we treat scenes like on/off devices to Alexa so you at least have some control over the scene, but we can't tell Alexa the scene is a dimmer device because then Alexa expects that the dimmer should respond to 50% ON or some specific on level which INSTEON scenes do not support.

A compromise solution is to create a scene with the devices dimmed to your levels and give it a voice name that makes sense to you. Usually with voice there's a scenario where it makes sense to activate a scene with dimmed lights like "TV mode" or "dinner time". Then saying "Alexa, turn on dinner time" will dim the lights to your scenario's need.

Hopefully this helps,