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vPeteWalker

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  1. Hi fellas. Thanks for responding! I've just about given up on this for their vacation house, because frankly in my particular situation, the monthly internet price they would pay is cheaper than any cellular plan, but they would prefer not paying a monthly bill for that internet when they aren't there. I'm trying to convince them to just leave it on, thinking let's say "$35/month is worth it to be able to monitor the house while you're away" but not sure they'd go for that. I have one last chance to see if they can add on a device to their unlimited AT&T plan they have for their car, but otherwise this project for their vacation house is likely dead. Brian, basically it's not finding a solution that would work without internet, it's finding a solution that could allow them to remotely monitor their home - which clearly leans more on the connectivity. Any alerts etc. wouldn't be able to be communicated back to "home base" without internet, so that'd be a bust. Frank, like I posted it's simple stuff... "Contact sensors on any entry doors, sheds, garages, etc. which will alert them based on their preferences. We might add cameras in as well, doorbells, etc. down the road but I think starting with the sensors and potentially locks is a good first step." I also thought about sensors for fridge/freezer, maybe adding a wifi thermostat. I'd love to hear more potential ideas for things you guys may be using, and yes I remember Brian's vid focused on older folks, so I need to revisit that for sure. I have plenty of ideas to get this off the ground, I'm just struggling with picking an ecosystem an its related cost. I think SmartThings is a great choice, because while I don't love them having to connect a hub (and the cost of the hub) I don't see any alternative that for the overall cost, features and functionality, comes close. I think Wyze could be very compelling on cost, likely would satisfy their minimal requirements - especially since I can use those sensors to trigger automations... I just need to play with the Wyze sensors I have here, and play out those scenarios my folks would use, to see if this would be a fit. I'm starting with some leftover Kasa smart plugs I have, and hoping they warm to the idea of more automation/alerts/etc. so we can grow the system. Have a wonderful day all!
  2. Hi all. Hope you're having an excellent day! I'm here asking for help, in the hopes that someone else has done the research for a similar project recently, and care to share their findings, or anyone else who has some thoughts! Something inexpensive is the name of the game here. I want my folks and I to be able to keep tabs on their home, but they won't buy into it if the cost to maintain it is too high. My folks have two homes, which they split their time between. Their permanent home has internet all the time, but their "vacation" home doesn't, as it doesn't make sense cost-wise to maintain that. I am looking to build two systems, with that variation in mind. They are already familiar/comfortable with Alexa, so I thought it made the most sense to build around that ecosystem. Not saying I couldn't get SmartThings or similar, just trying to avoid it if possible. They have a 1st gen Alexa, some minis, and a Flex right now at main house, and I think just a mini in vacation home. My ideas for both homes are simple. Contact sensors on any entry doors, sheds, garages, etc. which will alert them based on their preferences. We might add cameras in as well, doorbells, etc. down the road but I think starting with the sensors and potentially locks is a good first step. I thought it'd be nice to have Alexa alert them with something spoken, since they are both over 70, and aren't the most technologically savvy. As far as the internet, it'd be great to get a router that could use cellular as a backup, but I worry about if the normal internet goes out while they are there and it fails over to the cellular... they could be in for a huge bill! But it would be super nice that when they are at vacation home, they turn on internet and it will use that, but otherwise use the cellular. Keeping this simple is a must. We have T-Mobile for cellular now, but also my folks have AT&T through their Chevy SUV (not sure if you can add another mifi or similar device onto that package). If you have a recommendation on MIFI on the cheap, please let me know. I wouldn't mind connecting whatever hub strictly through the MIFI device/router, and forego the cellular backup portion if it was more economical. I'm perfectly fine with setting all this up for them at their house near use, but it may be a challenge for their vacation home since I won't be going there, so I'd have to maybe setup the sensors ahead of time and they can stick them up, or something similar to make this easy. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and hopefully you folks have some great ideas I haven't thought of! Much appreciated.
  3. Hi folks! Trying to get a suggestion for a bulb that I can stick into the back of a pumpkin. One of two ideas, but certainly happy to hear what you guys are doing when it comes to something similar, or just halloween decorations in general. Something less expensive, vs. say "Phillips Hue" where there'd be a significant investment, as I don't have any smart LEDs today. First idea is to rotate colors, etc. via either a physical remote or app, but preferably something that saves the settings between power off/on OR can be controlled via app to turn it on/off separately from when I turn on/off my outdoor lights. That will be more annoying, as I'd have to run a completely separate wire out to it, but not a deal breaker. If it's inexpensive enough, I don't mind it not being "outdoor" per se... Second idea is just maybe a black light, so nothing necessarily "home automation" about it, and just need a cord with a single bulb to plug in... maybe someone's done this and has recommendations? Thanks all, appreciate it!
  4. Alright, so I figured it out. Be sure to use this device handler, as otherwise the "button" sensor may not be available, and that's the important bit: https://graph-na04-useast2.api.smartthings.com/ide/device/editor/5561e017-d5d3-47d5-a543-dc67e979a4fc The documentation that was vital was this, which allowed me to create events based on a button push, and knowing which button corresponded to which sensor state: https://community.smartthings.com/t/release-homeseer-flex-sensor/157045 Option 1: (what I used) Use WebCore to trigger based on pushing button 2 (Light On): Option 2: You can use SmartThings, and their generic "Notify me when" via the classic app. Be aware this triggers on all buttons, including button 1 (no light). I didn't love this because I'd get a notification after I emptied it. How to set up notifications with Notify Me When Tap Marketplace. Tap SmartApps. Tap Safety & Security. Tap Notify Me When. Select one or more triggers from the following: Select the devices for which you want to be notified. Tap Done. I hope this helps! Enjoy!
  5. Hi folks! I just installed the Homeseer HS-FS100+ flex sensor (using it for light) for my dehumidifier. I added the custom device handler from Homeseer, and within the "old" SmartThings app, I see the device and it detects light as expected. The problem I'm having is how to create an automation around it. I have both the new and old app, but I can't seem to find something in either app that I can use to notify me based on it detecting light. The new app doesn't even see the light portion, only battery and temperature. In the old app, if I look at the sensor itself, it shows light when detected, etc. but I cannot find an automation that would give me essentially "If light detected, notify me". I also looked at IFTTT and under SmartThings, there's no topic where I can choose this sensor. I could really use some help here. Please let me know if I can answer anything I didn't mention. Thanks everyone!
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