“Alexa, where are the cats?”

As is well documented, I have a significant number of feline overlords who thanks to multiple Sure Petcare cat flaps can come and go as they please. The new Connected range of cat flaps comes with a web site, iOS app (a thin skin over the same web site) and is built using what appears to be a pretty solid RESTful API. A few months ago I spent a bit of time monitoring the web app to reverse engineer bits of the API, and then built an Alexa skill so that I could ask my house where all the cats are.

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Z-Wave Greenwave PowerNodes with SmartThings

Back to home automation. As I mentioned in my last post on this subject the LightwaveRF devices are cheap and mostly pretty good. Their downside is that any controller sending an “on” command gets no status back from the device. This means if the command fails to send due to local interference the device will stay off even though the controller will think the device is on. Continue reading

Taking the LightwaveRF out of LightwaveRF

Ultimately this is the story of how I got my Home Automation to the point where Amazon Alexa (on multiple Echo Dots) can control lights, switches, curtains and the heating in my house via voice control. But this is a journey that starts three years ago, in the summer of 2013, when we moved house and I splurged on new light switches…

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