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smarthome

Logitech Pop with Sonos & Shuffle Songs

September 23, 2017 0 comments

I’ve been using Sonos speakers for about 2 years now.  When I heard about the Logitech Pop I had to jump on board.  They are great however it lacks some features.  I have a Logitech Pop button in about every room of my house.  Some that do different things.  I.E (If i’m coming downstairs and want music playing throughout the house I can press one of my Logitech Pop buttons and do so.

If i’m doing the dishes and want music to only play in the kitchen I can press a Logitech Pop button and have music playing instantly in the kitchen.  They also have 2 other settings which is a double press, and a long press.  I have all mine configured the same so “Double Press” would skip to the next track.  “Long Press” will pause the current speaker (or all speakers).

One of my biggest downsides was every time I pressed the button to play something it would either pickup where it left off or it would start at the beginning of the list again.  I searched everywhere but I could figure out how to make the Logitech Pop button start with “Shuffle“.

I was playing around with some of the music services Sonos had to offer and I saw that Plex was now a beta option.  Since I’m a huge Plex user for all my Video, tv shows and movies.  I figured I would try adding some Music and letting Sonos stream from there.  (In the beginning it took awhile to get Sonos to actually talk to Plex I think it was something to do with the routing with Google Wifi, however not sure how but we fixed the problem).

When I added the Plex account I noticed it had a “Shuffle” all songs option.

Here are the steps for Adding Plex to your Sonos and having Logitech Pop start with “Shuffle” on press.  (Assuming you are already a Plex user).

Step 1.  Login to your Sonos app on your android device.  Click the (3 arrows at the top to display Options in Sonos).  Once there Click on “Add Music Services“.  Choose Plex.  It will ask you to login to your account.

Step 2.  Verify that Plex music service will play to one of your Sonos speakers and that “Shuffle All” is an option.

Step 3.  Launch the Logitech Pop application on your phone and update your Play buttons to (Shuffle All) from your Plex server.  Viola it was that easy.

I know it sucks if your coming from Spotify or Google Play and you have to physically store all of your Media on your server or computer.   Also if your computer or server is not running 24/7 you can now use Plex’s Cloud option.

I’m starting to love these buttons more and more they recently came out with an update that now I can control my Lutron caseta switches; Phillips Hue Bulbs and other smarthome options all with a press of a button.

SmartThings Create a Virtual Timer for a Light

September 14, 2017 0 comments

So I have been using Tasker a lot however I’m on the T-Mobile jump program and I switch from phone to phone quite a bit.  I was going to reinsert all of my Tasker profiles however I decided to see if SmartThings had a better method yet of presence sensing.  So I decided to relink my Android device as my presence sensor.  I’ve been testing this for about a week now and it seems to be more accurate then all of my Tasker/AutoLocation profiles.

How I have my house configured as my car approaches the house I want my Yale Smart Deadbolts to unlock, and turn on my Front porch and side porch lights; they are wired to (Lutron Caseta Switches).

Everything worked great however I had a Tasker profile that would wait 10 minutes and turn off the porch lights.  At first I tried creating a rule in SmartThings but it would turn the lights off constantly after 10 minutes even if I manual turned them on.  I figured out what I need to create is a SmartThings Virtual Switch.

Below is my configuration.

Step 1.  Create a virtual switch to be the timer. 

[Review] Samsung SmartThings Arrival Sensor v2

January 18, 2017 0 comments

Here is my first Product review on the Samsung SmartThings Arrival Sensor.  When I first started getting on board with the SmartThings hub and the entire smart house experience.  This was definitely one of the things I wanted most was proximity sensing.  I wanted to have the lights turn on and my deadbolts unlock and whatever I wanted to add in the future.

After getting all my Lutron Caseta light switches installed, my Yale deadbolts installed and attached to the SmartThings hub.  I was finally able to play around with the Samsung SmartThings Arrival Sensor fob.  I loved the idea that I can just place this product right on my key ring and its so compact and lightweight.

So I set up my SmartThings app, and created a rule automation routine that when I was in the area it would turn my porch lights on and the deadbolts would unlock.  It worked great the first few times but it was never reliable.  It worked probably about 80% of the time and this was killer to me; i just wanted the product to work.  After about 3-4 weeks of using the fob/sensor the battery was already down to about 30%.  When it went below 30% the device just stayed “Away” in the SmartThings app it never came back.  I had to change out the battery, remove it from my SmartThings app and re-add it.

I went to the Community forum, and started posting my findings a lot of people had good work a-rounds but still worked about 80% of the time.  Every time I came home and it didn’t work correctly I was pissed off.  I was ready to just scrap the entire idea of having anything Smart related especially if the products just didn’t work.

That same post topic another user suggested I follow this method using Tasker/SharpTools/AutoLocation.  You need to have the paid version of these apps which will cost you about $5.00  which is nothing since i’m already about $1000.00 invested in SmartHome products.

So basically my review of the SmartThings Arrival sensor is absolute garbage.  I want a product that’s just going to work 100% of the time and changing batteries monthly is another downfall.

Please check back for my post about using your Android or iPhone device as your SmartThings proximity sensor with Tasker/SharpTools/AutoLocation.  I’ve been testing it so far for a week and it’s been 100% all of the time. It’s a long process on getting it installed on your device but it’s definitely worth it.

ProsCons
  • Light weight
  • Compact
  • Didn’t work all of the time
  • Poor battery life