Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Controlling the Honeywell WiFi Thermostat using Amazon Echo

In my previous article I reviewed the Amazon Echo. In further integrating it with my home automation setup, I want the Echo to control my Honeywell RTH9580WF WiFi thermostat through voice commands. Honeywell does not have any plans to allow its My Total Connect Comfort system to integrate with the Amazon Echo, and I have little hope that they will. But by creating our own Amazon Echo app, and using my previously discussed python script to control the thermostat, we can make it happen. Let's get started!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Welcome to your new home, Alexa! The Amazon Echo.

Why would anyone get an Amazon Echo? The bluetooth speaker quality isn't worth the cost. And there is already Siri and Google Now on your phone to handle voice requests.

Those were generally the comments you would see when the Amazon Echo is mentioned. And I must admit, I also felt the same way when then Echo was announced. I did not plan on getting one. But once they started integrating more features and allowing it for use in home automation, I realized what I had been missing out on.

Friday, June 26, 2015

A python script to control my Honeywell WiFi Thermostat

I was always jealous of Google Nest users who have such an open API to interface with their thermostat as well as the ability to connect to home automation hubs or services like IFTTT. I had bought a Honeywell WiFi Thermostat (RTH9580WF) because I got an amazing price on it. It always worked fine for me since it had a webpage as well as iOS and Android apps to control it. But now that I am interested in home automation, I am finding the Honeywell thermostat to be very limiting.

After scouring the web, I was able to find and hack a python script to be able to control my thermostat. Thanks to code from Brad Goodman, my modified version is working how I like it to.

Link to my python script

There are three things you need to edit to have the script work for you. First, edit the USERNAME variable with the email login and PASSWORD with the password to your mytotalconnectcomfort.com account. When you log in and enter the page for your thermostat control, the web url will contain the device ID for that thermostat. For example, web address https://mytotalconnectcomfort.com/portal/Device/Control/542695 means that my device ID is 542695. You will enter this number for DEVICE_ID in my python script without any quotation marks.

When downloading the script, remember to check that it has execution permissions with chmod +x therm.py on linux. You can see the arguments available by doing python therm.py -help. The following are the options available:
  • Cooling: -c temperature -t hold_time
  • Heating: -h temperature -t hold_time
  • Status: -s
  • Cancel: -x
The hold_time is in the unit of hours. so -t 1 would be 1 hour. The temperature is configured to be fahrenheit, but can be set to celsius. Cancel means to cancel the current temporary settings. And status prints the following:
% python therm.py -s
Indoor Temperature: 82.0
Indoor Humidity: 37.0
Cool Setpoint: 82.0
Heat Setpoint: 74.0
Hold Until : 0
Status Cool: 0
Status Heat: 0
An example of using the script to set the temperature to cool to 76F for 2 hours would be:
python therm.py -c 76 -t 2
In the future I will be showing how I use this script to allow my thermostat to be controlled by IFTTT and Amazon Echo.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Controlling my Air Purifier using IFTTT Maker and my Web server

Now that IFTTT Maker was released, I will be switching away from my original method of using Dropbox for home automation requests. IFTTT Maker allows you to create IFTTT recipes that interact with a web server of your choosing. In this article I will describe how I replaced my old method in automating my air purifier with IFTTT Maker, which allows it to be faster and more reliable.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Home Automation with a Raspberry Pi, IFTTT, and an Air Purifier

Finding the right air purifier

I wanted to get an air purifier since my Hello Sense sleep tracker would tell me that the air quality in my room was not the greatest. I also didn't want an air purifier that I would have to remember to turn on and turn off throughout the night. I began searching online for what "smart" air purifiers existed, and the only one I found was the Holmes Smart WeMo air purifier. Not only was it a bit expensive at $200, but I was not particularly fond of the way it looked.

My next thought was to get any standard air purifier and use a WeMo Switch to power the air purifier on or off. But after doing a bit of research, it seems most air purifiers will not turn back on automatically or remember your settings when powered.