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REVIEW - Amazon Echo Dot / Alexa

Discussion in 'Geeks and Gadgets' started by wmrcomputers, Jul 9, 2017.

  1. proactive

    proactive Behind you with a big stick!

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    Saying stuff like that might persuade @Gramaisc to get one...
     
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  2. Gramaisc

    Gramaisc Forum O. G.

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    It would only do it once.
     
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  3. perry081064

    perry081064 Well-Known Forumite

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    Anyone using the EWelink software ( sonoff ?)

    The servers are down ( apparently for a few days now ) so you may have trouble using the app for now.
     
  4. Cue

    Cue Well-Known Forumite

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    Yep, Alexa can’t talk to our garden lights right now (they’re outdoor posts with a Sonoff connected to them)

    Seems like a good a time as ever for me to flash them with the firmware for local control.
     
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  5. wmrcomputers

    wmrcomputers Stafford PC & laptop repair specialist

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    Yeah ours have been down too. They did connect again for a few hours yesterday but then went down again. I would look into all of this custom firmware stuff but not sure I can be bothered to get into it. If you find it's a breeze @Cue then let us know how it goes please.
     
  6. Cue

    Cue Well-Known Forumite

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    It’s a breeze* and you can set it up to be an emulated Hue bridge in the web UI, so it shows up at a bulb to Alexa.

    *To a techie. You need to be running Python, setup a secondary SSID that has an internet connection, etc.

    Sonoff Tasmota with the SonOTA method is what I used. Had to reboot the damn device a few times as it wouldn’t go into AP mode and show its ITEAD wifi point. Once it did though it was literally a case of waiting for the python script to do its thing.

    https://github.com/arendst/Sonoff-T...Espressif2Arduino---Tasmota-without-compiling

    Best done using a Mac or Linux laptop, as you need WiFi on it.
     
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  7. wmrcomputers

    wmrcomputers Stafford PC & laptop repair specialist

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    Whilst I'm generally a "techie", I'm not a linux & python type of guy - so I've heard enough to know that it's more agro for me than it would be worth - but thanks for taking the time to post your findings. :)
    I can continue to accept occassional downtimes from the Ewelink servers as thankfully it seems to happen rarely and all devices can easily be switched on and off manually if needed anyway.
     
  8. perry081064

    perry081064 Well-Known Forumite

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    Reports saying servers are back online. Reckon there's been a big take up since the reductions on echos over the last few weeks so servers have been overwhelmed.
     
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  9. Mikinton

    Mikinton Well-Known Forumite

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  10. Cue

    Cue Well-Known Forumite

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    Sorry, I don’t know how to “shave the cat foot and doogle the bird meadery”
     
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  11. tek-monkey

    tek-monkey wanna see my snake?

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  12. perry081064

    perry081064 Well-Known Forumite

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    @tec Not sure , but give www.lightake.com a search.

    Faster than bangood usualy too ;)
     
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  13. Cue

    Cue Well-Known Forumite

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    I just buy from Amazon. At least if they don’t work you can get your money back - and there isn’t a 3 week wait for delivery
     
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  14. wmrcomputers

    wmrcomputers Stafford PC & laptop repair specialist

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    I buy them on eBay tek. Around £6 each or slightly chepaer if buying 5 in one go. Not sure about dimmer versions though, although I expect not.
     
  15. Cue

    Cue Well-Known Forumite

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    Won two Phillips Hue RGB Start Kits (Bridge, 3 RGB bulbs, dimmer switch) for £80 a piece from John Pye Auctions last week. Thankfully they do actually work.

    Now I have 13 bulbs and 6 lights to actually put them in. :|
     
  16. tek-monkey

    tek-monkey wanna see my snake?

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    Anyone use deezer on their echo? Wondering if you can change profiles if you have the family subscription, can't see how at the min but am not at home with my echo.
     
  17. tek-monkey

    tek-monkey wanna see my snake?

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  18. wmrcomputers

    wmrcomputers Stafford PC & laptop repair specialist

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    It's always the same problem in the UK unfortunately. All of these light switches need a negative (neutral) for power, and in the UK we only have the live feed going through the switch box. Without a HUGE electrical job of dropping a neutral feed down to the switch box they just can't be used. I only wish they could.
     
  19. tek-monkey

    tek-monkey wanna see my snake?

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    Bugger! Gotta admit it'd been a while since I'd wired in light switches, I needed one inline and got quite confused when I realised only the live went in. Had been thinking of plug sockets, had to put junction boxes next to the switches for the other wires.
     
  20. Cue

    Cue Well-Known Forumite

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    There are a few modules that can work without a neutral but to be honest unless you have a fairly new house you'll find your backboxes are nowhere near big enough for modules or switches and you'll need to inline a resistor type thing into every circuit to allow LEDs to work properly.

    I just went with Hue across the whole house. We're just lacking GU10s for the kitchen and back office, not bothering with the bathroom until I can be bothered to also rewire how the extractor fan is controlled.

    If the switch thing bothers you, there's a guy on Thingiverse who sells faceplates that go over your existing switch, you put the Hue dimmer remote on it magnetically and then if you need to access the switch you just take the remote off and flick the switch.
     

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