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Joshua Pressnell

Homebridge Driver for HomeKit Support?

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OK - I can open and close my doors in Control4. I already have the  relays set up - the problem is that my wife does not use Control 4 on her phone and this is her car. She is used to pressing a button on her visor that is integrated with the car. I have a hand held remote that she is currently using but was wanting something a little more "elegant".

I would like to voice control my doors. Does that help?

Bill

 

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My homebridge driver plugin has not been working for months. The homebridge status seems to be stuck at activating (auto-restart).  Does anyone know what the issue may be or how to resolve?  Any assistance would be much appreciated. 

Homebridge Configuration

Homebridge Status      homebridge: activating (auto-restart) (Result: exit-code) since Wed 2020-04-15 14:27:23 UTC; 686ms ago
Homebridge      Version 0.4.50 (Latest: Not Checked)
Control4 Plugin      Version 1.1.18 (Latest: 1.1.18 )
Appliance Firmware      Version 1.0.12 (Latest: 1.0.12 )
     
     
     
     

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19 minutes ago, Ciarán Gunne said:

My homebridge driver plugin has not been working for months. The homebridge status seems to be stuck at activating (auto-restart).  Does anyone know what the issue may be or how to resolve?  Any assistance would be much appreciated. 

Homebridge Configuration

Homebridge Status      homebridge: activating (auto-restart) (Result: exit-code) since Wed 2020-04-15 14:27:23 UTC; 686ms ago
Homebridge      Version 0.4.50 (Latest: Not Checked)
Control4 Plugin      Version 1.1.18 (Latest: 1.1.18 )
Appliance Firmware      Version 1.0.12 (Latest: 1.0.12 )
     
     
     
     

Just have to contact me via email at the support address. The issue is that the pi OS needs an upgrade.  Homebridge evolved to the point where it needs the latest OS updates as well.  It's a very easy update for me to do for you.  

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Two questions Joshua: (edit - currently the Home app says no response.  But I don't know if that is due to the driver needing updating or my C4 OS upgrade.)

  1. I recently updated from C4 OS2.10 to OS3.  Does anything special need to be done to Homebridge when that happens?  Do you need to reload the C4 devices into Homebridge?  (I hope not as it is a PITA to assign rooms to a few hundred devices).
  2. I am running driver 1.11.  Do I need to get my dealer to upgrade?  Is there an auto-upgrade for Homebridge.

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8 hours ago, zaphod said:

Two questions Joshua: (edit - currently the Home app says no response.  But I don't know if that is due to the driver needing updating or my C4 OS upgrade.)

  1. I recently updated from C4 OS2.10 to OS3.  Does anything special need to be done to Homebridge when that happens?  Do you need to reload the C4 devices into Homebridge?  (I hope not as it is a PITA to assign rooms to a few hundred devices).
  2. I am running driver 1.11.  Do I need to get my dealer to upgrade?  Is there an auto-upgrade for Homebridge.

Currently driver Version is 1.17!

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17 hours ago, zaphod said:

Two questions Joshua: (edit - currently the Home app says no response.  But I don't know if that is due to the driver needing updating or my C4 OS upgrade.)

  1. I recently updated from C4 OS2.10 to OS3.  Does anything special need to be done to Homebridge when that happens?  Do you need to reload the C4 devices into Homebridge?  (I hope not as it is a PITA to assign rooms to a few hundred devices).
  2. I am running driver 1.11.  Do I need to get my dealer to upgrade?  Is there an auto-upgrade for Homebridge.

I updated my system to OS 3 about a month ago and have had no problems at all since.  So far, all is well.  If I haven't updated your unit's OS yet, that may be the issue.  Homebridge evolved to the point where it needed an OS update on many of my original units to keep up with all the updates.  Please contact me by email, and I can work out your issue for you.  For the benefit of folks here:

1) My system fully supports OS 3.

2) Version 1.16 of the driver was the last version on Houselogix.  The only update in Version 1.17 was to move to BlackWire's licensing system so I can sell through their platform.

3) I chose not to do an "auto-upgrade", on the principle of "if it's not broken, don't screw with it".  If something is not working and you need to update, or if I release new device compatibility and you want to have the new features, that's the time to update.  You can easily update all the plugins and such on the appliance through the web portal.  

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I just want to say that anyone and everyone who uses the Apple ecosystem should have this. It’s incredible and I’m really annoyed I waited until a few months ago to add it. 

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34 minutes ago, ILoveC4 said:

I just want to say that anyone and everyone who uses the Apple ecosystem should have this. It’s incredible and I’m really annoyed I waited until a few months ago to add it. 

Can I quote you on my website? ;)

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On 5/28/2020 at 3:29 PM, Joshua Pressnell said:

I updated my system to OS 3 about a month ago and have had no problems at all since.  So far, all is well.  If I haven't updated your unit's OS yet, that may be the issue.  Homebridge evolved to the point where it needed an OS update on many of my original units to keep up with all the updates.  Please contact me by email, and I can work out your issue for you.  For the benefit of folks here:

1) My system fully supports OS 3.

2) Version 1.16 of the driver was the last version on Houselogix.  The only update in Version 1.17 was to move to BlackWire's licensing system so I can sell through their platform.

3) I chose not to do an "auto-upgrade", on the principle of "if it's not broken, don't screw with it".  If something is not working and you need to update, or if I release new device compatibility and you want to have the new features, that's the time to update.  You can easily update all the plugins and such on the appliance through the web portal.  

Hi Josh, am a happy customer that uses your great driver for having my entire C4 system available via HomeKit, any plans to add more functionality e.g. Shades, also I understand that your driver is one way from C4 to HomeKit, if I added some more equipment in HomeKit, I can not bring it to C4 correct?

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Hi Joshua - I am a dealer keen to evaluate this driver.  The instructions say there is a 48 hour trial period, but I installed the driver and immediately received this error:

(Error)Driver license is invalid and the 48 hour free trial has expired.  

Please advise.

Thanks,

Cliff

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4 minutes ago, WholeHomeControl said:

Hi Joshua - I am a dealer keen to evaluate this driver.  The instructions say there is a 48 hour trial period, but I installed the driver and immediately received this error:

(Error)Driver license is invalid and the 48 hour free trial has expired.  

Please advise.

Thanks,

Cliff

Please send me a direct email at josh@varietassoftware.com and I'll get you setup.

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56 minutes ago, Amr said:

Hi Josh, am a happy customer that uses your great driver for having my entire C4 system available via HomeKit, any plans to add more functionality e.g. Shades, also I understand that your driver is one way from C4 to HomeKit, if I added some more equipment in HomeKit, I can not bring it to C4 correct?

I plan to work on getting shade support eventually, but I've been a bit busy lately with day job and COVID stuff.  RE integration, my driver can only support exposing C4 stuff into HomeKit.  There's no way that I'm aware of right now to bring HomeKit stuff into C4. 

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OK, here's where I'm at:

1. Homebridge is installed and running on Windows with Varietas plugin.

2. Varietas driver is installed and running on my COntrol4 3.1.3 project (Server Status is "Running")

3.  I output JSON from the driver and updated the Homebridge config file.  I then restarted Homebridge, and at that point, the "Appliance IP" property in the driver populated.

But I am unsure how to proceed?

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Well, son of a gun.  I was able to go to the HomeBridge Web GUI and control my first Control4 light!  Spectacular!

Now, I am trying to associate my iPhone with the HomeBridge , but the HomeBridge is not listed as an accessory from the Home app on my iPhone.  I am certain they are on the same network, as I can access the HomeBridge Web interface from the iPhone. 

I know this part of the solution is outside the scope of C4/Varietas and I will seek elsewhere for support, but any thoughts on this would be much appreciated!

UPDATE: rebooted computer running HomeBridge and we are now working end to end.

Very exciting.  Looking forward to taking this integration through its paces!

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1 hour ago, WholeHomeControl said:

Well, son of a gun.  I was able to go to the HomeBridge Web GUI and control my first Control4 light!  Spectacular!

Now, I am trying to associate my iPhone with the HomeBridge , but the HomeBridge is not listed as an accessory from the Home app on my iPhone.  I am certain they are on the same network, as I can access the HomeBridge Web interface from the iPhone. 

I know this part of the solution is outside the scope of C4/Varietas and I will seek elsewhere for support, but any thoughts on this would be much appreciated!

UPDATE: rebooted computer running HomeBridge and we are now working end to end.

Very exciting.  Looking forward to taking this integration through its paces!

Glad to hear you got it all worked out!  Have fun!

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I love this too and the notification is very fast, in my experience faster than C4.  The downside is that the setup is cumbersome as there is a maximum of 75 (I think) devices per hub.  So Homebridge has things split up into three hubs.  And adding the devices into the Home app is time consuming as you seem to have to tap twice for each device.  That is about 400 taps in my system.

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I'm trying to get my head around the extent of the devices that this driver works with, as well as the language Siri can understand to control and monitor those devices.  Some specific questions on my mind:

1. Is there a list of the types of devices supported by this driver?

2. Is there any documentation on language that can be used to control those devices?  (I know the Web is filled with tips on using Siri, but a purpose written guide for this driver would be very helpful!)

3. Homekit has the notion of a room; HomeBridge has the notion of a room; and Control4 has the notion of a room.  I'm unsure how best to think about setting up rooms in Homekit and HomeBridge - should they mirror the Control4 rooms?  (That's a bit tedious to setup on a large project.)

4. Similar question for device names.  What's the best strategy for managing the names in HomeBridge vs. HomeKit?

5. I know music cannot be controlled through this driver currently, but are there any established workarounds that work cleanly?  (i.e. creating a dummy light called "Kitchen Music" and then programming music to turn on/off against the state of that light?)

Much appreciate any input!

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5. I know music cannot be controlled through this driver currently, but are there any established workarounds that work cleanly?  (i.e. creating a dummy light called "Kitchen Music" and then programming music to turn on/off against the state of that light?)
Much appreciate any input!


I have in the past created (dummy) switches. Name them the name of a device.

Create two switches in C4 to get started.

A Switch called “Living Mary favourite tunes” and also Then create a switch called “Living Media Off”.

I would then create a script or macro that would start at the light. When light on, select Mary’s Spotify in living room. As well as turn on the “Living Media Room Off” switch.


and then would say “Hey Siri, turn on Living Mary favourite tunes”.

And then a script or macro when “Living Media Room Off” is turn off, turn off living room and turn of any other “media “ virtual switches in the room.



Happy Automating!!

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On 5/30/2020 at 4:29 AM, WholeHomeControl said:

I'm trying to get my head around the extent of the devices that this driver works with, as well as the language Siri can understand to control and monitor those devices.  Some specific questions on my mind:

1. Is there a list of the types of devices supported by this driver?

2. Is there any documentation on language that can be used to control those devices?  (I know the Web is filled with tips on using Siri, but a purpose written guide for this driver would be very helpful!)

3. Homekit has the notion of a room; HomeBridge has the notion of a room; and Control4 has the notion of a room.  I'm unsure how best to think about setting up rooms in Homekit and HomeBridge - should they mirror the Control4 rooms?  (That's a bit tedious to setup on a large project.)

4. Similar question for device names.  What's the best strategy for managing the names in HomeBridge vs. HomeKit?

5. I know music cannot be controlled through this driver currently, but are there any established workarounds that work cleanly?  (i.e. creating a dummy light called "Kitchen Music" and then programming music to turn on/off against the state of that light?)

Much appreciate any input!

1.  The complete list of supported device drivers and proxies is included in the driver documentation accessible via Composer after adding it to a project.  

2.  There's no special language for this driver in particular.  Siri is Siri no matter what is underneath reacting to her commands.  The best bet here is to review Google for Siri tips.

3. This is one of the most tedious parts of setup.  Unfortunately, there's not a good way around this yet.  If you think about it, there's not a perfect way to do this.  HomeKit lets you add devices, and individual devices (the lightbulb or switch) doesn't generally know where you've installed it.  So the HomeKit protocol doesn't have a way to pre-assign rooms based on pre-determined data or algorithms.  Thus, you must place each discovered device into a HomeKit room.  The best thing I've found to do so far is to make my HomeKit rooms match Control4 rooms, and I just put the devices there when I do the install.

4. I've personally found the best practice to be the following:  a: install driver and import devices to homebridge.  b: rename devices in the web portal to include room names and more descriptive text, which helps during HomeKit setup. 😄 pair the homebridge in HomeKit and use the long names to more easily place devices in rooms.  d: Once devices are all placed, rename in HomeKit to make customer happy.

5. Vince's guidance is definitely good.  Virtual switches are powerful concept that can be used for all sorts of things.

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I've got one of your first devices and its been great.  Recently it seems to have gotten a bit bound up, is there a way to reset the device?  It won't take any updates...

 

Thanks!

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17 hours ago, cdepaola said:

I've got one of your first devices and its been great.  Recently it seems to have gotten a bit bound up, is there a way to reset the device?  It won't take any updates...

 

Thanks!

Please contact me via email (josh@varietassoftware.com)... if I haven't updated your unit yet, it probably just needs to be updated to the latest OS and software, which I am happy to handle for you.

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HomeKit appears to support TVs.  Is it possible to add AV support to Homebridge for C4 so that we could also use HomeKit and Siri to control AV equipment in C4 without using virtual switches?

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8 hours ago, zaphod said:

HomeKit appears to support TVs.  Is it possible to add AV support to Homebridge for C4 so that we could also use HomeKit and Siri to control AV equipment in C4 without using virtual switches?

WOW!!!!!   Now that would just about make my day. Outside of controlling the TVs, I don't think we use C4 remotes anymore. I like their app, but lets face it - the Home App just pops up and is ready to use.

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14 hours ago, zaphod said:

HomeKit appears to support TVs.  Is it possible to add AV support to Homebridge for C4 so that we could also use HomeKit and Siri to control AV equipment in C4 without using virtual switches?

I'll take a look and see if anything has changed.  Apple has had a pretty annoying history in the last couple of years of upgrading HomeKit protocols, but making it so that ONLY Apple hardware using those protocols is discovered and recognized in the Home app.  Case in point, Apple now supports volume control, but ONLY through Apple's own speakers.  If you implement room volume control with C4, it shows up as "Unsupported Device" in Home, but works just fine on other HomeKit based apps, like Elgato Eve.

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