Frequently Asked Question

Alexa Integration issues
Last Updated 2 years ago

The HomeSeer Alexa Smarthome Skill is fraught with problems and issues. Here are some basic steps to debugging and resolving the most common issues we see. First of all RESTART Homeseer, you would be surprised how many issues this can resolve. If this does not resolve the issue then continue.

Debug

To turn on HS3 Debugging for Alexa browse to your HS3 web portal, then to Tools / Control Panel and enter

&hs.debugmode=2048

into the "Immediate Script Command" box and press/click Execute Command. HS3 will now start logging JSON commands, which is the method used to receive Alexa Commands into HS3. These logs will appear in the system log but more usefully will appear in a log file "Debug_Composite.log" in your HomeSeer 3 Directory / DebugLogs. You can use Notepad to open this file and view its contents.

When you've finished with Debug, turn it off again by issuing the command

&hs.debugmode=0

In the Immediate Script Command box and press/click Execute Command. DO NOT leave logging enabled indefinitely as it can create massive log files and eventually fill up the drive.

General Connectivity

The Alexa Smarthome Skill uses myhs.homeseer.com as a route reach your HS3 install. Browse too myhs.homeseer.com and check that you can Login and Access System ok.

If not, make sure that its enabled in your HS3 web page, Tools / Setup and the Network Tab (about half way down - MyHS Remote Access Settings, and if so then contact HS Support for assistance.

Device Discovery Failure

First check that you have devices that are Alexa Enabled. They are considered Enabled if you have checked "Voice Command" in a devices config page. Check that. If you have at least one device with Voice Command Enabled, then enable Debug (above), attempt discovery and then open the log file and see if you can see the request coming in (request ends in source=EchoSH).

If you are seeing these requests (and there should be several) then Alexa is connecting ok with your HS3 install and the issue is with the setup. In the past we've found a resolution is to remove all "Voice Command" settings, then enable only one, and try device discovery again. This often works and then you'll need to re-enable voice command for the remaining devices. If you reach a point where discovery stops working, then back-track, disable voice command and then add one device at a time until it stops - the last device enabled is the problem device.

Device is not responding

Probably the single most annoying issue, and responsible for the violent destruction of a number of Alexa Devices, this one is hard to solve, but we can at least try. First check connectivity (General Connectivity above) and if that works then enable debug (above). Then issue your command on the Alexa. Open the log file and check that you're seeing the JSON command arriving at your HS3 install. It will end with &source=EchoSH.

If you cannot see this, then Alexa is unable to reach your Install.
To resolve this (in some cases) follow the steps below.

  1. From the Alexa Web page or App remove (Disable) the Homeseer Smarthome Skill. Then remove ALL devices.
  2. From the Alexa Web page or App, Add the HomeSeer Smarthome Skill and complete Account Linking.
  3. Run Device Discovery and make sure your HS3 devices appear.
  4. Now issue the command again.

If you can see this, then the issue is with your HS3 install and you should contact Homeseer for technical support.

Homeseer Support

The is a general dis-satisfaction with Homeseer Support and its not all justified. With any system like HS3 where third party plug-ins integrate there can be many scenario's where the HS3 support team struggle so its important to remember that they can only efficiently support the HS3 engine itself. That being said, Alexa integration should be supported fully.

To contact them either use their website form at
https://homeseer.com/contact-us/
or send an email to support@homeseer.com.

There is a forum, but its laced with Google ReCaptcha (and all the privacy concerns that poses), registrations seem to get removed/blocked and registering in the first place requires you to use an email vendor that doesn't check for compliance since their email's are sent from a poorly configured host (at time of writing). Even if you can register, the forum is no replacement for technical support so our advice is skip it and go direct to support.








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