Alexa instruction

Discussion in 'Home Automation' started by Harry Bloomfield, 16 Nov 2021.

  1. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Supposing I want Alexa to turn a smart plug on, but turn it off after 40 minutes - is there any way to give Alexa an immediate spoken instruction to do that?

    Note- I don't mean using a routine, I have done that using the 'wait' instruction - I mean a spoken instruction. I have it turning things on and off via spoken instructions, I am just trying to find a way to automate the off after a period of time, having spoken the on instruction.

    Something like - 'ALEXA Turn light on, wait 30 minutes, then turn light off'.
     
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  3. cwhaley

    cwhaley

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    I don't use them, but apparently the only way to do this is by using the 'sleep timer' function (according to a friend who does). You'd think a simple command such as "switch lights on for 10 minutes" would work.
     
  4. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I tried various permutation of that, without success. Have you any more details on the sleep function please?
     
  5. SFK

    SFK

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    Harry, sorry do not know about Alexa.
    But if I ask my Google to 'turn of garden light in 10mins" it verbally responds telling me it is not allowed to do that. I felt that this might be a safety feature. Might have to be the same on Alexa.
    Sfk
     
  6. SFK

    SFK

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    Well Scrap that - just tried it now to record what Google actually says when it says no to me - and this time it has allowed me to "turn off garden light in 10minutes".
    SFK
     
  7. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    It interpreted 'turn off light in ten minutes' as 'turn off light..' immediately. I tried it several times...
     
  8. SFK

    SFK

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    Ahh, when testing the wording ' turn off light in ten minutes' it turned it off straight away as soon as it got to me saying
    turn off light in....

    So I tried
    In 10minutes turn off the garden light.

    And then Google said... Light will be switched off at 10.30.

    Sfk
     
    Last edited: 16 Nov 2021
  9. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    I don't quite follow - was that instruction given at 10:20 and so doing what it was supposed to do?
     
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  11. SFK

    SFK

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    Given at 10.20 and it is doing what is was supposed to.

    My point being that I found that it works (on Google) if i say the time before the instruction.

    It seems that Google tries too fast to undertake an action before I have finished speaking. So I have to say the delay first. And then the action
     
    Last edited: 17 Nov 2021
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  12. MMarve

    MMarve

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    On the surface of it, this would seem a limitation on technology vs a human being. But giving it some thought, my children work exactly the same and are often off doing the first part of a sentence without listening to the second part.

    "Yes, you may have a chocolate biscuit after you have eaten your banana"

    This often results in just a chocolate biscuit being eaten.
     
  13. MeldrewsMate

    MeldrewsMate

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    Have you tried 'when you have done the washing up you may have a biscuit'? This could help to save biscuits.
     
  14. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    Got it....

    https://www.smarthomefocus.com/custom-voice-commands-alexa-routine/

    You need to add a voice triggered routine. Basically set up a routine to turn it on, wait for a period of time, then switch it off, you then set it to be called by a special spoken command - type the word(s) of the command. I used 'Iphone on' which then powers up the USB charger of my phone, waits for one hour, then turns it off.

    I also have a second routine set up, which turns the charger on at 5am, then waits 2 hours, then turns it off. It does that every morning at the same time, so my phone is freshly charged every morning on it's home-made charging stand. It lives on the charge stand most of the time, so this avoid it being constantly on charge, but with a quick boost available when needed.
     
  15. SFK

    SFK

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    Very clever.
    I have my outside lights also set up so they switch off automatically at 2am and 7am every night. This means they can never be left on for more than a day.

    Regarding power saving, I put it on my Xmas try so it is off at night. But the tree lights are 3W and the controller is 3W. So I am using more power rather than saving it. :(
     
  16. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    , .

    Are you sure the controller is actually consuming that much? 3w would have them feeling quite warm and my plugs are cold to the touch, on or off.

    Did I ever tell the story of the very large international banking chain I worked for, that were persuaded by a green energy survey, to put plug in mechanical time clocks on all of their thousands of printers, so they were powered off when their bank and offices closed? The printers powered down to standby anyway, after a few minutes of none use to consuming <0.25w. The clocks consumed 1w each, but imagine the chaos when there had been a power cut and none of the printers next morning, or we swapped from BST to GMT, or someone happened to work late on an urgent financial matter :)
     
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