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Thread: Evohome linked to Google Calendar for unlimited scheduling

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member philchillbill's Avatar
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    Default Evohome linked to Google Calendar for unlimited scheduling

    I love using Alexa to turn up and down the heat in my various zones around the house, but it has its limitations. For one, you cannot set an 'until' time on a temporary override, meaning it will stay in force until the next scheduled setpoint change or until you change it back manually. Why? Another Evohome restriction (not necessarily Alexa-related) is that the furthest scope supported for scheduling is that of a 7-day week and all weeks look the same to Evohome.

    I got around this week-limitation by first linking Alexa to a Google Calendar I created especially for Evohome and then running 2 scripts - one (in Python) that accesses the Google API via Oauth to read the ISO 8601 calendar entries for today, plus one (in Perl) that accesses the TCC API to update the schedule for today accordingly. The calendar is of course also visible and editable on smartphones, tablets and PC browsers and can schedule years ahead if I like. It's cool to tell Alexa "Add a calendar entry for March 5th from 2PM to 5PM, description: Office Temperature 22" and know that on March 5th that will be taken care of. I make sure that any overlaps in separate setpoints are grouped into as few changes as realistically required before sending to TCC. I could of course fill in a full week at a time in TCC based on the calendar but doing it a day at a time on a cronjob achieves the same end-result anyway and means less API visits if I change future schedules later this week.

    It's interesting to observe the mindset of a company like Honeywell in adapting to the IOT era. Chronotherms had a weekly schedule, right? Thus Evohome too gets a weekly schedule, even though it is cloud-enabled and much more could be done because of this. All my code is a few dozen lines written in 2 days so it's not like it would cost much to greatly enhance Evohome with more usability - you just need a product-manager with the vision !

    Any comments?

  2. #2
    Automated Home Ninja Dan_Robinson's Avatar
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    And who supports this when is rolled out to the masses? Don't conflate the "needs" of a few techheads and obsessives with sensible company policy and profits.
    Kind Regards - Dan Robinson (Jennings Heating Ltd)

  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member philchillbill's Avatar
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    How much of a support burden can it be? I doubt that the scheduling aspect of Evohome is where Honeywell handholds people - it's more likely for installation or RF grief that support gets called.

    Honeywell would host their own calendar rather than using Google or iCloud and whether the ISO timestamps marking your schedule-changes are a week or a year in the future doesn't change your data-structure. Amazon already has the whole Alexa interaction with calendars very well sorted out so that works out of the box and does not need to be developed from scratch. I'm amazed at how many ways you can word the calendar-change instructions and she still gets it right every time.

  4. #4
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    But it's already possible thanks to the available APIs, because you did it! Honeywell have proven themselves hopeless at providing a reliable Internet based service. I hardly use it because it is so unreliable I just find it frustrating. Not to mention the issues with clocks, incredibly slow firmware rollouts, etc. I would rather they focus on core stuff and not spend too much time on things that would have marginal utility. The API is a great example of something that gives the option of doing advanced stuff if desired.

    One question: how do you handle multiple rooms in a single calendar? That seems like it would look really messy and tricky to figure out (lots of rooms overlapping).

  5. #5
    Automated Home Jr Member philchillbill's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rotor View Post
    One question: how do you handle multiple rooms in a single calendar? That seems like it would look really messy and tricky to figure out (lots of rooms overlapping).
    You can have multiple entries at the same time in Google Calendar. The python script that retrieves the entries then just has multiple lines with the same ISO start/end times and different title-fields. I parse the room/temp data from the title. It works fine and if you ask Alexa "what's on my calendar for today" she will call out all events, even if there are multiple at the same time. I also use shorthand for some settings to keep the voice commands simple - no need to say "Office, 22.5 deg" each time if that is aliased to e.g. "Confcall" or whatever.

    My partner has a Pilates studio in our home and this automatic scheduling is really useful in ensuring that the studio room upstairs is always warm when a client is scheduled. I can just say "Alexa, add a calendar entry for 'Client' on Thursday from 10AM to 11AM" and it works.

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    Automated Home Ninja Mavis's Avatar
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    I use Google calendar with IFTTT. I have it set up for when son is on day shift at the weekend. I have an applet set up for each zone (in this case son's bedroom, bathroom, kitchen) using the search word 'day shift'. I have set the zone temp to 19c and for how long (1 hour). Then I just put an entry in my calendar when it is needed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by philchillbill View Post
    My partner has a Pilates studio in our home and this automatic scheduling is really useful in ensuring that the studio room upstairs is always warm when a client is scheduled. I can just say "Alexa, add a calendar entry for 'Client' on Thursday from 10AM to 11AM" and it works.
    That's a really cool practical use of tech.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mavis View Post
    I use Google calendar with IFTTT. I have it set up for when son is on day shift at the weekend. I have an applet set up for each zone (in this case son's bedroom, bathroom, kitchen) using the search word 'day shift'. I have set the zone temp to 19c and for how long (1 hour). Then I just put an entry in my calendar when it is needed.
    I use a similar approach to deal with heating for one-off bookings at our scout hut over the weekend. We already have a calendar for tracking who is in there, so I use the entries to trigger the heating. However, the IFTTT recipe can't trigger an action in advance of the calendar entry start time, so I have to use Stringify to interact with Google Calendar, triggering an action 90 minutes before the event start time. The Stringify action is to connect to IFTTT and trigger an IFTTT recipe, which in turn switches on Evohome.

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