Alexa Routines not firing consistently

Hi All

I have a number of Wi-Fi devices that can't be controlled from HE but are visible to Alexa, as a result I've created a number of virtual devices which I control in HE and then use to trigger Alexa Routines.

These work well for a period of time but then start failing intermittently. This failure has some weird results though, The Routine to Turn devices Off always works but the Routine to turn them On, fails regularly! :thinking:

I've tried removing the Amazon Echo App in HE, Disabling the Hubitat Skill and then Re-Enabling again. Which works for a few days, or sometimes weeks, but then becomes intermittent again. To test that the Alexa Routine is firing correctly, I included a message, to my phone, in the Routine to confirm that it correctly fired - this always reports correctly. So the change in the Virtual Device in HE is triggering the Alexa Routine correctly but the switching On of HE, Alexa, and SmartLife devices remains intermittent. (The Routine is switching an Alexa Group On and when it fails none of the devices contained within the Group turn On) Just to complicate things, if I open the HE app and manually change the virtual device from Off and then back to On, the Routine always controls the devices correctly.

There is one other strange behaviour, every morning Alexa reports discovering 100+ new devices which are my HE devices linked in the Amazon Echo App - I'm not sure if that is connected to this issue.

I'm completely confused on what steps to try next, as I can't isolate the cause of the issue. Does anyone else experience this type of issue and hopefully got some ideas on how to resolve it. :crossed_fingers:

FWIW this may be a problem at the Amazon server end. We have a straightforward "Alexa goodnight" routine, that within the one routine:

  1. Gives a "Goodnight" message.
  2. Starts the Ocean Sounds skill playing on one of the Echos.
  3. Turns on a Hubitat-based virtual switch to trigger a rule and turn off all the house lights.

This used to work very reliably, but for several months its been hit or miss - sometimes only items 1 and 2 work, others only item 1. Then, without anything having been changed, everything works the next night. :man_shrugging:

It seems that accessing external systems is simply a bit hit and miss.

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I don't know if it is related, but I (and others) observed recently that Alexa is now less reliable if triggering on a dual capability device (such as virtual contact with switch or virtual motion with switch). I have been changing these to just virtual contact and at least in the short run, it works more reliably.

There's only anecdotal evidence to support this, and I note I still have other dual capability triggers that still work fine. It is possible that the act of editing the Alexa routine refreshed something and that alone, rather than device type, "fixed" it where broken.

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