Changing Thermostat Controller between FREE and CONTROLLED

I am trying to create a rule to switch my thermostat controller between FREE and CONTROLLED control.

According to the Hubitat documentation...."To stop Thermostat Controller from manipulating the actual thermostat, toggle the value in the Controlled column in the Controlled Thermostats table for the desired thermostat(s) to Free (as opposed to Controlled). Return the thermostat to Controlled if you want Thermostat Controller to again take over. This can also be automated or done manually with the virtual thermostat controller device: the On command will set the corresponding Thermostat Controller app to controlled, while Off will set it to free."

I have tried multiple ways to turn the virtual thermostat controller device on and off (using switch device rule on or off, using thermostat device rule on or off, and manually toggling it on the device attribute screen. None of these options change the control state of the thermostat. The only way I am able to switch between FREE and CONTROLLED is to manually toggle it in the app attribute screen for the thermostat controller.

I have attached a few screenshots of what the controller looks like before and after toggling the switch on the virtual thermostat controller manually. (Started with switch off and control FREE. Manually set switch to on and control still FREE).

What am I missing?

I asked the developer about this, and this change was made a while back since "new" Thermostat Controller can handle controlling multiple thermostats and it's not clear what the expectation would be if using a command on the child/"controller" thermostat -- set all to free or controlled, etc. based on the command called on the controller device? (Nuanced control for each wouldn't be easy to provide a way to do from a device.) If that's what you're looking for, it might be possible to (re-)implement, though I can't guarantee that.

For now, the UI is the only method I can see that will work.

Thanks for the quick response. I see that you already updated the documentation which will help keep someone else from wasting their time like I did.

I will think some more on my use case to see if there is a different way to solve the issue.

I'm not entirely sure I understand what you want to achieve exactly. If what you are looking for is to disable the Thermostat Controller and let all thermostats work manually. This can be achieved by using a virtual (or physical for that matter) switch that disables the controller by turning on the "use Restrictions" in thermostat controller and assigning it to that switch. You can either make it so that the controller works when it's switch is on or off based on your logic. When thermostat controller is "restricted", it will not change the modes, setpoints or anything else.

I actually use this with 2 controller instances, when the switch is on, #1 is enabled and #2 is disabled, then when I turn the switch off, the reverse happens.

I didn't really explain what use case I am working on. I feel like I tried using a virtual switch restriction which didn't solve the problem, but I might try it again.

Anyway, the use case.....

We have a traditional HVAC system connected to an ecobee thermostat which wasn't sufficient to heat/cool the 2nd floor of our 1940 home. The ecobee system is completely separate from hubitat and is not linked. I am only adding this to provide the full picture.

Last summer, we installed two Mitsubishi mini-split units in the bedrooms on the 2nd floor. The kumo clould modules were on backorder, so we operated last summer with just the standard Mitsubishi remote. By the time we got our kumo cloud modules, it was heating weather in Minnesota. I set-up two thermostat controllers each with their own thermostat scheduler in hubitat - one for each mini-split unit. I very successfully used the apps for heating. However, now that we need to use the AC, I am struggling to get the hubitat control to work the way that I want it to.

I am not sure that I have the correct technical language to explain the issue, but here goes. Last summer, I would use the mini-split remote to set the temperature I wanted for the AC with the mode set to cool and the fan set to auto. Unless I physically hit the power button on the remote, the mini-split unit ran all the time. Once it reached the desired temperature, the unit remained on with the fan running and circulated the air in the room. With the hubitat app, once the room reaches the desired temperature, it turns off the mini-split unit. This is somewhat ok during the day as we don't use the room much when we are not sleeping. However, at night, I want the mini-split fan to run continuously and for it to add cooling as needed - just like it did last summer before hubitat. I was trying to use the free/controlled toggle to bypass the hubitat controller at night so the unit is on continuously but to let it turn the unit on/off during the day.

As I type all of this, I just realized that maybe I put the virtual switch restriction on the wrong app. I had it on the scheduler app, but maybe I need it on the controller app.

Sorry, for the long rambling use case, but maybe someone will understand all of this and be able to help me sleep better in the heat.

Now that I have a better understanding of the use case but since I never had a mini split that left the fan on all the time, I'm a bit stumped to give you a solution, can the fan alone be controlled via the kumo cloud and hubitat directly in the device page? Let's say set the setpoint to a temp that turns of the AC and hit the FAN ON button. If this turns it on, you could make a rule that checked to the fan state "changed" and if between 10pm and 6am, if it was turned off, turn it back on?

Sorry I can't help more, hope it will spark some solution

Thanks for the thought starter. I think some combination of your idea and a restriction on the controller instead of the scheduler will work for me.