Moving from Vera Plus

Hello,

I'm a Vera user who is Hubitat curious. I bought a hub so I can run in parallel and test things out before making the leap. This might be anathema to the Hubitat concept, but is there a way to easily auto-generate a dashboard by room so all my devices are visible. I would look at this as a troubleshooting/startup panel from which I could then come up with dashboards. (This is similar to what I would see by just going to my vera homepage and scrolling through all of the devices).

I'm being a bit cautious as I have 2 properties on Vera, each with a bunch of devices.

Thanks!

Yes and No. I'm no expert, but of this I feel quite certain: To get all your devices "into" a Dashboard, you must first (a) create the (empty) Dashboard and Save it, (b) go back into the "Apps" UI ► "Hubitat Dashboard" and click the new Dashboard, (c) assign it any/all Devices, so they are available within the DB, (d) go into the Dashboard from the "Dashboards" UI, (e) click on "Dashboard Builder" at the top of the ensuing pop-up message, (f) and follow the prompts (i.e. check all device types, whether you want them grouped, etc.).

That's just my baseline knowledge on the topic, but should get you started.

My other suggestion would have involved setting up Reactor Multi-Hub, linking it to both your Vera and Hubitat controllers, and building a dashboard within its own Dashboard utility. But that's an advanced approach that you likely don't need.

Create a new dashboard in the Hubitat Dashboard app and select the devices that you want to include in it when you are creating the dashboard.

Save the dashboard from the Hubitat Dashboard app, then go to your "Dashboard" tab and select the new dashboard.

When the dashboard opens you will be prompted to either auto-load tiles or do it manually. The simplest approach is to allow HE by selecting the "Auto Fill Grid" option to automatically add all the devices you included in the Dashboard app. Tiles appear and then you can work to customize/modify as desired.

Click on "Hubitat Dashboard" to create a new dashboard

Name you dashboard and choose devices you want in it.

The Dashboard in the list after it's created.

Select the Dashboard tab on the left on the main HE menu and select your new dasboard from the list:

Choose the "Auto Fill..." option

Dashboard appears w/tiles for each device, as well as HSM status and a Mode tile. You can remove them if you don't want them - click on three dot menu on each tile for options.

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I too am moving from Vera Plus after many years to Hubitat. I am very pleased with the user community here and reminds me of the early days of VERA which was also a strong community but has dwindled recently due to the platform change.

I have been dabling with HE to get a feel for the capabilities given the many applications available. I have added a few devices and have been working on getting some stuff set up such as Alex voice control which we use everywhere. I have a few issues that I would like insight on how best to implement which should give me insight on my other implementations.

I have a sensor that when opened, will turn a light on if after sunset but only leave that light on for 10 minutes. How do you set a timer or create that 10 minute off action?

Modes: I am not sure how I want to set these up yet. VERA has a four state mode, AWAY, VACATION, HOME, NIGHT. I only use AWAY and HOME essentially toggling between these two modes. I have SCENES to change the mode state, so when I 'turn off away' the scene changes the mode from AWAY to HOME. What is the best way to achieve this?

Maybe along that same line, I have SCENES that appear as devices to Alexa, so I can turn off/on these scenes using ALEXA. Again what is the best way to do this with Hubitat?

I am pouring over the documentation and community posts but hope your answers will get me moving in the right direction.

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To your "Modes" question first: Check out the app Mode Manager. It does what Vera's "House Modes" setup page accomplished, plus so much more.

Secondly, my experience in the Hubitat Forum completely jibes with your sense that it's like the early MiCasaVerde days, before the company sold out to a lunatic who plundered all of our collective goodwill.

Third, as to your question about delayed turn-offs... that "DELAY?" is a built-in toggle for many of the actions you'll find in Rule Manager (always recommended) and (I believe) the app "Basic Rules". Stick with RM. It's got about 80% of the good stuff that Reactor (for Vera or Multi-Hub) offers, and 110% of what Vera Scenes could do!

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I hope that you don't mind, but after hearing (and using) many different dashboards associated with Hubitat, I'd like to put in a plug here.
My advice is two fold - depending on wheather or not you have an android audience or an apple audience. In deciding to do these two routes, I value speed, ease of use, and functionality. This is what I came up with:

  1. For the Apple ecosystem:
    Use HomeBridge, and then use the native Home (HomeKit) app on the device. Unfortunately this does require 2 additional components that you may have, or may be purchased. One - a small tiny PI (I have even used a PI Zero 2W $15), the second is on old IPad to serve as the "recipient". See the following add on:
    [RELEASE] Homebridge Hubitat v2.0
  2. For the Android ecosystem:
    This is much simpler. This is a great app, done by Joe Page.
    [RELEASE] Hubitat Dashboard - Android dashboard app

I have found both these alternatives to be superior to the built in dashboad.

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Great information from both of you. I have started to play with the Android Dashboard (android house...) and believe that will work for our phone use.

I will need to play with the Rule Manager some more to learn the capabilities. I have other questions which I think I will submit in a separate post so that they don't get buried here.

Thanks.....

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I'd also mention that you should try to craft your rules the way your family and guest use your house. With a little effort the dashboard could become unnecessary. I haven't touched a dashboard in 6 months and my family don't even know about them. Just be sure to get their feedback if you take this approach. We don't even use voice control other than turning on a camera stream to the toddlers bedroom when they're being too quiet.

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lewis.hedrick: That is really one of the main uses for the tablet is to be able to turn on camera streams. Still working on ways to do this using BlueIris and Lenovo smart display (google). Haven't come up with a great solution yet.

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Pretty easy with blue iris, just point to the stream in the dashboard.

Yeah the Lenovo Smart Display isn't a full google home device. It does not have a browser. I might be thinking too big here but was trying to figure out how to show on this display or pop it up when motion was discovered.

I am also test driving HE to decide whether to switch from Vera. Vera users have no option to change; the questions are when and to what. My Veraplus is, and has been for four years, working perfectly. Most apps did what I needed and I filled in the omissions with Lua code. Although I am experienced when it comes to automation, I am certainly open to new methods.

I could make an extensive list of the problems I have encountered with HE, but I have only begun the test drive. What I can say at this point is I am disappointed with the lack of updated and current (as of a certain firmware version) documentation. Like Vera, Hubitat relies on the online forum as the sole help guide. I suppose that works, but a lot of time is spent searching for answers. At one time experienced Vera users wrote step-by-step guides that were very helpful in both basic and advanced usage. For me, the Lua programming guides were fantastic. Those guides were listed in separate section on the original Vera forum. I know it takes time, but I ask of the Hubitat community to consider creating similar guides (or videos.) When you find something that works, document it with a few screen shots and instructions.

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Sorry about your troubles - You should post that list (as others have done)... usually people here are willing to help. Just remember to have some patience - everybody is coming at this with different experiences and use-cases.

Yes I think Hubitat, Inc IS leaning heavily on the community for support and instruction but that doesn't mean anyone should expect members to just donate their free time. I enjoy participating in order to gain knowledge and to help people. I believe this is one of the more robust platforms out there with a great "synergy" between community and company - something SmartThings had early on but is now losing.

I have a bunch of bookmarks of things I want to remember but in general searching these forums for answers is fairly easy especially if you have some technical know-how - which if you are futzing with Lua scripts you probably have. HE uses Groovy..

I am not here to excuse poor documentation though, if there is any - and I haven't had the need to check in a while then that's on Hubitat, Inc. Of course you might consider reporting which docs you found to be inadequate so they could update/fix them.

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For the record, I'm the guy who wrote MiCasaVerde's (founding company of the Vera line of controllers) WIKI. In return, they gave me $100 off my first Vera hub. Sadly, those docs quickly fell out of sync with current hardware and firmware, but after several years of neglect, at least things got updated for UI7 (current EOL f/w for Vera).

I came to Hubitat recently, thinking surely their documentation system would at least parallel if not exceed that of ezlo (current owner of Vera), but sadly that seems not to be the case. It's woefully underdeveloped, IMHO.

And to make matters even worse, the guys in charge – who, to be fair, do acknowledge shortcomings – mostly reject suggestions that they put effort into improving things like the Docs, Bug reporting system, or even the controller UI. Instead - as you said - there is great reliance on the Forum for finding/providing solutions.

It's unsustainable, to be frank. And unless you know exactly what you're looking for (as if by magic you somehow know what you don't know), it's an uphill battle.

On the plus side, the HE is light years ahead of Vera Plus in terms of usability and reliability, so welcome aboard!!

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Okay I have not seen this personally but of course it doesn't mean it's not true - if you have any links to comments made by the staff that might provide some insight as to what you are getting at.. would be helpful.

Since Hubitat, Inc is a relatively small company I suspect the resources just aren't there to do everything they want all at once so they target the most critical areas first.. and of course customer support is always a huge (but necessary) time-suck. I will say the pace of updates is quite rapid and things have been constantly improving.

I respectfully disagree with this.

If someone can't articulate the issue even in vague terms how could anyone possibly help? There is now enough online information available in these forums that even being a little obtuse with your search terms should get you close to what you need. It does for me - type in a device name, or "hub issues" (for example) and results appear - may have to dig a little further but that's the nature of the beast. Otherwise simply posting a question usually gets a quick response.

This all doesn't seem so bad to me.. but maybe it's not quite what someone would be expecting coming from a different platform - I guess I can see that. I know I used to rely heavily on the SmartThings docs and forums.. neither of which were perfect but certainly navigable.

I do agree that relying on this community for client support if that is what they are actually doing is ultimately unsustainable... and there should always be decent docs. But of course none of that is anyone in the community's responsibility at all.

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So, in brief, you do agree with me. Maybe I just overstated where I was coming from.

EXAMPLE: Earlier today, someone asked for help troubleshooting a problem using variable references in Rule Machine. He was placing the variable names in curly brackets and they were not parsing correctly.

SOLUTION: Put the names inside percent signs (%) instead.

ISSUE: I knew the answer, but no amount of searching in Docs would have turned that up for him. It was pure luck that I happened to read his post and happened to know the answer.

WHAT THE DOCS SAY: After clicking "Documentation" (in upper-right corner of this page), then diving into "Apps" ► "Rule Machine" (5.0) ► Hub Variables, there is zero mention of referencing-by-name.

WHERE THE ANSWER ACTUALLY LIVES: Under Docs ► "Apps" ► "Notifications" ► "Text Messages" ► "Variables" ► reference. Again, only a lucky person would find this answer easily.

As for my assertion that the guys upstairs aren't listening -- I know they are!! -- but I'll let the many Forum replies (like us begging for a formalized Bug Triage System) that end with "We don't have time or resources for that" stand for themselves. I'm not ascribing it to a lack of will or ability on their part; only a constant pushback since the Forum happens to be working as well as it does, however unsustainably longer-term.

I hadn't intended to hurt anyone's feelings or go on a rant (sorry). :slight_smile:

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No offense taken!

I thought you were talking about the community search for which there would likely be info available is all I meant, I usually start my journey there,,so many experienced people post.

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I don’t expect forum users to do anything – they are not employed with Hubitat. My suggestion is that forum users consider creating a post when they learn how to do a task, not “only” when they have a problem. Yes, I know some have, but as with most technology forums, posts often begin with “I can’t do this…” or similar. That’s my plan as I gain HE knowledge.

From an outsider’s viewpoint, the lack of documentation is concerning. I learned from my experience with Vera that it is difficult for an automation company to succeed by selling only hubs. If I didn’t have extensive IT background, I would have given up on Hubitat after a few hours.

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@LibraSun, thank you for helping me with Vera over the past four years!

Spot on with “you don’t know what you don't know.” As a programmer, network administrator, and IT instructor for my entire career, that phrase was my foundation when interacting with users and students. That phrase is true in all aspects of life.

When a technology company doesn’t produce documentation, it’s akin to a clothing company not advertising. Need to spend money to make money (or more accurately, invest in resources to produce more resources.)

I have high expectations for HE. I could setup Home Assistant on my Raspberry Pi, but I shouldn’t have to spend that amount time dealing with an operating system, docker, etc, etc, etc. just to flip a light on at 10:00pm.

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