Possible to make Hub Variable available to Alexa?

I have a DateTime Hub Variable that is used to turn off some of my lighting each day. I'd like to be able to ask Alexa what the current value of that variable is. Is there a way of doing that?

No. Not that I can see.

There are convoluted things you can do using virtual switches, but nothing that directly converts a DateTime hub variable into an Alexa device.

You could do it with Echo Speaks. You would have to create a Alexa routine Something like "Alexa when do the lights turn off". The Alexa routine would turn on a virtual switch which would in turn trigger a rule that announces the variable over an Alexa device with Echo Speaks.


I setup the heroku account and then upon initial sign in it asks me this, and I have no idea what to select.

Got past that, now I'm stuck on step 8. All I get is "Cannot POST /ap/cvf/approval/verifyOtp"

update: I think I got it all done, though I'm not looking forward to teaching my mom 2FA.

I think the preferred method is to use a local server if you can instead of Heroku, but it requires you to have a server setup you can use like a raspberry pi Echo Speaks / Heroku end anxiety support group. See one solution below. 🙂 - #58 by vmsman

I'm still reading through that thread. I have Windows 10 Pro on an 11th gen NUC Pro for Channels DVR server. That is probably capable of running the local Speaks support too, but it looks like it requires linux at some level. Linux and I have traditionally not gotten along well. Is there some reason to not use Heroku once it is functioning?

@BerMM you can continue to use Heroku, it just becomes a pay service. I posted my solution because I believe that self-hosting and less reliance on the cloud is a good thing. I've taught Linux basics to enumerable folks. It's critically important to have a working knowledge of Linux because ancillary home automation server instances are required all the time and they are normally Linux containers. Reach out to me on my Rocketchat at https://chat.scottibyte.com/ if you need help.

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I passed Introduction to linux in college despite never achieving a fully functional installation. That was my mental peak. I've tried a few times since and failed. I can usually follow tutorials, but no longer have the concentration or speed and god I hate linux. I had no idea Heroku wasn't free (that should really be prominently mentioned in the echo speaks documentation). I'd rather do without Echo Speaks than take another trip into the linux rabbit hole or pay for something that so far is a solution in search of a problem. I'm off to figure out how to close Heroku before they charge me for something I never knew about, much less agreed to.

@bermm I am so sorry to hear about your experience with Linux. Heroku went paid just a few months ago. Echo Speaks and many other apps frequently avail themselves of locally hosted code that is Linux hosted. You might find it interesting to know that a majority of IoT is written in Linux and so is Hubitat. So, here's my advice. Linux is far, far, easier to learn than Windows. I have 40 years of IT experience and I only moved to Linux as my daily driver in 2007. My continuing experience with Windows is that every year it becomes less secure, less user friendly, less privacy focused and more fragile. If you like working with a GUI interface and like staying away from the command line, you might be surprised to know that most variants of Linux give you ways to control things in the GUI that Windows has no control over and Windows still insists on fighting with the registry, constant vulnerabilities, some of the oldest bugs still in existence and a total lack of regression testing and dependency analysis ever established as the norm in any operating system. Linux fixes bugs and vulnerabilities daily to both the kernel and apps because most everything is open source. Windows has bugs and design flaws that have been carried forward for 30+ years with no fixes. A lack of concentration, focus and being able to learn makes you the best Linux GUI user and the worst Windows user primarily because it takes years of experience to fix even common Windows problems. I'm sorry, but wipe and reload the OS should never been a primary means of OS repair and that is a common support suggestion that Microsoft provides its customers. Wow, just plain wow. Windows = User Hostile. Windows 11 looks much nicer and further buries even common settings as many as six menu levels deep. It still blue screens... I have Linux lock up and crash on me too but it has always been due to failed hardware like a bad motherboard, disk, or power supply. Windows applications can easily take down the OS and make it unusable. Your comments about Linux being hard to learn are accurate if it is 1990 and not 2023.


Maybe look at this app. I haven't used it but I think it allows you to use echo devices for text to speech. Just read through the readme and it looks like it still has the need to update the cookie but it has a manual method and you don't have to set up a NodeJS server. It says you may have to manually update the cookie every 14 days but, I know when my server went down I didn't notice for almost 30 days and it was still working.

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Just like Echo Speaks, my old "Amazon Alexa TTS" integration requires a Linux 'server' to keep the cookie refreshed. Or, I guess one could manually refresh the cookie every ~12 days... :thinking: :sunglasses: Also, I really haven't touched that code in a very, very long time. Echo Speaks is truly the to community favorite solution, and is way more functional.

Personally, I use an IKEA Syfonisk (Sonos) speaker for TTS. It works great.

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I may have been a bit harsh. I didn't like having a subscription I didn't understand sneak up on me. Regardless, I should explain my unique situation a bit more. There was a time that I learned things very quickly. I was a sponge and enjoyed tearing into PCs until I hit ~35. My disabilities (apnea, neuropathy) and the treatment (gabapentin) started catching up to me. I'm now 43 and its rare that I'm able to concentrate for very long. I enjoy the home automation stuff when I'm able to get into it, and the automation help when I'm struggling. There was a time that I knew Windows PCs inside and out, from DOS 3 onward including NT. I still try to stay informed about things, but I'm running into walls with increasing frequency. I also have higher priorities for my periods of higher productivity. Linux isn't something I can add to my plate right now and I'm not sure if I'll have a great enough need to justify focusing on it anytime soon. The request for Echo TTS capability was anticipating a need that hasn't yet materialized.

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