Two homes, one hub in each and Alexa

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone had ideas on how to best solve this. I am lucky to have two homes (city condo for the workweek and a house for the week-end). Each has a C7 Hubitat Hub with a number of devices and Alexas in many of the rooms.

I'd like to be able to control the local devices from Alexa (under one account) in each home. Because Alexa can only be connected to one hub (AFAIK), the only solution I've found (but haven't rolled out yet) is to set up HubConnect so a set of House devices appear in the Condo hub, rename them locally to be prefixed by "House" and set up Alexa to connect to the Condo hub therefore having access to both sets of devices. As such, I would be able to control "Condo Living Room Light" and "House Living Room Light".

Is there a smarter, less cumbersome way to do this?

Thanks for your help,

Erik

Actually that sounds fairly clever to me!

I wonder if you could simplify things somewhat using Alexa groups. I have lights and dimmers and echos all associated with groups in the Alexa app. When I'm in my office and I say "turn on the lights" Alexa figures out that the lights I mean are the ones in the same room and turns them on. You could have a group called "condo living room" and a group called "house living room." When you said "turn on lights," as long as you were speaking to the right echo, it would know which living room you meant.

Yes, that's roughly what I did. I am assuming you're talking about Alex groups, right?

Alexa yeah. A pain to maintain things on two systems but...

For me it's mostly the naming that's a pain. I also wish that HubConnect had a way to prefix the remote hub devices automatically.

Right now I have to figure out how to import the remoteHub devices, I see three of them, I don't remember where you select what the target hub sees and creates as a HubConnect device.

What's wrong with setting up a secondary Amazon account? You'd still be able to control devices through HubMesh etc.. seems like an easy way to handle things.

I don't know if there is anything wrong with it. I wonder if I'd encounter a limitation like not being able to use the same Spotify account on two Alexas with two different accounts or something similar ; then I'd be really bumped.

But that account would only be for HE for that location right? You'd still have your regular account for everything else.. maybe I am misunderstanding something...

edit: I guess it would be a problem if you wanted to control it via phone but that's what hub mesh and the "real" account is for.. you could have a dedicated Fire tablet with it on as well.

I also recently was fortunate enough to be able to purchase a beach house as a second home and installed HE which is working great but also discovered that the Amazon Echo Skill can only connect to one HE at a time. I will do some research on HubConnect option but also wondering what other options exist and if there are any plans to update the Amazon Echo Skill to support connecting to multiple hubs.

I am using Hub Connect right now. It's a bit of a pain because it creates a number of devices from hub 2 on your hub 1 but that works well enough. As someone mentioned, 2 Amazon/Alexa account is another good way to do it.

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I'm in the same boat -- fortunate to have two houses, each with HE and each with Alexas. Not knowing nor anticipating the problem, I just installed the Alexa skill in my second home on its HE hub. I'm getting an invalid access token error message in the logs. Is that what others experienced when you tried to set it up in a second home?

If so, guess I'll follow the above recipe, unless anyone has found an easier way?

Has anyone tried a separate Alexa account and run into such a limitation?

One thing I do is have a dedicated "cloud and network" hub (a spare C-5 I had on hand) which is running the Alexa skill etc. It's kind of the same as with just 2 hubs like @825d60685b34c4f304ab is doing but with a bit more isolation. I only share the devices I want exposed to my cloud and network devices.

Just so I'm clear. You put the Echo Skill app on this cloud hub, which I assume is in one of the two homes, and then use HubConnect to pass the device events to/from the other house?

I have 3 hubs at one location, not using the remote functionality but mentioned it because it's basically adding on to what @825d60685b34c4f304ab says they did..

Looking at it a little closer, the issue would be sharing devices remotely via HubMesh which doesn't (?yet?) have that capability.. so I seem to have led you astray apologies.

Maybe could try the awesome community HubConnect instead + VPN...

Mmm..... I have to think about this a bit more!

If you have the resources and tech know how I would suggest a site to site VPN.

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Yeah that is what I was mulling over.. I've done that with OpenVPN for a commercial client of mine - connecting their remote office to their main.. It's been working great over the last few years, am considering a WireGuard setup now.

I wonder if multicasting would be an issue?

edit, found this:

Download the Hubitat app