Echo understanding Smartthings devices


1) Give a description of the problem
Can Echo give different answers based on a routine

2) What is the expected behaviour?
As above

3) What is happening/not happening?
So, I have a routine on echo which turns on/off a simulated Alexa Switch when I say “Alexa open/close the skylights”. Webcore then sees the switch move, and then opens/closes the skylights. The problem is that in webcore, my IF block says that if my “rain sensor” is Wet and Simulated Alexa Switch is open then do nothing because it’s raining and I don’t want to flood my house.

This works fine but Alexa still moves my simulated switch because Alexa has no concept of the rain sensor being wet. I can arrange for webcore to reset the switch so no great problem.

However my question is this. When I ask Alexa to open the skylights (change simulated Alexa Switch) when it’s raining, I want her to say “no it’s raining” rather than her usual reply of “ok” .
Any ideas folks, ps, I have echo speaks if this can help

4) Post a Green Snapshot of the pistonimage

5) Attach logs after turning logging level to Full

If a solution is found for your question then please mark the post as the solution.


It sounds like you are most of the way there… Just keep your logic checks in webCoRE.

  • Alexa flips a SimSwitch, and nothing else.
  • WebCoRE sees the SimSwitch change and executes the piston.

Inside that piston, you can add a conditional block:

IF SimSwitch changes to on  <-- Trigger
    IF RainSensor is dry    <-- Condition
        Open the pod bay doors
        Speak "I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that"
    END IF

(The 2001 reference seemed fitting)


I love the scene btw:)))))

hi @Thesploog
how do you open them remotely (mechanically)
I have skylights and I’d love to get some guidance. I love the idea.


@WCmore, I think we’re on the same page here and I’ve accomplished what you’ve said. However, when I ask Alexa to “open the skylights” she always says “ok” even if my rain sensor is wet. This is because it’s Amazon talking and not echo speaks. I want her to say something different like “no, it is raining” any thoughts?


@ike2018 this may be hard to put into words. So, I have motors which I bought online from eBay. Search for “smart comunello” or “comunello smart” they’re around £55 each. My skylights are the ones with a traditional window handle rather than the complicated velux mechanism. So I’ve removed the handles and replaced with the motors. The motors have a neutral and 2 live wires. A live to open and a live to close. So with 2 smart plug outlets, I have wired the 2 motor live wires into 2 standard plugs and plugged them into the outlets. So one outlet to open and the other to close. Hope this makes sense. If you want to know how the rain sensor works, I can provide this detail too.


Although not exactly what you want, if you tell alexa to operate the virtual switch, you can set it to just give a beep rather than the ok message.


Hi, is this an echo setting?


yes, its under settings/voice responses. You then enable brief mode.

Also if you use a routine, can you set alexa to say nothing (blank string)? Then have the piston make the correct announcement using echo speaks as wcmore suggested

Have you also looked at something like the fibaro roller shutter module rather than 2 outlets? Maybe cheaper and give more flexibility, e.g open to 50%


@paul1964 thanks for this. How do I set a routine to say nothing? I assume you mean a routine within the Alexa app?

Also, yeah I considered Fibaro but I had 2x Ikea Tradfri outlets spare and they only cost £10. They also work locally so in the event of no internet, then my Skylights will still close if it rains. Out of curiosity, does the Fibaro gear work locally too?


I’m not sure if you can get a routine to say nothing, I use one for going to bed, it switches a virtual switch, then says “goodnight” so just wondered if you could put a blank in there and it wouldn’t say anything. I’ve not tried it though.

I’ve only used the fibaro dimmers, I looked at the roller shutter for my garage door, but it wasn’t suitable due to the door only having one contact to both open & close. My fibaro DH are custom based so run in the cloud, however I think ST did add their own fibaro DH’s. I’m not sure if these are local or whether they did one for the roller shutter.


If you do not want confirmation that Alexa heard your command, you may like brief mode
(although it is a global setting)

For an alternative perspective,
(keeping in mind that Alexa has no brain to process logically)

What I do is leave brief mode off, and look at her OK response as simply meaning she heard my command… Her saying OK does not mean that she is taking action.

Regardless of your choice, you can still have the piston send a custom voice alert a moment later. (and is one reason why I use different voices for different announcements)


Thanks for you help @WCmore