FAQ

I don't see my devices!

See: Finding Wemo.

How do I get a refund if I don't like the app?

If the purchase is recent you may still be able to request are refund through your google account.

There's no hurry, take your time to play with it and if you find it doesn't do what you need email me the transaction id from your Google Payments and I will put through a request to google to process the refund. Use copy/paste, it's difficult to type that number and it must match exactly, there is no other way for me to find and refund your purchase. Google only allows me to see the transaction id; they handle the entire transaction.

I'm no phandroid. How can I use this with my iPhone?

You're going to need at least one android device to run as a server/bridge to your iPhone, sorry. At the time of writing, walmart and bestbuy are selling suitable low end devices for $20 (see Running MPP Servers). Set one up as your AutomationServer and use it to control your devices, run your rules, etc.

Then you can run the (free) add-on AutomationOnDrive that will give you remote access via a web browser from any PC, mac, or your iPhone to your AutomationManager/AutomationServer.

On android the HomeBridge for AutomationManager app can be used to bridge AutomationManager to your ihone HomeKit.

You can continue to use Kasa or the belkin app for remote access as they do not conflict.

Why do AutomationManager and WemoHome show a listener task running in my notification bar?

Google android requires that any background task shows the user that it is active. AutomationManager and WemoHome run a background task to listen for changes broadcast by your devices to update the app display and widgets.

Some android versions allow you to suppress notifications for a given app (try swiping right on the notification and touching the setup button if it shows).

Configure WemoHome / AM to stop when you leave home, e.g. unplug your device or disconnect from your wifi.

What's the difference between WemoHome and AutomationManager (fka WemoManager)?

AutomationManager comes with a suite of apps and a server to allow you to manage, automate, and remotely access your devices without any reliance on the internet, Belkin's web (aka cloud) servers, or other services like IFTTT.

To fully exploit the AutomationManager features you run its AutomationServer on a dedicated, always on, always connected android device or a Windows or Linux system. AutomationManager and/or AutomationRemote are then used to control your devices through the AutomationServer. The AutomationServer runs the rules you define, it and provides a external API for integration with other automation applications, and logs device activities.

WemoHome is used on your home network to manage and monitor your devices locally. It provides a managing app, widgets, and a scene editor/composer. It provides a more usable and responsive interface than the Belkin app.

If you buy WemoHome and later decide to upgrade to AutomationManager send me the WemoHome order number from your google wallet and I will have Google refund your purchase.

Why do I sometimes see "java.io.IOException: 412 HTTP/1.1 412 Precondition Failed" in the log?

This means that your wemo device has tried to contact the AM server and received an error, it then cancels AM's event subscription. Later when AM attempts to resubscribe the original subscription the wemo reports the subscription does not exist. AM will continue by registering for a new subscription, but if the error is frequent it should be investigated. Wemo's report state changes using the subscription; if not operating AM will not respond in a timely fashion to manual changes to the wemo. If you notice your rules are reacting slowly check the AM Server log for these errors.

The first thing to check is that if you've set the AM server IP address in the AM preferences that it matches the IP address assigned to your device. If not, clear the field and/or reserve the desired IP in your router to make sure it matches.

If the IP address is correct you need to check your router - it is reporting an error back to the wemo when it attempts to contact AM. Try rebooting your router; if this clears the problem only to have it return a few hours or days later you'll need to configure your router to reboot periodically; it's leaking resources and running out after a time.

Can I use a wemo or another smart device in a 3 way switch?

Not officially... but see: Wemo3Ways

My devices go offline occasionally.

See: Offline Devices.

My AutomationServer (on android) sometimes stops. How can I keep it running?

Newer android devices are more aggressive with apps to save battery and resources. When running a server you often will need to confirm whether you have a task killer. If so, add the server app to the list of exceptions.

It's usually necessary to force the android device to stay awake. First enable developer options: open settings, find "about device", find "Build number", and tap it 5-7 times. You should see a message that developer options have been enabled. Return to the settings main page to find the new options page. Enable "Stay Awake" to set the mode to prevent the screen (and android) from entering sleep mode. Always keep the server device on AC power.

Check the advanced wifi settings to ensure the wifi device is set to be always, that it's not allowed to sleep to save power.

Can I secure access so no one else can control my devices?

Locally you can use a private network dedicated to the devices, or a guest network that does not have access to them.

Remotely you can deny the devices access to the internet (use a MAC filter and/or disable remote access to the Belkin or TP Link cloud. Then only AutomationRemote can be used to control the devices remotely, and each AutomationRemote client must be registered and authorized.

Can I control my devices in multiple locations? 'Cause I cannot with the Belkin app.

For remote access you run AutomationManager as a server at each of your wemo locations. You do this by installing AutomationManager/AutomationServer on a PC/Mac/Linux or an old android phone or tablet (if you don’t have a general server you can set up your own very easily and inexpensively, see Running MPP Servers). Using AutomationRemote on your phone, you register it with each of your locations and you can control them all. All of these parts for as many locations as you need come with your single AutomationManager google license – just add your google account to each of the android devices you’re using as clients and servers. Note you could use Belkin's app at one location and AutomationManager at all of the others, reducing the server count by one.

Why is AutomationManager dump truck ugly?

I'm the art director and creative designer as well as the developer. 'nuff said.

Seriously, two reasons: using only basic android UI elements means the app will run faster and is more likely to run on the various android flavors and versions.

And second, the idea is to use the widgets to build yourself an automation console of your liking on your android home screen using your own images. Only use the app itself to change the settings or add devices.

"Dump truck ugly" is a reference to utilitarian (as in awful looking!) graphics design.

Why does the Belkin app see my devices when the AutomationManager cannot?

The Belkin app works by connecting through the internet to the Belkin web servers. Your WeMo devices, once connected to your network also connect to those servers. If the Belkin app cannot see your devices locally it will always access them through their servers (with all of the security risks, operational delays, and outages that entails).

Use Finding Wemo to get your WeMo devices properly attached and visible on your WiFi network to control them locally, security, and reliably using the AutomationManager.

Why do I get "Error Searching" or "BindException" when I try to use AutomationManager?

Unlike AutomationManager, the Belkin app and other search services like DNLA do not always behave properly when using the search port on your phone (the SSDP/UPNP port 1900). For search to work, you will need to terminate those services if they are running.

If this is not possible you will need to assign your devices fixed IP addresses and use the "Finding Wemo" function.

Once all of your devices have been found and remain available AutomationManager will stop using this search function.

Why does AutomationManager only work when connected to my WiFi network?

The AutomationManager uses a direct connection to the devices rather than going through the cloud (which is really just a marketing word for internet in this case) like Belkin's app. Devices and changes are handled directly and immediately by it.

Can I access my switches from outside of my home network? How?

    • The easiest method for remote access is to use the Belkin app through their cloud server. This is moderately risky and somewhat slow and unreliable, but it will work.
    • If you run the AutomationServer on a dedicated device at home, the AutomationRemote app (both parts come as part of the AutomationManager) can be securely registered to it and used from anywhere.
    • Do NOT simply expose your device IPs through your router and firewall. These are completely unprotected interfaces allowing anyone to control your switches. More than that, these are little servers that could be hacked and used as trojan horses onto your private network.

Can I use the Belkin app with the AutomationManager?

Yes. The Belkin app is a good alternative for remote access when an android device cannot be dedicated as a proxy server.

The belkin rules can be used instead of (or with if there is no rule conflict) the AutomationServer rules engine and other automation apps.

The Belkin app fails to shut down cleanly to release the resources it uses to manage the wemo devices. If you need to rescan or run the AutomationServer rules you need to terminate the Belkin in "Applications>Running". It's best to use the Belkin app only for remote access.

You can use IFTTT through the belkin cloud service, though I don't recommend it due to security, privacy, and reliability concerns.

What are the parts of the AutomationManager? Do they come with the app?

The following components come with the AutomationManager, and all can be used on any other compatible android device registered to your Google account using that one license.

Apps (from your "all apps" view on your device):

      • AutomationManager - the main app which finds and registers each of your devices, is used to configure the other components and rules, and can be used as an app to manage your devices directly (while local)
      • AutomationScenes Manager - where you can define and then apply "scenes" - settings for your switches for various tasks (e.g. "Watch TV") (while local)
      • AutomationRemote - see below and AutomationRemote. (local or remote)
      • AutomationScenes - voice app you can use directly or with Google Now to apply your scenes by voice. (while local)

Widgets (drag from your device's "widgets" view to create, they run on your home page):

      • AutomationServer - the main widget (3 sizes) that comes with the AutomationManager. Use the WemoServer on an android device that is always on and always connected to your network. It continuously monitors the wemo devices for state, runs the rules, the REST server, and the AutomationRemote server. (dedicated)
      • AutomationServer (java) will run on most windows or linux systems as an alternative to the android AutomationServer. It can be used with AutomationRemote and will also run the AutomationManager rules. See AutomationServer (java).
      • AM Device - individual device widgets (e.g. on/of switches on your android home screen) for active use with (or instead of) the AutomationServer. Touching it will toggle the switch (or refresh the widget status if it's currently offline). (while local)
      • AM Switch - individual device widgets like AM Device widgets for PASSIVE use on your home screen (they are not actively updated, you need to touch the widget icon to refresh status). Touching it pops up a mini app with an on/off and refresh button. (while local)
      • AM Scene - apply a scene with a single touch on the widget (while local)
      • AutomationRemote switch widgets - see below. (local or remote)

Does AutomationServer support access from a browser?

Yes, configure your browser port on the AutomationServer (4080 is the default), then point the browser to your AutomationServer IP like this: http://your.server.ip:4080/index.htm.

You will need to register each user. Be aware that this is not an encrypted (https) connection, so you user id and password will be exchanged in the clear. For your protection do this only on an encrypted wifi network.

Note that AutomationOnDrive is a much safer way to access your devices from a browser when you are away from home.

What are the AutomationRemote app and widgets?

    • You can run the AutomationServer as a dedicated device server on a tablet or phone that you leave always on, always connected directly to your Wifi and devices.
    • When you use the AutomationServer it be configured to run as your own secured web service.
    • The AutomationRemote app can be registered to this secure server, allowing you (and only you) to connect to it remotely to monitor and control your devices.
    • The AutomationRemote widget (for switches only) can be used on your phone home screen to control your switches remotely.

What rules are supported?

Rules use events/triggers (changes, timers, sunrise/sunset, etc) to take actions such as logging the event or changing the state of other devices, posting to web pages, etc. See AutomationManager Rules

Why aren't my rules working? Why don't the AutomationManager rules run when I'm not at home? Why do Belkin's rules (mostly) work even when they're not connected to a phone?

    • For rules to run, the AutomationServer widget must be present on one of your home screens, and the rules engine must be enabled in the AutomationManager preferences.
    • AutomationServer is an automation server running the rules engine, it must be on and connected to directly control your devices. If you turn off that phone/tablet, or remove it from your network, the rules (and the AutomationServer) cannot act. However, if a rule is triggered while not connected to a device, the rule server will enforce that rule the next time it connects to the target device.
    • Belkin's rules are stored in the Wemo switch directly rather than relying on an automation server to control them. They work, though last time I tried them they still had a few issues (incorrect sunrise/sunset calculations as one example).
    • Another choice is to use the IFTTT service. IMO allowing remote internet access by a public service to my devices (which have already proven vulnerable to hack attacks) is a risk I would never take.

How do I use my devices with android automation apps?

    • You need to add the AutomationServer widget to your home page to enable automation. This will keep the process that is communicating with the devices active. It should show green, and show that all of your devices have connected properly.
    • Android apps communicate with "Broadcast Intents" or "Intents". These will be the actions you can perform in your automation app, and the AutomationServer will send intents that can be received by the automation apps to trigger actions.
    • Each device "Intents" page has values (intent names, UDN, etc) that can be copied into the clipboard for pasting into your automation app.

Can I send and will I receive the AutomationManager intents in any android app (such as my automation app)?

    • Yes, as long as the AutomationServer widget is active on one of the home pages of your device.

Does the AutomationServer work with Tasker or other automation apps?

Yes, use the Broadcast Intents on Android, or the REST interface with remote applications.

What can't the AutomationManager determine my location or Sunrise/Sunset times?

This depends on device settings, permissions, and the version of android that you have (Android 2.2 or better is needed for location awareness).

Use a service like http://whatsmylocation.net/ to find your location, enter it in the AutomationManager under "preferences".

Why do I see the default WemoHome/AutomationManager images for my devices instead of the default device pictures?

When possible WemoHome/AutomationManager tries to use the device images saved on each device by default. On some firmware versions Belkin has broken those stored images. See the FAQ "How do I use custom images for my devices?" in HowTo to see how to use your own pictures or Belkin's pictures.

Why do my Wemo LED bulbs and groups often show the wrong state?

The Wemo Link reports the states incorrectly in many situations, most notably for groups of bulbs. WemoLEDs has some additional function that better detects the current group state. In other situations the WemoLink reports the wrong state but corrects it later by sending another event; this can take a few moments to correct.

Do I need to purchase WemoLEDs as well as AutomationManager?

No, AutomationManager will support basic on/off function for your bulbs. The programming interface for the WemoLink is quite a bit different than the Wemo switch interface and requires the additional app to access those extra capabilities.

Can I use the GE Link bulbs with my Wemo Link and AutomationManager/WemoHome?

Yes. Power on the GE bulb and start the Belkin Wemo app to discover the bulb. You may find you need to reset your Wemo Hub (hold the reset button until the link reacts) and GE Bulbs (turn the power off for 3 seconds, then on for 3 seconds, until you see the bulb flash). After that the Wemo Link should find the bulbs. Refresh the link in AutomationManager/WemoHome and the bulbs should be added to your device list.

Belkin has disabled pairing many types of bulbs but often WemoLEDs can pair them when belkin's app cannot.

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