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Tasker Home Automation, Volume 2

In volume two of our Home Automation series, we're going to dive right in and learn how to use an extremely useful plugin- AutoRemote, and what I think of as Taskers companion app on the PC- EventGhost. Note- You will need the AutoRemote plugin, EventGhost and the EventGhost AutoRemote plugin for this to work. I recommend the pay version of AutoRemote. The free version may no longer allow you to receive messages from a PC, but don't quote me on that. Before we dig into the How To's, let's watch a short video showing a tiny bit of what you can do when these applications work in concert.

How to setup EventGhost:

We will start with EventGhost. You will need the AutoRemote plugin for EventGhost, linked above. Once you have EventGhost and the AutoRemote Plugins installed you will need to configure the AutoRemote plugin in EventGhost. For each Android device you are using AutoRemote on, add it here. Give each device its own name and provide the device URL from the AutoRemote application on your android device. You don't need to populate the Key. Tab or mouse to that field and it will auto-populate.

Once you have your devices added, you'll need to add the actions EventGhost will respond to and actions it will respond with.If you are going to communicate with another device, like a PC, add the ping plugin. As you can see, I make use of both the ping and AutoRemote Message actions in this EventGhost macro.

The Tasker Setup:

For my task from the example video, I start out by clearing some variables used later for checks (if not set, then you get the offline message). I then use the AutoRemote message action to message a PC a keyword- "syscheck." Obviously, you can choose your own. EventGhost on the PC reacts to this keyword by using the ping plugin to ping my PCs, and the AutoRemote plugin to AutoRemote message my various other devices for status updates. Why do I have the PC doing this message, and not the phone? Well, in my opinion, when the phone sends the message to each device, this adds time. The PC is able to message more devices faster, we're already using EventGhost, we might as well start to take advantage of that. I finish this task by setting a timestamp variable.


How Tasker Reacts

The profile setup in Tasker is an AutoRemote state, message received. it acts as an event. I have each device setup so it has an identifier, example: nb. This is followed by a period '.' and then whatever info you are looking for. This allows the receiving device to do a variable split, and then use the remaining information. Note: The image shows the receiving end. The sending side reacts by using the AutoRemote action message, formatted something like nb.%BATT. 2nd Note- When using the the variable split action as in this picture, %Mbatt2 holds the informtion used to populate the corresponding data in the scene. If you are not familiar with the variable split action, the userguide is a valuable resource.

Using the data:

You can react to the data received in various ways. In this case, I have a scene setup that displays battery information, online/offline status, media casting, and last update time. All of this information is gathered off the device, or from an AutoRemote message.

Obviously, my scenes are not at the Michelangelo level of greatness. Covering in greater detail how to make scenes will be covered in a future volume. Do not let the lack of how to's prevent you from experimenting further. The data you receive can be used in notification, flash alerts, scenes, voice responses... You get the idea. To give you an start. My scene is mostly text elements. I do have a couple button elements as well. I encourage you to experiment with the different formatting and action options available in your scenes and tasks. Odds are good we can all do more than we are aware of.