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Thread: Belkin WeMo Switch - So far...

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    GMG
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    Belkin WeMo Switch - So far...

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Back in September, I posted about the impending launch of the Belkin WeMo Switch - a WiFi enabled switch into which you can plug any appliance and control the "on" or "off" settings not just by WiFi, but by using an iOS device through the mobile phone network (sorry Android users...they say they're going to come up with something for you some time in the future).They've just started arriving in stores and Harvey Norman and Apple's online store currently have stock.

    Attachment 1597

    This isn't a wonderfully methodically dissection of my experience, but a quick overview for those of you who may find this kind of thing useful. Like many (most?) on the forum, my machine takes a longish time to warm up adequately. As I do a lot of work with clients in town and come home at varied times, this means I can now leave a meeting and hit the "on" switch and have the machine ready to go when I get home and should also help save energy by being able to turn it off more easily if I've forgotten to switch it off before leaving home.Up until now I've used a programmable HPM 7 Day digital timer, which has been great. The WeMo can do everything it did, in terms of setting up programs (or, "Rules", in WeMo-speak) to turn it on and off in the mornings. And of course, it can do a lot more. That said, one nice feature of the timer that I'll miss was its clock, which included seconds, allowing me to time shots. But it's worth it (and I've got an old timer that I can haul out of the drawer, as a replacement).So, first thoughts:One of the nice things about the switch is that despite having lots of functionality (including IFTTT) on opening the box you see that Belkin's done everything possible to keep things dead simple. There's the switch (with 2 status lights and 2 user operate-able switches), a concise, 4 step quick start guide and an almost equally concise product guide. As someone who works with human-centred design and development of new products, this was a joy to see.
    Attachment 1599
    Attachment 1598
    But it wasn't all plain sailing.

    I had to go through the process of setting up the Switch a few times, before my iPhone was able to find the device consistently. A Belkin troubleshooting video references the fact that "some routers" simply don't recognise the device without going through a few install attempts. I found this vague reference a bit unsettling -- why, and how would I know that once it did recognise it, that it wouldn't randomly fail to so in the future?!. Anyway, it finally worked. I was happy. Until I ventured forth...

    Once I was out of WiFi range, I turned on the app to see if it could see the switch. It couldn't. The menu showed the switch, with a message "Not detected", below it. I followed the various troubleshooting suggestions, such as quitting the app, rebooting my iPhone, resetting the switch (requiring fresh round of setups), rebooting the router. No joy.

    I'd previously read numerous references to this problem online and hoped that this was something that was limited to people with quirkier network setups. Mine is pretty straight-forward, so I'd been optimistic that it would all be fine. To make a long story short, I found a reference to uninstalling the WeMo app from the iOS device and reinstalling (and, yet again, resetting up the device), so I did this. I'd downloaded the app a few weeks ago, to familiarise myself with it before the switch was available in stores, so this might have been the cause of the problem. Anyway, a fresh install on the iPhone did the trick and I've now got it working, both within WiFi range and remotely.

    IMG_3554.PNG

    A few other observations:

    One of the other unsettling aspects is that management of the service occurs through Belkin's own servers. I'm not technically literate in the how this works, but I suspect this was a trade-off deemed worthwhile to keep setup relatively simple.

    While the "rules" are easily set up, using a tab at the bottom of the app, I'd entered in 2 rules, then later in the day, added a further one. When I completed the third, my other 2 rules simply vanished and had to be re-entered. Weird.

    From pics online, the WeMo looked to be roughly the same size as the HPM device, but it's actually bigger. Hopefully it'll shrink as the product evolves.

    ----

    Like lots of tech products, the pain is in the setup and persistence is worth it. That seems to be the case with WeMo...so far. Getting up and running wasn't as smooth as I'd hoped, but I'm now looking forward to using it. I'll follow up with more info after I've been using it for a while, to update on whether it's been stable and how things perform. Fingers crossed, but it's now looking very, very good.
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    Last edited by GMG; 15th December 2012 at 11:31 PM. Reason: crafting

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    GMG
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    So, this morning started with promise. I woke up, turned on the iPhone and the WeMo app and it saw the device in the menu.

    I decided to turn WiFi "off" to see if WeMo's remote capability would work. It looked promising, as "Coffee Machine" still showed on the menu.
    So, all good...until I clicked the coffee machine's "On" button on WeMo.
    IMG_3555.PNG
    I was returned back to the infamous, exasperating, "Not detected" screen.

    I hoped I'd be able to turn on the WiFi and WeMo would recognise the machine once more, so I could quickly turn the machine back on, before having a shower and going downstairs to have a coffee. I'd assumed this, as many posters on WeMo's excellent online support forum, https://getsatisfaction.com/belkinwemo have spoken of smooth operation while connected to WiFi, but problems once trying to connect from further afield. The achilles heel of the device (and it's greatest promise) seemed to be with spotty remote operation. Anyway, as of now, here's all I get:
    IMG_3556.PNG
    Sadly, I'm now not able to connect even through WiFi, despite closing the app and rebooting the phone (the 1st recommended troubleshooting step).

    And whereas my autonomous HPM timer simply turned on at the appointed time, the timer settings I've programmed into the "Rules" on WeMo, require it to call the mother ship (in other words, Belkin's servers). So nothing's happening.

    I really, really wanted to love this thing, but it's making it hard and I'm getting the impression that while the concept is wonderful, operationally it's really not ready for prime time.

    I've got other things to do, so will have to sit down later and have a bash at fixing this. In the interim, I intend to link this to the getsatisfaction.com forum and hopefully get some suggestions on how to (durably!) fix this.

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    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    I'm interested in wemo strictly for ifttt.com use only (not interested in using a smart phone), have you done any testing with ifttt yet?

    EG the ability to tweet or txt to turn on/off. Or "turn on when sunrise", etc.

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    GMG
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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesM View Post
    ...have you done any testing with ifttt yet?
    Hi James,

    No, I've not tested IFTTT yet and probably won't for a while as I don't really have immediate need for it. Just trying to get the basics sorted, at this stage.

    I did a reset of my router and then re-did the set up and now have the iOS functionality working again. I'm now crossing my fingers and hoping...

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    GMG
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    Just a quick update: Since my last post, it's been working without problem - remotely, as well as within WiFi range. Another thing I appreciate about it is that the physical override on/off switch (used to activate the switch outside of of using "rules") is much more convenient and clear than the old HPM timer (which required users to toggle through a very small display using the "mode" switch).
    Following initial frustrations it's looking good.

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    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    nice one. I've heard about these issues you've been having around the place. It's clearly not as user friendly or 'easy' to set up as it should be.

    I looked yesterday at the shops for one. I figured I could use it to turn my outdoor xmas lights on and off until the season is over, then maybe put it on the Giotto.

    Idea was to use ifttt.com to turn the lights on at sunset and off at sunrise through the weather triggers they have.. pretty awesome

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    GMG
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    A month in, I thought I'd update on how things are going with my WeMo.

    This is something I've really, really wanted to work -- particularly as it fuses my love of tech with my love of coffee. Unfortunately, in its current state, WeMo feels more like a tinkerer's project than a polished, ready-for-prime-time product. The setup problem is one issue. Another is overall stability. In the past few days alone, I've had to do numerous resets and setups. It's maddening.

    I'll persist with it, but hopefully Belkin will be able to fix this, particularly as the promise of the device is great.

    Apologies to James, as I've not had the ability to check out IFTTT functionality!

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    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Ahh well, maybe an update will sort those issues out. I'm still tempted to grab one...

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    GMG
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    I thought I should post another update. The WeMo has now been working rock solidly for a sustained period.

    A few months ago, there was a firmware update and I experimented with moving the WeMo device away from the coffee machine and one or both of the changes seems to have changed things for the better!

    I suspect that the instability arose from having the WeMo placed too near the coffee machine itself. Initially I dismissed doing this as the cause, as the router is well within what would normally be considered acceptable range. All my other WiFi devices worked from that range or even 2-4 times further from the router -- but I suspect that as my Evo 2, like most machines is composed of big chunks of metal, it was interfering with the WeMo switch plugged in right next to it. I played out the plug from the Giotto as far as it would go and plugged it into the WeMo and its worked without incidence since - both when connecting within the area of the WiFi network and when using it from afar. All good. Given this, I highly recommend it!

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    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Great! Just bought today. Thanks for the tips!

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    Senior Member timmyc's Avatar
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    Mines been working very well for a couple of months now!! It's a great bit of kit

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    Senior Member brokenvase's Avatar
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    Can you make a rule... Like "standby"? Was thinking of situations where I forget to off the machine. Like off it after X hours from on? Even better (not an electrician) but if can detect usage and off it after "low" usage after X hrs.

    Miss this feature on my BDB...

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    GMG
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    Open the WeMo app and go to Rules-->"+" (to add a rule)--> Turn off (or on) only.
    You can then create times to shut it down, if you forget.

    I've got a "turn off at 7pm" and "turn off at 11pm" rule that runs daily. If it's already off, then nothing happens, but if I've forgotten and left it on, then it shuts it down. And that means if we've got friends over and they want a coffee after 11, I can say, "hmmm. The machine's just gone to sleep" (as in "Hint: the evening is winding down - can I get your coat?" (We've got young children, so we don't stay up like we used to!)

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    Coffee+carbon=heaven Mono's Avatar
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    WeMo is now Android compliant. I use mine with my IPhone and love it. Ditched my old timer which did work fine but this is better. Full marks............

    Steve.

    Android Phones Will Turn Lights Off - Smarthouse
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    I have had this unit for a few weeks now, working really well. No issues so far.
    great device

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    Senior Member Lukemc's Avatar
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    I replaced an older timer switch with a wemo last week. Running ios7 and loving it. Apart from the on off rules, the ability to switch on and off remotely is awesome

    Last night out at a local restaurant for dinner. Sir would you like a coffee..... No thanks ill just turn on my machine remotely so I can grab one when I get home (played out in my head - I just said no thanks)

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    I got one from officeworks works a treat on my iphone ... setup correctly first go ..... a real treat to use so cool waking up and having the machine ready to go. Unfortunately my galaxy s2 does not seem to work via 3g, which is strange I think there is an android beta app.

    Anybody have a problem with the wemo android app? The android app does seem to look like an after thought compared to the iphone app.

    Finally any problems powering the machine from the plug instead of the actual machine switch?

    Also what amount of power does the wemo consume when not in use?

    Pete

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    can some one please provide a updated feedback on BELKIN WEMO SWITCH, i am about to buy one for my machine .Thanks

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    Hey akabubbles,

    What would you like to know ?

    I set mine to come on first thing in the morning (6am), I will usually turn it off manually but just in case I forget I set it to turn off again at 8am. Being able to remotely operate the switch is the reason I bought the WEMO, I finish work at different hours every day so being able to turn it on on my way home means no waiting for my afternoon coffee. It has never failed to operate in the 6mths I have had it.

    There was a slight glitch with the app for a while with regards to turning off the timer function but that seems to have been fixed with the latest update.

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    thanks for the feed back, i think i will invest in one, dose it work on android phones

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    Sure does.

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    Coffee Nut fg1972's Avatar
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    I've had mine for approx 1 year.
    Whilst some were complaining about issues and bugs, mine worked just fine out of the box.
    After daylight savings last year, mine went crazy, timer function not always working but manual remote on/off still ok.
    I wasted many hours trying to sort it out, firmware software upgrades.
    For a few weeks I just reverted back to an old timer as it was very stressful when I woke up and coffee machine was not on.
    Finally they released an updated version which I upgraded to and thankfully it has been very reliable since then.

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    I found that by deleting my 'rules' (weekend and weekday) and re-entering them, that it overcame the daylight savings issue.

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    A bit of an old thread but I thought I'd share a little tidbit with future readers. I bought a WeMo a couple of weeks ago specifically to be able to control my coffee machine. I found an iOS app called 'WeMo Coffee', believe it or not, that is primarily an alarm clock app with the ability to turn on your coffee machine 10 minutes before the alarm goes off. For a $1.29, I thought it was worth it for the novelty alone. Works ok so far. I don't always get up at the same time, so the ability to just change my alarm and have the process of turning my coffee machine tied to my alarm works well for me. So far, I'm digging the WeMo!

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    enjoy black coffee JamesM's Avatar
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    Well I finally bought a wemo switch and I'm using it with IFTTT.com without any problems.

    Using ifttt.com I have the switch set to turn on at 6AM mon-fri, and another rule to turn it on a bit later for the weekends. I also have a rule that will log the turn on and turn off of the switch to a google drive spreadsheet every time. In theory, I can plot/graph my espresso machine's usage and "on time". Maybe I'll find a use for the data one day.

    There are a pile of ways you can use ifttt.com + wemo for coffee. Here's a few I can think of:

    IF 'wemo switched on' THEN sms office "COFFEE TIME"

    IF 'fitbit sleep logged less than 5hrs' THEN switch on wemo (coffee machine)

    IF 'wemo switched on' THEN tweet "COFFEE TIME"

    IF 'my current location is xx meters from xx location' THEN switch on wemo (coffee machine)
    (eg, if I come within 100m of home, turn the machine on, or use it in reverse, if I leave home, make sure the machines turns off)

    IF 'SMS "turn on" sent THEN switch on wemo (coffee machine)

    so many uses, too many variables, lots of fun
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    I've had one of these for over a year now. The Missus has an iPhone and I have an Android phone - works perfectly on both.

    On/Off timer is great. Also great for those uncomfortable moments when somebody offers you International Rust after a meal - much easier to politely decline knowing that you can flick a switch on your phone and be coffee ready when you get home.

    One small con - it's a bit big and clunky looking perched between my stylish ECM Electronika Profi and Compak K3 grinder. A small price to pay for an excellent convenience. I suspect that if they're not already smaller, they will be in the very near future.
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    These sound great - BUT - there are some terrible reviews on the apple store, many of them recent Customer Reviews: Belkin WeMo Switch - Apple Store (Australia)
    I am also somewhat put off by the bulk, it looks like they would block the second outlet on an australian double socket. Would have to replace the socket with a wider one if I wanted to plug in WeMo and grinder

    A question, if you have a WeMo switch set up to switch your machine on and off at particular times, can a user easily override this at the socket if they wanted to use the machine during the 'off' period without unplugging the Wemo? And if they did unplug the WeMo would it need to be set up again? (I just know this scenario would play out in my house...)

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    There's a button on the Wemo to toggle on and off. The size is a issue in a double socket setup. Still, I love mine. Warm machine by the time I get out of bed.

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    I have one and it's been great. No problem toggling manually.

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    I've been running Wemo's for a couple of years now, one on the Coffee Machine and one does the garden lights.

    Never had a problem. Being able to switch on your Coffee machine when you're out of the house is really nice - it's ready to brew when you walk in the front door.

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    No need to reset WeMo if unplugged, just need to plug it back in

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    Great quick replies, thanks everyone!

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    Caffeinated kopigeek's Avatar
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    I use an Arlec wifi power switch. Has timer function and remote turn on/off through my iPhone when out of the house. Much smaller than the Belkin. That's the only reason I bought it plus it was under $40 at Bunnings.

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    axs
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    There's another one: "Orvibo S20 SmartSocket Wi-Fi". Just order one from DX - $29

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    Belkin WeMo Switch - So far...

    Quote Originally Posted by axs View Post
    There's another one: "Orvibo S20 SmartSocket Wi-Fi". Just order one from DX - $29
    Yep. That's also the same as the arlec version just different label.ImageUploadedByTapatalk1426535088.537916.jpg

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    Belkin WeMo Switch - So far...

    As a shift worker I love the WeMo. I get my roster at the beginning of the month, load it into my calendar, then for the early starts I make an event titled "coffee" a couple of hours beforehand. Using IFTTT the WeMo fires up the machine in time with no further intervention. Thisin addition the the normal turn in at 7am rule I have for every other day.

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    axs
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    Yes, looks exactly the same but can't find Arlec in AU, only in Bunnings NZ.

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    axs
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    Quote Originally Posted by kopigeek View Post
    I use an Arlec wifi power switch. Has timer function and remote turn on/off through my iPhone when out of the house. Much smaller than the Belkin. That's the only reason I bought it plus it was under $40 at Bunnings.
    Yes, itís really nice to get machine ready when you wake up or get back home.
    But I think itís even more important to switch it OFF when youíre done.
    And Iím always forgetting to do it. Thatís why Iím using countdown timer.
    I found really good one in Masters. Just one button and number of pre-set periods from 1,5 to 6 hours.
    Itís small enough not to block next socket and itís only $10.



    I hope that SmartSocket Wi-Fi apps also has countdown option.

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    Caffeinated kopigeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by axs View Post
    Yes, looks exactly the same but can't find Arlec in AU, only in Bunnings NZ.
    I couldn't find it on their website but in store they are located where all the power adapters and extension cords are. I found it by accident waking through one of their stores last year.

  40. #40
    axs
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    May be they all gone by now doesn’t matter, I hope it’ll arrive from DX in a week or two. And it’s a bit cheaper too.

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    I just bought the Arlec one from Bunnings and it works well but the instructions from the manual in the box were wrong. Once I followed the instructions on an updated manual it installed perfectly. My only concern is reading this thread on Home Barista. Anyone like to comment on that? Is this just from a worry wart? An American voltage thing?

    Espresso machines on timers... - Home-Barista.com

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    Caffeinated kopigeek's Avatar
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    I also have surge protection in my house. Regarding my HX machine my habit is to prime the boiler before switching off the unit from the timer and I always refill my reservoir after each session (in case the wife decides to play with the machine$

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    I know you can have multiple arlec devices in the one house but what about devices in two houses using the same app on my phone. Will it just appear as two separate sockets or does the one app only work with one router configuration. I'm not keen to buy another one unless they both work with my phone. One solution, I just thought of would be to buy a wemo using a different app but I do like the arlecs and they are a little bit cheaper.
    Last edited by barri; 20th March 2015 at 03:50 PM.

  44. #44
    Caffeinated kopigeek's Avatar
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    Belkin WeMo Switch - So far...

    Not sure about the two routers on one app but I do know that there is other software that works with the arlec device. So essentially you can have two apps (different names) running two different routers with arlec timers. See my screenshot. The app is called WiWo. Basically the same app as the arlec app but different name.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1426827672.182743.jpg

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    Thanks for that kopigeek

    I'll try WiWo with my current arlec and if that works then problem solved.

    Edit.... Yep that worked. So Arlink for one house and WiWo for the other.
    Last edited by barri; 20th March 2015 at 05:10 PM.

  46. #46
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    Just bought the Wemo and boy it's a neat little device! Can't believe I didn't get one earlier.

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    Bought a Wemo earlier this week ... now my Hx is all warm and toasty ready to go when I get up in the morning Didn't have any problems setting it up (via Android). Had to put it on a double adapter to get it away from the wall far enough to allow me to use the 2nd socket in the double wall plate.

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    Also bought one for my new Domobar. Looks a bit janky as I am in Indonesia (round eu plugs) but my machine be and grinder are au plugs. So I have converter> wemo > double adapter > machine and grinder. Turning in by schedule is the biggest plus, but also turning on remotely, off on a schedule and off when I leave home (thanks to iftt) is also great.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by barri View Post
    Thanks for that kopigeek

    I'll try WiWo with my current arlec and if that works then problem solved.

    Edit.... Yep that worked. So Arlink for one house and WiWo for the other.

    Got that setup in each house and it works perfectly. Labelled the sockets "home" and "holiday house". Its great that two separate apps controls either device. Thanks for the tip kopigeek. I highly recommend the arlec as its smaller than the wemo and about $20 cheaper. As far as I know they're only available at Bunning stores.

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    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Found out that there is an updated version, the wemo insight. A bit slimmer and also monitors power usage.

    Belkin WeMo Insight Switch review - CNET

    Its been available in US for about 18 months, supposedly is due here in a month or two. No idea why it would take them so long to get it here



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