Can consistant device ping cause issues?

Hi there!

I’ve been a smarthings user for about a year now and I’m pretty happy with what I’ve done with my smart apartment overall.

But there’s actually one thing that’s been bothering me the last few months. I havn’t been able to find a way to make smarthings know that my apple tv is on ( or any other devices actually) and make it start my apple tv activity accordingly. ( Through Logitech harmony hub)

I got myself a fibaro wall plug about 3 months ago thinking that it could detect power fluctuations and then start my Harmony activity accordingly. Unfortunately, smarthings doesn’t seem to ping the plug often enough and there’s no point to it if I actually have to wait several minutes at best before anything happens.

I joined SharpTools a couple of weeks ago, and it’s been so awesome overall that I decided to upgrade to premium.
There’s one thing that I discovered, trying to create some rules. You can actually ping your device, add a delay of 1 or 3 seconds, then ping your device again, and again.

So my question is actually pretty simple. Could creating such a rule and ping my plug every single second, all day long cause any issue like slowing down my smart home, or maybe for you guys server side? Or any other one I’m not thinking about?

I’m actually always trying to make things smoother, and not having to ask Alexa to start my Harmony activity or press a specific button would be a huge step up!

Thank you.

You would probably run into rate limits. That and it seems really inefficient.

Doesn’t the Harmony activity in SmartThings know the state? Or are you saying you manually power on the Apple TV or something instead of using the activity?

Yes I want to turn on manually the apple tv with it’s remote in order to trigger the Harmony activity. I could also do the same with a game console just by turning it on with it’s gamepad. Otherwise I’d have to press a dedicated button or ask Alexa to trigger it. That’s what I’m doing now but that’s not optimal.

A couple of ideas come to mind

  • What TV or AV Receiver is the Apple TV connected to? If the TV or AVR has a SmartThings integration, maybe you could use that device turning on and switching to a specific input as a trigger.

  • Power Metering plugs don’t usually ‘poll’ as their primary reporting, but they do often have a threshold for when they report changes. So the ATV may consume so little power that it doesn’t trigger the threshold and it’s using the fall back polling. I would look at if you can adjust the threshold on the Fibaro.

    Looks like parameters 11, 12, and 14 from the manual might be critical here.

  • Does HomeKit have some way of using the ATV turning on as a Trigger? If so, you might be able to use one of their automations to either directly trigger Harmony or to trigger a virtual switch which you could then use in SmartThings?

My apple tv is connected to an LG sk10y soundbar, which redirects the video signal to a Sony X85c. The Tv is from 2015 and the sound bar from 2018.

I agree with you and I thought about that earlier, the apple tv may actually consume too little power… 5 watts at most when it’s on and sending video signal. ( I actually noticed that it doesn’t send video signal to the tv when the tv is off, which makes the ATV consume no more than 2 watts. Which is about the same than when in sleep mode. I may try to put the wall plug on my computer, just to check it can detect power fluctuations and trigger some automations from it.

Since I got my old ipad 4 from my mum ( which made me want to try SharpTools actually) I decided to give homekit a try about a week ago in order to add the ATV on it and then make it communicate with smarthings somehow. Unfortunately I’m stuck at step one since my ipad 4 doesn’t want to pair with the apple tv. ( Pairing the ATV with an iPad or iphone seems to be an essential step to go any further with homekit) . This could actually a good way to make things work if the wall plug solution doesn’t work.