Understanding "Virtual Switch" and alternatives

#1

Hi,

I’m trying to understand the benefits of the different types of virtual devices. Or perhaps I am on the wrong track.
I hope I can get a handle on their functions without installing them first. I would rather not install and uninstall a bunch of apps, thinking not everything gets uninstalled.

Currently I use Multistring for variables I wish to survive a reboot. Now it seems from the surface that the “Virtual Switch” plugin is nearly the same except it has only one variable and can be easily changed by the dashboard or phone.

I would think the & plugin is similar but triggerd by two logical inputs (or two inputs that can be logically combined).

Am I off base?

#2

I use the Virtual Switch in a couple of ways:

  1. Each iPhone has a virtual switch and when either of us is home, it turns on that phone’s switch, which shows in VeraMate. When either is gone, the switch is off and is not displayed. At a glance, we can see if the other is home on our phone.
  2. I have a Cameras Armed and a No One Home switch that appear in VeraMate only when on. The No One Home switch is redundant but Cameras Armed confirms the LUA code was executed that sent a command to Blue Iris to arm the cameras. When it is off, it confirms Vera disarmed Blue Iris. Kinda redundant if I trust Away Mode armed the cameras but the virtual switch is turned on in PLEG right after the LUA code is executed.
  3. I have 3 exterior lights controlled via PLEG and a Virtual Switch called Exterior Lights. When PLEG turns them on at dusk, or off at dawn, the switch tells me their status on VeraMate. But if press the switch in VeraMate, it will toggle the switch which then PLEG toggles the 3 exterior lights.
  4. I have 2 UPS’s that enable a switch when it loses commercial power. One UPS powers my main PC, which runs Blue Iris and PlayOn, and the other the Network infrastructure. If both UPS’s lose commercial power, a third switch will turn on and send me a notification that I have a power outage at the house. The network and Vera can survive for about 3 hours, but it is good to know I have an outage. When my smart meter gets installed, I will revisit this.
#3

Same here, but I replaced my vswitch with a couple of multiswitch.
I set party mode (relaxed alerts for doors left open, all lights on at night, less automation to keeping the guests ‘safe’), mute, summer/winter mode, automatic roller shutters and thermostat force mode (to bypass home mode) and much more this way.

If you change device type to remote it will render OK even with mobile apps.

#4

I have a similar use for virtual switches for the presence of someone in the vicinity using a geofencing app I wrote - mGeofence on iTunes - which sends a REST GET or POST directly to the server (not cloud based) and turns a virtual switch on or off indicating a presence in that georegion. Works good to get the house up and running before you get there. Maybe this will help.

#5

I use them to keep track of older IR devices that don’t provide feedback status, on/off, inputs, etc…as well as other things such as flags to uses with conditionals via Reactor. If you do have a need I suggest using Switchboard since the switches are controllable in Vera mobile app whereas the others are not. Switchboard also has support for Tri-switches and virtual dimmers. I don’t believe you will find it in Vera Apps, Search the community forum for Switchboard.

#6

It’s in both the Vera App/Plugin Marketplace and the AltAppStore.

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