I'm still not sure what "ongoing maintenance" one should need to be doing for Alexa devices. I mean are you supposed to clean out caches, histories, do re-sets or other typical software "good habits".
I find that Alexa is quite a bit random depending on the platform (Nokia / Fire Tablets / iPad / Dots / Inputs / Sticks) Also bemused why some devices are always "shown" as offline and yet perform and do everything expected ... It's all a bit of a mystery.
I've started clearing out cache and deleting command histories and restarting Dots pretty randomly. No change either way really.
I do factory restores on Fire tablets every 3 or 6 months depending on use. Again, no significant change noted (apart from "whisper mode" seems to randomly enabled or disabled it seems - or it could be me ....)
I'll watch the thread to see is any smart folk have suggestions or guides. Thank you for raising the topic.
(An struggling to link a Toshiba Smart TV to Alexa at the moment. I think I can say Toshiba seems to be winning the 2019 most unhelpful help centre so far! Grrrr!)
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I wonder why someone would follow their own alternative forum profile.
Most of my devices are controlled via Raspberry Pi's running the fauxmo.py python script to emulate Belkin WeMo devices. It's worked exceedingly well for years now, but only recently have I been having problems. Nothing much has changed other than recently I picked up a cheap Philips Hue base and three colour bulbs for £10 at the car boot sale. These work flawlessly, and it's brilliant to be able to tell Alexa to change the colour of the bulb.
I'm going to bite the bullet and have a complete house shutdown and see if that helps. Indeed we did have a power outage some months ago, but this does not really tie in to when Alexa started playing silly buggers.
Ive always found the Echo Show 5 less sensitive to wake word than my previous Echo Dot, particularly if there is background music/TV playing. I supposed this is a different mic config, and that its the processing that takes place on the rest of the voice command that depends on the network/cloud - but then again if the device is feeling sleepy then it might well ignore the wake word.
There has been a recent firmware update - mine was the "older" one as shown on the amazon website but a manual request caused an update - it now says FireOS 184.108.40.206. I suspect there is also per-device configuration data in the cloud which is updated when Amazon feel like. This is because overnight I noticed that the fullscreen clock home page is now no longer the clock - across both firmware versions.
Bit the bullet and did the house shutdown. Phew ...
Logitech 4G LTE Modem
Billion Broadband Modem
1 x Echo
4 x Dots
1 x Sonos Bridge
2 x Sonos ONE
Left the rest of the Sonos family alone, it's not Alexafied!!
Booted up in the same rough order .... and ...
Damn it if I didn't make things worse. Took me an age going round the house rebooting devices until I was almost back to where I started. One casualty was my Raspberry Pi 3 upstairs. I think I might have been a touch cavalier in pulling the power lead, and corrupted some of the Python modules. I took the opportunity to update it, as it hadn't been done for a while, and this completely broke my lircd install so that I've lost control of our electric bed.
I'm going to have to start from scratch and rebuild the bugger with a fresh install. This'll be fun, now is the time you wish you had documented what you did the first time ....
P.S. Alexa still tells me devices are "malfunctioning" when she has already switched them on! Aaaargh!!
I'm afraid we've all got so many gadgets that the "odds" of any one failing is now high enough for something to go wrong pretty regularly, and it can easily absorb hours getting it back working - whether it's wif-fi, powerline, HDMI - each need multiple devices restarted in just the right order..
The only safety is making sure you've multiple ways to control things - like for example Hue bulbs - a Hue remote, a Hue app, via Smartthings, or using Alexa. There are so many links in the chain for Alexa to control something (at least two cloud hops).
its not helped when manufacturers then break things - like the behavior of the Show 5 clock that we're moaning about on multiple forums, and which no amount of reboots etc can fix.
Absolutely, and I have *so* many different Alexified bits and pieces ... mostly home grown ... that I'm not surprised that things can go wrong.
I'm just a little miffed that for a good two years I've had a stable and working service, and only lately these issues are manifesting on most of the devices ... even ones completely supported by Alexa. I guess at some point there have been software "improvements" made ... that aren't necessarily what you might call improvements!
I'm going to rebuild my PI3 , and maybe look at switching off some of the infrastructure lately implemented (Hue and Amazon Echo) to see if I have inadvertently caused the problem.
Good news is my garage doors still work. Boost!! Plus I found out the other day when I *lost* it with Alexa ... she does not mind you sprinkling the "f" word into a command. In fact the bedroom lights seem to work better that way. "Alexa, switch on the *** Bedroom Lights!!"
Took the hump and blew my pi3 away. Reinstalled with the latest Buster and the latest fauxmo 0.4.9. Found out too late that it works in a completely different way and spent the next four hours sorting it out. Now it works, most of the time ... but occasionally I still get Alexa bleating at me "Device has malfunctioned" when it hasn't.
Bit disappointed that all that effort was essentially wasted!!
Maybe not a complete waste of time after all. The instances of "This device appears to be malfunctioning!" are much reduced since the Raspberry Pi rebuild . The problem is definitely down to the fauxmo devices as my other non-Pi devices all respond normally. Will keep looking to see if I can solve the problem.
Seems that other users are either not using Raspberry Pi in this way ... or I'm the only person with the issue. Hmm, Paranoia is creeping in again!!