Setup experience (Select Blinds, Google Home)

Apologies if there’s a better place to report setup experience/suggestions.

I recently got several Select Blinds shades with a Bond Bridge and one 16 channel remote. Adding so many shades to the app was a bit rough. There were several problems:

The list of devices is really long and is front loaded with a bunch of devices with inscrutable numbers (like “255688”). For every shade, I had to scroll down to Show All, then scroll down again to Other. It would be helpful to have a Select Blinds option or at least sort all recently used options (including Other) at the top.

“Other” may not even have been the best choice, each shade broadcasted a WiFi AP that presumably could have been used for setup. I couldn’t figure out how to do that and went the remote route.

Despite the existence of a “setup another device like this” option, it didn’t remember the remote that it found in the database. For each shade, I had to tell it what button I was going to press, press it, and then hope it found it. Searching the remote database was flaky. It’d either find one or two results. The remote that works (FCC ID: YC5AC114-01, YC5-AC135, AC135-01, AC123) was the one it would only sometimes find. When that happened, it wasn’t intuitive how to retrigger a database search. I finally found the checkbox that allows this, but it isn’t accessible from some of the setup screens (and the app’s back button and the phone’s back button wasn’t respected by some screens; so you’d have to go forward to go back).

For these types of shades, it’d be much more intuitive for me to add the 16 channel remote to the Bond app once (perhaps pushing the open button once per channel if that’s required) and then have that saved and available in the Bond UI. From there I could create and associate shades to particular channels on the remote.

The device sub-type of Roller Shade isn’t persisted even when explicitly selected during setup. When I go back to the device and look at the Advanced Settings menu, sub-type is blank. If I selected Roller Shade from that menu post-setup, it remembers it.

When enabling the Google Home integration, the URL it goes to for sign-in is “bond-api-test.auth”. Having test in the name doesn’t inspire confidence.

When each shade is added in Google Home, the capitalization isn’t preserved. Both Bond and Google Home respect whatever capitalization is used, so you shouldn’t change it. In my case, it was changing something like “Bob’s Shade” to “Bob’S Shade”. Just leave it alone (or fix possessives and auto-capitalization).

The Bridge sometimes stops receiving Google Home open/close commands and needs a reboot. I posted separately about that.

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Welcome to the forums, @colithium !

This is a nice detailed write-up. I’m sure some Bond team folks will find this feedback useful when they are next able to come through the forums.
(A lot of this sounds like aspects which @endy would find interesting, but there could be others on the Bond team for other bits of it.)

Wow, incredible first (two) post(s). Thanks for all the feedback @colithium, I’ve shared with the appropriate folks here and created a few internal tickets.


You should have gotten an email from SelectBlinds with the “connect codes” for each product you purchased. That’s what these numbers are.

:eyes:

Seems you have a smart motor on your hands. The Bridge is using RF which is independent of any WiFi capability the motor may have.

Good point. Shared with our UX team. — I can see why you would want it to remember the remote from the list, but note that technically we still need to record your remote again to get the address and channel data from the signal.

If you use the connect code, we set up the shade in a different way (using a pairing button), and “setup another device like this” does remember the technology.

This was an oversight in the initial setup of the Google Home “skill” (or “Action” as Google calls it). There’s nothing testish about it, it’s just an unfortunate DNS name that now cannot be altered.

Huh. This sounds like you’re talking about the name that appears what comes up in the Google Home app during discovery and you have a chance to alter it? What OS is your phone?

NVM, this is on us. We are applying the Python title case function which has exactly this limitation, and yes we should be just leaving the capitalization alone. I think you are the first to report after a cannot say how many devices have been added to GH in last 6 years!

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Thanks for the prompt and detailed reply. Our shades were purchased by a builder, so it’s entirely possible that the email with the connect codes was was lost. I had him forward an email he did get that specified each shade, the room name he specified when ordering, the color, etc. There wasn’t a connection code and I also can’t find one after following the link back to the product page.

I get the feeling that it’s common for the “same” shade to get whatever motor/remote they happen to have during that production run. The industry seems far from standardized (Bond does a great job at abstracting over all of this).

There might be other Bond users in my shoes (a builder did the purchase or because Select Blinds changed their process). It might be worth viewing the app with fresh eyes with this use case in mind. A novice to the ecosystem with no expectations or documentation besides what came in the box for the remote.

“Other” was the only option that seemed like a path forward (and it did work). During one of the times the remote lookup failed to find the remote I was using, I did make my way to the pairing interface. I didn’t proceed with that because I wasn’t sure if pairing it through the app would unpair the physical remote (which I wanted to be able to use as backup).

Glad to hear the URL is the prod environment (I was hoping it was something like that).

Thanks for the report. Fixed in forthcoming apps version v2.51.0.