Ecobee 3 Plugin --> How long does a PIN last?

Glad you looked it up and got it working again!

Lately it seems as if I keep having to renew the Ecobee “my apps” PIN more and more frequently, and that sometimes when I do, it doesn’t “take” and I have to repeat the process.

Please tell me if I’m “doing it wrong”:

1a. I attempt external control thru, say, Alexa: “Alexa, set the thermostat to 68.”
1b. Alexa responds: “The thermostat is set to 68.”
2. Thermostat temperature does not change, nor does > Devices status update.
3. I log into my Vera Plus > Devices, and see “Get PIN” button next to ecobee app.
4. I click “Get PIN” to receive a new 4-character code.
5. I log into > Profile > “My Apps” and remove “Vera Home Controllers”.
6. On same page, I click “Add Application” and enter the code provided in Step 4.
7. New application is confirmed and shown on “My Apps” page.

I then repeat these steps if I have time to test things further. NOTE: At all times, changes made manually on the ecobee > Devices page ARE reflected on the thermostat, and vice versa. But my only way of knowing when the “Get PIN” process (above) has succeeded is when any changes I make on thru Vera or via Alexa show up on the thermostat and ecobee page as well.

Today, that “Success” moment took three attempts for some reason. And the last “Success” I had was only a week ago.

Has it been like this for other users of this plug-in?

THANKS! - Libra

Pretty much. There’s a variable in the Ecobee plugin called Status that is 1 when the current PIN is valid, and 0 when it is not, or when something else (usually temporary) is preventing the connection. I use PLEG to notify me when Status has been 0 for 60 minutes so I can be more proactive in resetting the PIN.

For me the plugin has now been up and running for over 3 months without any PIN renewal… Lately the ecobee server has been up and down a lot as I have posted on the plugin thread. The issues have nothing to do with the plugin and does not require a new pin. Every time I have had to renew the pin it takes the first time. I have setup a variable watch on the Status variable to notify me when the server gets disconnected and this happens very often, at least a few times a day and varies from a few minutes to hours. When this occurs, the ecobee website is either slow or dead and the plugin error shows a timeout but again recovery does not require a new pin. When the server comes back, it just gets reconnected.
What is the difference with your setup? I run it on openLuup and my openLuup uptime (excluding when I reconfigure it and manually reload luup on it) is counted in months. If you run the plugin on the vera, expect the security token to get lost if the vera reloaded luup while the token was being renewed as the vera will lose that data set. The vera only saves its variables once every 6 minutes to the flash drive. If it crashes and the token was renewed before the new token got saved, the luup engine will reload with the previous token which is expired. I have moved my vera to an emulator as well and though I had made the vera hardware more reliable by disabling all of its cloud service calls (see my thread in the general section) improving reliability from 90% to 99% (subjective), I am also confident now that I can make the vera 99.9% reliable by running the vera on non vera hardware. (Yes! I am testing the luup engine through an emulator on a quad core celeron with USB zwave and zigbee sticks)
What you are observing is not a problem with the plugin per say. It is a combination of poor ecobee server performance and uptime and very poor vera stability. Note that after a new pin is added, it takes some time before the plugin polls the server again.

Thanks once again for your prompt and thorough response. I patiently waited to test everything once again, and am pleased to report that the ecobee <–> Vera connection is working again (yet, although my Alexa can report the thermostat’s indoor temp and heat/cool setting, it still doesn’t interoperate with ecobee or Vera when I ask her to change target temp).

I’m left with no doubts about the source of the issue(s), which as usual point a big fat finger directly at Vera. My setup, FYI, is a Vera Plus running stock UI7 (latest), with maybe 7 plug-ins installed.

I try very hard NOT to migrate to other platforms or emulators for running Vera, so that I can remain a guinea pig (for my fellow users) as well as profit maximally from Support (not that they ever respond) when needed. Support in the past was so unhelpful and unresponsive that I long ago stopped even trying to ask them questions. Same goes for the Facebook page of “Vera Control”.

This is why I thank you doubly for taking the time not only to create an awesome plug-in, but to shed light when needed here on the Forum. I WISH I HAD THE PROGRAMMING CHOPS to write my own plug-in(s), but that dream has dimmed over the years, too, as I watched numerous devs decide they’d had enough frustration with the Vera ecosystem. Can’t say I blame anyone for that, nor for going OpenLuuup, Raspberry Pi, Z-Stick, HomeSeer, etc.

Heck, I’ll just be amazed if the IFTTT feature ever makes it out of beta (or is even under active development)!

Thanks again - Libra

I do want to mention that the original plugin author was Watou and he was kind enough to let me move it to UI7 and openLuup.
Also because of all the pain coming from the cloud which I am deeming unacceptable I have decided to move everything I can to local.
It means: No more ecobee, I will replace it with a Zwave Thermostat and either modify a plugin or work with Rigpapa to create a new one to make use of vents and various temperature sensors I already have throughout the house. No more Skybell, also found a local solution for doorbells even though they have gotten more reliable. In my mind Home automation must be cloud independent. It can be cloud enhanced but must be able to execute everything it can without a cloud server. The epiphany for me was realizing, why do I need a server in the cloud to average the various temperatures in my house? Why do I need the vera to go to the cloud to change my thermostat mode? It is all adding unnecessary complications and reliability issues. Keep it short and simple… IFTTT is an aberration to me…

Interesting viewpoints for sure. While I wish I could join you on the local-server bandwagon, I should point out that since my setups involve multiple households/locations, I’m okay with the cloud trade-off, since it enables interactivity that I otherwise would have to cobble together or perform manually.

Secondly, here in the New Orleans market, it’s much (much!) more likely for a home to lose power than it would be to lose Internet by itself. The ability to keep on doing 80%+ of my automation workflow even during an electrical outage is invaluable to me.

  • Libra

P.S. Yes, yes, hat’s off to WATOU, whom I had failed to mention before!

It isn’t so much the internet connection as it is the entire cloud idea which is a problem. Internet connection is not the issue. Actually losing power means losing most of my devices too so there is no recourse from the internet from that. The main problem is reliance on cloud servers, privately owned, with limited lifetime, security and reliability. We are experiencing an example with Ecobee. Their servers are being overwhelmed and are often down. Plantlink which I heavily relied upon decided a few months ago to terminate their cloud service (which is all of their service) after an acquisition. Which one is next? Anything relying on cloud is exposed to the condition and decisions of a third party we may or may not be customers of. I am not asking to operate internet free. I rely heavily on it for things which make sense (weather ohh WU also stopped their API huh?, Geofence etc) but home automation must not be confused with IoT. They can be complementary but not equal.