Chapter 2. Getting Started

Getting started with SwitchThat One is very straightforward:

  1. First unpack your SwitchThat One Hub, or assemble it if you purchased SwitchThat One as a download or pre-installed Micro SD card.

  2. Plug your SwitchThat One Hub into your broadband router.

  3. Connect using either the mobile/tablet app or web browser.

  4. Sign in.

  5. Take control of your smart home!

These steps are covered in detail over the next few sections. If you already have your One Hub setup and the SwitchThat app installed on your phone or tablet, then you can skip straight to Chapter 3, Home Screen.

2.1. Assembling your One Hub

Note

If you purchased a pre-installed One Hub, you can skip this section and go to Section 2.2, “Setting up your One Hub” .

If you purchased SwitchThat One as a download or a pre-installed Micro SD card, you’ll need to install it on a Raspberry Pi 2 to get started.

The downloadable SwitchThat One image is the cheapest way to buy SwitchThat One and is only recommended for people with a technical background. If you have bought SwitchThat One as a downloadable image you’ll need to write it to a Micro SD card (minimum 4GB or larger). We recommend the Class 6 card or higher for the best performance.

We’ll assume that you are familiar with how to write the SwitchThat One image to your Micro SD card. If you need some help, you can refer to this Raspberry guide.

Once you have your Micro SD card ready, insert it into your Pi 2. You’re now ready to proceed!

2.2. Setting up your One Hub

Plug your One Hub directly into your broadband router with the Ethernet cable provided, and then connect the power supply. The red power LED should stay on and the green one will flash as it starts up. Allow 30 seconds or so for your One Hub to be fully functional.

A pre-installed One Hub

A pre-installed One Hub


2.3. Connecting to your One Hub

You can connect to your One Hub in a number of ways:

  1. iPhone or iPad (running at least iOS 7.1) – Covered in Section 2.5, “iPhone/iPad app”

  2. Android phone or tablet (running at least Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich) – Covered in Section 2.6, “Android app”

  3. PC/Laptop with a modern standards-compliant web browser – Covered in Section 2.3.1, “Connecting to your One Hub using a web browser”

If you have an iPhone/iPad or an Android phone/tablet, we recommend using the SwitchThat app (available from the Apple App Store / Google Play Store) to locate your Hub.

When you first start the SwitchThat app you’ll be taken to the Hubs screen, and the app will begin searching for your One Hub.

Note

Your iPhone/iPad or Android phone/tablet must be connected to you local broadband network via wifi to find your One Hub.

When your One Hub appears in the Hubs screen, tap it and you will be asked to sign in. When you sign in for the first time you must use the name ‘owner’ with password ‘owner’. You can change the name or password of this user and add other users if you like — see Section 8.3, “Users” for full details.

Connecting to your One Hub using the SwitchThat iPhone/iPad app

Connecting to your One Hub using the SwitchThat iPhone/iPad app


If you purchased SwitchThat One as a download or pre-installed Micro SD card, you’ll be presented with a registration screen and you must register before you can continue.

The first time you sign in you’ll see a welcome screen:

The Welcome screen

The Welcome screen


Tap Continue to proceed to the Home Screen. See Chapter 3, Home Screen to start learning how to use SwitchThat One.

There’s more information about installing and using the SwitchThat mobile apps in Section 2.5, “iPhone/iPad app” and Section 2.6, “Android app”.

2.3.1. Connecting to your One Hub using a web browser

If you don’t have an iPhone/iPad or an Android phone/tablet, you can connect to your One Hub using a web browser on a PC or laptop. You should use a modern, web standards compliant browser; we recommend Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari.

To get started, you’ll need to type the address of your One Hub into the address bar of your web browser. Depending on your router configuration, one of the following addresses might work:

  • one-hub.local

  • one-hub.lan

  • one-hub.home

If none of these work however, then you’ll need to find out the IP address of your One Hub and type this into the address bar of your web browser.

Note

You can use the SwitchThat app on your phone/tablet to find the IP address of your One Hub – it’s shown on the Hubs screen. If you don’t have access to the SwitchThat app you should be able to use your broadband router’s admin pages to find out your One Hub’s IP address. Consult your router documentation for instructions on how to check the devices connected to your router.

Once your web browser has connected to your One Hub, you’ll be taken to the SwitchThat One user interface. Just like with the SwitchThat app, the first thing you’ll need to do is sign in.

When you sign in for the first time use the name ‘owner’ with password ‘owner’. You can change the name or password of this user and add other users if you like — see Section 8.3, “Users” for full details.

After signing in, you’ll be taken to the Home Screen. See Chapter 3, Home Screen to start learning how to use SwitchThat One.

2.4. Discovering and connecting your smart devices

SwitchThat One currently works with the following smart home products:

  • Sonos Music Players

  • Philips Hue Lights

  • LIFX Colour Light bulbs

  • Belkin WeMo LED Lighting

  • Belkin WeMo Switch

  • Belkin WeMo Motion Sensor

  • Tado smart thermostat

SwitchThat One will begin looking for your devices immediately and, in most cases, they will be automatically found and configured for use within a few seconds of your One Hub starting up. Some devices might, however, need a bit of extra configuration before they can be used with SwitchThat One. Full details of SwitchThat One’s support for all these devices, including discovery instructions and troubleshooting hints, can be found in Appendix A, Supported Devices.

When a device is discovered, a notification will be sent, which can be read by tapping Notifications in the menu at the top of the screen (see Section 3.4, “Notifications” for more details)

Adding a new device is usually as simple as installing the device according to the manufacturer’s instructions and then waiting for SwitchThat One to discover it. Again some devices need a bit of extra configuration before they can be used with SwitchThat One. Please consult Appendix A, Supported Devices for full details when adding a new device.

2.5. iPhone/iPad app

The SwitchThat app lets you control your One Hub using your iPhone or iPad. Both apps work in the same way, although we recommend the iPad app for the best experience. Download the SwitchThat app for free on the App Store.

2.5.1. Getting Started

After starting the SwitchThat app, you will be taken to the Hubs list. SwitchThat will search your local broadband network for your SwitchThat One Hub. Please note that your iPhone/iPad must be connected to this network via wifi for the app to find your One Hub. When your One Hub appears in the list, tap it and you will be asked to sign in. Enter your name & password to sign in to your One Hub.

Once you've signed in to your One Hub, the SwitchThat app will always try to automatically reconnect you at startup, returning to the last screen you were using.

If you prefer, you can turn this feature off:

  1. On the Hubs list tap the cog icon at the top-left to visit the Settings screen.
  2. Turn off the Restore last session setting.

There are a few cases where you will not be automatically connected to your One Hub at startup:

  • You are no longer signed in. In this case you will be taken back to Hubs list. Tap on your One Hub to sign in again.

  • You are on a different wifi network (or a 3G/4G mobile internet network) and the SwitchThat app cannot see your One Hub. In this case you will be taken back to Hubs list and your One Hub will be shown as 'unavailable'. In order to access your One Hub you must either re-connect to your wifi network, or enable remote access (see the next section).

2.5.2. Remote Access

The SwitchThat One Hub has a remote access feature that allows you to securely connect to your One Hub from outside your local network. See Section 8.2.1, “Setting up Remote Access” for guidance on enabling this feature.

If remote access is enabled, you will be able to connect to your One Hub using the SwitchThat app from anywhere your iPhone/iPad can connect to a wifi or mobile internet network (we recommend at least 3G for the best experience.)

In the Hubs list remote access to a Hub is indicated by a 'globe' icon and the label 'Remote access' in the Hub description.

You must already be signed in to your One Hub to access it remotely. If you are not signed in to your One Hub, and your iPhone/iPad is not on the same broadband network, then it will be listed as 'unavailable'.

Warning

If you sign out of your One Hub while accessing it remotely, you will not be able to sign in again (and your One Hub will show as ‘unavailable’) until you are back on your home wifi network.

Remote access will only be used if local wifi access is unavailable. If SwitchThat can access your One Hub over the local wifi network, then it will automatically choose this in preference to remote access.

When remote access is enabled, the SwitchThat app will do its best to maintain a connection to your One Hub at all times:

  • If you leave your local wifi network and connect to another wifi or 3G/4G mobile internet network, SwitchThat will attempt to reconnect to your One Hub using remote access.

  • If you rejoin your local wifi network, the SwitchThat app will attempt to re-establish a local connection to your One Hub.

2.6. Android app

SwitchThat provides a free app that you can use to access your One Hub using your Android phone or tablet. You can find the SwitchThat One app on the Google Play store.

You can find and install it directly on your mobile, or remotely from the store web page.

2.6.1. Getting Started

Whenever you start the Android SwitchThat app, it will show you a list of all the Hubs you have seen, and show a visual cue as to whether they are currently accessible locally or remotely.

If you have not seen any hubs yet, a ‘Searching’ screen will be shown while it continues to scan your local broadband network for your SwitchThat One Hub. Please note that your phone or tablet must be connected to this network via wifi for the app to find your One Hub.

Searching for your One Hub using the SwitchThat Android app

Searching for your One Hub using the SwitchThat Android app


When your One Hub has appeared in the list, tap it and you will be asked to sign in by entering your name & password, which will initially be ‘owner’ with password ‘owner’.. You will subsequently be able to connect without re-entering your details.

Selecting your Hub and logging in

Selecting your Hub and logging in


You will be returned to the hub list if:

  • You press the Android device Back button

  • You click on Back to Hub list within SwitchThat One

  • You log out

  • The connection to the hub is disrupted, e.g. if you lose network access

If you leave the SwitchThat app and return to it, it will do its best to resume where you left off.

When you are connected to a hub the screen will not turn off, so when you are done either return to the hub list, leave the app, or press the power button[1].

A popup menu will appear if you keep your finger held on a hub. The menu options allow you to

  • Forget the Hub, which is useful for hubs that you no longer have access to
  • Reset the local state of the Hub, which may be useful if you want to start on Home next time you connect

Android Hub popup menu

Android Hub popup menu


2.6.2. Remote Access

The SwitchThat One Hub has a remote access feature that allows you to securely connect to your One Hub from outside your local network. See Section 8.2.1, “Setting up Remote Access” for guidance on enabling this feature.

If remote access is enabled, and you have previously logged in, you will be able to connect to your One Hub using the SwitchThat app from anywhere your iPhone/iPad can connect to a wifi or mobile internet network (we recommend at least 3G for the best experience). Remote and Local access is checked every 15 seconds while the hub list is being shown.

Cues showing whether Remote and/or Local Access are available

Cues showing whether Remote and/or Local Access are available


If you leave home while using local wireless access, the app will show that you have lost the connection to your One Hub and take you back to the Hubs list. You can tap the hub again to reconnect remotely.

Warning

Please do not log out unintentionally while you are away from home as you will then lose Remote Access, and not be able to reconnect until you are back on your home network



[1] In future this will probably become a per-Hub option