Great news that you’ve now got an Echo to play with. I still haven’t managed to get mine to connect as a BT speaker. I’ve got a M2P box set up with BT, and have managed to get it to pair with my Echo Dot. If check in the Alexa App it shows as paired. It then lets me play music on the audioplayer on the M2P box but no sound comes out of the Dot.
If I connect an Android mobile phone to the Dot and install the App I can use that as an audioplayer and the sound comes out fine.
Regarding the voice control and home automation I’m having much better luck. I’ve been using Domoticz on a RPi3 with RFXCOMM and Z-Wave.
Someone has written habridge which emulates (I believe) Philips Hue enabling Alexa to control Domoticz devices directly. Previously I had a setup using IFTTT and the Maker channel to trigger events but that involved using the internet and all the hassle that went with it.
Now I just have dummy switches, and attached LUA scripts for controlling Squeezebox.
„Alexa, turn on bedroom Radio 2“
now turns on the power to my RPi and my BOSE speakers, and then starts streaming BBC Radio 2 into the bedroom.
Now if I could get my Echo Dot to work properly as an always on BT speaker life would be perfect. I’ll burn a new SD card tonight and have another go. (Is it still called burning now it’s no longer a DVD)?