[2024 Updates in post #12] Step by Step Tutorial: Making a Dakota Alert DriveWay "Smart" Using SmartThings Dry Contact Sensor

Quick background:

I’m new to SmartThings / home automation, but am a seasoned IT professional with a computer science degree. So to get started, I used this forum to learn about home automation and am very appreciative of the information. However, there is not any step by step guides for exactly what I was looking for, though there were several others wanting to know and only received high level answers. So I figured I will return the favor by doing a step by step tutorial… enjoy!

NOTE - I’m using a Dakota RE-4k Driveway Alarm Receiver, however, it can be done with any driveway alarm (or really ANY device for that matter) that has external dry contact terminals available. Mighty Mule and Dakota Alert are the big two out there for long distance driveway alarms. There are of course ways to make it happen even if there aren’t dry contact terminals, but I will not be covering that. The Dakota Re-4k model also has a 12v relay available which provides another option, but I will not be covering that either.

Products Required:

  • Driveway Alarm which has dry contact output terminals (or whatever device you’re wanting it to trigger from)
  • A dry contact smart sensor which has dry contact input terminals.For a list of dry contact sensors available, visit the community page here:
    FAQ: List of devices with dry contact input from external sources
  • A small amount of thin wire
  • A Z-Wave / Zigbee smart hub

Exact Products I used including prices and links at time of this writing:


  1. Setup your SmartThings hub and create a login to the IDE (online interface / aka website): https://graph.api.smartthings.com/

  2. Ensure your hub is properly showing up in the My Hubs tab of the IDE. Mine did not show up at first and it appears to be a common problem. Go to the My Location tab, click on one of the locations (sometimes it will ask you to log back in), and scroll down to where it says “Hubs” and click the active hub listed next to it. Now log out and back in at the top right of the screen. Your hub should now be appearing in the My Hubs tab.

  3. Take the cover off your Aeotec Door/Window Switch 7 (here-forth known as DWS7) and slide the wires through the cover first and into the right most terminals (terminals 3 and 4). It doesn’t matter which wire goes into which terminal. Leave the cover off.

Google Photos

  1. Insert the wires into a dry contact relay on the driveway alert receiver. One wire (doesn’t matter which) goes into NO (Normally Open) and one wire (again, doesn’t matter which) goes into COM (Common).

Google Photos

  1. In order to get the advanced options for the DWS7 sensor in the SmartThings Connect app, you must setup a Device Handler in the SmartThings IDE. To do so, follow the instructions located here:
    Aeotec Door Window Sensor 7 with SmartThings : Aeotec Help Desk

  2. On the same page as above, it goes into setting up the DWS7 sensor in the SmartThings Connect app. Continue to do so, but note the following:

  • Keep the cover off the switch
  • I did both the Enabled state for the dry contact sensor and I did the Reverse state for the status
  • On the last step of their documentation when they mention the tamper switch, they are referring to the switch circled below:

Google Photos

  1. You can now close the cover of the DWS7 sensor and add the adhesive strip on the bottom and stick it to the driveway alarm if you wish. The finished product should look like this:

Google Photos

Google Photos

  1. To ensure my driveway alarm was working (i.e. is now “smart”), in the SmartThings Connect app I went to the automatons section and setup an IFTTT which states: If the contact sensor is open, send a text message to me.

Google Photos


Good post Dustin!

I did very similar with Guardline drive sensor and a Fibaro door/window sensor, and it’s been working flawlessly since :slight_smile: I posted about how I did it on my blog here : http://pwwtech.blogspot.com/2019/02/integrating-guardline-with-samsung.html?m=1


Thanks @madmarko - Excellent write-up yourself - wish I had came across that when I was looking at doing mine.

Thanks for posting / sharing!

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I forgot to thank you for this - I did it, oh, last November I think. Still working well!

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Oh my gosh!! Thank you so much for posting this! I have been searching and searching for a solution for outdoor sensors to work with Smartthings and I kept running across all these “solutions” that just said attach this to this…I have a college degree and can follow most things…but a little more information from some of the commenters would go a long way to help on here. thank you so much for taking the time to do this to help people in the future! It is soooo appreciated by us non tech nerds!

Hi! Got a chance to review this as well! Thank you as well for a step by step! Couple of questions…will you be able to tell which motion sensor is triggered by the alert? And can you set up more than one sensor for more than to alert for the outside Guardline motion sensors? If i have multiple around the property, can you tell which one is triggered I guess is my question or is there a way to trigger which sensor is going off? Thanks!

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Hi! Unfortunately NOT. I’ve only just ran into this being an issue as I found more guardline sensors on an auction.

The dry contact initiates current on any sensor becoming active.

I personally purchased more guardline receivers too, not ideal !

Hi, I used the instructions above and FINALLY got it working! It took some adjustments to the instructions above. Since it says “Needs updating”, maybe this will help:

One adjustment is that I used an Aeotec Door Window Sensor 7 Pro (ZWA012). The one he mentions above isn’t available any more.
For the ZWA012, there are only three terminals. You need to wire it to the two RIGHTMOST terminals when the terminals are at the bottom of the sensor (take a look at p. 5 of this pdf: https://www.z-neco.com/manuals/Aeotec/ES%20-%20Aeotec%20Door%20Window%20Sensor%207%20Pro%20-%20ZWA012.pdf). Note that you need to screw the wire down pretty hard in these terminals…I had them come out a few times while working on this.
Another change to the instructions above is that you need to use an Edge driver for the Aeotec sensor. (instead of the device handler he refers to above).
First, get your login figured out for your Samsung smartthings hub in their web interface and login on your laptop. You should see your hub and your sensor in the home page.
Then go here to update the driver for sensor: SmartThings Channel and Drivers
Pick the sensor you bought and hit install.
Then go back to the smartthings web interface.
Click the three dots in the upper right and select “Advanced Users”.
On the left, select devices.
Then go to your sensor in the list.
Under driver, you should have a new option “Aeotec door window sensor.” Choose that and update your driver.

Now on your phone, you will be able to configure the sensor (why you can’t do this on the web interface is beyond me…maybe I’m just missing it).
Go to the samsung smartthings application.
Find your sensor. Tap the three dots in the upper right. Choose settings.
Then choose: 1. Operation Mode: dry contact sensor mode; 2. Dry contact mode: NO follow. The rest can remain the same.
Then open your sensor so that it registers as tampered. Then put it back so that it says it is not tampered. This updates the hub with the settings you just made.
Now, if you did everything else Dustin says above, it should work for you.
One thing I figured out: you can test whether your sensor is the problem or not by disconnecting the wires from the dakota and just joining the wires together. If it triggers the sensor, then you have correctly configured your sensor.


Thanks for the updates! :sunglasses:

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I am trying to connect my dakota alert to the SmartThings app. I have read this thread but I cannot find online where to change the type of sensor I have.
I am using the aeotec door/window sensor 7 pro. I have managed to login to my SmartThings hub on my PC. The link that Matthew has above for SmartThings Channel and Drivers is not working so I am not sure what to do. HELP!

I have read your thread but I cannot figure out how to update the driver for the Aeotex door/window sensor 7 pro. Your link is not working.

Weird…when I go to the link it works fine for me.
Try a google search: “smartthings aeotec edge drivers”
Or here is a page just prior to the one I have above that takes me where I need to go: SmartThings Channel and Drivers
Click on “available drivers”
You need to be logged in to your smartthings account first for it to work.

That’s because you posted the “callaway“ link, which is for people who have already subscribed to the channel.

Instead, when you post in the forum you want to post the invitation link, which will have either “invite“ or “bespoke” in the URL.

So, to share the link, go back to wherever you got it the first time you subscribed to the channel.

Aeotec has a helpdesk page which lists their official edge drivers and has the invite link for those.

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