Ability to disable motion sensing for certain modes?


(Jinren) #1

I’ve got Aeon Multisensors.

They are always sensing, even if I’m Home. The only difference is that they send a notification if I’m Away.

I searched high and low and couldn’t find any SmartApp for this. I need to disable motion-sensing when I’m Home. Meaning, the device is still on standby but it’s not actively sensing.

Can someone help ? This will help save battery life. I’m surprised this hasn’t been requested and nobody is asking for this.


(sidjohn1) #2

This is not possible with SmartThings


(Jinren) #3

Anything is possible. Where there is a will, there is a way.

I know there’s a parameter called MotionEnabled on the sensors. I saw it on some documentation for this specific sensor.

I just need to figure out the rest of the code for the SmartApp.

It should be straightforward enough – the device can still be active, just that sensing is temporarily disabled. Pointless to keep sending motion data when it’s not in Away Mode, right ? Especially in a room where people are active most of the time. I work from home so it’s important that I have this feature.

Would be nice if some kind soul could write this app ?


(Jason) #4

If they are the new aeons, I would suggest hard-wiring them with the recessed mount if it’s that big of an issue…

There probably is a way. I wonder if that is the parameter that vera uses when it arms/disarms motion sensors. But I’m not a coder so I can’t be sure.


(Jinren) #5

I’m trying to avoid hardwiring. I’ve got 9 of these all around the house indoors. Hardwiring is also quicker to disable by any would-be intruders.


(Jason) #6

depends on your use case… Do you mean that the intruder can just cut power? because if thats a worry your hub won’t report either if you lose internet connectivity…


(Jinren) #7

The customer’s preference for avoiding hardwiring should be honored, and they should have the choice. Being able to shut off motion-sensing while the device is still listening for instructions from the hub (as opposed to always sensing even when it’s not needed) should be basic enough that it should be possible.


(Jinren) #8

Take a look here : [ http://aeotec.com/z-wave-sensor/1323-multisensor-guide.html ]. Scroll down to the middle, find “Parameter 4: 1 (Enable PIR Motion Sensor)”. So basically we have a way of enabling/disabling it.

I just need the rest of the code in a SmartApp that enables when I’m Away and disables when I’m Home. Could someone please help ?


(Jason) #9

I’m not trying to disagree with you, only trying to offer an alternative.

Can you confirm which model aeotec motion?

Tagging @Robert_Vandervoort because if it’s the newest gen he would know if it’s possible and if so how difficult it would be to add and he seems to be one of the Aeon Guru’s around here.

Or you could try asking it the device model thread. If it’s the multisensor 6 (gen 5) it’s over here:


(Jinren) #10

Thanks Jason. Mine are the Gen5. I’ve opened a ticket with Aeotec asking them if the Gen5 indeed has this parameter. It isn’t clear which model that parameters page is for. Let’s see what their reply is. Appreciate your help !


(Jinren) #11

Actually, I’m not sure which generation sensors I have. It’s the one that looks like this : [ http://aeotec.com/z-wave-sensor/37-specifications-multisensor.html ]. I can’t seem to find this info.


(Jason) #12

Thats the Multisensor 5, from briefly searching I didn’t see any community created device type handlers. They may have been merged with the official one from ST.

You will have to see what Aeon comes back with for the parameters and find a hacker(beyond my capabilities) that can add the tiles for you. If they get added to the device handler, you could probably control them via rule machines expert features.

Edit: now that I think about it Aeon on both the gen 5 and 6 recommends turning of the pir when using the device outside, Maybe check in the official DTH to see if there are any parameters you can set for it in the IDE.


#13

Several multi sensors allow for disabling motion detection, most typically so the device can be used outside as a temperature or Lux sensor without having constant false alarms on the motion sensing.

The problem is that the disable is done through the configuration step and that isn’t something that SmartThings typically allows to be done on the fly. Instead, it’s usually done at the time of joining to the network so you can’t change it after it’s set without taking the device off the network and rejoining it which requires physical intervention of the person.

I agree posting in the multisensor thread would probably reach the people most likely to know if it can be done for a specific model.

But the configure issue is why it’s not just easy to do. most battery operated zigbee and zwave sensors are sleepy devices which sleep most of the time but wake up periodically to check and see if anything has changed. The problem with configure is reaching them when they’re awake. That’s why it’s often simplest to do it during the join.

I mentioned this specifically because it’s possible it will turn out to be much easier to do with one of the mains-powered Z wave sensors ( which are always awake) rather than the battery powered ones. So that’s just another option to look into. Although if your only reason for wanting to disable motion sensing is to save battery life, I guess there’s not much point in looking at the mains-powered ones.

Let us know what you find out. :sunglasses:

BTW, another approach which is used in some warehouse systems is to put the motion sensors inside a frame with an automatic door flap and lower the flap when you want to turn off the sensor. Those are usually much more complicated and much more expensive sensors, often combined with cameras, but it is an option for some use cases.


(Robert Vandervoort) #14

Hey guys.

This would actually be fairly easy to do. Just create a tile for enable / disable that flips a boolean variable from true to false, then using that true or false condition, parse or do not parse motion events with the handler. There is also config parameter 4 which enables or disables the PIR motion sensor inside the multisensor itself. The downfall with using that to accomplish what you are after is that any battery powered device is “sleepy”, some always, some if the are on battery power and not if they are on wired power like the multisensor 6 (the cube shaped one). What this essentially means is a configuration change require you to wake up the device which means you have to put your hands on it, and yeah, with 9 of them I can’t see anyone doing that. So the tile option to tell the parse to be ignored is the way to go.


(Robert Vandervoort) #15

oh also, if you’re using the smart home security stuff that’s built into smartthings now, you have the option of using or not using motion sensors to trigger events or alarms just like a “real” alarm panel has stay arm and away arm… stay not enabling and away enabling the sensors. But, just like an alarm panel, the motions are still powered and doing their job, the system just ignores them.

What exactly is your use case anyway? Might be able to be addressed with existing functionality…


#16

As I understand it, the OP doesn’t just want to just ignore the sensor reporting an event. That would be easy to do in many different ways with current smartthings functionality.

Instead, the OP wants to save battery life on the motion sensor by actually causing it not to trigger for motion, not just ignore the reports it does send.


(Jinren) #17

Good morning, gents. JDRoberts is correct.

To put it another way… there are really 2 main “states” that motion sensors have :

(1) BEING READY to receive any commands from the hub, and likewise transmit any messages to the hub.

(2) ACTIVELY SENSING and sending motion data to the hub (at its simplest, it’s simply “yes, I’m detecting motion”, in real time).

Right now it appears that both (1) and (2) are happening as far as SmartThings go. Motion-sensing events are being sent all the time and we decide whether or not to do something with it.

Since this product is called SmartThings, it implies that it is smart. Smart implies efficiency among other things. So, there should be no need to be in State # (2) if there’s no need for it, e.g. if the overall mode is Home.

The smart benefits and side-effects of this smart separation is, saving battery life, and also not doing PIR sensing, and not sending motion data, when none of these are needed because everyone is home.

I just got my reply from the sensor manufacturer, will post it in my next message.


(Jinren) #18

Hi gents,

Here is my reply from Aeon Labs. Keep in mind I can’t tell which specific model version (“gen”) I have. I had sent them a diagram showing what mine look like. This is their reply :

So it looks like we can do this. We can just set Parameter 4 to 0 to disable, and it looks like it will accept any non-zero value to enable, although it will make a difference in sensitivity if it’s the Multisensor 6 and the value is <= 5.

I just have no clue how to write the SmartApp for this. Anyone ? Much appreciated !! This SmartApp should be fundamental enough that its code should be built into all SmartApps involving motion sensors, no ?


(Robert Vandervoort) #19

I understand your points however if you send a configuration command to a sleeping device it won’t get it and won’t be configured. You would need to create a state machine that would monitor whether or not the configuration parameter was accepted. Configuration commands do not generate any reply from the device they are sent to. The only way to know is to pull the current configuration parameter and check it against a desired state and if it doesn’t match, resend the command ad nauseum. This is going to mean a bunch of processing which I’m not sure ST will allow inside a device handler. Maybe. Outside of that it also means a lag in command acceptance that could go on as long as the wake up interval is set. Around five minutes in my type by default or much longer from the factory. The reason for the more often wake interval and tighter Windows on sending motion clear was to have a more real time sensor data stream as requested by the users on this forum. It sounds to me like you would be better suited to a pure motion sensor or again, hard wiring them in. I understand when you say SnartThings should be smart, but understand this is more of a Z-wave standards meets random device manufacturers meets random community coders like me kind of issue. I wouldn’t blame SmartThings here or Aeon for that matter. If you choose something that isn’t directly suited to your application it is up to you or someone else to hack it.

That said I think the multi sensor 6 is a better option in that it has a lot wiser degree of configurability I didn’t bother making a multi sensor gen 5 type because there just didn’t seem to be enough extra functionality to make it worth my time to do so.


(Jinren) #20

But Robert, it won’t be sleeping. It will just be PIR-disabled, not the same as sleeping, right ? I’m pretty sure this is the case and I’ve sent another email to Aeon Labs to confirm.

Also, we don’t need to determine the current PIR enabled/disabled state from the device, we only need to send (instruct it) (ONE-WAY). It’s as simple as this :

If Mode changed to “Home” then send PIR disable parameter to sensor
If Mode changed to “Away” then send PIR enable parameter to sensor

Right ?