After a while using my SmartThings Hub


(Travis Roy) #1

After having my SmartThings Hub for a while, I thought I would share my experiences, and what I’ve learned, and what I hope gets better.

I got the hub to replace my old xfinity home setup that I was using previously. I know the hub isn’t meant to be a security solution, but I didn’t need anything fancy, just something to alert me. Seeing as the hub supported zigbee, and the left over devices from my previous setup were zigbee, I thought I was pretty much all set.

Well… I wasn’t… The SMC zigbee door/window sensors and motion sensor don’t work with the smartthings hub. One guy on here said that they got them to pair, but nothing else, I’ve never even got them to do that.

I ended up getting a jasco zwave switch that works… well… close to most of the time… Most of it seems to be issues with the app syncing to what’s going on, sometimes I have to close out of the app, or refresh the screen to tell me that it’s actually on, and not “turning on”.

But the real problem is the presence sensing… This has been an ongoing battle for a while now, with no end in sight. People keep saying it could be this, or that, or whatever. From my understanding of what I’ve been told, the actual physical hub has nothing to do with presence when you’re using your phone as a presence sensor…

It has never, ever been reliable… As a result, I can’t use it to trigger anything. I can be 100 miles away and it thinks I’m home, I could be laying in bed and it says I’m away… It makes no sense… I know it’s not the phone or the location setting, because Life360 has never given me this problem, ever. It’s always accurate as to where I am, and what I’m doing… When I’m home, and when I’m away.

But besides that, the presence sensing for trigger rules isn’t very useful if you don’t have rules for “everybody away” or “anybody home”. Life360’s IFTTT channel has that. What good is setting up a rule to turn my lights off when I’m away, when my wife could still be home?

But the app in general is buggy… I routinely get blank screens, or a screen that doesn’t populate my “things”…

This product has massive potential, but it feels like it was released to early.


(Beckwith) #2

@sc00tz

SmartThings supports this and it has worked well for me. I agree, however, if presence isn’t working then who cares.


(Travis Roy) #3

Going through creating rules and tasks and stuff, I’ve never found that… I use IFTTT and Life360 as a “workaround”


(Travis Roy) #4

And I’ll also say, despite the problems… SmartThings is still worlds better, and has a way better support and community structure than anything else I’ve seen out there.

I offer my critique as a way to improve and make it better, not really to criticize.


(Beckwith) #5

@sc00tz

There is a known Jasco issue that is supposed to be fixed with the 705 firmware update they are pushing out today. Something about a timing issue where the status gets lost. I never saw it but then I rarely turn switches on and off through the app.

Early on I was hooking up a MIMOlite in my garage and noticed your symptoms. I later discovered there was some interference with the z-wave signal. Strategically placing another z-wave device nearby solved the issue. For the life of me I have no clue why sometimes z-wave can go for nearly 200 feet and others only 10 feet. Most times, however, it seems to exceed my expectations.

I wish SmartThings would show us the mesh radio strength between nodes so we could better troubleshoot.


(Travis Roy) #6

Well, it looks like I got the update, but I’m still having issues with the switch control and reporting.


(Beckwith) #7

@sc00tz

If you haven’t already, I would suggest running the zwave repair from the IDE. Before running make sure you turn the logs on for possible other clues. If you have failures try running again until they go away.

I’ve seen this helps if you remove or move a device. Don’t know if that is your situation, but it may be worth a try.