SmartThings Community

Alarm Entry Delay using webCoRE


(Nick Young) #1

Hi All,

I’ve been a proud user of ‘SmartThings’ for a whole one month now and I’m loving it! With a little trial and error, I’ve pretty much perfect my intruder alarm setup. The only thing I am now lacking is some kind of entry delay (for example, to give me chance to disable my LOUD siren on a false positive).

I’ve searched on here and ‘entry delays’ seem to be a common topic and is apparently even being looked into internally - I can’t imagine it would be too tricky to implement so it’s surprising it isn’t already a default feature.

I’m really impressed with the flexibility and the ‘open-ness’ of the SmartThings system but I’m trying my best to resist temptation and just stick to as much of a ‘standard’ setup as possible. I know this may be frowned upon by the community in general but I just feel that if I ‘hack this here’ and install this ‘3rd party plug-in’ there… something is going to break in the future! And the system generally will be more difficult to maintain and troubleshoot.

For example, I recently went through the procedure of installing ‘NST Manager’ to integrate my thermostat… and although it worked perfectly… I swiftly removed it because it just didn’t feel ‘right’! (daft I know!). And I pictured, down the line, Google changing something with Nest which breaks the implementation and etc etc.

So with that in mind I’d like to try and implement an ‘entry delay’ by keeping it as simple as possible. I know the obvious answer would be to “wait for SmartThings to release it as an official feature”. But obviously this may never happen.

Now what looks pretty cool is webCoRE… and it looks like it would be perfect for setting up an entry delay. But… is it likely to be an integration that I need to keep up-to-date separately from the SmartThings system? I suspect because it doesn’t rely on a third party system (like Google’s Nest), it is less likely to ‘break’ in the future.

I guess my question is… is anyone using a webCoRE rule to create an ‘entry delay’ and how do you find it? Or can someone recommend another method to achieve my aim?

Thanks in advance
Nick


(Dan) #2

This seems to be the most popular and supported method currently…


(Mark) #3

Yes, you could certainly create a piston in WebCoRE that could do what you’re asking.

However WebCoRE was created by a community developer and is not officially supported by ST, just like every other community developed smartapp or device handler.

So if you’d like to use WebCoRE for this purpose, or others, go for it. You’re correct that anything could change in the future that will result in a community-developed solution breaking and no longer functioning. But either you can accept that, or go without the functionality that the native ST app lacks.

You should also look into this smartapp that was released several months ago. It works great.


(Nick Young) #4

Thanks for the response Mark (EDIT: and Dan! - sorry, missed your response!). Yep you’re right… I think it is a case of ‘having my cake and eating it’! I want to keep it ‘native’ but want functionality that isn’t native. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I wouldn’t like to implement anything which is too ‘involved’. I’ve dabbled with ‘smart home’ stuff for long enough now to know from experience that it’s too easy to ‘tack bits on’ and before you know it you’ve got an over-complicated system which goes ‘pop’ at some stage down the line.

The app looks brilliant - though I feel a WebCoRE script might feel a little cleaner.

Is there a way to code a script directly into the Samsung IDE so I can bypass WebCoRE entirely? Or would you need to be a genius level coder to do this? (which I’m not!!).

Thanks again.


(Mark) #5

Well, SmartThings allows users to write their own smartapps to do stuff that may or may not be possible with the officially supported features. That’s what @arnb did in the case of his smart home monitor entry delay smartapp. So you could write your own smartapp, or you can make use of the code that others have written and load an instance onto your hub using the IDE.

WebCoRE is basically just a super smartapp that has its own web interface. Not trying to minimize how impressive it is, it’s quite amazing what you can do with it.

Some people prefer to do everything in WebCoRE, including automations that could be accomplished in the built-in, officially supported smartapps.

There’s no one correct way.


(Arn B) #6

Initially my implementation was a couple of core pistons for my personal use. However, both core and webcore are interpretting peudo code to Groovy and I found for this function it was a bit slow for me so it was converted to compiled Groovy and then expanded the logic for public usage. All user smartapps including webcore are subject to the ST cloud, internet delays, and outages.


(Nick Young) #7

@arnb… what do you mean exactly by ‘a bit slow’? Was there a noticable delay between triggering a motion sensor, for example, and your ‘entry delay’ routine executing?

And your bit about smart apps being subject to the cloud etc. Is this in comparison with native Smartthings apps/devices? For example, if I integrated a supported siren alongside the official ST motion sensor, Smart Home Monitor would activate the siren even without an internet outage wouldn’t it…? I’ve read that Smart Home Monitor executes locally?


(Mark) #8

If SHM is armed, the actions that you previously set to occur can run locally, if the devices themselves are eligible to run locally. So even if the ST cloud went down, your alarm would trip if a door/window opens or someone moves.

However when the ST cloud is down, you can neither disarm nor arm SHM. So you could easily end up with nuisance alarms because you can’t disarm the system, or you could be stuck with a disarmed system whether you like it or not til the cloud comes back up. Depending on the state of SHM when it went down.

So SHM is pretty useless overall if ST cloud is down, or your internet is, etc.


(Nick Young) #9

Thanks Mark - yep that was my understanding of it.

It’s reassuring to know that if, when I leave my house it is armed, if my internet connection drops off, my siren will still activate if a trigger is raised.

I had thought about the ‘infinitely sounding siren(!)’ and so have it connected to a time limited power socket with the timer set to 5 minutes.

Obviously touch wood it is rare that my internet goes down so in a typical situation I’ll have access to the full functionality that the ST Cloud offers (including push notifications and being able to disarm my alarm remotely) but, you know, sods law and all that!!


(Nick Young) #10

… with the above in mind though, I assume that if I use your app @arnb, then I will lose the ‘local’ siren trigger? And am I correct in thinking that I’ll lose the local siren trigger if I use WebCoRe for an entry delay too?

Could I somehow use WebCoRe (or the arnb’s smartapp) whilst still retaining the local siren trigger as a failsafe?


(Mark) #11

You should be more concerned about a ST cloud outage. There have been three or four major ones just in the month of January.

And in the rare situations that your internet is down, you will not be able to disarm your alarm. Without an internet connection, your hub can’t process the command to disarm Smart Home
Monitor.


(Nick Young) #12

Ah right, ha! Well I set my ST hub up early January and I haven’t noticed any downtime? For me it has felt solid. But perhaps I just didn’t notice.

And yeah, I know I won’t be able to disarm my alarm without an internet connection but the only thing I would be concerned about is my siren pestering my neighbours for hours on end… which I’ve solved by connecting to a time limited socket.

So worst case scenario: intruder breaks in, internet is down, siren activates anyway, intruder hopefully runs away!

Alternative scenario: false positive motion, internet is down, siren activates, I’m unable to disarm, siren deactivates after x minutes anyway.


(Nick Young) #13

… and your comment about the unreliability of the ST cloud has probably answered my initial question.

If a native, ‘out-the-box’ ST setup is considered unreliable (this hasn’t been my experience)… perhaps I shouldn’t begin to journey down the route of implementing community developed ‘bolt-ons’ which further rely on the cloud (sadly).

I’ll play the waiting game for ST to introduce this anticipated entry delay… come on Team SmartThings!


(Mark) #14

I have no inside information or anything, but that’s unlikely to ever happen.

SHM was released over two years ago, around the time the v2 hub was. Although at some point ST staff suggested they may implement this feature, no progress was really made as far as any of us know.

Then a few months ago they released the new hub/ADT security panel. I don’t actually know for sure if that device supports entry and exit delays, but that’s clearly the direction ST has gone with their development and marketing of a security system-type product.

Development and feature upgrades to SHM seem to have been largely ignored for a long time now.


(Nick Young) #15

Yep I saw that actually. That system isn’t available here in the UK.

It will be shame if no official future development is planned because, like I say, I have been hugely impressed with SmartThings and Smart Home Monitor. If only I had the entry delay, it would currently be 100% perfect for me.

The ADT system does give me hope that the brand is still being worked on in some way albeit not for how a lot of us would like in this community. And obviously Samsung recently made ‘SmartThings’ related announcements at CES which again gives me hope.

I’ll see how I go. I may end up down the WebCoRe route or arnb’s app.


(Mark) #16

I would suggest going with one of these to get a functioning entry and/or exit delay working with your system.

I am simplifying things quite a bit, but both would work essentially the same for this purpose. WebCoRE will require more setup on your part, but could make sense if you intend to use it for other automations too.

Otherwise be prepared to wait a long time (possibly forever) for the feature to be officially incorporated.


(Nick Young) #17

… am I correct in thinking that I could use WebCoRe alongside SHM? So… keep SHM as it is (with auto disarm, push notifications etc) and use WebCoRe to trigger my entry delay, siren routine?


(Mark) #18

WebCoRE is so flexible that it could be used basically however you want.

What @arnb did with his smartapp could essentially be replicated in WebCoRE.

WebCoRE could also be used to replace Smart Home Monitor entirely, although in that case it couldn’t actually do everything SHM can.

Or you can mix and match

I’ve gotten the hang of some basic ideas in WebCoRE to make relatively simple pistons, but stuff that published smartapps like Smart Lighting still can’t do.

If i were you, I’d try Arn’s smartapp first because it works great to add an entry delay to SHM. But that’s because its easier that way.

Some people prefer to create their own WebCoRE pistons just because it’s more of a challenge.


(Nick Young) #19

@arnb’s smartapp looks truly awesome. My only point is that I prefer the thought of SHM handling my ‘push notifcations’ and automatic arming/disarming with presence sensors. arnb’s smartapp looks like a complete replacement for SHM… and I actually quite like SHM!

The ‘challenge’ of building something in WebCoRE certainly doesn’t attract me! But what does attract me is being in control of my own destiny! So if I build a script to execute an entry delay in WebCoRE and there are changes in the future, I can make my own tweaks. I would feel more in control. And also, I will be able to more tidily focus in on exactly what I want.

To be honest, I don’t even necessarily want an ‘entry delay’. I just want 30 seconds between entering the house and the siren going off. So I’ve even been looking into some kind of hardware solution (like an electrical timer). Or I’ve been exploring the idea of ‘daisy chaning’ e.g. turn this lamp on, after 30 seconds, turn it off… this triggers the alarm (though this feels sloppy!)


(Mark) #20

No you’ve misunderstood.

What Arn’s app does is link virtual contact sensors to your real contact sensors; a door open event while SHM is armed triggers a countdown, if the system is still armed then Arn’s app causes the virtual contact sensor to change to open. It’s the virtual contact sensor that SHM is monitoring in this case, so now SHM triggers an alert.

So by itself, Arn’s smartapp doesn’t do anything. It requires SHM to work as intended.

That’s fine of course if you’re generally attracted to the flexibility that WebCoRE offers. Just realize that any number of “changes” in the future could negatively impact Arn’s smartapp, or WebCoRE as a whole (not just your piston), and you may or may not have any control over that.

That’s the definition of an entry delay. Most people find it to be a useful feature because it allows one to disarm the alarm after one has entered the house. But if you chose not to disarm the system, and merely want a 30 second delay, there’s nothing stopping you from doing that with either of the above solutions we’ve been discussing.

At this point, I suggest you go ahead and pick one, see how it works for you, and then either stick with it or try the other. We could continue discussing this forever, but only trying it out will actually tell you if it’s a good solution in your particular case. :grin: