Alerts during a power outage


(Bobby) #1

So the new hub has battery backup, but what is it really good for? Been thinking that I can use it to maybe get some kind of intruder alert from the battery powered sensors if the power goes out and the door is opened. But I cannot seem to find a way to do that. Does anyone have any suggestions? @JDRoberts what do you think?


#2

Locally you could use a light indicator as long as it’s something that you set up through smart lights. And As long as they use standard device types.

If you’re asking about notifications when the smartthings cloud is not available, you won’t get any. Neither push notifications nor text. Instead, my understanding is that these will be queued up and sent once the cloud is restored, which to be honest seems a little unnerving.

@slagle , @ben are notifications cued and sent after the cloud connection is restored?


(Bobby) #3

You cannot, because the power is out :slight_smile: Was thinking more like having a siren go off, but not really sure how would the two communicate without power.


#4

Just need to have the light on emergency backup power as well.

Same with a siren. If both the sensor and the siren are Z wave and support Association, you could do it that way


(Bobby) #5

Thank you. What about zigbee/z-wave? If the Smart Lighting app works offline, hypothetically, should work on backup too. We just need a way to link sensor to siren.


#6

I’m sorry I don’t understand your question.

Each device has to be individually powered.

If two devices of the same protocol are on the same network, and each is individually powered then there is often away within their protocol for the two devices to communicate directly to each other without going back to The hub. So these methods will work even with the V one hub. But when you use these methods, the status does not get reported back to the hub so things can get a little out of sync.

For Z wave, which I already suggested because it’s the easiest, you just use direct association. You can have a sensor turn on a siren or light as long is each device Is independently powered, they are within one hop of each other, and they both support association. But like I said, I already suggested that. As it happens, on the smartthings zwave network it is super easy to do this if you have the Aeon Minimote. It’s basically three button presses presses and you’re done.

For zigbee. you can do this with binding, but it’s trickier to set up.

But notice there’s nothing sophisticated about these arrangements, it’s basically a toggle on or off. You can’t use mode restrictions or time rules or multiple devices. It’s just device A when triggered tells device B to turn on.

The usual example use case is a motion sensor which turns on the closet light. Dead simple.

None of this has anything to do with smartthings, it’s just a part of the standard protocols.

Did that answer the question?


(Bobby) #7

Sorry for picking your brain :slight_smile: The use case here is a zigbee motion sensor turning on a z-wave siren/strobe during a power outage and no internet. If the devices were both z-wave, you wouldn’t need the hub, like you said. But when using the two mesh networks you do need the help from the hub.


#8

Right, you always need the hub if the devices are not the same protocol.The Zigbee device can’t even hear The zwave device, let alone understand what it’s saying. The hub has to act as a translator.


(Ben Edwards) #9

Yes. Yes they are…


(Jim) #10

Wasn’t there talk about using the USB ports to connect a cellular card for internet backup? I’m assuming that isn’t supported yet but will it be?


(Ben Edwards) #11

This is one such idea, yes. Personally I question the value of having the SmartThings Hub have cellular connectivity without also connecting the rest of your network. That is why I usually recommend a product that can plug into your router.


#12

Most security systems have battery operated sensors and a battery operated hub with a cellular connection to the monitoring center. That way the glass break alarm, door contact sensor, flood detector, and motion detectors will still alert the monitoring center even if the power is out.

So for the safety and security part of a monitoring system, I think it makes a lot of sense.


(Jim) #13

My big thing is my sump pump when the power is out. I would like the water sensor notifications to keep working! That’s actually what brought me to SmartThings


#14

You need to hook your router up to a UPS. You can put the ST Hub on it as well, but it already has its own battery backup, so you can save the UPS battery for the router. There are no UPS’s on the market as far as I know that have a plugin to work with the ST Hub, but if you have a computer hooked up to the UPS as well, it can notify when the UPS kicks in and then have an email sent out to something like IFTTT to set off an alarm on your ST Hub.

Personally, for my setup, I already have a UPS that my router is plugged into, so I am going to buy an Aeon Labs Z-Wave Smart Energy Switch and use a 3rd party SmartApp that polls the switch to ensure there is power going through it. If my power goes out, the SmartApp will no longer be able to communicate with the switch, thus it activates an alarm, and because the router is on the UPS, I will also receive a push notification that the power is out. There is a possibility that the power does not go out, but the switch is offline or some how not communicating, so you could have two switches powering two always on devices, and only trigger the alarm if both switches can not be polled, as it is less likely that both would be offline without the power in your house also being down.


(Daniel) #15

This is what I do to monitor Power Outage. I have SmartThings hub, and all my networking gear on a (sizeable) UPS. So if power goes out, I still have Internet/Wifi capability. And Smartthings keep working. I installed a BRK-RM4 relay in a power outlet box and hard-wired the AC connections inside the box. I use the relay to connect to a Monoprice door/window switch. As long as power is on, the Monoprice switch is closed. When power goes off, the swich is open and I use this to send an alert. Since the Monoprice switch is battery operated, it will connect to the smartthings hub and the alert can be sent.
I would suggest that you connect this as close to the hub as you can get. When power goes off you will lose a sizable (all?) portion of the mesh network.


#16

OK, so as i understand when the power at home is off (e.g. burgler cut power line) the smarthub “doesn’t now” that it’s working on battery and won’t send my any alert about power outage? Of course my router has UPS backup so internet connection is.

For me it’s the most important - i decided to buy ismartalarm but this alarm does’t have battery backup… and i’m looking for another solution.

Why it’s the most important? - last week robber stolen 1km power line from my cottage…


#18

I am thinking of doing the exact same thing. I plan on removing an outlet and installing a BRK-RM4 relay and monoprice open/close sensor in the box instead. When you connect the relay to AC, did you only use black (hot) and white (neutral) wires, and leave the orange wire (interconnect) unconnected?


Alerting when Power is out
(Daniel) #19

You’ll have to use the interconnect wire. That is the one that causes the relay to switch. I am traveling on business right now. I will have to check how I wire it when I get back home.


#20

ok thanks! very interested in your wiring setup. I’ve also seen another smartthings member use this zettler mini relay (Zettler Miniature Power Relay 30A SPDT 120VAC AZ2280-1C-120A) for the same purpose.


#21

For this issue, I’ve resolved to build a GSM module that monitors the power.
When the power cuts off, it will text me ‘the power is OFF’ every 15mins.
When the power turns on, it will text me ‘the power is ON’.

Outside of ST, but what else can I do? it shoulda been designed into the ST hub.
Perhaps a future firmware update will support this? I’m not sure if the hardware is setup for this.

#BLT-Tech