Arlo Disarming Automatically

Hoping I can get some help.

Recently set up the smartthings hub and integrated my arlo camera system using the classic app. My problem is somehow, smart things is setting my Arlo base station to “disarm” from “Armed” (non custom) automatically about every 30 minutes or so.

Recently I noticed that after adding my Arlo system to Smart Things there was a new Smart Things mode added to my camera. I understood that this is normal - although I’m not quite sure what action I did to cause that to happen. I deleted that mode - it’s my wish to use the Arlo app to control my cameras but still have the Arlo’s available as motion detection devices in Smart Things.

After I noticed my camera’s were being disarmed, I did some research but couldn’t find anything concrete on what is happening. I removed all the cameras, removed the arlo smart app and re-added them. This didn’t fix it. I should note that after I added the arlo’s again, the smart things mode wasn’t added to my Arlo app this time. I’m not sure what exactly causes that.

The live logging information is in the pastebin link below if it helps. To me it appears that the cameras are being refreshed and it is at this time the system is set to Disarmed.

I can provide any further info if needed. Any help is appreciated. My goal, if possible, is to use the Arlo app to control arming/disarming my cameras but still have them available in Smart Things as motion sensors.

https://pastebin.com/kafHF3VF

What mode is it switching away from?
Are you using custom modes?

1 Like

I updated my original post with this information also.

It’s switching from the stock “Armed” mode. I’m not using a custom mode.

This is created automatically by the integration. Details are available in the kb article: https://kb.arlo.com/1131587/What-is-Samsung-SmartThings-and-how-do-I-use-it-with-my-Arlo-cameras

I seem to recall similar issues with removing this custom mode. I think it will be recreated if you go into the Arlo connect smartapp and reauthorize.

I suggest letting it be created and leaving it there to avoid problems with the integration (you don’t have to set to this mode, but it has to be available).

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Tony -

I just reauthorized the arlo smart app and the custom mode wasn’t created. I thought that after I tried it the first time it would’ve added itself but it never did. I’ll keep trying to figure out what causes that mode to get autocreated.

I must’ve broken it by deleting the custom smart things mode. I created a new custom mode that is a copy of the stock Armed mode and that seems to stick.

I’d love to bypass Arlo entirely but the integration with Smart Things just seems horrible. I’m not even sure how to set up rules in ST to get the Arlo’s to record. It seems I need the smart home monitor app?? It’s really confusing and I consider myself pretty technical.

I’ll update if the custom mode didn’t fix my problems.

For triggering recording from SmartThings, the typical approach is either SMH or webCoRE. You should be able to search and find many threads in the forums here with details.

There is a new SmartApp that may work for you: [RELEASED] Arlo Assitant - Arlo Enhanced management from smartthings

There seems to be quite a bit of divergence on how to use and setup the Arlo system to work with Smartthings so I will just offer a little information from my experience with the integration.

  1. Arlo is in the process of changing things since the breakup with Netgear last Fall. It appears that Arlo is moving into the realm of home/business security by offering their own brand of Zwave and Zigbee devices that can only be used with the Arlo Ultra Smart Hub. They are also launching a “Works With Arlo” system that is trying to get other companies with Zwave and Zigbee devices to help them accomplish this. I am not sure what the future holds for the Arlo/Smartthings integration in the future but it appears they might be going to a “Closed” system.
  2. In this section I will only discuss the integration using the Classic app.
  3. As far as I know, the Arlo Ultra cameras are not yet compatible with Smartthings.
  4. The Smartthings Mode is created whenever one uses the Arlo Connect Smart App in Smartthings. It can be deleted in Arlo with no adverse consequences.
  5. Arlo and Smartthings use two different approaches to arming/disarming the cameras and recording.
    Arlo expects the slider switches for each camera to stay constantly in the ON position. To activate the cameras to record, Arlo uses Modes and when the camera slider switches are all in the ON position, the cameras will detect motion/audio and record. In the Disarmed mode the cameras will not detect motion/audio, will not record and will not send notifications.
    Smartthings on the other hand uses a different approach - Smartthings Routines actually turn the selected camera slider sliders to either ON or OFF and as long as the Arlo mode is anything but Disarmed the selected cameras will record motion/audio and send notifications when a routine is run that activates the cameras or will turn the selected cameras to the OFF position when a routine is run that turns the cameras off.
    Therefore, by arming/disarming your Smartthings system using routines, whatever cameras have bee setup with that routine will turn those cameras on or off for all Arlo modes except Disarmed. By creating Custom Routines, you can group the cameras together however you want. I prefer the Smartthings method over the Arlo method.
    To get most of the sensors in Smartthings to initiate a recording, create a custom rule in SHM to trigger a recording when that sensor fires.
  6. The cameras must be enabled/disabled using routines, not the Armed (Away), Armed (Stay) or Disarmed selections on the Smartthings home page.
    This has gotten pretty long already so if anyone does not understand what I have written, let me know.
2 Likes

Brian,

Thanks for that info. I’m not sure if deleting the smart things mode in Arlo is what caused my problems but there appears to be a periodic polling that ST does to the cameras and whenever that happened, if my Arlo was set to the stock Armed mode, it would change the mode to disarm. I’ve seemed to work around that by creating a custom “armed” mode and just using that instead.

Just to confirm, you’re saying that I can potentially use the Arlo modes to control when and how long the cameras record but use ST routines to say whether or not the cameras should turn on for a specific mode, etc? That approach seems much better for me.

So Brian is pretty much spot on. The simplest way to view it is that Smarttings has no concept of mode but views the cameras as either on our off. With the cameras on you can detect audio or motion. Arlo has modes and gives you a few basic modes you can setup. You can also configure more advanced modes with custom rules if needed. The problem is that since they both operate independently they can step on each other toes, kind of like you are talking about. I don’t understand why it is changing your mode though, but i also never used the original modes once i setup the integration. What I observed where things like Smarrthings changing setting on the mode. Generally around notification, and how to record. That is the reason why for a long time I tried to set the cameras in the Arlo Cloud and then never touch them from Smartthings.

The only official way to control the cameras in Smartthings is with SHM, but simply triggering a recording is only part of the problem. There are also all the settings that are associated with that mode. There is also the fact that SHM has 2 different versions with different feature sets. There is the version that installs and runs from the classic app which has the features Brain mentions above and then there is the one that installs from the new Smarttthings app that does not. Then there is the fact SHM is not available to all users

This is why Arlo Assistant which tries to emulate Arlo Modes in Smartthings has come about. There was an app that actually allowed you to control the Arlo Mode from Smartthings, but that recently was permanently broke by Samsung/Smartthing/Arlo. What Arlo assistant attempts to do is allow you to create the modes in Smarrthings based on your location conditions. Once you tell it what the condition is you can effectively create the rules around what will trigger it and then what it will do, and who to notify. What I was trying to do was emulate what the Arlo Cloud allows you to do.

My personal example is that I have Arlo Assistant setup to do different things with the arlo cameras based on the ADT Smartthings Alarm Panel State. Simply put while my alarm panel is in disarmed or Armed/State the camera will just record, or my front door will notify with a text message. If the Alarm panel is in Armed/Away I will have it trigger recordings on all of the cameras and notify.

The biggest downside to Arlo Assistant is that it is in flux. I just started on it a little while ago and simply put still figuring some things out, but it is certainly very functional for what it was intended to do.

The biggest thing i would caution you on is try to do your changes in one place or the other. If you don’t they will step on each others toes. If you decide to try out Arlo Assistant to meet your needs let me know if you have any issues and i will see what i can do to rectify the issue.

I would also say that simply put there is no right or wrong way to manage the cameras. Largely because each of them have their quirks and benefits, you just need to find the way that works for you.

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@sn0wballz,
I keep my Arlo mode in the Armed mode all the time, although I have tried using the Geofencing, Schedule and Custom modes successfully.
I use the Smartthings Routines to activate, (turn the on/off slider switches to the On position), on selected cameras for that particular routine and other routines to deactivate, (turn the on/off slider switches to the Off position on selected cameras), for that particular routine.
Examples:

  1. I use the Goodbye routine in Smartthings to activate all my cameras when I am leaving home.
  2. I use the Good Morning routine to deactivate all the cameras, or I can also do the same thing with the I’m Back routine.
  3. I use the Good Night routine to activate only my outside cameras when I go to bed at night.
  4. I created custom routines to activate my outdoor front cameras when I am outside in the back yard mowing the lawn, (and deactivate my outdoor back yard cameras), and a custom routine to do the opposite when I am at the front mowing the yard.

In SHM, I created custom Rules to use the Smartthings sensors to trigger a recording if there is activity on that sensor.

Examples:

  1. I use the temperature readings of the Smartthings sensors to create a recording to the closest indoor camera if the temperature goes higher than the threshold I have set. This way, if I am away from home and the temperature in a room goes too high, I can view what is happening and call the Fire Department if I see smoke in the video.
  2. I have motion sensors outside mounted under the eaves of my home to start the cameras recording before the camera’s motion sensor would normally detect motion to reduce the inherent delay with the Arlo cameras.

In all the above cases, the Arlo Mode is Armed and a Smartthings routine must have been previously run to be sure that the selected cameras are active.

Brian

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I am new here. Just got a new Smartthings Hub, motion sensor, electrical outlet and Arlo hub and Arlo Pro cameras. If I have the cameras added in Smartthings (using new app not classic) the Arlo hub goes to Disarmed after a while. Remove cameras from Smartthings and they work as intended. Without making rules or anything is there a way to fix this? Also you mentioned Rules and Routines. I just see Automatons. Is this because Im on a different version? I would like to set up my arlo camera so it records when my Smartthings motion sensor goes ON. Any info would be appreciated.

I haven’t had much luck setting up the automations to work with the Arlo cameras in the new app, but I can do it fairly easily in the Classic app. I have both apps on my phone, but seldom use the new app. In the Classic app:
I leave the Arlo Mode in Armed mode.
I use various Smartthings routines to turn on/off the cameras I selected for that routine then use a Custom Smartthings rules for each Smartthings device that I want to trigger these cameras with this sensor.
In the Custom Smartthings rule, after you have selected the sensor and under what circumstances you want this rule active, you will see the page where you set up your notifications. The bottom section says to select the camera/cameras you want to record. Select it/them, name the rule and you are done.

Brian

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