Contact Closure &/or hack Open/Closed or Button - MIA?

(Pmsmaker) #1

Are we (or Me) missing something?

There should be a demand for a simple 1 (or more) Contact Closure inputs (&  lessor priority with Outputs).

[For Burglar Alarm, pressure sensor or other hardwired 3rd party device].

Anybody got a Clue / Plan / Vision?


Maybe we got to hack at it.

I definitely got to figure out how to acquire and be able to use the Arduino Shield.


(Andrew Urman) #2

Hey pmsmaker,

Are you talking about an open/close sensor? If so, we definitely have one :slight_smile: check out

(Pmsmaker) #3

… Dry Contact Closure … from 3rd party relay … or ?? low voltage input to Thing

(Andrew Urman) #4

I’m still not sure what the question is? The SmartSense Open/Close uses 2 part system in which a magnet determines contact or not. For example, the sensor would be mounted on the door frame and the included magnet would be mounted on the door. When the magnet is within a short distance (a few mm) then the contact is closed, anything else is considered open.

(Pmsmaker) #5


I don’t want to be a PITA but let’s widen the conversation to ‘external’ Things -

So here are some specific examples of “external Things” -

Trust this gives you some ideas.

On the Hacking - just rip open the open/close case and find the ?‘reed switch’ and short it with a relay - would provide a contact closure.

So, you could make a new contact closure ‘Thing’ by adding two terminal blocks to it …

But if you have all those GPIO’s why not expand on that and have … as many as the !Physical space would allow -

… Contact Closures … I guess the battery would prove a no-go for driving circuits but you could just power the ‘Thing’ - oh no!.

My 2 cents -

Thanks for the quick reply.



(Andrew Urman) #6

Aahhhh I see. I read contact closure as “contact enclosure” We’ve been getting all of our enclosures finished for production and its been stuck in my head. I can’t seem to find the example right now, but I have seen plenty of Z-Wave products you could use.

I recently wired this Z-Wave relay up to a garage door to control it via SmartThings. While that may be overkill, a simple contact closure is absolutely possible. Unfortunately at this point we don’t have any plans to manufacture our own off-the-shelf version. That’s not to say we wont be compatible with Z-wave or ZigBee HA modules.

Once the ThingShield and ThingModule are released, you very well could hack up your own. You could also use your idea of simply shorting our open/close sensor, but that may void your warranty :stuck_out_tongue: I agree that the battery would not be sufficient for driving circuits, but the SmartSense Motion has an option for micro-USB power that you could hack into.



(Pmsmaker) #7

Thanks Andrew,

Don’t want to tie you up at this point.

I am looking forward to the ‘cleared’ devices list and your add-on module retail pricing to decide what to hack.

Let’s Rock & Roll!


(Andrew Urman) #8

No problem! I’m a maker myself. Half the fun is interaction with people.

I also forgot to mention that we have been discussing different breakout boards for our ThingModule. A screw terminal is on that list!

happy hacking!

(Pmsmaker) #9

Great Andrew!

You guys (&gals) ever sleep?

Guess I will have to wait on info on the ThingModule breakout too.

That must be new. Trust that is not holding up getting out the Shield.

Don’t see any questions on the ThingModule as per update #24.

Trust you all are not in a bubble … be on the lookout for the bubble … sometimes you have to go to 30,000 feet to see it; sometimes a mirror helps.



PS: I dunno if you have sized up your makers. ‘A’ screw terminal is not going to cut it. If you have the ‘tech’ let’s use it ‘ALL’ up.


(Brianh) #10

pmsmaker, if you find something please let me know. I am looking for something similar or may have to resort to making my own. I have seen some Zigbee devices available from doing some searches that are from China but there are no pictures available or specs and they require a minimum order. I don’t want to go to the hassle of building my own right now. I saw where Andrew Urman wired the Zwave module but it is overkill for what I need (garage door opener).

(Andrew Urman) #11

I found this today. It’s still a little overkill on the price. The biggest thing to consider how you’re going to power it. Closing a switch by a battery powered device wouldn’t be ideal.

Aeon Labs Micro Switch

Still going to think about it for a bit. It’s an interesting problem because with a relay connected to it and its closed, then the power to the manual button is cut off.

(Pmsmaker) #12

@Andrew -

Here is a kit - Z-Wave Switch $52.27 & Contact $42.09
Bear in mind these may or may not work with the Hub - but anyway they are specific to your App.
I would expect StartThings to do a ‘validation’ on these devices as they do have a niche for their market.

(Andrew Urman) #13

We’re working on the 3rd-party tested and approved list right now. I want to say Z-Wave compatibility is high across the board. Unless the device needs a specific z-wave stack enabled on our hub, then we add it to the stack. Could be added via OTA update down the road as well. I’ve used the LFM-20 relay from that kit you linked with our Hub and a nice assortment of different buttons/switches.

The garage door kit doesn’t tie into already existing wires and you replace the existing button with another Z-Wave button device. I brought up this thread in the office yesterday thought if someone could come up with a very small, simple, inexpensive Z-Wave or ZigBee garage door controller, it would make a fantastic entry into our big maker contest. 

(Pmsmaker) #14

10-4 Tks :slight_smile: - stay focuseds