Do minimotes really work?

Continuing the discussion from [POST Deals/Sales/Coupons/Pricing HERE (discuss deals in the other thread)](

I’m sure that’s very frustrating. Minimotes are very popular in the community. They normally work very well.

In March, a platform update introduced a bug where milliseconds were instead treated as seconds in many devices handlers and Smartapps. That means things would take 1000 times longer to be processed than intended.

It’s possible that you ran into that, or some other glitch. I would suggest opening a support ticket with The minimote is an officially supported device, so they can take a look at it.

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I move this post from the deals thread since, as JD correctly pointed out, this discussion did not really belong there. :smiley:

I use all 4 buttons on my Minimote through RM and it works, every time. I am not saying that anything is wrong with your setup, just that mine seems to be fine.

I will note that I did have to refile 2 of my rules during the recent platform flakiness, but those buttons have been fine since the refile.

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It works for me too and like the above post, I use it with RM. I have 2 button presses and 4 holds programmed.

I have a minimote and it has different uses depending on the mode.

There has been once or twice where I had to press it twice to make it work. But my network has grown much stronger since then and I think perhaps that solved it.

One time, I had a problem with one of the buttons not working on my Minimote. I had to re-pair within a few feet of the hub and then it worked much more reliably.

I have four in my house and they all work fine.

Do you have more than one? Maybe it’s defective?

All four of mine work fine, all using RM and the button controller to some degree. If other parts of the system are having issues (z-wave, zigbee, calling a broken app) then they may not work as intended, but nothing I’ve seen is a symptom of a defective minimote.

For the Minimote, are you guys using an official Device Type or are you using custom code? What about the controller app? The normal ST button controller or are you using something like Bruce’s Button Controller+?

I am currently using a custom DH which provides an interface similar to the Minimote on your phone. I also use Bruce’s Button Controller +

Whew, got worried since I just ordered my first one. Can’t wait to try it out! :

have 2 and they are pretty awesome. Use them at my night stands to turn off main lights (zwave switch), night stand lights (Hue bulbs), and close/open our blinds.

Rarely had any issues with them, I would easily recommend them. I believe I just use the native DH, in theory it would give me local control.


I forgot to ask, do you have the V1 or the V2 minimote? The picture on the support site is of V2–it comes in white or black and does not have numbers on the buttons.

If you have the V1, it will work with SmartThings but you have to make sure the firmware is updated to the latest version:

I use the stock minimote device handler on one - this one is programmed using smart lighting to turn on and off lights that are running local. It is my internet is out back up controller.

Two others are using a custom device handler and the smart app button controller to run things. they are in the master bedroom, one is hers and one is mine. each programmed differently.

The last one is the guest room and programmed to run everything in there with just 4 button pushes. There is no voice control in that room and any guest will not have the app. Eventually it will be replaced with a tablet running smarttiles.

These things are especially handy when removing devices from the network. Sometimes a device just doesn’t want to let go. So, I run the exclusion in the app and then I run another exclusion on the device with a minimote.

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Do Minimotes work as advertised for anyone here? I have it set up with Button Controller to control some lights or locks. It works, but I have to hit the button five or seven-hundred times before it does what it’s supposed to. I would call it less convenient than walking to the light switch. Are these fast for anyone, or am I expecting too much?

Edit: I can see in the Button Controller log that the buttons are registering. They just aren’t triggering anything ~99.87% of the time.


I almost asked the same question when I got my first one last week. It took a few excludes/includes, but it finally joined and started working really well. I was beginning to wonder if I made a bad choice, but it turns out no - and I ordered 3 more. It seams like after the 4th attempt and tapping on the Config tile got it working for me.

I’m using the custom DH by @Kyse from post #9 above that I’ve tweaked per my liking, and my own SmartApp based off ST’s Button Controller. ST’s didn’t allow for saving each instance of Button Controller with a unique name, so I hacked together a parent/child version that will do that (although it needs a little clean up work).

@bravenel also has Button Controller+ that expands up more device capabilities you can select from:

I bought mine from Amazon and it is a V1 and came with the 1.19 firmware already installed. I was able to get the remote to include with the hub but neither the stock app or Bruce’s button controller would work. Once I downgraded to firmware version 1.18 both button controllers work like a champ. I press or hold the buttons and they work great. I was ready to send it back until I found a post mentioning the 1.18 firmware. I ended up using Bruce’s controller because I liked the added functionality. I am using this remote in the living room and plan to order another for our bedroom. Very handy and faster than opening your phone apps. Here is the link to the 1.18 firmware.

UPDATE 4/26/16: I received my second remote and had a hard time getting it to join correctly. It would join the hub, but no button controller would work. This was happening on both the 1.18 and 1.19 firmware versions. This thing IS A PITA to get to correctly join the hub. Anyway, I ended up getting this one to join correctly with firmware version 1.19 after trying both versions multiple times. It seems to me that you need to reset the minimote per it’s instructions, put the hub in inclusion mode, then hold the join button for about 2-3 seconds then the red light will start rapidly flashing then both the red and blue lights will flash together. When that happens, the mote has joined and will work. If that light sequence doesn’t happen, your minimote may join, but will not work. This was my experience anyway. I hope my experience helps someone else as I have found these can be frustrating to get working. I also wanted to update and clarify that you don’t need to downgrade the firmware. I just happened to get my first one listed above after downgrading. I’m not sure what the firmware difference is but I don’t plan on upgrading my first back to 1.19 unless I find it quits working. Both of the minimotes I received were already upgraded to 1.19 before I received them from Amazon. Any questions feel free to ask.

Best Regards,


I’m using v1.19 without any issues. Joining was a PITA like I mentioned above, but so far so good. Mine also came from Amazon with v1.19 installed. The box was opened and resealed, and inside was a new manual from the factory saying they opened it and did the upgrade.

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What are you all controlling with your minimotes? I’m controlling one light and one lock and the devices only respond about 1/5 time I press a button, even though I see the button press being logged in SmartThings. If I set the button controller up to control the devices by holding the buttons as well as pressing the buttons, it works a little bit better, but I still have to hold the buttons for five or so seconds.

I see the button press logged immediately; why would SmartThings need to take more than a few mS to a few seconds at most to send the signal to my devices? I’m getting paranoid my HA network is significantly slower than everyone else’s on here now, and I would like to know why.

The first question is what is The strength of your mesh? That is, how far are your devices from the hub and what pathways do they have available to get there?

A strong mesh requires two things. First, there must be mainspowered devices (not battery powered) of the same protocol as the device the hub is trying to communicate with about every 50 feet between the hub and the end device. Zigbee repeats only for zigbee and zwave repeats only for Z wave.

Typical repeaters are light switches, pocket sockets, In wall relays, and plug-in sensors.

So the first question is is the “skeleton” (also called the backbone) of each of your two Mesh protocols laid out in a way that allows for efficient communication?

The second question is are the neighbor tables for each individual device on your network up-to-date? Every time you physically move a device, you need to do what is called a “network heal” to tell all of the devices to update your neighbor tables so they know Who that your neighbors are. This does not happen automatically just because you move the device.

For Z wave, there is a hub utility that you have to run called a “Z wave repair.” For zigbee, you have to take the hub off power (unplugged and remove the batteries) for at least 15 minutes.

You won’t necessarily see improvements immediately after these procedures, but you should see them by the next day.

The following FAQ has more information and details:


I am turning some lights on/off manually in my living room. They are smart bulbs in lamps. All of my other lights use GE wall switches. I also use the “mote” to change to a couple modes like my Home Mode or Do Not Disturb Mode. I also trigger a couple routines. I found that a press is a little longer than what I would use on my TV remote. I found a press needs about .5 sec and I hold until the blue light in the left corner just starts to blink. I just received mine this week and do not have a lot of experience with it yet but those times seem to work for me. As I mentioned above, nothing worked for me until I downgraded to firmware 1.18 but others are using 1.19 with no issues. I am also using Bruce’s button controller but I believe that his controller is basically the same as stock but with some added functionality. I am ordering the bedroom remote today. It will be for putting the house to sleep when my voice commands fail and be able to turn the box fan back on in the morning if I want to sleep a little longer. ST turns it off when I’m supposed to get up. I may also use it with sharptools and tasker in my android phone to dim the lights and start an easy listening channel on Pandora streamed to some Bluetooth speakers for evening listening. The possibilities are endless…

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