Ecolink tilt sensor issue


(Peter) #1

New to Smarthings - just recently purchased it and yesterday added the ecolink tilt sensor - setup was fine, and mounted in garage. Basic reason for it is to know if i left the door open by mistake. I have some issue with hooking up camera in garage with power outlet - so battery based sensor was best option.

This is the issue i have. Most often it is sending the right signal - in terms of Open/Close. But noticed few times - the signal is not coming back when the door is closed (unit is in upright position). So, my app status still says “Open” - when in fact the door is closed - kind of beats the whole point of using it.

Noticed that issue is mostly when i close the door (seems to detect Open almost all the time correctly). Any thoughts on what could be wrong?

Another related question - the ST multi sensor - does it work the same way? What i was ideally looking for - is even if a signal/event is missed - if i could refresh the device status, and i get it’s current orientation - then i’m good.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

When the door is closing, does the red LED blink a some point? That’s the indicator that it has sent the close Event.

It uses a very simple ball in cylinder switch (not a solid state chip like the SmartSense) that looks like a capacitor. Sometimes it just needs to be bent a bit to change the angle.

We can Skype for a demo. Private message me if you wish.

This device is working great for me.


(Peter) #3

Thanks for the reply. I’m at work - will check out the LED light when i go home. When i first tested it by holding on hand, doing vertical vs. flip - appeared to have the light go on. Today in morning - door was opened/closed twice - both times all signals were fine - basically 2 open and 2 close signals. Then i left home, where it only detected open and stayed at that - didn’t detect the last close.

You mentioned “Sometimes it just needs to be bent a bit to change the angle.” What does it mean in terms of positioning it on the garage door? I used the sticky tape and put it straight at the middle of the door, and 2nd top most panel (the very first one is sort of like glass window, so didn’t have good place to attach). Did you attach it at any angle/incline or straight vertical against the door?

Also another question - does the Open/Close indicator on ST app simply flips from one state to another? Meaning - does the system actually know it is closed (i.e. in vertical position) vs. open (upside down position)? Or does it simply waits for a signal - and just flips the status from open to close or viceversa?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

The detection cylinder has a little ball inside of it (you can see the cylinder by opening up the module as if you were changing the battery).

When the sensor is fully vertical upright, ball is at the bottom of the cylinder (closest to the connections on the circuit board), it closes the circuit and the device reports the door is closed. If this device is capable of responding to a “poll” or “refresh” command, it will again report that it is closed. It is not a toggle.

When the door opens and tilts the sensor towards the flat state, at some point the ball rolls away from the contacts, breaking the circuit, and the device reports the door is opened.

If the cylinder is not properly aligned (it never is 100% flat against the circuit board, and thus not 100% parallel with the case of the sensor and your garage door), then it is just possible sometimes the ball sticks and never hits the contacts or moves away from the contacts.

That’s why the red light flash is handy, because it shows you that “something” changed right while looking at the sensor.

You can take the sensor and move it close to the hub in order to test if the state is reported consistently (within a few seconds) in SmartThings. If that works, but not at the garage, then you may be out of stable radio transmission range (there’s a long post on how to try to fix radio transmission issues, I’ll link here).


(Peter) #5

thanks … i’ll open the battery compartment and check it out.

I thought about the transmission range as well - as the door between house and garage is a metal door. But appears i’m getting most of the signal. Could be it was one off issue.

Do you happen to know if the ST multi sensor allows on demand “poll” or “refresh”? I originally got this as it was bit cheaper, and for garage door didn’t need the extra stuff from multi sensor. I’ll give this one little more time to see if it can behave more consistently If not was thinking returning this and getting the ST multi sensor.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #6

Based on the available source code for the SmartSense Multi, I don’t see an explicit method for poll or refresh, nor is there a refresh button on the Device Tile.

Here’s the thing: I wouldn’t recommend relying on a poll or refresh function for something like an open/closed sensor. The polling rate of SmartThings is unpredictable, and if a message doesn’t get through, most of the time, at the time of the Event, I’d say “you’ve got bigger problems”.

However: Note that the SmartSense Multi uses ZigBee whereas the Ecolink uses Z-Wave. Totally different radios and protocols (though they are both mesh – they are separate meshes), and they have completely different transmission powers and ranges. So it is entirely possible for you to have a Z-Wave dead-zone and yet perfect ZigBee transmission, or vice versa.

More information here in this FAQ: (And there are lots of discussions throughout the Forum regarding wireless issues).


(Peter) #7

thanks for your help with this. So far, now seems device is working - without any change. When door closes - i do see the light blinking. Perhaps it was a one off issue - and it can never be 100% perfect. Had bunch of open/close last two days, and it has worked fine.

Also got reply from Smarthing support - their muti-sensor does not have a “polling” feature, although he wasn’t sure why. They promised to look into further to see why the multi-sensor doesn’t have it - he said many of their other device has this feature, but not the multi sensor.


(DLee) #8

I have three of these Ecolink tilt sensors, two for over six months, only had false open readings twice early on. No false closed status that I know of. And no issues at all for 3 months or so. I think they are reliable… I use them along with MyQ and Linear garage door openers. Make sure you run a Z-wave network repair each time you add a new z-wave device.


(Peter) #9

thanks for the reply - it appears working fine now. Have not had any false/missing trigger since the first day.

Can you clarify how you run the “z-wave” network repair? I’m new to this - so far only added Philips bulb to ST hub and the garage sensor.


#10
  1. Open the ST app
  2. Swipe over to the “Home” screen
  3. Scroll down to the “Hubs” section and click on your hub
  4. Click on “Z-Wave Utilities”
  5. Click on the “Repair Z-Wave Network”

(Tom) #11

Hi Guys , I have 2 of these and can’t get them to connect for anything. I also have a Staples connect and test with it and they work just fine,… Did you guys run into any issues installing the tilt sensors to the SmartThings Hub ? I even have taken the off the door and placed them right next to the hub and still wont see them…


(llcanada) #12

I have been using Ecolink Tilt sensor for about a year with no problems. I have it set up as a z wave door window sensor. I can tell you that it works good for me and the battery is still around 70 percent. When I set it up it did take a couple of times to get the hub to include it, but after that it just works.


(Jonathan Maier) #13

Hi, I recently purchased the ecolink tilt sensor. I can connect it but it sends the wrong state: horizontal is closed when it should be open.

Any idea as to how I could change that?

Thank you!


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #14

Install it upside-down?