This is a guide to adding your Boundary Motion and Contact sensors, as well as the Siren to SmartThings. The Boundary hub is redundant at this point, and all control is via the Smart Home Monitor app within the SmartThings app. The approach works because the sensors and siren communicated to the Boundary hub via Z-Wave which is an open standard. The SmartThings hubs support Z-Wave so can talk to one another.
Pre-reqs: A SmartThings hub, eg https://www.amazon.co.uk/Aeotec-Smart-Home-Hub-version/dp/B08MXG6WTB
- Go to each device in turn, and press the tamper button three times within two seconds. The light should flash red and blue to show it’s been reset. If it just flashes red it’s already been reset. Remove the battery at this point.
- On the siren you’ll see the tamper button is pressed by a protruding piece of plastic from the cover when it’s closed. You’ll need to use a screwdriver or pen therefore to push into the hole.
Add Boundary driver for SmartThings
- SmartThings has moved to an architecture of Edge drivers - some code that interprets the z-wave messages from a device and translates that into SmartThings language. I’ve written a single driver for the sensors and siren that does this, as well as provides the configuration options the devices had through the SmartThings app
- Click the invite link for the driver channel - One simple home system. A world of possibilities. | SmartThings and choose to enroll, then select to install the single available driver. This will install it on your hub in the next few minutes.
- You can confirm it is installed in the SmartThings app by clicking on the tile for the hub, and then pressing the three dots in the top right corner and selecting ‘Drivers’ - you’ll see my driver channel and driver listed there
Pair the sensors to SmartThings
- This is the standard approach to pairing z-wave devices to the SmartThings hub and similar to pairing the devices to Boundary in the first place
- In the SmartThings app press the Devices tab and then the + in the top right corner and ‘add device’. There are two ways of doing it: 1) Scan QR code or 2) Scan for nearby devices. Both are similar, it’s just whether you kick the process off by scanning the QR code on the device (then put the battery in) or press the tamper button three times whilst the hub is listening out for it, and then scan the QR code.
- It should recognise the device as a Boundary sensor which means it’s matched with my driver. If it doesn’t you’ll need to remove and re-add (below).
- This process is temperamental for any z-wave device so you might have to try multiple times for some devices, and trying both of the above approaches. Make sure you have your device as close as possible (ie a couple of metres) from the hub when pairing. If a device fails to pair repeatedly, it might be partially paired to the hub already and you’ll need to “Exclude” it before trying again. In the SmartThings app go to the hub tile again, then the three dots and Settings. Then Z-wave utilities and Z-wave exclusion and follow the steps.
Configuring the sensors
- Once the sensors are paired they may take a few minutes for all of the information to come through, eg temperature. Just wait.
- The driver provides the settings Boundary did for each device to configure, eg whether the LED is on or not. The motion and contact sensors are sleepy devices which means they aren’t listening for updates for the hub apart from when they wake up every 6 minutes by default (can be changed as a setting). The driver will send any changed settings to the sensor the next time it wakes. The siren is always listening so will receive any changes immediately
Setup Smart Home Monitor
- This is the functionality Smart Thing provides for creating an alarm from sensors and a siren. It can be enabled from the Life tab in the SmartThings app.
- From there you can configure it - under security you can add all of the sensors, and the siren and setup behaviours like notifications and delays
- There is no concept of entry/exit routes or delays on triggering from those sensors. You can add a delay before the siren sounds for any sensor triggering, but will need to remember to disarm without having a hub beeping when you open the door for 45 seconds.
Enhancement over Boundary
- The message from the sensor to the hub saying whether it has been triggered or not (eg door open) sometimes can get lost and the hub is out of sync until next triggered. This was a known issue with Boundary. I’ve added a feature that gets the hub driver to request the latest status each time a sensors wakes up to resynchronise
- The wake-up interval for the sensors can be changed - fewer wake-ups means longer battery life
- The LED on the outdoor siren that comes on at night (roughly between 8pm and 5am in this driver - roughly as it depends when the hourly poll happens) can be disabled. This saves battery life by quite a lot, eg 25% longer apparently.
- Settings are only sent to devices when the device wakes up AND a setting has changed. If a setting hasn’t taken effect you might need to change it again and wait for the next wake up before changing it back. Probably this only really applies on changing a setting the first time.
- Tamper notifications on the sensors seems to be a bit erratic. This is using the default handlers though - I’ve got no code around this.
- There is no NFC reader so the Boundary key fobs can’t be used
- Boundary had to go through a bunch of certification for their integrated product to meet certain standards in the UK, particularly when paying for the monitored version. Hopefully it goes without saying, that none of that counts anymore, and I don’t know whether a DIY home alarm system would count for anything with your home insurance, for example. I’m really happy with how this setup is working for me, but please use at your own risk and test it yourself to ensure you’re happy to trust it.
If you want to improve on these drivers, the source code is GitHub - sipuncher/Boundary-Edge-Drivers: SmartThings Edge Drivers for the now defunct Boundary home security system