Energizer CR2450 batteries do not work in the SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor


(Mike Thomas) #1

I have one of the 2015 models of the SmartThings multipurpose sensors (labeled “SmartSense Multi designed by SmartThings”) that is giving me problems. I have already tossed the packaging and I am outside the Amazon return window, so I need to figure out if it is defective or if I am using it wrong.

The device appears to work fine initially (I’m only using it to sense temperature), but within ~15 minutes of me putting the cover on it goes OFFLINE (per the device list in the IDE). If I remove the cover it goes back ONLINE almost immediately.

I notice that the cover has a spike in it which appears to be designed to push the button next to the LED. When I remove the cover, the LED shows green for maybe a second (which is consistent with the button being released if you press it manually).

I could rotate the cover 180 degrees so the spike doesn’t push the button, but then if I ever use this as an open/close sensor the mark on the cover that indicates where the magnet should be located will be on the wrong side. EDIT: no, I can’t, as the spike prevents the cover from fully snapping into place

I looked at another one of these sensors - it also has the spike inside the cover, but the LED does not light up when I remove the cover (and the device does not go offline).

What is the purpose of the spike inside the cover?

One difference between the “good” sensor and the “bad” one is that the battery was much easier to insert and remove in the “bad” one (yet I don’t think the battery is momentarily losing contact, as the spring is pushing it upwards against the plastic tab that holds the battery in place).

Having a 15 minute delay between cause (putting the cover on) and effect (going offline) is making this problem really hard to pinpoint.

Any suggestions on what might be wrong?

Thanks.

EDIT: PS - wouldn’t it make more sense, if the device is offline, for it to not report a potentially believable temperature of 73? Something like 0 Kelvin would probably :grin: be far enough out of the normal temperature range for the app to then translate it and display “N/A”, which would be a much more obvious indication that the device was dead.


(Robin) #2

The multi sensors are sleepy battery decices that spend most of their time asleep (offline).

They wake up periodically and if the temperature has changed by more than a few degrees will send a report to the hub, otherwise they go back to sleep. If you have fairly constant temperatures than it may not send a report for several hours.

Have you tried triggering the sensor with the magnet to see if it sends a contact open / closed report?


(Mike Thomas) #3

I would have thought if it was sleeping it would be in the INACTIVE state, not OFFLINE (but I guess the hub can’t tell the difference). None of my other multi sensors (same model) appear to go OFFLINE, just this one. And all those other sensors are currently ONLINE.

Once the bad sensor goes OFFLINE when I put the cover on, it stays that way for over 24 hours, happily telling me it’s 73 degrees (it’s not).

(BTW I’m not meaning to shout, that’s just how it’s displayed in the IDE :grin:)


(Mike Thomas) #4

I was all set to declare the original sensor bad - I have a new one from Amazon and it worked fine.

Then (drum roll), I put the battery from the “bad” sensor into the new sensor (and vice versa). Now the battery feels loose in the new sensor. While the new sensor (with the Energizer battery) hasn’t failed yet, I believe it is about to.

How on earth could a Lixing CR2450 battery be slightly larger than an Energizer CR2450 battery? That makes no sense, aren’t these things standard?

I had bought a 6-pack of the Energizers because all 4 of my sensors are getting low (88%). Those Energizers are probably useless because the SmartThings sensor is apparently built to take a no-name brand of battery.

Unless I can figure out a shim. Cheesy.


(Mike Thomas) #5

I think I have figured out what is wrong. The replacement Energizer battery has a stepped edge, meaning the positive face of the battery does not extend fully down the height of the cylinder. The positive terminal in the sensor is roughly where the the positive terminal of the Energizer battery ends and the negative terminal begins, and so it is not fully in contact with it (and possibly is shorting the two terminals on the battery).

A picture should help. The (original, works) Lixing battery is on the left, the (replacement, does not work) Energizer is on the right:

So I just need to find a battery that is shaped like the Lixing (a constant diameter cylinder) rather than the Energizer (two cylinders of different diameters).

I have no idea whose fault this is - Energizer’s or Lixing’s (one of them didn’t follow the standard, or maybe there isn’t a standard), or SmartThings for not designing the sensor to accept either implementation of the standard.

And I don’t think a shim is going to work.


SmartThings sensors failing
(Mike Thomas) #6

I bought some Panasonic CR2450 batteries and they work fine.


#7

This is been a known issue with the sensors since they came out. I thought there was an indication in the installation instructions. Anyway, as you discovered, only certain shaped batteries will work.


#8

Ok, The motion sensors come with a label specifying which brands work. I don’t know if that’s true of the multi sensor, but it’s the same issue.


SmartThings motion Sensor reset
(Michael Hess) #9

At this point stick with Panasonic for all cr2450’s, get them at arrow.com or digikey to make sure they aren’t fake. I’ve not had one act funny, or not fit right. Duracell should work but why risk it? Panasonic is one of the world leaders in batteries, they don’t screw these things up!


(Robin) #10

I use an arrival sensor which is permanenty stored in my car… It used to use a CR2032 button battery.

As the car is kept on the drive overnight and not in a garage, it gets very cold and the battery life was poor (replaced it 4 times in less than a year!!)

I decided to solder wires to the battery connections and then I wired it to the car’s 12v battery via a cheap 12v to 3v step down converter. No more batteries… Nice!! :sunglasses:


(Glen King) #11

St support told me this a couple weeks ago. I ordered my duracells online, and they are on the way


(Walter Edwards) #12

I got this. Prime


(Michael Hess) #13

Far better options:

https://www.arrow.com/en/products/cr-2450bn/panasonic

or

https://www.digikey.com/product-detail/en/panasonic-bsg/CR2450/P340-ND/447508

or

http://www.mouser.com/ProductDetail/Panasonic-Battery/CR2450/?qs=1eQvB6Dk1vgwe7XwcK4XhA%3D%3D

or

http://www.futureelectronics.com/en/Technologies/Product.aspx?ProductID=CR2450BNPANASONIC6052774&IM=0

All authorized distributors of Panasonic.

I’ve had to send back 6 of the 7 battery orders I’ve made on CR’s from Amazon. SO many fakes out there. And these cost half (or less) as much. I use Prime for everything, but batteries. :slight_smile:


(Mike Thomas) #14

It seems like this was a known problem (mea culpa I did not read the installation sheet, or ask support what brand of battery to use, as I assumed they were standard)…

However, that said, the sensor that was giving me problems is still misbehaving, even with a Lixing (original from SmartThings) or a Panasonic. So the whole “battery is too loose” turned out to be a red herring, the sensor really was bad, the bogus battery from Energizer just confused the issue.

Imagine what would happen if (say) Energizer AA batteries were a different shape then (say) Duracell AA batteries.


(Michael Hess) #15

I’ve had two of these sensors I had to send back for replacement. But the Energizer thing definitely through me off as well.


(danny) #16

fell for this too, had the sensors for over a year then happened to get energizer batteries this time and wasn’t working. realised the issue so cracked the unit open and bent the side tab out. no problems with energizer now.


(Glen King) #17

I’m not really annoyed because indeed the provided instructions state the issue clearly - however, who would ever look for such a thing in the first place? You pull out the plastic barrier tab and the device starts working, you don’t need the instruction sheet… UNTIL THE FIRST BATTERY DIES. lol

Despite the rhetoric of “'rugged individualists”, standardization serves a valid purpose. That is, if manufacturers would conform to it.


(Jay Jaeger) #18

I just put Duracells in my multi-purpose sensors V2 (after discovering the issue with some Radio Shack/Renata cells). The Duracells work JUST FINE - it is obvious by the look of them that they should be fine.


#19

bump

Where in Canada are we supposed to get legit Panasonic batteries? not quite trusting Amazon with all the uncertainty posted here and on their reviews…


(Mark Marino) #20

Thanks for pointing to legit alternatives to shady amazon.com options. I went with Arrow.com as they had free shipping on orders over $20, so I stocked up on other batteries while I was there.