Finally happy with SmartThings


(Bilal Madina) #1

I thought I would write this as I can finally say I really do trust SmartThings now. I realise many folk are not so trusting but for me it just works now. My system is fairly simple though and everything I use is standard SmartThings/smart apps. I have nothing created by myself.

So it has been a rocky road! I’ve had ST for 6 months now. Basically my home security, lighting, leak detection is incorporated into ST. To begin with the home security was a no go as the presence sensors just did not work. They are now perfect. My alarm arms when I leave the house and disarms when I get back. Only once in the past month has it triggered by mistake. Everything that is meant to trigger/turn off etc happens as intended. I triggered the alarm by mistake the other day and right on queue the siren started, all the lights in the house came on, red for those that can change colour. I was even presented with a wonderful clip of myself looking stupid in front of the camera trying to disarm the alarm! Great stuff!

Lighting is great now. Most of the house lighting reacts perfectly to motion or other stimuli I ask it to react to . I don’t have luminance sensors yet but plan to incorporate them in the future. Integrated with the Philips Hue it’s really effective and reliable.

Sonos is still not great alas but it’s use in my smart home is limited anyway. Still it would be nice.

The icing on the cake was yesterday when a pipe in my bathroom developed a leak during toilet flushing. An hour or so later once a small puddle had established itself on the floor, hey presto I get an SMS informing me that I have a leak in my bathroom! Called the plumber right away and got it fixed. Amazing. Love it. It would be nice to have an SMS sent to my wife too. Maybe there is a smart app that allows this?

So I am happy with ST. I am going to keep expanding the system in stages and just hope it all stays together!


#2

Check out Rule Machine. Rule Machine


(Nate) #3

I would love to hear how you managed to get reliable presence sensing? Perhaps you could post it in this thread? Reliable Presence SmartApp


(Bilal Madina) #4

I’ve just read that thread. My presence detection is achieved purely through the key fob things. And they work perfectly every time. My geo fence is set at the standard setting. I tried using smartphones when the fobs didn’t work and it was pretty unreliable. I could not base a security system on it. No way. I have not tried smartphones recently so cannot comment on their reliability now. However the fobs work great. Mind you their battery life is not so good. 3-4 months. Luckily the batteries are fairly cheap.


(Matt) #5

rule machine. You can put in multiple numbers with a * between them


(Someday my dog will be automated) #6

Glad to hear this. ST has been working more reliable for me as well. I’m sure we’ll get another scheduler crash before it gets fixed, but it has never been this solid since the V2 release. Fingers crossed it keeps this way.


(Bilal Madina) #7

Great. Thanks. I’ll give that a go.


(sidjohn1) #8

This is not that hard… unless your neighbor has a high powered WIFI hub on the same frequencies as Smartthings zigbee. Its just a matter of $$ and placement.
Step 1: Use the key fob… If your phone is not reliable for presence then stop using it!
Step 2: Make sure your WIFI and Zigbee channels use separate frequencies.
IE my hub v2 is on zigbee channel 20 so my wifi in on channel 1 and the 2 devices are over 6ft away. Keeping your ST hub away from your WIFI access point/router is important.

Step 3: Zigbee mesh… to have a mesh you need 3 or more plug in zigbee devices. If you want it solid minimum of 3 plugin zigbee devices per 1500sq ft of your home. More is better.
IE ST hub and 2x smart outlets
Step 4: Have 1 or 2 plug in zigbee devices near the entrances/exits of your home. IE in your garage, the light switch for your front and back door.

If you can complete all 4 steps then you too can have reliable presences detection. My home is 1000 sq ft 2 story. It took 3 devices to make presence ok and 5 to make it bullet proof, but i also have A LOT of wifi inteference from every direction but up. I’d be willing to bet money that @bmad wether he/she knew it or not is in line with all 4 steps or has a lot of space between the neighbors and the home.


Wifi Issue Causing Problems?
(Marc) #9

I am curious how those of you are keeping your ST hub more than 6 feet away than your wireless AP/router. Most of us don’t have ethernet jacks all over our homes, so are you just running a 6 foot cable and making sure you meet the requirement that way?

Also to note, not all of the presence detection issues are related to your geofence at your residence. My wife’s was going in and out when she was miles away working at a local school. I had to ditch her phone as a presence device and use a key fob.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #10

I use a very complex method of… A longer cat 5/6 cable. j/s


(Matt) #11

I have Ethernet all over my house so it wasnt an issue for me.


(sidjohn1) #12

Running the longer cat5 cable under the carpet along the edge. Once the carpet is played back down on top you never know it was ever there. I only pull it up at points behind the furniture. I’ve also run cat5 behind my base boards in the gap between my sheetrock and floor.



(Bob Solimine) #13

I am envious. I used to have a decent experience with ST. Lately, my doors unlock in the middle of the night, rules don’t trigger, and the IDE makes me look stupid.


(sidjohn1) #14

Dude, don’t be envious, just use the 4 steps above and presence will be solid. As far as rules not triggering… Time triggered rules don’t work well, but event triggered rules work consistently. So create an event triggered rule with time limiters…
Example from Rules Machine:

Basically the first time i toss or turn between 8:45 and 9:15 on a week day my lights turn on to wake me up… this fires every time. Setting it to just fire at 9:00am was not consistent. I can’t stress this enough… the more zwave and/or zigbee drives you through at SmartThings… the better it gets and rules machine just rocks…


(Matt) #15

Me I use my iPhone for get retuning home but not to automate leaving. That is a manual minimote in the car if for some reason my phone doesn’t trigger return and open the garage button 2 runs I’m back


(Bob Solimine) #16

I think my biggest concern so far has been the door unlocking. I’ve poured over the logs and no event seems to trigger it. It just unlocked. I’ve also had issues with intrusion detection firing even though there is no event at the contact sensor. I spent one night being woken every hour to the intrusion event. It’s one of the reasons I have a separate alarm system that’s “off the grid”.


(sidjohn1) #17

Unless your lock is bad, or you’re using a crappy custom devicetype that doesn’t log events you lock should log something. It’s just a matter of where to look.


(Marc) #18

I have mostly hardwood floors so that would be a lot trickier. On this topic, I have been plagued with poor 2.4 ghz wifi in my house and have never been able to figure out why. My solution was to buy new ap’s that support 5 ghz and all of my remaining 2.4 ghz devices (Nest, Rachio, etc) would hopefully be in a happy place and that worked until I got the Ring doorbell last week and started seeing choppy audio and video. A lot of folks complained the Ring’s wifi implementation was poor and they had to buy an AP just to put in the area where the Ring doorbell is located. So last night I moved my Hue and ST hub’s into my bedroom away from my main wireless access point and near my other access point in the back of the house. Other than some zigbee troubleshooting (powering off and on) devices, so far ST still is acting solid and so far my Ring doorbell hasn’t had choppy audio or video. I also just moved my 2.4ghz wifi to channel 1 as my ST channel is 15 and Hue is 20.

Here is to hoping :slightly_smiling:


(Michael Hess) #19

I ran 1200 feet of cat6 through my 1961 house, so no problem either! :grinning:

Note: I do not recommend doing this.


(Bob Solimine) #20

I’ll have to really dig in if it happens again. All I can say is that we woke up in the morning, the lock was open, and there were no other events in the app to suggest something triggered it.