Frustrations with SmartThings - Integrators Perspective


(Mark S Groves-Zen Studios) #1

SmartThings hardware and software are not perfect. Nothing is! SmartThings does a tremendous job for a young company supporting tremendous growth. SmartThings shoulders the blame for everything regardless of which manufacturer created the issue. There are integration issues and always will be as long as SmartThings integrates to third party applications and third party hardware. We live in a world where new releases are pushed out weekly and sometimes daily by vendors. What fixes one bug often creates another one. In addition to third parties issues, SmartThings wisely has an open platform that allows developers to create and share their code. This is another layer that frequently causes issues. I often wonder when SmartThings users are upset because their GE Link bulb or third party device stopped working, did they consider the possibility that it is not a SmartThings issue? Did they contact the third party manufacturer for support? Did they post to the others manufacturer’s blog? We are a community on the cutting edge of new technology where the problems are apparent and challenging. The majority of the solution will not be initiated by SmartThings. They will come from sharing the issues and asking for assistance from the community. The community is the solution. Developers like Patrick Stuart, Todd, and Jody Albritton who graciously spend their time and share their code are paving the way for the rest of us. Our ideas will help guide the future direction of SmartThings. Be proactive, but also be realistic.

I would like to see the specs for the new hub and an update that supports a local host capable of syncing with the SmartThings server or at least maintaining device status. I am working on integrating a DMP alarm system, multiple serial devices, Raspberry PI, IR and Insteon with our Zen Controller that will network with both SmartThings and Logitech hubs. The concept is the ability to map any input from any device type to one or more outputs for multiple devices types via logic and a database.

I do not work for SmartThings or Samsung. I work for a new startup, Zen Studios.


#2

Mark, I know this post has been untouched for quite some time; however, I am curious as to what your status of the DMP integration is. It looks like there is little to know discussion on this forum regarding DMP integration. I am one of the ‘lucky’ few that have one of these in my home.

**If anyone reads this post and has any input in regards to this, please direct me to the right location/forum.


(Mark S Groves-Zen Studios) #3

Big_Jim,

I am an authorized DMP integrator with a signed non disclosure agreement. As such I cannot expose the procedures used to communicate with the DMP panel. I was hoping I could use the new USB ports on the V2 hub, but SmartThings has not enabled them so I switched to a IP based interface. I am currently working on a middle-ware server and I have a working prototype for the majority of the functionality with the nagging exception of the Z-Wave functionality which was not released to me. I will eventually release the DMP interface, but it is not currently my top priority.


#4

Mark,

First off thank you for your quick reply. I have a panel from 2007 which is not actually communicating with a central monitor. I am a little shy of an electrical engineer but my thought process was just to bring the sensors into an Arduino board and work through the communications in that regard. It looks like the panel to the keypad uses some type of modbus/rs432-422 setup and there was a thought I could communicate in that regard. I know you cannot speak to you procedure, but maybe you can shed some light on the integrator process. I am looking to do this project as a solo project without monetary gain, which is different than what you are doing. Although, if the price was was I would rather bring in middle-ware and not fudge with any of this. In simplifying my question, which of the three would you say is the best approach. 1. Rewire the sensors into an Arduino, 2. Work on getting an interface option though the integrator authorization, 3. Looking for a middle-ware application. If the option 3 is the best, and you say this is something you will be releasing, may I ask the worst question of all: Timeline?


(Mark S Groves-Zen Studios) #5

Try contacting Al Yarbrough at DMP (ayarbrough@dmp.com) and see if he will allow you to join the integrator program. Once you sign a non-disclosure, I will be happy to help you out. I am interested in porting the milddle-ware server to a Raspberry Pi.


(Geko) #6

This is the best option, imho, considering that it’s very unlikely that the alarm manufacturer will disclose communication protocol details to a third party. Most alarm panels don’t use “standard” protocols like Modbus (security by obscurity). Also keep in mind that alarm inputs are not simple on/off switches, but rather voltage sensors, so that they can detect three states: contact open, contact closed and short circuit.


#7

I suppose you make a very valid point. I will have to read deeper into the Arduino setup and see how I can make this work. There are 8 (4 wire) sensors that are on the panel and they are running through some type of resistor.


(Bryce) #8

Hi Mark,

Just joined the community and saw your post on DMP alarm integration.

Are you still working on it?

Cheers,


(Mark S Groves-Zen Studios) #9

Waiting on SmartThings to open up USB. Code is proprietary so It is not just a matter of writing a SmartApp and DTH. I may have to figure out a way to integrate the Thing Shield or an Artic board.


(Impact Vector) #10

I’m in the process of getting and installing a DMP panel.
Its sounding like while its got Zwave its far from an easy integration or plug in.


(Mark S Groves-Zen Studios) #11

I believe my DMP integration engineer told me the ‘DMP Panel’ has to be the primary controller for Z-Wave. I have a network interface for the panel, but it does not include Z-Wave. I do not currently want to integrate the DMP Z-wave devices with SmartThings. Just one likely source of trouble. I would like to control the arming and receive alarms and feedback via SmartThings.


(Impact Vector) #12

My main objective was to gain access to the sensors as virtual switches.

I already have that with my Arduino setup on zwave so probably no reason to mess with a panel then…


(Derek Kamp) #13

My local DMP reseller/service rep told me earlier this year that DMP was going to release an update in 2016 that would allow the DMP to be a controllable device or a controller. I guess he was telling me what I wanted to hear?


(C L Sanchez 1877) #14

Hey folks, I hope I am not trying to talk to a dead horse here, but I have a DMP alarm panel in my home, installed circa 2010. I have a rep coming from my local alarm company to review some potential upgrade options for my system (cellular and z-wave integration).

What I want to be able to do is arm/disarm the system via SmartThings (WebCore specifically) as well as have the alarm communicate with SmartThings (sensors, intrusion, fire, etc). For example, if I leave the home (all arrival sensors are gone), verify the alarm is armed (away), among other things ST would do (put home into ‘Away’ mode, put SMH into ‘Armed’ mode, set thermostats to away, turn main lights off, put lamps in auto mode, turn off tv and turn on radio, etc). Similarly, if I come home and disarm the alarm system, I would want ST to then put the home in ‘Home’ mode, put SMH into ‘Disarmed’ mode, take lamps out of auto, restore thermostats, etc).

While it would be nice for all my individual lights to be controllable on a new DMP panel, that’s not my primary goal. I want the alarm integrated with ST, but still operate independent of ST (for when it does not work).

What specifically should I be asking for when the rep comes by next week?

Thanks!
Chris


#15

I suggest you start a new thread under integrations with DMP in the topic title.

https://community.smartthings.com/c/devices-integrations

I doubt if most people Who might be able to help are going to see your question here. :disappointed_relieved:


(Mark S Groves-Zen Studios) #16

The issue is you cannot embed DMP code in ST because it is viewable in the IDE and DMP rightfully considers it proprietary. This forces you to create a middleware server. I have given up on ST ever opening up the USB ports or the BlueTooth integration. I am moving on to Hubitat. Local processing and the developers are the dream from the ST developers community. Bruce, Patrick, Mike, etc.


(C L Sanchez 1877) #17

Thanks @JDRoberts JD, I considered it but really was looking for just a short update, not necessarily to solve the problem.

Thanks @Mark_S_Groves. I won’t be going to habitat right now. The bugginess of ST has completely turned my wife off on any home automation. To be honest, the trial and error involved with trying to make anything work has just outright pissed her off. So right now, I am just looking to consolidate devices into one app for control. Once I can at least get that part right, I will start automating the basic things that do work and our less obvious to her. One of which, is turning off all lights when ST is set to “Away” mode. This missing link is the sequence of Arming our DMP alarm and locking the Kwickset Door should be sufficient to set the Mode to ‘Away’. If I could just get this one task worked out, she would be more open to the concept.

In the meantime, at least my outdoor Hue lights change colors with the holidays and come on at sunset :slight_smile: