Hardwired sensors

(Coolcatiger) #1

Is there any zwave / zigbee device which can be used to connect hardwired contact , motion sensors ? My house is already fitted with hardwired sensors on each door and window and multiple motion sensors. These are connected to security system. If some how ST can communicate to these sensors it would be great.

Suggest a Device
ST-compatible "Hub" or bridge for existing hardwired security sensors?
(Andrew Urman) #2

Lots of people’s houses have the hardwired sensors. We don’t have anything perfect yet, but we are putting some serious time into finding the right one. This would open up a lot of possibilities, but a single device with lots of sensors is going to take some dev time.

(Coolcatiger) #3

I am very much looking forward for this kind of device.

(Todd) #4

I have started working a smartthings device that will allow up to 64 sensors. Last bits of hardware arrived today. If you folks could please give me detailed info on the types of contacts/hardwire sensors you have maybe my solution is applicable. With the info you gave there is many possibilities.

I look forward to your responses.

(had to create new user to get forums to work)

(Jay) #5

IMO the best option is to have ST integrated with one of the leading brands home Alarm systems. Many home alarm systems support wired sensors that are reliable and accurate.

(Coolcatiger) #6

@todd, I have door/window contact, motion, glass breaker, smoke / carbon monoxide sensors.
It would be great if it works in parallel to alarm system as I agree with @Jay.

Could I help you in any fashion ?

(Todd Wackford) #7

OK, forum bug is fixed so I’m back as me (twack.)

Hello Jay and Cool’,

I’ve begun the project with just the door/window contact sensors. I’ll be looking into integration or exclusion of the other sensors as the project progresses. Could you better describe each of the sensor types that you have? Brand, model, how they are powered and how each are wired or communicate with system’s hub?

THanks in advance,

(Craiginpa) #8

I, too, am interested in some way to feed wired door/window contact status to my SmartThings hub.

I seem to have have built-in wired contacts all over in the townhouse I just bought. I have no idea what “kind” they are, but they aren’t powered by anything right now because that security system was part of a service that wasn’t used for maybe a decade before I bought the place. They look like round flattened coins/slugs embedded in the window or door frame and painted over, so I assume there are magnets embedded in the doors and windows that these flat magnetic contact sensors sense. Their wiring all leads to some central location which I haven’t found yet, although there is a very old obsolute non-working security keypad on the wall of the bedroom.

So I assume I need something that would directly detect the open/closed status of a frame-embedded magnetic contact sensor using the wires from the sensors that all come together at some central location. Does that sound right? I don’t know if such sensors require a device to send low-voltage power through the wiring or if a device would just detect slight fluctuations in current or resistance in the wires caused by the magnets (which is what I assumed).

For starters & testing, is there any commercially-available device that would work with the wire(s) from a single sensor of this type and feed the status to the SmartThings hub? What would such a thing be called? (I can’t even google for something like that unless I know what it would be called.)


Craig in PA (USA)

(Solardave1) #9

Either a remotec xfm80 or an evolve lfm20 will workin the interim. St recognizes both devices and they provide dry contact closure.

(Craiginpa) #10

solardave1 – I don’t understand your suggestion. Google and Bing aren’t finding anything when I search for “remotec xfm80” and as far as I can see the evolve lfm20 seems to be for sending an actuation signal (e.g., trigger open/close signal to garage door opener leads) rather than sensing the status of a magentic sensor.

(Solardave1) #11


Sorry but I mis-understood the question. These devices will either open or close a circuit based on a z-wave command but not the reverse I don’t think (I.e.- they won’t sense a closure(or open) and issue a command. I’m fairly sure it wouldn’t take allot of effort to have an st multi to do it though.

(Solardave1) #12

I’ve been trying to track down the guy who owned Boca systems which had a lot of z-wave and ZigBee gateway devices (like and x-10 bridge) and a bi-directional contact closure module. They apparently went out of business and I’ve located about half a dozen email addresses and phone numbers for the owner but so far,no luck. I wanted to see if he would be willing to sell the IP rights or perhaps he had boards, modules, whatever left over from his attempt to go to market but im still searching. I agree, a contact closure to z-wave would be a fantastic product (hint, hint Andrew).

(Craiginpa) #13

FWIW, someone had previously suggested this impressive interface
but that only interfaces wired magnetic-contact sensor input to old fashioned serial port digital output. We’d need a solution that goes all the way from from wired sensor through to some kind of wireless signal. I don’t have the skills to know how.

In the short-term, I would have imagined there should be something easier that works one a single wired sensor. (Heck, something that just duplicated a wired sensor’s magnetic pull over to a a ST “multi” sensor located at the other end of the wiring could do the trick in the short-term, although that hardly seems elegant or economical for more than one.)

(Solardave1) #14

Look, the easiest way in the interim, provided you’re comfortable writing some simple Arduino code, is to use the ST shield. Grab a couple of I/O pins, write a small sketch and <poof> you get an ST read. It would be significantly easier to have a turnkey system and I absolutely hate programming but I have some specific needs that at this point, I can’t figure out an alternative so wiring it is until something better comes along. I’m sure that once I start screwing around with the sketches I’ll be compelled to needlessly extend the functionality but that’s between me and my psychiatrist.

(Solardave1) #15

I just found this in my bookmarks list, maybe this will help:

(Craiginpa) #16

Alas, I am not familiar with circuit boards (Arduino) nor Arduino software nor “shields” nor “pins” or “reads”.

That ZSCAN16PROXR_ZBMESH ZigBee 16-Channel Contact Closure Input Scanner Detector seems like it might do something useful, although I’m not experienced enough to know exactly what. Thank you very much for mentioning it! Does ST support ZigBee devices? Are wired magnet open/close sensors the kind of “contact closure” that board is built for? What power source would it need? Would this device make each attached wired sensor be recognized by the ST hub as separate individual devices? Or would they be an unrecognized type of device? I’d need someone with the right technical experience to tell me this is the right answer, or not, but it sure looks like it might be on the right track.

(Solardave1) #17

And therein lies the problem and the case for an integrated PnP z-wave device. Unless you’re technical (and I personally use that term loosely) and actually think writing sketches and playing with arduinos and shields and resistors and diodes and regulators and al the other crap that goes into building something from parts, you’re SOL.

(Todd Wackford) #18

I have developed a 64 contact wired sensor aggregator that will use a SmartThings Shield. Just waiting on some ST functionality coming and the store to allow us makers/developers to jump in.

(Solardave1) #19

Yeah! (Putting Arduino and Shield back in cabinet :!)
Much better when someone else does he heavy lifting.
I’m going to trip the beeper on my presence tag and scare the cat again.

(Craiginpa) #20

Sounds appealing, twack. (Though 64 sensors seems like overkill.)