SmartThings Community

Help with First Alert ZCOMBO Devices


(Scott Lunden) #1

Newbie here. I was browsing through the community looking ways to integrate my First Alert ZCOMBO Smoke/CO alarms into Smartthings and found the link below to github with code that has everything I am looking for. My issue is I’m a little lost with what to do with the code. I’ve done something like this once before when I integrated my TP-Link bulbs and outlets into Smartthings but in that case there were specific instructions to follow and everything worked great. Can someone help guide me on how to set up the code below or if there are specific instructions that I missed that can be shared I would be most appreciative.

https://github.com/SmartThingsCommunity/SmartThingsPublic/tree/bcfece27c4809803c2dc5ea9adff2c1d5f4223f7/devicetypes/smartthings/zwave-smoke-alarm.src42


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

Why do you need a custom Device Type Handler?

The automatic built-in one works fine… I believe that’s what I’m using?


(Jeff H) #3

Same here, Just add them and that’t that.


(Scott Lunden) #4

Hmmm…maybe I’m not understanding how it works. I have the ZCOMBOs set up in Smartthings fine. I can see their current state and what the battery level is. And I set up an alert to my phone for when the alarm goes off. When I test each device I can see it says test in Smarthings but I didn’t see a way to trigger an alert for that to be sent to my phone as well. And then with the battery level I was looking to see if it could alert me when it dropped below a set level. In reading through the code I thought that it would give me a way to do this but I now see that it is how they work with Smartthings now with this code.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #5

Smart Home Monitor has an option for Smoke Detection (probably also does CO … not sure). It only notifies on real alarms, not “test”. Once you have everything set up, I recommend doing a “real” test (you can buy canned test smoke and/or CO, so I hear; but I just carefully waft a little real smoke by the detector: Not a big deal if you don’t do it often!).

Low battery alerts are built into the SmartThings App, but they are definitely not reliable. I’ve had ZCOMBO battery read 77% for a long time and then suddenly start giving the annoying low-battery chirp without any further update to the battery level in SmartThings.

Perhaps 77% (or ??) is the level at which you need to consider replacing the batteries. Other sensor and locks, etc., all have different battery level % at which they still function and then, usually without warning, fail.

My Schlage Lock mis-functions at 50% or less. My original multi-sensor still works fine at 1%.


(Cory LaFountaine) #6

These devices only update batteries when they check in with the hub (be it a test or an alarm). It will not monitor real time battery life.


(DavidK) #7

I have resorted to hitting the test button on all smoke alarms every couple of months to force the smoke alarms to send a battery level update to Smartthings.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #8

Really??? :cry: :confounded: :angry: :confused:.


(DavidK) #9

I do not know for sure if that is what they do, but it certainly seems that the battery level updates are very infrequent!


(Cory LaFountaine) #10

Yes. This is also why they cannot all trigger in the event of an alarm. They can only send data when an alarm is triggered. They don’t receive anything and are in a sleep mode. Battery conservation I’m sure.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #11

I accept the lack of this feature. First Alert makes a different model (non Z-Wave) that offers interconnectivity.

But, gosh darnit, I have always thought that there would be at least some frequency of battery level reporting.

Oh well: I guess the only “smart” value these units have is their ability to relay Alerts to SmartThings (which can then act on them via SHM or other SmartApps). Sigh. :disappointed: