How it works... doesn't tell how it works

There is a How it works chapter on the website.
It says Plug in the device (2 cables) et voila…, that is not how it works.

I expect some explanation of flow of information, what data is stored where etc.
Somthing that would answer questions like:

I am looking for a domotica hub

  • that can work off-line for >95% of the time.
  • Can act on commands from an phone-application or through laptop that is at best in wifi range or better bluetooth range.
  • And from the hub can control various equipment like lighting & heating.
  • Has backup power (can be a sufficiently sized UPS).
  • Can be controlled from multiple handheld devices, with various authorizations.
  • Can manage those authorizations…

V2 hub can work offline, but it is very limited when offline

  • no phone/laptop control when offline, only zigbee/zwave devices
  • yes can control zwave/zigbee devices
  • V2 hub has 4 AA battery backup or you can use a UPS of course
  • well, if you count zwave or zigbee devices, yes
  • um, no?

Sounds like you want to roll your own. There are plenty of open source zwave/zigbee HA packages out there.

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Well there is a building on a location where only internet is “available” when there is a phone there, and then a flakey GPRS connection at best. hence the local control requirement.

But the buiilding can benefit from “home” automation by managing the heating to be off when there is no one in the building, turning all lights off when no one is in… various attendees hence the multiple ppl and authorisations.

So some motion detectors + control for heating & lighting can help a lot in saving energy (if only just turning stuff off after “someone” forgets to just do that after leaving)
Rolling my own certainly is an option, but why reinvent the wheel.

Until now i only saw these kind of devices requiring PC’s or they are just pathways to a cloud based solution.
But Cloudbased doesn;t always cut it.

Vera (zwave, not zigbee) or Staples Connect or any of the older laptop/LAN options like Indigo can give you what you want. They are not cloud – dependent after the initial set up.

SmartThings just doesn’t match what you describe in either V1 or V2.

If you are more technical, like to tinker, and may want to do a bit of custom programming, I would look at vera.

If you want something which is closer to plug and play, look at Staples Connect. You do need Internet to set it up initially, but after that it can run fine.

SmartThings does not make a hub product for you at this time, @dumbthings.


Right. For your situation you want fully local control. So you require a PC running custom zwave/zigbee HA software that can talk to the motion detectors and heat/light control. Not a cloud based turnkey consumer HA product like Smartthings, Vera, etc.

If you’re not a developer, you could probably hire someone to write it/customize an open source package to do what you want for under $20k ($100/hour, ~ 5 weeks of work)

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@schettj are the offline limitations of V2 detailed anywhere on this site? I’ve looked and searched all over and only find vague references. For example, will the Smart Home Monitor app work with the various things while offline? Thanks.

I don’t think they’ve documented it, but I’ve read posts in the very long v2 hub outlining what happens when the hub is offline.

  • the phone app ONLY talks via the cloud - makes sense.
  • any device types/smart apps that rely on cloud services don’t update if offline, and aren’t hosted on hub
  • local zwave/zigbee event processing happens (*)
  • some smart apps run locally (if they don’t use any non-local stuff, for example, they work offline)

That’'s what I recall, but it’s by no means offical - it does make sense based on how we all believe the hybrid cloud stuff is done.

(*) so for example if you have smart switches and a minimote that is programmed to turn on/off a switch when a button is pressed, that should work offline. If you have an app that turns on/off lights based on motion and a local hardward lux sensor, that should work offline, If your have a smart app that depends on a weather tile getting lux from weather underground, that’s not gonna update if the hub is offline, so that’s not likely to be resident on hub, or if it is it will be using the last value read before going offline. I would guess. I don’t actually know any of this, but based on what has been said, this is my best guess.

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Thanks @schettj Assuming what you’ve outlined is true, a ST alarm system consisting of motion sensors and door switches should still activate a zwave alarm while offline, which would be good. I’m guessing it could be silenced then by manually turning off the alarm or using a programmed minimote. But, notifications/remote operation would still be a no go. Guess I need to investigate a failover 3g router for that. Thanks again!

Out of curiosity, what specifically about my post did ‘multiple people’ disagree with? Obvious troll was obvious and I just called him out :smiley:

This is why I hate ‘Discourse’ with a passion… Terrible forum format.

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Forum is one thing, official site is another.
And both are very thin on details about off-line capabilities…
While off line i don’t expect to consult any weather site, i do expect to run some event driven handling like turning lights/heat on when someone enters the building etc.

Thanks, for the confirmation, about the capabilities.
The 20K would be inhibitive as this is for a volunteer run organisation
with a ~20K yearly budget.

Personally i am not that thrilled about the whole cloud wave everyone seems to ride.
And depending on a working internet connection has too many failure modes to function as a serious alarm system. A simple powerfailure will kill the calling out functions as either the ISP is powerless, or the CPE goes down. etc.
(My business is designing & maintaining 99.999% uptime systems,
Meaning that >5 minutes/year downtime means serious conversations about continuation of contracts, and believe me people will notice when there is a 5 minute downtime… but that is a different ballpark)

I doubt if it is obvious, i was looking for information…
And i got it now.

google is quite capable of searching for certain info…, and when finding a page called how it works that only describes that one needs to plugin a device is a tad short for a description about specifically off-line working of this device.
I personally hate making an account for a one time visit to ask for info.
So you will probably not find any more questions from me…
I will discuss this thread and then leave… a better username would have been dumbforum.

I queried support on the offline capabilities of the V2 hub today. Here is their response:

Smart Home monitor will not work offline at the moment, but we are working behind the scenes to allow Smart Home Monitor to run locally.

Right now, there’s no list of devices or SmartApps that will be running locally. However, we will be consistently adding local functionality as we move forward. In the meantime, here’s what we know about local processing on the new hub.

Provided there is still power to the hub (wired or battery), any SmartApps that are able to execute locally will still run without an internet connection. The mobile app will report the Hub is offline, and because there are no events being sent to the SmartThings cloud, notifications will not work.

The radios in the Hub will still function without internet. Events to the cloud will be queued while the hub is offline, and they will be sent when the internet is restored.

You will also not be able to use your mobile phone to control devices locally while the hub is offline

The problem with that explanation, which was the original explanation we received a few months ago, is that as released, there is now an administrative review requirement for both smart apps and device types. So now it’s not a matter of whether the app can technically run locally, it also has to been reviewed by smartthings staff and approved to run locally.

If you are using either a custom smart app or a custom device type, as of this moment it will not run locally even though it technically “can.”

So just a heads up, if you use any custom code at all, you’re going to lose the advantages of running locally for now. They are saying That it someplace in the future you’ll be able to authorize custom code for yourself but there’s no method for do that now.

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This wording was not ideal. It is not meant to say that we are interrogating each submitted SmartApp or device type handler for ability to run locally but rather, define the parameters for the types of SmartApps and device types and capabilities that should run locally or not.


I hope this is the case and the issue will be resolved soon. Otherwise third-party smart apps and device handler developers would be at competitive disadvantage to the “native” SmartThings apps and devices.

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This does seem to be a starting point:

or alternatively:

addition last one failed to meet their kickstarter

You make fantastic points with certain things that could be improved upon, but Smart Things is a work in progress, just like the rest of the smart home automation market. The whole market itself is figuring things out, protocols, branding, compatibility, security, blah blah blah. It really does seem like your needs are not met by the Smart Things company, which is a bummer, but lets not be so hasty regarding negativity.

That being said, have a fantastic 3 day weekend, I hope you find a system that works perfectly for your needs!

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