SmartThings Community

Is Smarthings my penance into the next life?

(Johnny H) #1

Boy, does it ever stop?.. just when you think everything is working, it falls apart

Smarthings and Samsung are the devil, if you can endure its punishment, you’ll get your wings.

Its one thing after another with this system, I’ve got switches that are “on” and can’t be controlled, brand new SAMSUNG LEAK SENSORs that WERE WORKING and now can’t reconnect them, a siren that doesn’t siren anymore. Every product i purchased, i made sure it was on Samsung approved list.

It’s like a cycle, all the devices take turns falling off the pot and laughing at me.

Ohhh… and presence sensors that tell us we’re home… AFTER we’re home and set the alarm off.
Ohhhhh… and did we talk about the garage opener that once opened, that now opens/closes when it wants ?

Contacted support numerous times, still waiting… day 2 of week 2

The last time the solution was to reset the circuit breakers to the switches with the issues… This is what I want to do every other day, is sit in the basement and throw circuit breakers on and off…

And now we wait again…

What did I do wrong to deserve this?, My mother told me I “was” a good boy… Mmmmmm lol

5 Likes
(Ron Talley) #2

Sounds like you are having range issues…

  1. Where’s your hub located?
  2. is your hub near your WiFi router?
  3. How many devices do you have?
  4. How many Zigbee?
  5. How many Zwave?
  6. How many repeaters?
  7. Where are the repeaters located?
  8. What ST App are you using?
  9. What rule engine are you using?

Answer all and we will be more informed to help.

In those notes, I feel your pain!

#3

Good questions, but for what it’s worth, it doesn’t sound like range issues to me. I agree, it would help to know brand and model number of the individual devices to start troubleshooting, but we already know it’s a mix of both Z wave and zigbee and if I understand the original post, sometimes they work and then they don’t and then they start working again.

If that were happening in just one part of the house, or with just one protocol, then, yes, certainly range Issues would be a strong candidate. And it’s certainly still a possibility.

But to me it just sounds more like platform instability, and there’s been a lot of that lately. :disappointed_relieved:

2 Likes
(Bob Kerr) #4

I hear you, there are countless horror stories that piled up over the years, it sounds like you are ways ahead of most of us getting your wings first, as you have every problem that has been reported randomly by others.

Presence sensors are not reliable, you can scratch those off your list. Go with phone presence or life 360 to spare yourself from one annoying thing.

Garage door opener. Is it really the device that fails or the apps that uses it?

As for your other problems, like @JDRoberts said, is it one protocol that gives you troubles? Sounds like you may have Zigbee issues and that falls into what @rontalley was suggesting. If switches are Z-Wave, then you may also be affected by the recent update.

#5

Pretty sure the garage door controller is going to turn out to be zwave.

Also, since the OP was told to flip the circuit breaker for the switches, my guess is that those are GE Zwave models.

Can’t tell for sure until we know the brand and model numbers, but it looks like a mix to me.

#6

Also, the key fob presence sensors work fine for many people. But are awful for others. This has been true for years, and generally depends on local conditions. See the community FAQ:

2 Likes
(Bob Kerr) #7

Right, but opening/closing “when it wants” can be from the app that uses it, not necessarily that the device is misbehaving. Hard to tell without more details.

1 Like
(Big Hoss) #8

Without more detailed information about your configuration, it sounds to me to be a communications issue. I can only recommend that you do some research into how Zigbee, Zwave, and WiFi work.

The biggest problem is these three protocols, as well as cordless land line phones, baby monitors, and countless other consumer RF using devices are ALL in the 2.4ghz spectrum, at relatively low power usage, and are prone to interference from structural issues. Do you have walls with things like brick, metal etc… between points on your mesh network? How far are your nodes spaced from each other? Do you understand how a Mesh network works? Do you understand how a star network works?

All of the protocols I mentioned again are wireless, or Radio Frequency issues. Just like a car radio, if you are stuck under a bridge your reception stinks, well your WiFi, ZigBee, or Zwave reception is going to stink if there are physical barriers to the signal. We all need walls but they get in the way of wireless signals.

Your ZigBee and ZWave devices, if they are battery powered, will only talk back and forth to the next device. If they are mains powered, for most part will not only talk back and forth to the next device, but also forward messages for other devices, these create a messaging mesh. If you have battery powered devices that can’t talk well to the hub, add a similar protocol mains powered device between the hub and the battery device to strengthen the signal. For example I have Zigbee sensors in the garage, and Zigbee bulbs which are mains powered in the laundry room just inside the interior wall of the house, they act as a repeater to my Zigbee smart plug in the kitchen which then has a clean shot at talking to the hub, messages are passed and no drops, period…

WiFi is trickier as it doesn’t do the mesh thing, your router IS the central point. Look for a channel that isn’t busy for your network to talk on, and tell your router to use that channel, that will free up a LOT. Move your hub and router apart from each other, the WiFi signal from your router will stomp on Zigbee. Add a second router connected via an ethernet cable, set up in wireless AP mode and a different channel as a WiFi extender to distant areas with signal problems etc…

Your issue certainly is technical, and not spiritual. Hopefully this helps.

#9

No, they’re not.

Z wave in the US is at 908.4 megahertz. Absolutely nowhere near 2.4 GHz. That’s why Zwave doesn’t suffer from Wi-Fi interference, but zigbee does.

https://products.z-wavealliance.org

And Zwave and Zigbee Home Automation are low power mesh networks. Wi-Fi is not low power, which is why battery powered Wi-Fi devices have such a shorter battery life than the other two.

Again, I do not think from the OP’s original description that this is going to turn out to be a local mesh issue. (And I used to do exactly this kind of troubleshooting as a field tech.) The come and go nature of what was described in the first post doesn’t really lineup with the problems you are describing in your post.

There may be individual devices that have some local issues, and there’s certainly some troubleshooting to be done there, but I’ll be very surprised if this doesn’t turn out to be platform instability.

Just sayin’… :sunglasses:

3 Likes
#10

There was a hub firmware update recently combined with changes to the platform management of zwave deployment. Both have led to various instability issues for many people and not all issues have a fix yet. See the following:

Hub Firmware Release Notes - 25.26

(Big Hoss) #11

Hmmm. From my reading I have seen ZWave in the 2.4ghz spectrum… Must be bad info…
I stand corrected.

And by Low power, WiFi in the 2.4ghz band is legally limited to 100 miliwatts.

Contrasted to Citizens Band Radio on Single Sideband which is limited to 12 watts.

While there are many examples of insane numbers, WLW a commercial radio station in Ohio was transmitting at 500,000 watts.

By definition zwave, zigbee, wifi etc… are all low power radio.

There needs to be like I said, FAR more information given on the environment. Does the user have say an electric motor near devices that go offline that maybe kicks on about the same time the device goes offline?

I get where you are going, and I agree, to a certain extent, my point is one of going down the path of possibility. We just don’t have enough data to properly troubleshoot the OPs issue…

And your term platform instability, is plenty broad, which covers communication caused issues. So yes I can agree. The platform is dependent upon the various wireless protocols to function, no less important is the WAN connection to the cloud. Does the OP have reliable / constant internet connectivity etc…?

The listed solution got my interest. Reset the breaker? Could it possibly be an issue related to dirty power / inductive RF interference caused by faulty wiring in the home?

I would be interested in having an inventory of what is installed / powered by the various breakers, and doing some diagnostics on what is reset at the time of the breaker being reset.

So let’s look at what information we have available…

#1. Drops of 2.4 ghz and 908.4 mhz devices, recurrent. And it appears from how I am reading the OP possibly incorrectly, but I get the impression it repeats like on a schedule.
#2. Clears up when related breakers are tripped.
#3. The OP did not state which ST environment he or she is on. What version, and is it regular or ADT SmartThings? Seems from the omission of the ADT terminology we can assume regular ST, and possibly v3 but we can’t really assume.

Are there known firmware issues that have been fixed but not applied to this users hub?
Are there electrical problems like I mentioned above causing potential inductive interference, or causing irregular power feeding into the digital circuits thus causing problems with the hub?

There are so many variables, and those variables can have different impacts.

#12

I know you are very new to SmartThings, and different people use the same terms in different ways. My apologies if I was confusing. :sunglasses: In the SmartThings context, “platform instability” specifically excludes local mesh issues. It has to do with the changes that the folks sitting off in the smartthings offices make, usually without telling us anything, which introduce glitches. Or “changes in behavior.“:scream: This is the source of many of the “it’s worked fine for months, I haven’t changed anything, but this morning it isn’t working“ reports that you will regularly see in the forum.

The listed solution got my interest. Reset the breaker? Could it possibly be an issue related to dirty power / inductive RF interference caused by faulty wiring in the home?

In some cases perhaps, but there is a long-standing known issue with GE zwave wall switches which has nothing to do with the wiring in the home. And which is solved by a circuit breaker reset. So my guess is that’s the one that support has in their solutions database.

Again, it’s been discussed in the forums many times, but what happens is that the GE zwave switches (not the zigbee switches) Sometimes manage to get themselves into a kind of buffer overrun situation where they stop processing network commands. You can’t fix it from the network and you can’t fix it just with the airgap switch. But if you cut the power to the circuit entirely and then turn it back on it essentially does a reboot of the internal zwave processor and often fixes the problem. This isn’t a smartthings issue or a zwave issue: it’s specific to the GE Zwave model switches.

GE ZWave Switch connectivity issues

on a schedule…

I may be mistaken, but I was not on under the impression that it was happening on a regular time schedule. Just that it was intermittent with one device for a while, and that device was OK and it was intermittent with a different device.

{ which model hub}

Yes, that would be good to know.

There are so many variables, and those variables can have different impacts.

True, but I’ve been a network engineer for a long time including in the field, and I’ve been a smartthings user for about five years now, and there are some problems which occur on this system with much more frequency than others.

No question, to troubleshoot anything further, we would need brand and model number of the devices and more details about the specific individual problems before we start trying to diagnose from a distance. :wink:

p.s. you are right, of course, that in terms of broadcast licenses Wi-Fi is a low power protocol. But in terms of Home Automation specifically, it is considered a high power, high bandwidth option.

(Ron Talley) #13

Where did the OP go?! :rofl::rofl:

3 Likes
#14

2 Likes
(Johnny H) #15

Hi Ron,

Here’s some more info…

  1. Where’s your hub located? >> main floor - family room approx center of the house
  2. is your hub near your WiFi router? >> it was now above it
  3. How many devices do you have? >> 40-50
  4. How many Zigbee? I think 0
  5. How many Zwave? >> all are z-wave
  6. How many repeaters? not sure, they may be in some of the devices
  7. Where are the repeaters located? not sure
  8. What ST App are you using? >> Classic
  9. What rule engine are you using? >> None - straight ST app
  • Cisco Network 2 x 1832i AP’s, Cisco 5510 Firewall, High-speed internet

  • Samsung S9 phone

  • Leviton dimmers and wall-switches

  • Samsung/Fibaro leak sensors

  • Fortrezz / Samsung motion sensors

  • Linear GoControl Zwave Garage Door Controller

  • Water cut off valve - Econet BullDog Zwave Motorized Controller For Water Shut Off Valves

#16

First rule of home automation: the model number matters. :sunglasses:

Also, unless I’m misreading your posts, you definitely have some zigbee devices. Samsung smartthings brand devices are all zigbee, including the motion sensor, the multi sensor, etc.

Battery powered devices do not repeat. Most mains powered zigbee devices repeat for zigbee and most mains powered Z wave devices repeat for Z wave.

#17

Start by reading the following post, then go up to the top of that thread and skim through the rest of the FAQ. It will help you understand the basic concept of repeaters so you can understand more of what people are discussing in this thread. :sunglasses:

( The topic title is a clickable link)

#18

One example of why the model number matters: fortrezz makes a siren, a leak sensor, a temperature sensor, and the mimolite bridge module, but does not make any motion sensors. ( speaking of which, which siren is it that failed? )

https://products.z-wavealliance.org/regions/2/categories/8/products?company=93

Also, Leviton makes both Zigbee and Z wave switches that work with SmartThings. Yours are probably zwave, but we would need to know. We can tell from the model number, we can’t tell just from the case because many manufacturers use the same outside case for different models.

(Big Hoss) #19

It’s all about context!

1 Like
(Big Hoss) #20

Hello… Thatt’s not exactly consumer grade network hardware either you’re a serious hobbyist or a professional that takes their work home.

It might be helpful to gather not only your model numbers but if he can get the data your firmware revisions. Obviously something is going on here and JD Roberts seems to be on the right track I have been noticing what might be considered undocumented features popping up here and there in the short time I have been on smart things

1 Like