Migrating to Ring Alarm

I am using the ST environment, have two Ring cameras, and integrate all with Echo (Alexa).
I would like to add some basic alarm functions to my system but find it difficult to do in ST. I am considering migrating most of my sensors to the Ring Alarm system to make this process easier. What are some of the pitfalls I might run into in doing so?

Can I run both Z-wave systems side-by-side (if needed)?

Can you confirm that I would have to remove the devices such as contact sensors from the ST hub in order to add them to the Ring Alarm hub?

Anything else?

Thanks!

  1. Ring brand zwave Devices will work with the ring alarm base station or the SmartThings hub, but not both at the same time. So you have to pick one or the other for each sensor.

  2. You can use Alexa routines (not ST routines) as an intermediary if you want to. That’s what some community members do if they want to run the ring security system but tie it into smartthings so they could also, say, turn on lights if a sensor is tripped. So you have the ring sensor trigger and Alexa routine and have the Alexa routine turn on a virtual device in smartthings to act as a proxy for the sensor.

Or if all you need is something simple like those lights turning on, you can just do that and skip the virtual device. The Alexa routine doesn’t run locally, and it’s definitely a little more work, but it is doable. :sunglasses:

  1. The ring alarm system will only trigger security features with its own branded sensors. You may already know that, but since you didn’t specify I did want to say that. so even though it’s a Z wave system, you can’t just move all of your Z wave devices over. (That’s very common for security systems, by the way: they will limit the number of models that they work with in order to improve reliability.)

So if you do currently have ring brand sensors connected to your smart things hub, then exclude them and remove them from smartthings, then you can include them to ring.

  1. You shouldn’t have a problem running two separate Z wave networks in your home, I’ve run as many as four without issues. Just make sure the two hubs are at least 6 feet apart. And in an apartment building there might be several dozen that are physically pretty close. So that part shouldn’t be an issue.

  2. Also another aspect you probably already know, but just to be sure: each Z wave network operates independently, they don’t share repeaters. If you had other mains powered Z wave devices on your SmartThings system like smart plugs or light switches, then it’s quite likely that your ring brand sensors were repeating through those. When you move those sensors over to Ring, they no longer have those repeaters available. So you may run into some range issues if you don’t also add some repeaters to your Ring network. But you may not know until you try it. :thinking:

like I said, you may already know that, but I do often see when people are moving devices from one hub to another that they don’t take into account the difference in available repeaters and then they think that the new hub doesn’t work very well when in fact it’s just a matter of network layout.

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I run both ST and Ring systems in parallel (side-by-side). There is a 100 device limit with Ring, but just like with ST you can run more than one hub (separate accts with Ring). only a hand full of non-Ring devices are compatible with Ring, but over the last 2-3 years they are adding more. Some of the major compatible devices are FA smoke/CO alarm and Ecolink tilt sensor. the dome siren is also compatible, but quite a joke when they say the neighbors will hear it cause it isnt that loud. I hacked a couple of them to trip a relay and trigger a horn siren. you can get some good deals on Ring device sensors on ebay especially during or right after holidays when people buy the Ring kits that go on sale and sell their extra pieces. i.e. $30-40 Ring Key Pad v2, $20-25 Ring Motion v2, $14ish Ring Contact v2, etc. I even use the Ring Retro Kit so that when then ST alarm goes off it triggers the Ring Alarm if not already triggered.

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Thank you both for the very helpful information.

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Out of curiosity, what basic alarm functions in SmartThings are you finding difficult?

Two things, really.
Finding a suitable alarm siren. Actually, instead of a siren, I would prefer to have alert announcements made by my Echo devices (Alexa) but I know that the Ring alarm system won’t solve this.
The ability to easily control which devices (particularly my Ring cameras) are used in Armed-stay and Armed-away. This is particularly difficult using ST.
Thanks for your interest.

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You can do this, but you have to set up one Alexa routine for each ring sensor, which is super tedious. And there’s a max of 99 routines per Alexa account.

Here’s one we use:

This could be accomplished with STHM, a virtual switch and an Alexa routine. Create a virtual switch with contact sensor using this Edge driver:

Add it to your STHM response, then create an Alexa routine with it as the trigger and the action could be whatever you want. Spoken alert, play a song, etc.

This can be set in STHM settings, but the UI isn’t very intuitive. If you turn off the toggle next to “use all motion sensors” and then tap the text you can select individual motion devices.

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Obviously I’m not the OP, but our main reason for having a separate security system besides reliability, battery backup, and local cellular connection to a professional monitoring service (all basic security functions for us) is the ability to change security mode locally. Last time I checked, STHM still required an active Internet connection to change mode or send notifications.

One of the other reasons for moving to the Ring alarm system which I meant to mention but forgot is I would like to get away from the special drivers, etc., that ST is noted for (and liked by many people). I want to keep things as simple and basic as possible.

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