Mobile Presence After Moving to a New Residence


(Dave Rowley) #1

This post is just informational for anyone who sees erratic presence sensing after moving to a new residence.

I recently moved across town. It took me a few weeks to rewire my Z-Wave and ZigBee devices, but once I got everything hooked up in the new house, I kept getting the strangest behavior with my Android phone’s presence. It would show me arriving and then leaving every couple of minutes. I tried all the steps mentioned in the official SmartThings support post that you’re supposed to do after moving, but it did nothing to solve the problem. I ended up having to disable the Hello Home phrases altogether from triggering upon arrival or leaving my house because it was so bad. I tried completely uninstalling my phones presence as a “Thing”, deleting the app altogether, clearing my phone’s location caches, etc.

After some research on Google, here’s what I found to be the problem/workaround besides throwing my SmartThings hub through the window. The problem was that my Android phone was getting conflicting location data from the GPS/cell networks and the Wi-Fi. Google’s database maps each router that has a visible SSID and assigns the router’s MAC address a specific longitude and latitude. After I moved my router to my new house, my phone (which was connected to my router’s Wi-Fi) kept thinking I was at my old house 15 miles away, which caused SmartThings location-based actions to be all screwed up. The solution is a) get a new Wi-Fi router, b) wait a few months for Google’s algorithms to notice that the router has physically moved and update their database, or c) find a way to clone/spoof/change your router’s MAC address. Since I have an Asus router running the stock ASUSWRT firmware (RT-AC68U), I was able to SSH in and change one digit of my router’s MAC address through a terminal session. It took a while to figure it out, but the change solved the problem immediately. I also had to clone my original MAC address to my WAN port since my ISP uses MAC address binding to establish a connection to the internet.

Hopefully someone else might benefit from this since I didn’t see it posted anywhere else in the forms after a quick search.


(Keith Croshaw) #2

Wow that’s a good point. Perhaps makes it worth it to get a new router after moving. It’s amazing how much mobile presence is out of ours and ST’s hands…


(Alex Christensen) #3

That seems to come up often, both here and among people I work with. If you can’t change the wireless MAC of your router you’re going to have to plan on buying a new one when you move.