SmartThings Community

More "unavailable" devices


(Amauri Viguera) #1

Ugh… there goes the love that the wife had for a lot of this stuff… :slight_smile:

I’m seeing A LOT of devices start reporting as unavailable or just become unresponsive, out of the blue, over the last couple of weeks. I have two garage door openers literally right next to each other, and one of them works fine while the other one doesn’t. Almost makes me wish for the problems when it was “Unknown” but still could be fixed.

ALL of my range extenders appear to have stopped working lately as well – which I guess could be the cause for the garage opener becoming unavailable.

Some devices are showing up on the IDE as “OFFLINE” while others are “INACTIVE” – although some of them show up as having being active recently (hours ago) but still don’t respond when I try to control them via the app.

Not sure where I could start troubleshooting since the repair seems to have done nothing, and short of starting the rather painful process of excluding things and re-adding them, it doesn’t look like much will actually work.

Any thoughts?


(John C) #2

Have you turned off the Device Health “feature?” Some folks think that helps!


(Amauri Viguera) #3

Yeah that basically stops the app from complaining, but it will still refuse to operate the devices. :slight_smile:

BTW some of these things (like the Extenders) don’t actually show up as “Unavailable” when the Device Health is turned off, they just don’t work if you try to actually turn them on/off (which was possible before). These are “Range Extender 6” from Aeotec, which should be green when connected but are showing solid red instead.


#4

First, I’d recommend my Z-Wave repeater DTH for your range extenders. This DTH will report online/offline and works with Health Check.

Second, I’d try a Z-Wave Repair and contact support if you haven’t already. It’s possible one of your devices is acting up causing a cascading effect. Support can better troubleshoot those issues.


(Amauri Viguera) #5

Sure enough, I dropped in the new DTH and changed the devices, hit “force reconfigure” (wouldn’t work otherwise) and they’re all online now.

Of course the rest of the devices (some CREE bulbs, the garage door opener and a few others) are still “unavailable” even after a repair, so we’ll see what support says.


#6

The last two days, SmartThings has become completely unusable to me. I found this thread hoping to hear I wasn’t alone. I’ve gone around my house, trying to fix “Unavailable Devices” by popping in/out the battery, replacing the battery, rebooting the hub, and on and on and on. Some devices (mostly ST motion sensors and ST leak detectors) refuse to be resurrected at all. While other devices come back online after a battery swap for a couple of hours, only for me to find the automation routines broken again and not working like they should. Opening the app reveals the devices are back to being “Unavailable”. I’ve probably burned through $20 worth of batteries in an effort to get things stable, but to no avail. I really hope there is a platform issue going on, botched firmware or something to explain it all (which I can handle and will be patient with). But if this is the new norm, you may see a post from me selling all my ST enabled gear. I have about 40 devices, $1,000+ invested, but right now I’d trade it all for a tank of gas.

What good is a product, advertised as a vital tool for security, emergencies (fire, leaks, etc), could have this volatility. Is it the nature of wireless technology (Zwave, Zigbee, etc…)? Is it the dependence on cloud connectivity? As it stands right now, if my basement were to flood, or if I were to get carbon monoxide, or if I had a break in while my wife and kids were home, there would probably be a less than 50% chance ST would notify me. That’s not good enough odds for me.


(Andrew Newton) #7

Couldnt agree more

I have had continual problems with devices going off line. I have smart plug and z wave extenders so I know any zwave devices are fine, but the Samsung sensors which i believe are zigbee are constantly dropping off.

Samsung support don’t seem to get this and they suggested its due to the wifi signals in my home.

I use BT Whole Home Mesh Wifi so I do have good wifi coverage but Samsung don’t seem to offer an answer nor do they confirm if a zigbee extend will help. So left with no where to go and a product that simply does not work reliably…

Does anyone have any suggestions? Positive ones of course


(John C) #8

This is because WiFi can interfere with Zigbee signaling! Both use a common frequency band. @JDRoberts knows more of the particulars…


#9

Here you go:

All of that said, there have definitely been more community members reporting devices “off-line” in the last couple of months who previously had everything working well, so I’m not convinced that it’s local interference rather than a platform issue. But it never hurts to review the current set up anyway.


(Amauri Viguera) #10

Yeah, if anything I would say that the changes that I have introduced should have made the system more robust, instead of less so.

I’ve had the garage door openers for a while now and while it’s just really inconvenient, it’s also frustrating when you have two units and one of them works but not the other. Similarly, having a bulb that just stops being accessible overnight is not the end of the world, but when you start getting 3 devices acting up, then 4, then 6, all of the sudden you start to think that maybe it’s time to start thinking about just how much the platform as a whole remains usable.

Maybe today I can’t turn off that one light, but then come December my Christmas lights don’t work on schedule, or the water valve or leak sensor stop reporting.


#11

my devices all worked fine up until the last week, not basically all my official smartthings motions sensors keep dropping off as Unavailable. Not sure what would have changed in the last week? only one that still shows up is 3 feet from the hub. the rest are unavailable.


#13

@JDRoberts – you may be the smartest man alive!!! Thanks so much for your post in this thread.

I started to realize that all of my devices I’ve been complaining (read: having a tantrum) about were all ZigBee devices. And that my ZWave devices have been good.

What’s been ultimately frustrating is that up until last weekend, things were working relatively well for a long period of time (I should clarify, relatively well for SmartThings which is on a different scale than other things). Well we also had a power outage last weekend, and my new working theory is that my wireless router, which is very near my ST Hub v2, power cycled and it’s WiFi channel was set to “Auto” on the 2.4 Ghz range. Now, it’s my understanding that when a wireless router reboots, it tries to pick a 2.4Ghz channel that it thinks is open but it’s anyone’s guess as to how that actually works and really, it just finds one and lands on it until the next reboot. Well after reading that ZigBee actually uses the 2.4 Ghz spectrum (news to me), and looking up the article on Zigbee/WiFi coexistence, I found out that my Hub v2 is using Zigbee channel 15 and my WiFi router was using Channel 3. And if you look at the graphs available here: https://support.metageek.com/hc/en-us/articles/203845040-ZigBee-and-WiFi-Coexistence it appears to me that Zigbee channel 15 and WiFi channel 3 are smack dab right on top of each other. I set my WiFi router to Channel 11, and rebooted it, and so far knock on wood all of my devices are checked in and ACTIVE. It hasn’t even been 24 hours yet but it sounds like you may have led me to the reason why ST seems to go in waves of stability at my house. It’s possible that I just lucked out with my router selecting an open channel at different times – while other times I wasn’t so lucky.

Obviously it would be nice to move the Hub to be 3m away, but in my current setup that isn’t really ideal and like I said, at times it works as well as I could hope for (with any wireless technology).

So thanks again @JDRoberts !! Crossing my fingers this current good fortune will last.


(Steve White) #14

Honestly the summer has been a train wreck for SmartThings here. The worst occurred while I was on vacation about a month ago when the Z-Wave radio in the hub decided to disable itself. I attribute this to a hub update which occurred while we were gone. Our pet sitter couldn’t get in the house using the house using a fob because the Z-wave locks wouldn’t unlock. A reboot brought up most Z-wave devices except the system would not communicate with the Z-wave locks anymore. I attribute it all to a hub firmware update gone wrong.

The number of complaints would have doubled had I been home enough to post. Since the beginning of August my system is losing 2-3 devices a week, mostly Z-Wave which seems to suffer from a poor implementation in ST. I’ve had a few Zigbee devices drop but usually a battery pull solves that.

It’s been a rough summer.


(J.R.) #15

I’m going to add myself to the list here. Most of my offline devices have been hardwired devices. GE and Leviton light switches, i’ve had a few zwave battery devices (door contact and motion sensor) go offline and a battery pull solved those. However I’ve NEVER had any of these issues before. All zwave. I’ve done the zwave repairs as things have happened to help the situation. All in the last month.

I should add…the only thing I’ve really done to my system is add devices over the last month…so maybe this is an issue of too many? I have 87 total.


(Gokul Dharumar) #16

Same here. I got smartthings hub v2 just 15 days ago. I have added my locks and thermostat. It keeps saying that devices are unavailable, not all at once. But everytime it is a different device. Some times it just hangs stating locking but it never locks same with unlock… Same with on and off switch. Anyone else got a solution for that?


#17

Yup, add me to the mix as well. System was relative stable / reliable, as much as one can call ST “reliable”…

In the last 3-4 weeks device availability seem to come and go. Today it is this device, tomorrow it that one, with the original magically back again. Some fail to respond no matter what I do. My devices are also all across the spectrum: z-wave, zigbee, battery and powered devices. It is the hardwired switches and outlets that kill me - they can use all the juice they want for comms…

My system is now at the point where I cannot rely on anything without physically verifying it. Switches show as on when they are off - you get the idea. The worst is the absolutely ridiculous response times from an entirely local operation, ie motion -> light on in the range of > 30s! Or asking Alexa to turn X on and she says OK, but absolutely nothing happens…

I am seriously redoubling my efforts again to find something, even if it comes at a cost, that will run locally and that is reliable. To only thing, if I do find something, is how much I will miss webCore. Adrian continues to be the life saver for the ST world.

J


Many devices get disconnected
(Amauri Viguera) #18

Yeah I had problems before so I know that I had to move away from “automation” and into the “just control” space, because the last thing I need is to be surprised by things not doing what they’re supposed to.

There are odd problems too… you tell Google to turn some lights on and it doesn’t happen, or one of them does, or the routines don’t affect all the devices. Hard to pinpoint when you have two bulbs in the same room and one of them works fine but the other one doesn’t…

So… I’ve been removing responsibilities from SmartThings slowly on a daily basis, and we’ll see if the hub is just gonna end up in a drawer somewhere in a couple of months.


(Will) #19

I am adding myself as well, today everything went offline and I can’t get anything back except for a few motion sensors. I have given up for the day and will try repairing them one by one in the morning. Hopefully it is a temporary glitch, I haven’t changed anything with the system recently.


(Derek Hart) #20

I found a short-term workaround to get devices back online and working. I removed the devices and re-added them back to the system. Not ideal, but it did give me roughly 3 weeks of solid availability. However tonight I’ve had Lightify lights going “unavailable” and failing, which is how I found this thread. My guess is that ST is about to become useless again. I’m glad I never added door locks to my system…

For a solid 7-8 months from last fall into early spring, ST was rock solid then over the summer, the bottom fell out and it became unusable. I hope they sort it out, but I’m very close to looking for a new solution.


(Amauri Viguera) #21

My issue is mainly with the randomness of the whole thing.

I decided that re-adding the devices was just a nonstarter and ST would just be relegated to even more basic convenience use. Then all of the sudden – without any intervention from my part – everything started working again.

Then the garage door stated reporting incorrectly the other day… And few things are as unnerving as not knowing if the door is lying for real this time and it’s open and not closed like you think it is. Then that lasted exactly one day and it started reporting unavailable, then magically started reporting fine the next day.

My problem with the platform has always been that it shows you the potential, and it’s like you’re living in the future and everything just works. Then one day some things don’t work. And the next day they do and other things break. Then everything is good for a week or two. Rinse. Repeat.