Motion and Door Sensors keeps activating


(Mel) #1

Are there any standard trouble shooting steps for a buggy motion detector or door sensor?

I have a motion sensor in the upstairs hallway that keeps triggering randomly.

It started off pretty slowly with 1 or 2 false alarms a week and has progressed to the point where it woke me up 3 times last night. (After dark, motion in the hallway turns on my bedside lamp for a couple of minutes.) It’s gotten dramatically worse in the last couple of weeks, and the door sensor (to my knowledge) has only been acting up for about that long.

This morning, I figured I’d try moving the sensor to the other end of the hallway, in case there was a bug or lizard or something crawling in front of it or some odd air current. This seems to have made the issue worse - it’s triggered 7 times this morning already.

I’m starting to get creeped out, to be honest… When I woke up this morning I verbally turned on the coffee pot via Alexa and within a fraction of a second of Alexa acknowledging it, the sensor triggered.

The back door has started getting buggy too, and it’s extra-weird when I see that there’s an alert on the back door within a few minutes of the hallway triggering. I’ve got a separate security system with a sensor on that door, and that never triggers, nor does the security system’s motion detector which points in the general direction of that door, so, logically, I know the door couldn’t have opened and no one could have came in. But it doesn’t stop me from getting freaked out when I see a list of times the door was opened when I KNOW I wasn’t anywhere near it and it sometimes seem to correlate to times when the motion sensor is acting wonky. (Though, the sensor acts wonky so often now that it’s bound to correlate at least some of the time.)

The motion sensor battery level shows 89%. There’s an air return in the hallway, but no air vents and no correlation between the AC being on and times it triggers. It’s a pretty dark hallway, with no windows, so there can’t be sunlight or an open window or anything like that causing issues. The back door sensor shows 78% battery. The IDE says the hub firmware and firmware for both devices is fine.

The errors also seem to happen a LOT more at night and less during the day.

Does anyone have any ideas troubleshooting steps? Or should I just replace it before it drives me crazy?

I can bring my other motion sensor upstairs and put it in the hallway too, just to see if they trigger at the same time, but I haven’t tried that yet, and that doesn’t account for the door opening/closing.

Here’s the sensor activity from last night. I removed some of my own activity, though at least one or two of those notices before midnight were valid, but I don’t remember when I went to bed.

Hallway status:

2017-06-06 9:25:15.323 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 9:25:05.151 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 8:55:08.395 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 8:54:58.207 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 8:40:05.495 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 8:39:55.278 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 8:25:01.550 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 8:24:51.380 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 8:15:00.234 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 8:14:50.045 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 7:39:52.640 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 7:39:42.462 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 7:09:46.158 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 7:09:35.987 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
(Removed my own activity here.)
2017-06-06 6:04:32.520 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 6:04:22.342 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 5:49:38.074 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 5:49:19.122 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion (This was not me)
2017-06-06 5:45:45.009 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 5:45:27.707 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion (This was me)
2017-06-06 5:44:28.328 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 5:44:18.146 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion (This was not me - this triggered my Morning routine)
(Coffee Pot turned on via Echo at 2017-06-06 5:44:16.891 AM CDT)
2017-06-06 5:29:25.135 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 5:29:14.953 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 3:44:26.122 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 3:44:15.801 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 3:44:14.716 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 3:44:03.542 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 3:44:02.472 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 3:43:52.281 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 3:28:59.690 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 3:28:49.501 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 3:24:10.058 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 3:23:59.864 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 3:23:58.779 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 3:23:48.595 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 2:33:48.410 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 2:33:38.243 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 2:23:46.579 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 2:23:36.405 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-06 2:03:42.264 AM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-06 2:03:32.085 AM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-05 11:43:13.713 PM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-05 11:43:03.550 PM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion (One of these was me going to bed but I don’t know which one)
2017-06-05 11:38:12.774 PM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-05 11:38:02.611 PM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-05 11:24:52.250 PM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-05 11:24:34.967 PM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-05 11:23:21.235 PM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-05 11:23:11.059 PM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-05 11:23:09.956 PM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-05 11:22:59.746 PM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-05 10:58:06.094 PM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-05 10:57:54.922 PM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion
2017-06-05 10:27:58.335 PM CDT Hallway Motion motion has stopped
2017-06-05 10:27:48.293 PM CDT Hallway Motion detected motion

Door Status:
2017-06-06 8:39:47.965 AM CDT Back Door was closed
2017-06-06 8:39:46.946 AM CDT Back Door was opened
(Removed my own door opening here)
2017-06-06 4:27:03.904 AM CDT Back Door was closed
2017-06-06 4:27:02.890 AM CDT Back Door was opened
2017-06-06 3:18:05.029 AM CDT Back Door was closed
2017-06-06 3:18:04.012 AM CDT Back Door was opened
2017-06-06 1:13:06.582 AM CDT Back Door was closed
2017-06-06 1:13:05.552 AM CDT Back Door was opened


#2

Hi, I don’t know if you made any progress on this but, strangely, one of my motion sensors started registering activity constantly yesterday (6/6) exactly like yours. I had over 100 notifications in 24 hours - it was driving me nuts!

For the moment I’ve just stopped it sending me notifications of activity. I can’t see any other option, unfortunately, than to delete it from the system, change the batteries (I don’t know if I can trust the reported battery charge) and re-add it all over again.


(Mel) #3

I wouldn’t say my issue started on 6/6, cause I’ve been having false detentions for a while now, but, yes, sometime on 6/5 or 6/6 it went from something that was an occasional irritant to making the system nearly unusable.

No progress, yet, not really. Just some elimination of possibilities.

Overnight I put a different detector side-by-side and had only valid detection on one but dozens of notices on the non-working one. When I left the house today, I put it face-down on the floor, and have still been getting alerts all day.

I’ve had the live logging on the IDE site pulled up and have seen “Battery rawValue = 0” pop up a couple of times in connection to the malfunctioning motion detector. The app still says 89% battery, so I don’t know why rawValue=0, but it seems like a battery change would be the next logical step.

If that doesn’t help, then I’ll try resetting or deleting/readding.


(Mel) #4

It took forever to get new batteries but that seems to have done the trick. Not a single false alarm since I replaced them yesterday.

After posting the above message, I realized the battery reporting must have been affected by me re-naming devices as I moved them around the house, cause it changed to reporting 78% before I removed the battery to get some peace and quiet. And the back door sensor died on its own within a day or so of my last post, so it obviously was on its last dribble of energy.

I’ve spotted a handful of threads about detectors going haywire with tons of false alarms once they hit 78% going all the way back to December.

So, if your reported battery charge is anywhere near 78%, see if replacing them does any good.

Smarthings probably ought to look into how it handles alerts for low batteries. I would still be scratching my head if I hadn’t happened to see that battery line in the IDE. It would have been nice if the app had prompted me to change the battery - at least then I would have had a clue what was going on rather than wondering if there was someone or something running around in my hallway when I wasn’t looking.


#5

omg this just started happening to all my ST contacts the ST contacts reporting 100% battery ghost trip about 1-2 a day (24 hours) and the ST contacts reporting 89% battery are ghost tripping several times a day and something back to back. the other brand contacts dont trigger when they report low battery. I have a couple of different brand contacts on each window/door just in case something like this happens.


(Mel) #6

Well, based off my experience, I’d definitely recommend changing out the batteries of at least the ones at 89%.
I still get false alerts once a week or so but nothing at all like I was getting when the battery was low. And to me it seemed the lower the battery, the worse it got.

And if your town is anything like mine, the only batteries I could find were outrageously expensive compared to those found online (I could buy a dozen online for the price they wanted for ONE in the store) so you might want to order the batteries while it’s still just alerting a few times a day and not a few times an hour.


#7

yes, so far replacing the batteries have seemed to fix things. definitely buy the panasonic button batteries online in bulk for much cheaper, but only from a well established seller with good ratings.