SmartThings Community

Moving away from Smart Home Monitor

I have moved away from smartthings embedded automation Smart Home Monitor, and am happy with the results.

Here’s why…

First I use ActionTiles as my human interface. Actiontiles only works with the SHM instance that is accessed via the classic app. I am not using the classic app for anything else and I do not want to have to access any app to simply acknowledge and dismiss an alarm state anyway.

Second SHM is pretty inflexible in that it does not allow pairing of motion sensors to creat a very reliable intruder detection. Anybody that uses motion sensors knows that false alerts happen based on sun etc… Pairing two sensors together solves this problem.

Third is that SHM does not allow the use of presence sensing to arm or disarm the SHM intruder alerts.

The actual implementation was easy peasy. I just wrote automations in the smartthings app to perform the functions I want.

In Actontiles I have a button that toggles the mode between home and away modes. I do not use night mode, but of course could. I also have a automation that changes the mode to home when any of the arrival sensors are detected. That way you do not need to disarm the security when you get home.

There is an automation to turn all sirens on, and send notifications if the mode is away and both sensors in a particular area detect movement.

Another automation to turn on the sirens if a fire/co detector alerts

And another to turn on a single siren if a water leak is detected.

Another automation is triggered by a actiontiles button to silence the sirens.

So far I am VERY happy replacing SHM, as I ave gained back flexibility in my alarm system and made it compatible with ActionTiles.

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Thanks for using ActionTiles and for your detailed description of an Smart Home Monitor alternative.

Indeed - The one major characteristic that we hope SmartThings never leaves behind is the ability to code nearly “any” arbitrary custom functionality / automation / integration. OK - the platform isn’t quite as flexible as some developers and super-power-users would like, but with the New API, power and flexibility will improve.

There are various alarm management Pistons written for WebCoRE too.

The main disadvantage to the custom approach is losing the incremental benefits that we presume will, over time, be added to the official (new) SHM module. Not only eventual ActionTiles compatibility, but who knows what else … Cameras once again, monitoring services, special types of notifications?

The other negative is that some aspects of SHM (V2 classic app) and STHM (new name for the security feature in the V3 app) run locally. No custom code runs locally at the present time.

Admittedly, it’s not a lot. There’s still no way to change security.mode or get notifications if the internet is out or the SmartThings cloud is down. And I don’t know of any place that details exactly what does and doesn’t run locally, so you may just have to keep checking the IDE.

But it is some automations. In particular, the ability to have lights or a siren trigger off of “any of this group of sensors” could be useful.

So the ability to run locally is something you lose when relying on pistons or custom smartapps.

That may not matter to you, but it’s something to be aware of.

(Of course, the security features for the ADT model are different yet again, but I assume that’s not what we’re talking about.)

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As Smartthings development continues SHM will improve, and at some point ActionTiles will be able to interface with it.

One of the Great Things about Actiontiles is that it takes only a few moments to change the display.

For me, right now in the development cycle of SHM I am happy to write my own automations that in my opinion do a better job than SHM, by providing the features I want, and the compatibility with ActionTiles, my choice in Display interfaces for Smartthings.

I actually have my third smartthings hub on order right now, with over 50 devices total connected. I am adding a second hub at my residence, for a detached garage, plus I have a hub on my boat.

One thing I am doing with ActionTiles, BTW is creating a display for my home that shows critical boat functions, over a hundred miles away.

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I cannot tell you how happy I am having my motion sensors paired up. Two motion sensors in the same room have to detect motion to set off the alarm.

Also… i have yet to add it, but SHM does not recognize switches as valid alarm notification devices. My plan is to add a heavy duty exterior 120 volt alarm bell and strobe light, controlled by my choice of switch. This is MUCH better in a exterior application than any of the “sirens” that are officially Smartthings Compatible.

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I am also tired of dealing with the two apps, one to handle SMH and the other for everything else

Are you using webcore or just the built in automation engine in the new app?

Using the new app I do get notifications when my hub is offline

I’m just using the automation engine in the new app.

The automations are simple for dual motion sensors.

If motion A and motion B and mode is away

Then

Turn on the sirens, and send a notification

To turn off sirens is another automation. I have a smart plug that is in a unused area called “Alarm Silence”

so…

If

Alarm Silence is on

Then

Turn off all sirens.

Then on Actiontiles I have a button that controls the smartplug “alarm silence”

Another button on actiontiles sets mode home or away.

I have a presense sensor that also sets mode to be home when it goes to “arrived” so you do not have to turn off the alarm when you get home.

That’s true for the classic app, also, but what you were getting is a notification from the cloud to the app. The hub itself is not involved in the notification , it just hasn’t reported into the cloud for a while so it has been marked as off-line.

But what you won’t get is any notifications that a sensor has been triggered or anything else that reports through the hub, since the hub itself has no notification capabilities. Only the cloud does.

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