Moving on from SmartThings - A Thank You and A request for resources

After several months of deep deliberations, I have decided to move away from the ST platform.

I started with ST because they had an Arduino Shield. I stayed with them because I was very impressed with the platform, and how I could customize my own devices and write my own code. Just as I got buried in learning Groovy, WebCore came and made things both easy and… cumbersome. But during all that time the platform was stable for me and the community terrific and supportive.

While the community has been great… the conversion this year broke some things and I don’t see a reliable path within ST anymore. The entire forced migration (something I can’t believe went as smoothly as it did!) came at a time when I just didn’t have the time to deal with it, and now that I have been forced to, I don’t think ST is the right place for me anymore.

So this is a very sincere thank you to the community. I wish that I had had more time to contribute, as many people here are very inspirational.

If anyone has any suggestions for Hubitat resources or conversion guides, I would appreciate you sending them my way.

A final note: Back in 2016, ST along with a Dlink Camera, a pebble watch and Pushbullet Notifications (along with a kick-ass neighbor I called when ST alerted me) put a burglar in jail for 8 months, and saved about $3000 worth of tools and a bike. Eventually this led to the SF Police Dept busting a huge bike chop shop and a lot of people got their bikes back, and many more avoided having theirs stolen after these guys were run out of town.

That whole thing would not have happened without this community. So seriously, Thank You.

I will continue to suggest ST to my friends who are looking to dive into HA, especially for those who are just technical enough to be dangerous.

Take care!

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I, as you have found, have had to move away from ST for the same reasons. As have 1000’s of others in the last few months. You will find Hubitat a great place to be. They have issues with their new hub C7, but have a firmware fix that is supposed to alleviate much, if not all, of the zwave issues. Fingers crossed but they are definitely heading in the right direction for power users of Home Automation.

https://community.hubitat.com/ will get you everything you need, just like it did here for ST.

Why would you recommend ST when you are leaving because of all the problems. You still want your friends to be your friends, right? LOL

Everything ST is doing is pointing to cloud implementation for the multitude of consumer devices they sell. They are moving away from anything zwave/zigbee hub stuff.

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I’ll be honest… the problems I have had with ST have mostly been due to relatively custom solutions that I don’t think non-power users will end up dealing with.

When I say “I will recommend” I am not really talking about people like you and me. for example, if someone asks me “iPhone or Android?” my answer to that is “iPhone”… because if you are asking a basic question like that, it’s unlikely that you would need any of the things that I think make Android more powerful, and it’s unlikely that you would take the time to learn about the things that make Android more dangerous too.

So if a friend came to me and said “I want to set up some simple lighting scenes and turn off my lights when I am on vacation” I don’t think I would hesitate to suggest ST.

On the other hand, if someone asked about integrating a custom microcontroller they built to check dust levels in their woodworking vacuum system like I did, or wanted to integrate a custom LED lighting rig to mesh with their Ring doorbell and a homebrew security gate buzzer… well, that’s the stuff that has been somewhat cumbersome with ST.

But at the same time… I usually get good, solid answers from the community here. Maybe they tell me “Sorry, can’t do that”… but that’s a good answer to get when you need it.

As another example, I would never suggest Home Assistant to anyone who wasn’t pretty technical. Even with all the crap I know, every so often going back an upgrading software on an rPi is a pain in the ass.

Once I get knee deep into Hubitat, I might suggest that instead. After seeing some reviews on Youtube, it appears that setup is a lot more intense than I think many light users would be willing to deal with. We’ll see!

I’m interested in how you get on, please keep us posted, personally I want stability alongside the basics (Smart Lighting does most of that) but I also want the ability to do something a lot more complex in a small number of situations. ST for me is useless without WebCore, the fact that Webcore runs on Hubitat and the reassuring flexibility and familiarity of it is already making my mind up for me. So, keep us posted on your journey, although I get the impression I’ll be joining you shortly. Nice story about the burglar!

If you’re recommending iPhone, just recommend HomeKit to go with it. :sunglasses: Now that the HomePod mini provides a $99 “out of home control” Option it’s financially in the same tier and “Just works” For most simple home automation use cases. Personally, I recommend a combination of Echo and HomeKit for people looking for a “set and forget“ option. Both companies have excellent tech-support for beginners, and there are lots of devices out there now that work with both simultaneously.

It’s not what power users are looking for in most cases (although shortcuts now provides a lot more options than it used to), and it’s probably not worth switching from android to iOS for, but it’s functional, reliable, and should at least be on the candidate list for most non-hobbyists who already have an iOS device.

JMO :wink:

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@brumster… a quick update…

Hubitat is interesting. The interface is all web (even on your phone). So a little wonky on the phone, but excellent for sitting down and managing at a PC. It is not polished though. I don’t mind since my system was set up specifically to avoid having to use the app for anything other than config/maintenance (which is a another reason for leaving after the new app update).

Right now I am VERY happy with it. I have some HS-WD200+ switches and their native driver was not working with them… their devs actually fixed the bug I discovered in a firmware hotfix within days. But in the end, I found someone who had mod’d the Homeseer driver to an even more useful piece of code, and we banged out a couple bugs ourselves.

I thin camera and motion alerts from Ring may not be integrated with reliability… but evidently you can link your ST hub and maintain those alerts (albeit from the cloud). I haven’t done that yet. I guess I will be since NEST just announced native integration with ST, and I have a couple of those products.

I did add a second HE hub in my workshop, which has always had poor connectivity to Zwave and Zigbee. Bridging devices is simple, and they work instantly and seamlessly and for the first time in years… reliably.

I was not able to get one of my Schlage locks working… but evidently I was lucky to get this working with ST in the first place. Other than that, my original 1st gen ST multisensor is not working, and that’s the only one.

Webcore is up and running smoothly, though some of my automations needed to be re-written (their push implementation is different, so it breaks), but everything else has been fine.

Alexa is working. I have not tried IFTTT yet. Their built-in home security app is also much more useful and reliable.

Overall, I feel better about the system now than I did with ST.

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You may need to change your Zigbee channel to get those early 1st gen ST Zigbee devices to pair. I use channel 20 and I am able to use that same original multisensor, the one that uses the AAAA batteries.

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I went all in, moved everything across, took 3 days of pain and…

I love it. It’s fast, instantaneous, device support is better and it just works. It also supports WebCore for the oddball bits of automation that you use can’t do out of the box but I think it’s brilliant.

I’ll find some time to write it up, probably wise to do that on the HE forum for people to peruse.

Best bit so far? The reduction in bad language after I walk into a room and don’t have to wait 5 secs for lights to come on!

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Thanks for that, I think I read it and forgot about it. I’ll look into it. I do have lots of other devcies, but man… that one was the most reliable sensor I had… never failed to signal, and only had to change batteries once in or 7 years.

Funny… I didn’t have too many issues with latency. I mean, sometimes… but I think most of those were local network Zwave and Zigbee problems (that are not easier to diagnose).

But I also had a very reliable, very low latency web connection. So I think that helped.

I’m not here to slate it, I love ST. I’ve had it for years, the community is great but…

The change in direction doesn’t work for me. I’m a techie, not a coder but a techie. I want flexibility and I want to automate freely where it makes sense. ST has been awesome for that in the form of Smart Lighting and WebCore. The move of app and the eventual removal of the IDE just wasn’t working for me, the app was also becoming hard work and at times just unreliable. So time for a change…

This is a solid community with some great members. I remember discovering the IDE and what I could do with it all those years ago. So powerful, such opportunities but it looks destined to be something I’m not interested in.

i’m too frustrated with ST Z-Wave issues and am considering leaving. there is a lot to like about smarthings like webcore. they fixed http port listening problems on the last firmware push, so things are slowly being fixed. I would even consider a newer hub if that would fix the z-wave issues.
seems like hubitat has many hubs and newest is out of stock, don’t know which is best. i’m probably leaning towards homeseer because it just works, would be easier decision if they natively supported zigbee.

does hubitat do the following:

  1. zwave firmware updates
  2. zigbee firmware updates
  3. support switches with scene control
  4. integration with alarm panels (nice to integrate your window and door sensors).

there are tools from the z-wave consortium, cost money for a license, to help diagnose problems and configure z-wave devices routing issues. if ST offered that i would buy a license in a heart beat.

I don’t have an answer for ya, but I can tell you after almost an entire month of problems I’m thinking of switching. I have over 100 devices and automations so this is going to take a while…