Multi sensor not tracking battery life well? Issues


(Wallace McClure) #1

Have installed a multi-sensor in the interior of an external shed. The sensor is used to just monitor if the door is open/closed and the temperature in the shed. The shed sensor is about 6’ from the wall of the house, and an estimated 50 feet from the ST hub.

However, I’m suspicious that the sensor is flaky – when I installed it as new, it showed battery level as 88% dropping to 38% after a day. Then zero (sensor was not reporting). I replaced the batteries with new ones, and it reported battery level as 100% for a day, but one day later has gone back to reporting battery life as 38%.

OK – a couple of things going on here potentially
a) Can indicated battery level drop off as signal strength decreases? This is about 50’ from the hub with no nearby devices to act as a mesh. The signal has to go through 3 standard wood framed household walls, so I’m assuming the signal is not strong.

b) Has anyone seen indicated battery level drop off with temperature increase? The temperature in the shed may go to over 90 F (enclosed shed in the sun). But the battery level does not come back up in the cool of the night.

c) Multi-sensor is flaky - I’ll continue to run it for a while since its working, but from 100% to 38% battery life in a day is pretty poor performance. Brand new sensor out of the box, so I’m hoping this isn’t the problem.

Has anyone else seen this issue? This might be something of interest to folks putting the sensor in locations which might see elevated temperatures or at a moderate distance from the hub/ mesh — such as a separate garage, in an attic, or a nearby outbuilding.


(Edward Pope) #2

@SoCal_User I have not seen this issue, do you happen to have another sensor that you can switch it out with from another location? That would eliminate or prove many of the stated possibilities.


(Beckwith) #3

@SoCal_User

Is the red LED on constantly? If so I think it is defective and is draining your battery.


(Wallace McClure) #4

I have one spare, which I’m using as a temperature sensor in my loft (the warmest part of the house, during this current heatwave). I’ll move it out next to the sensor in the shed and see how it does. Good suggestion!

I also installed a spare z-wave relay in the garage next to the outlying shed. That puts an additional link in between the shed sensor and the hub, cutting the relay distance down by about half. .


(Wallace McClure) #5

No. No LED light showing at all that I recall.


(Edward Pope) #6

I am assuming this is a ST Multisensor? If it is, the z-wave device that you installed will not help it. The ST MuktiSensor is a ZigBee device.

However, if the device you have is a Z-Wave Multi, then it should help.


(Wallace McClure) #7

Update: Its looking like a bad (very flaky) smarthings multisensor.

Put a spare ST multisensor out in the same shed. Communications remain up, and battery life has remained stable.

First multisensor has been providing readings all over the map. The battery life went up to 50% for an hour, and then dropped back down 38%. The sensor has shown open and the closed on the smartphone app several times – but looking at the log, the sensor never reported this. Same with active and inactive status – shows on the app, but not if you look at the activity log. And the temperature reported through the log, is up to 10 degrees different from what is shown on the app.

The second multisensor has not shown the random changes in activity, or temperature or battery level.

Unless the ST processing in the cloud or hub is totally messed up, I have to conclude the multisensor is flaky. Didn’t catch this initially since it did enough to indicate it was functioning. But its functioning is all over the map…


(Edward Pope) #8

Yep, you have to always check the basics first before you go into the more advanced things. Glad it turned out to be something simple, and easy to rectify.


(Wallace McClure) #9

Yeah… sort of easy to fix. Not good that a $50 sensor is bad out of the box…


(Edward Pope) #10

I had a few switches that failed. So far, I find as long as they work out of the box, that they do not fail. So at least from what I have seen, they fail pretty much on setup.