My Smart Things Adventure: I Added Some New Stuff, Now I Need To Get Them To Talk


(Nick Robinson) #1

Over the weekend I added several items to my installation. I installed the Kwikset 910 Deadbolt on the front door. I added an Open/Close Sensor my back door. I have not worked out how to add the same model sensor to a sliding glass door, but that issue revolves around aesthetics. When it comes to the way something looks, I have to work with the wife or risk repeating the work. I also installed the 2Gig CT100 Thermostat. Everything is talking to the hub and I can interact with it remotely, which is one of the main reasons I bought this.

Next I’m going to tackle adding code so the items work together. Here is my question. All of the devices are installed in a little vacation home about 80 miles away. I am back in civilization. Should I attempt adding the code from here? Can I break Smartthings remotely? If so, could I also fix Smartthings remotely? Am I better off adding things when I get there?

I have learned a few things along the way:

  1. People on this forum are really, really, REALLY helpful. I am on a few other forums covering other subjects and am really pleased by the lack of “you are an idiot” attitude. I’m glad because the only way to learn something is to plunge in and do it.
  2. The first time you add a device to your hub is a moment of triumph. The first time you add a non Smartthings device to your hub is a moment of triumph AND relief. As in, “this actually works” and “I can really do this.”. I point this out because, if you have taken the time to read this far, you are most likely someone that gives advice. I really appreciate that advice.

Reverie


(Keith Croshaw) #2

Any questions you have just let the community know if it’s not a “Support” issue. And obviously search as much as you can before you post your question. The search is pretty effective on this forum, although I searched for something I’m sure was answered a long time ago but couldn’t find it.

Welcome!


(John S) #3

In general, you can safely work on your stuff without being there. There would be obvious security and safety concerns if you happen to get the door lock in an unlocked and unresponsive state, or if for some reason your thermostat decides to run full out. Odds of either of these happening are low, but not 0, so just be aware that worst case, you may end up taking an unscheduled drive :smile:

I had my new to me home partially set up while it was being renovated after purchase. The most problematic thing for me was the door sensors falling off, so I could not tell if the contractors left a door open or if the sensor just fell off. It was only 10 miles away from where we were living during the reno, so I did take a few drives over thanks to false positives.

I’d suggest not ever automating things that lead to unsafe situations anyway - “first do no harm” is a great motto in HA, so for example automatically locking things is good, automatically unlocking things is bad.


#4

You may have already seen this, but in case not:

As for working remotely, as @schettj mentioned, you can’t “break” things, but you might not be able to observe unexpected results.


(Keith Croshaw) #5

Yea at the moment I’ve switched my Unlock On Arrival to IF (Formerly IFTTT). Works about half of the time but at least it doesn’t randomly unlock like ST would. Typing the code in isn’t that hard so for the 50% failure (Mostly IF’s latency) I’ll accept.

Plus I have auto lock after X mins setup incase anything wacky happens.

In short @Reverie treat your locks carefully.


(Patrick Stuart [@pstuart]) #6

First of all. Welcome.

Couple of cool things about ST that you have already found out. Since its cloud based, you can do almost anything in the IDE or mobile app and no need for being home.

However, with that said, it helps to know if a door is open or not :slight_smile: The simulator can take you pretty far in the IDE but nothing like the real thing.

The do no harm motto is a good one. But so is, just cause I can do something doesn’t mean I should do it.

For example, you can wire up a presence sensor to your door lock, but probably shouldn’t.

The best thing to do is carefully plan out what you want to do and do it slowly, in stages and make sure everything works. Then slowly add more and more, while going back and testing everything.

ST is a great platform, but has its issues. The community is a place to vent, complain, plan, theorize, and ultimately work together to resolve any issues you might have trying to figure out what isn’t working.

Ultimately, the best mantra, is patience. Realize that there are things you can control, and things you can’t, literally and figuratively.

Good luck and ask away.