Power Supply Options to Supplement Batteries?


(tkreidl) #1

For Zooz and many other branded devices, changing batteries is impractical if you are far away from them. For some, it seems like a low-amperage 3 Volt power supply should work just fine and could be connected in parallel with the batteries. Any idea what the current draw is? Has anyone tried any standard transformers and successfully adapted them to work with various units? You see a number of low-amp devices such as https://www.amazon.com/Power-Adapter-2-1mm-Regulated-Supply/dp/B006QYQ0MG being used for powering battery devices.

Thanks in advance for feedback.

Plugged in devices -- can I avoid battery powered ones?

There are several plug in motion sensors which are easy to find. Some zwave, some wifi with an IFTTT channel. I’d go with one of those if you need a motion sensor.

Some Z wave or zigbee leak sensors also come with a mains powered option.

For other devices, dummy batteries ( also called battery eliminators) are usually a safe and easy way to convert a device from battery to mains. People used to use those for game controllers. So if you select sensors that use AAA or AA batteries, it’s very easy.


I’d be hesitant to splice anything into a device that’s going to run in a remote unattended location.

(tkreidl) #3

Wow, those cost often more than the devices themselves! I guess another option would be rechargeable batteries plus a power supply, as putting different power sources in parallel doesn’t change the voltage and if the draw is minimal. If fact, if rechargeable batteries, it would have the effect of trickle-charging them.


The zooz are a new line and they do seem to still be working on the power management. There’ve also been some reported issues with the SmartThings multisensor newest generation. and the inexpensive Lowe’s iris line seem to have some bad individual devices, so you would want to test each one of those for about three weeks first before deployment to a remote location.

But most established Z wave and zigbee brands are designed for very good power management. Industry-standard would be 1 to 2 years of battery life for a typical sensor.

So I would think that for most brands you could deploy them at a remote location and just put them on a time schedule to change the batteries every six months and you’d be fine.

I just mention that because that’s going to be your least expensive option. I have all my battery-operated devices on a calendar based replacement schedule, it’s just a peace of mind thing. We use the removed batteries for nonessential Devices like game controllers and TV remote. But for anything which is part of the home automation or security system, we keep the batteries pretty fresh with a six-month replacement cycle.


BTW, most radiofrequency sensors are designed for alkaline batteries, not rechargeable batteries. There are a couple of technical reasons for that, one being that battery reporting will be completely off with Rechargeables. But it’s just another thing to keep in mind.

(Michael Hess) #5

Lol battery reporting is already bad JD! :slight_smile: But for non ST and Iris sensors maybe less of an issue.

A very simple transformer network like old PA systems would work well. I’ve been considering it, even did a small test, problem is getting low voltage wire TO ALL the sensors.

If I were building a new house, I’d absolutely plan for this. But it’s a lot less feasible in existing structures.

Random aside, got a few working off some of my POE camera’s with transformers, but again, not where I needed them…