Presence Sensor battery upgrade

500 yards seems perfectly reasonable too.

The earlier versions of the sensor are using the arrival-sensor DTH. I’m pretty sure the check-in period is 30 seconds on those. The ‘present’ / ‘not present’ indication is being passed into the DTH and so must presumably be determined by ‘the hub’. The timeout used is the ‘Presence sensor timeout’ setting of the hub which can be changed in the IDE and I believe can be up to ten minutes.

The later models use the arrival-sensor-ha DTH and the timeout is controlled in the DTH settings and can be 2, 3 or 5 minutes. 20 seconds is claimed as the check-in period but any message from the sensor counts as a check-in and the ‘present’ / ‘not present’ determination is made in the DTH itself.

The timeout period does indeed only affect the change from ‘present’ to ‘not present’. The default works fine for me but presence is always a local thing.

The important thing to understand about the Arrival sensors is what the states ‘present’ and ‘not present’ actually mean.

The ‘not present’ state means the hub hasn’t received a check-in from the sensor for at least the timeout period. You don’t know if it is beyond the normal Zigbee range of your hub, will be within range at the next check-in, is within the normal range but suffering from signal interference, has a flat battery, or something is broken.

The ‘present’ state only means the sensor has been within range within the timeout period. It might still be, or it might be up to a mile or so away.

A change from ‘present’ to ‘not present’ means the sensor was within range of the hub a timeout period ago. The ‘not present’ qualifications again apply.

A change from ‘not present’ to ‘present’ means the sensor is within Zigbee range of the hub when the change was triggered. This the the one thing that can be said with confidence. It doesn’t mean the sensor has arrived as you don’t know for sure it has been anywhere (see ‘not present’).

Everyone has to make their own assessment of what the presence states mean for them and what they are prepared to use them for.

Yes to both.

I extended my timeout, back when I was still using the coin battery. Because it was prone to the state-switching that you yourself detailed above. I’ve not had that issue at all since I went to the two-AA battery solution, except when the batteries are finally on their way out.

From an information standpoint, 5 minute timeout is just fine to tell me the sensor owner is gone.

While I love having the front door automatically unIock when I pull into the driveway, I would never use “presence sensor away” as a trigger/condition for anything related to security. That front door locks itself as soon as it is closed.

1 Like

has anyone ever tried to wire one 18650 battery?? I’m going to try it on one of the 3 older motion sensors that i have in a drawer (i gave up on them years ago) . I am a early smart-things adopter, 7 y-8 years ago. If it works well, i will design a 3d printable case since i see everyones upgrade of the 2xAA are jimmyrigged

anyone know if this work for the smartthings multi purpose sensors?

I have 3 running in refrigerators and freezers with those or very similar ones.

It’ll work, but the sensor will be external to the battery case. Exposed wires are a point of potential failure.

Better is this sort of thing:

It holds the batteries along with the sensor itself

thanks but i will be using the other case for my multi sensor door so i cant put it in a battery case

Just checking in. Replying to my old post. It is Apr 23, 2019 as of this writing. The battery is still at 100%

Just dropping into say thanks for the idea on this one guys, bought a 4xAA and 4xAAA battery box from CPC and have successfully modded one of the presence sensors into the AAA one as it fitted the sensor in one half much snugger. Hopefully it will now last considerably longer than the button cell :slight_smile:

1 Like

I did mine over a year ago. Still the same set of batteries…


The batteries I used in the first post are still the batteries I’m using now, 3 years later.

The reported battery level is 50%.

Dang! You must have some good batteries. Mine only lasted just over two years :open_mouth: