Problem with False Alarms


#1

We are using three door sensors with a hub and aeon siren. The primary purpose of this system for us is to arm at night so that we are alerted if we have an intruder. We have been using it for about 8 months and I’m at my wit’s end because of the false alarms in the middle of the night. For whatever reason it works for months at a time with no issue and then we’ll have a false alarm where it says the door is open for a second. We have tried new batteries, adjusting placement, etc. to no avail. It has happened with all of the sensors so I’m starting to think it’s not a hardware problem. The easiest solution I can think of would be to have a delay of 3-5 seconds from door opening to alarm going off as that would get rid of the false positives, but from what I have read that’s not an option.

Does anyone have any suggestions? If I can’t get rid of the false alarms we are going to have to scrap the system because it’s terrifying to be woken up to that every so often.


(Ron Talley) #2

This is an option. You can setup virtual contact sensors in the IDE. Then use CoRE or webCore to say:

Method 1.
In CoRE you can use a Latching Piston for each Contact Sensor

If Contact 1 changes to open
Then Using Virtual Contact Sensor 1
Wait 3 seconds
open
(Cancel on Piston State Change)

But-If Contact 1 changes to close
Then Using Virtual Contact Sensor 1 close

Method 2.
In CoRE you can use a Basic Piston in Expert Mode

Add Condition
If Contact 1 changes to open
When True
Using Virtual Contact Sensor 1
Wait 3 seconds
open
(Cancel on Piston State Change)

Or

Add Condition
If Contact 1 changes to close
When True
Using Virtual Contact Sensor 1 close

Or

Add Condition
If Contact 2 changes to open
When True
Using Virtual Contact Sensor 2
Wait 3 seconds
open
(Cancel on Piston State Change)

Or

Add Condition
If Contact 1 changes to close
When True
Using Virtual Contact Sensor 1 close

Method 3.
In webCoRE

You can just use Ifs
If Contact 1 changes to open
Then Using Virtual Contact Sensor 1
Wait 3 seconds
open

If Contact 1 changes to close
Then Using Virtual Contact Sensor 1 close

If Contact 2 changes to open
Then Using Virtual Contact Sensor 2
Wait 3 seconds
open

If Contact 2 changes to close
Then Using Virtual Contact Sensor 2 close

Now replace the contact sensors in the alarm rule with the Virtual Sensors you just made that now have 3 sec offsets.

Please mark as solution if this works for you.


(Ron Talley) #3

Updated the above.


#4

Thanks, Ron. I’m afraid that is probably far beyond my capabilities. We bought this because it was marketed as a plug and play type solution and I would not even know how to begin implementing your solution which is probably exactly what I need! I am fairly tech savvy but I don’t know anything about this system.


(Ron Talley) #5

Trust me. You can do this! Seems like alot but once you go through the process, you will see that it’s not so bad.

To create the Virtual Contact Sensors:
You need log into the SmartThings IDE/Graph
https://graph.api.smartthings.com/

Click the My Locations Tab at the far left upper corner
Click Home
Will probably have you log-in again
Click the My Devices Tab
Click New Device on far right upper corner
Name: Contact 1 Virtual (Whatever you like here)
Label: Contact 1 Virtual (Whatever you like here)
Zigbee: skip
Device Network ID: contact1 (Again can be whatever you like)
Type: Simulated Contact Sensor
Version: Published
Location: Home
Hub: Your Hub
Group: skip

Done! Easy as that.

Follow the instructions here on how to install custom code for Smart Apps

CoRE is here:

Direct Link to CoRE code:

Click core.groovy
Click Raw
Select All and Copy
Now you are ready to paste this into the IDE section under My Smartapps/New Smartapp/From Code.

More info onCoRE is here including a link to the wiki.


(Andy - Living in the 'soon to be free' United Kingdom) #6

The easiest thing is “SmartRules” with this app you can say…
If this door contact opens and stays that way for a period of time then operate the siren
Unfortunately the minimum delay is 1 minute but at least it will probably reduce the false alarms.
SmartRules is an IOS app that you link to smartthings (Available on itunes app store)


(Jimmy) #7

What are all the make/model sensors are you using?


#8

We are using Smart Things Multipurpose Sensors.


#9

Thank you. This sounds easier but I think that’s too long to be effective for intruders as I doubt they would leave the door open that long.


(Mark) #10

Assuming the OP is using smart home monitor, this method with smartrules would take SHM out the mix.

The method using CoRE mentioned above still allows for SHM to function, it’s just “tricking” SHM into using virtual contact sensors instead of the real ones.


(Jimmy) #11

If you’re using all the same device and all of them are having issues then I would suspect either an install problem or some kind of interference. Are your doors metal? Can you post a picture of how you have them installed?


#12

Thanks. I don’t think it’s an install problem because they work for months at a time and then one night go off. It’s not happening every day. I can post a picture when I am home to take one but I would think if it was an install problem it wouldn’t just not happen for months then happen three times in a week when nothing has changed as far as the installation. Doors are not metal.


(Ron Talley) #13

I can tell you that the amount of time researching a solution, is way more time spent than following the instructions I posted above.

You should have it knocked out in less than 30 minutes and is the way a lot of us use for exit and enter delays.

Good Luck!


(Jimmy) #14

Might be worth buying an iris contact sensor or a z-wave sensor and installing them to see if they are more consistent.


(Ray) #15

I would look deeper into interference as suggested by @prjct92eh2. Possible your neighbor just installed a new WiFi router with the same channel. Maybe move your ST hub to a new location just in case.


#16

Ron, thank you. I am going to be home a good part of tomororw and plan on trying it then. Will report back if I was able to do it!


#17

Ron- I am so close yet so far. I got CoRE set up and working in my ST app and my virtual contacts are created but when I start to program in your code in CoRE it only gives me the options for 1 min, 2 min, 3 min, 4 min, etc. There is no seconds option. What am I missing? Thanks again for your help.


(Jimmy) #18

The timing in SmartThings isn’t accurate enough to be trusted down to seconds. Hence why when you send a command to turn off several devices, they may turn off in different order. IMO, the CoRE solution isn’t a robust one. I would focus on find a contact sensor that works. I don’t know if its been mention yet, but how far are they from the hub? I would spend the $20 and test out an Iris contact sensor. If it has problems, then i would say you have ZigBee interference issues.


#19

Well what good is having it be set up for a minute? No home intruder is going to leave the door open for a full minute. Most alarm systems allow you have a delay in the seconds range so that if you accidentally open the door you can disarm.

I don’t really want to spend more money on this system that hasn’t worked well at all because it’s like throwing good money after bad at this point. If I can’t get what I have to work I’m going to rip it all out and get a professional system installed as much as I don’t want to because I’ve already spent far more time on this than I should have.


#20

Also why would that sensor work any better than the ST sensors that I already have? Are they not equivalent?