My ST hub is deployed at a second home over 1500 miles away. My primary motivation is remote climate monitoring: specifically humidity and high temperature. That lets us keep track of heating & a/c, plus intrusion detection while we are away from that location. The system was deployed when we were there in December 2015 and has worked well since then.
[As a side note, here at home I’m anxious to replace my ADT Pulse system with something that looks like it was developed this century: home automation in Pulse is abysmal. I hope to have a SmartThings hub in place later this fall for this location to monitor things here at home while we are at the other place!]
My remote system consists of the Smart Things v2 Hub, a switch on the front door (it is a 2nd story condo in a gated community, so other points of entry aren’t as much of a concern) and an Aeon Multisensor 6 inside. (There are other things the system does while we are in residence, but the ‘monitoring’ part of the system is what makes this remote deployment useful and interesting.)
The Internet connection is a Verizon MiFi 4G LTE device (we don’t have a cable modem yet and it may not be active all year when we do). The cellular connection may eventually become the “fail over” path for a router also connected to a cable modem. The Verizon MiFi box was powered up in December and has been on-line ever since. When I was on-site in February it was still ticking and I didn’t touch a thing!
Two things I had originally hoped for in the Smart Things v2 Hub apparently are not available at present:
I would like to assign a static IP to the hub and was told by support that feature is (apparently) not available. Not a huge issue at present that can probably be solved in the long run as I build out the network on-site and have a ‘better’ router that has more configurable options. The MiFi is pretty simple in that regard!
After inquiring whether the hub had any kind of ‘watchdog’ capability, I was led to believe the answer was, “no!” [From my experience, a hardware watchdog and a software process to monitor network connectivity would go a long way toward long-term stability & the ability to recover from situations that stump the hub!] On a remote deployment such as mine, rebooting the hub isn’t always an option.
So, I installed a Synaccess NP-02 remote power switch – luckily I had one on-hand, as it costs more than the ST hub! The Synaccess switch faithfully reboots the hub every night: it’s rude, but it works and I’ve had no issues. Had the hub been assigned a static IP address, the Synaccess switch could simply ‘ping’ the hub rather than doing a nightly brute-force power cycle reboot. Prior to deploying the equipment, a pushed hub update caused my system to freeze up – luckily I caught it while testing here at home and could put together a workaround.
What are others in the community doing with remotely deployed systems?