Security Issue with a Fifteen Exterior Door Church

Zooz has z-wave plus switches for around $30. About the cheapest i’ve seen.

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Thanks for your quick and concise replies. I’ve attached a couple images showing the layout of the building and approximate locations of the doors and a mock up of what I’m thinking as far as how a door would be monitored.

Hi @BAM,

One word comes to mind when looking at the floor layout…WOW!

You will need to get a lot of z-wave repeaters for your project. Might as well upgrade all of the light switches as they will repeat the signals from the door sensors best and will give you the aditional ability to remotely turn off lights when no one is in the building. As for security issue. The layout presents a lot of securety holes and a security nightmare if you don’t monitor access points.

I repeat my recommendation. You may need some sort of a CCTV solution for the perimiter.

Thanks @lmosenko, but it’s more of a ‘last-man-out’ convenience system than a full blown security system. We already pay money for a conventional security setup, a few doors (open/closed) internal, external, motion sensors, etc. Don’t really need cameras, the building is out in the country. That being said, we don’t want to be stupid and leave any door open and/or unlocked. Insurance companies frown on that sort of thing.

As far as upgrading ‘all’ the light switches, kinda cost prohibitive. Also overkill to the point of being incompatible; please correct me if I’m wrong, but my understanding of what I’ve read about the limitations of Z-wave (not Z-wave plus), is that sensors can only go four hops. Keep in mind at this point I don’t have a Z-wave plus option (apparently unlimited hops). The GoControl (WADWAZ-1) is not plus, works great, but not plus. I tried the Ecolink (DWZWAVE2.5-ECO), but the internal reed sensor and the external terminal contacts are wired in parallel. Either one triggering will report as ‘closed’. Sending that one back to Amazon.

The GoControl is the only device that allows you to use the internal and external sensors independently.

The Monoprice Door/Window Sensor is Z-wave plus and it has external terminals.

There’s no way to determine which sensor was opened so you can’t use it as 2 separate devices in SmartThings, but the device won’t report closed unless both sensors are closed.


A zwave message can only go 4 hops, whether it is zwave or zwave plus. How big is the space you are trying to cover and what are the materials of the walls? A lot of things can degrade signal, including brick, tinted glass, chicken wire leaving inside plaster, water pipes in the walls, adobe, foil wallpaper, some kinds of insulation, etc.

As far as hops, see the following:

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Thank you for the ‘hops’ clarification.

I’m thinking now that I might have to do two hubs with integration into Action Tiles. I would start with one hub in the educational wing / multipurpose hall where there is 10 external doors. (Obviously more than half the battle.) I’ve updated my graphic, added in a couple Z-wave plus wired devices, and attached. Let me know what you think. Also, gonna stay with GoControl sensors due to it’s separate dual purpose triggering and only having to deal with the single battery. Sad that it cost $30+ though.

I’m tired today, so I can’t go into a lot of details, but are you aware that smart things only allows for one hub per “location”? It’s pretty hard to tie two hubs together and each one can only report on the devices that are joined it. I don’t know how action tiles handles multiple locations, though, Since I know you’re mostly interested in the display. @tgauchat Will have to comment on that part.

What makes you think that you’ll need two hubs?

In lieu of other details, I’m going to link to a how to article in the community – created wiki on automating an out building which has a lot of discussion about two Hub management.

Well, couple things, the distance involved and the fact that the sensors will all be non-Z-wave plus. I’m certainly open to suggestions to hub and mains-power repeater placement. If I can get away with just one, that would be great.

I was reading this… Maybe I’m missing something? The thread talks about Ring doorbell, Google Home, Alexa, etc. Don’t want/need all that. I am looking toward an easy end-user notification system.

Based on what I’ve read, if you are using SmartThings for the hub(s) and sensors, then ActionTiles is the ideal app solution for “seeing at a glance the door status” in your scenario, Bob.

A single ActionTiles Panel can connect to unlimited number of SmartThings Accounts and/or Hubs. The Panel can be securely restricted from all functionality besides the view-only monitoring that you wish to provide. A simple inexpensive WiFi tablet (such as an Amazon Fire 7" or 8") is all that is required to view the status of all the sensors.


Sounds like ActionTiles can handle it if you need two locations, but I’m not seeing any devices which are more than two hops from the hub on your drawing. Or is the issue that you’re planning to put sensors on the doors on the far left as well?

By the way, it won’t matter if the sensors are Z wave classic as long as the repeater is Z wave plus. You’ll get the extra range from the repeater anyway so you pick up more distance that way.

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Sorry, I’m taking a little bit to reply, most busy on weekends.

Yes, exactly what is needed if we do multiple hubs or not.

We are planning on doing the doors on the far left, but perhaps as a second phase. Sorry, should have mentioned that. I may rethink the two hub scenario. Depending on the repeater placement, I could try to get the hops to follow the hub down the hallway toward the remaining five doors on the far left? I could replace the hub with a mains-powered device, add another somewhere in the middle and the hub at other end of the hallway. The block walls might be the biggest problem (Heavy lines are block, thin are new construction drywall.) Anyway, I say thank you again for all the help.

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I like the hub right where it is. :sunglasses: Then get a zwave plus repeater at the far end of the hallway that picks up signal from the hub and you should have plenty of coverage on the left side of the building as long as you are using zwave plus repeaters.

I don’t know if it helps any, but Z wave bulbs are good repeaters for Z wave. (Zigbee bulbs can be fussy depending on the brand, but that’s obviously not an issue here.) sometimes there’s a place to put a lightbulb when there isn’t any outlet for other repeaters. Just make sure its zwave plus, you’re going to need the range.


The light bulb idea is great and looks to be a good cost saver, however I can only think of one place (that main hallway) where a bulb is on all the time. We have other places where we have A type bulbs, but they are not going to be on all the time. I’m assuming a bulb like this would have to be energized to work as a repeater. Please check my assumption.

Anyway, I got the go ahead on this project. My next step is to get the hub in it’s place; run a network line and figure out power to it where there is no power currently. After that, switch my hat to DIY for one of the doors and engineer the micro switch implementation for the lock status, run the wires, and put in a raceway/conduit to hide/protect said wire. I also will need to add in repeaters somewhere, probably light switches. Then, for each of the ten doors, it’s rinse, lather, repeat. So, with that I’ll be and have been busy with these steps. I’'ll be responding and updating as needed. Thanks, -Bob

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The bulb has to be on power, but can look dark. That is, the light will appear to be off, but the radio will still be on and available as a repeater. :sunglasses:


I’m using the GoControl door/window sensor with the device type handler that enables a secondary device out of the contact terminals for an external sensor. Is there a way to have it report locked/unlocked instead of closed/opened in the SmartThings app?

You could use a custom Device Type Handler; but if you’re just using a Contact Sensor, will it really be indicating that the door is locked and not just closed?

It’s already enabled via a DTH; the custom DTH (@krlaframboise) transforms the GoControl WADWAZ-1 into a multipurpose device. Internal magnet activated reed switch, and separate external micro switch sensor… I’m using the internal reed sensor to report the status of the door (open/closed). I’m using the external switch to report the status of the lock (locked/unlocked). Right now the lock part reports as open/closed. I’m wanting it to report as locked/unlocked. Hope I’m not clear as mud. :wink:

Post or link to the custom DTH code, and I can likely tell you whether or not changing the status to read “locked/unlocked” is easy or difficult.

The thing is, if so, I’d recommend having the DTH claim Capability “Lock”, but then ActionTiles and other SmartApps will assume it actually supports the Commands lock() / unlock() too.