Security Issue with a Fifteen Exterior Door Church

The Dry contact sensor I recommanded is Z-wave Plus" certified for wide compatibility. I use it in my house and can tell you that it is a good product.

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@johnconstantelo posted a project report on something similar on a retrofit on the existing lock, including pictures:

It’s very similar to the suggestion that @lmosenko is making, but John substituted smaller parts rather than just using an existing contact sensor.

I agree with the recommendations to use Z wave plus devices both for better range and because then you don’t have to worry about Wi-Fi interference.

I also agree with the recommendation for action tiles as both an excellent display and a way of creating a display only option which keeps other people from accidentally messing up any of the existing rules and reports.

My biggest concern is going to be getting signal out of that housing if it’s all thick metal as it appears to be. That’s something you’re just going to have to experiment with. But if you put the contact sensor piece inside the lock housing, then you need may need to put a plug in pocket socket nearby as a repeater to catch the signal from the individual door sensors, the sensor signal just may be really weak by the time it gets to the middle of the lock Casing.

But if you are using John’s method, you put the micro sensor inside the casing and run wires outside the casing to the piece that has the radio in it, and then you don’t have the signal drop issues. :sunglasses:

Oh, and I, too, will skip over the caveats about the potential unreliability of SmartThings as a security system and all of the number of false reports. You can find discussions of those in the forum. But at our house we use SmartThings for convenience notifications like getting an alert if the guestroom window was left open when rain is expected, and it works fine for that. So if this project is mostly just for convenience notifications, I think it makes sense. But if you’re having problems with theft or vandalism, I would go to a purposebuilt security system instead. Just sayin’… :wink:


Fibaro FGK-101 (white color option?) door/window (magnetic) contact has separate dry-contact input that might be applied to lock status . Looks like. I would try this device for one battery to maintain per door.

Bravo people…

Thanks for your (timely) suggestions.

Nice. Looks like it is only one input. I may be looking at two sensor per door. Any opinion on this:

It has both reed/magnet report and possible external report via the micro-switch. Although I’ve read it’s difficult to get separate report status.

Yes, kinda looking at this as the final piece to be used by the end-user.

Agreed. To date, I have yet to purchase anything. So, yes, I’ll be “trying-and-buying” before a final purchase.

Yes, read through that. He says he had found a sensor that reported status separately, but didn’t elaborate on any specifics to get it to work. No specifics on the part number either.

Yes, end-users should not have root.

Ideal scenario. Or, monkey with the antenna, wiring it outside the housing. No, battery replacement would be easier. (The housing is a bear to put back together.)

Yes, this is a pseudo-security system, and a totally convenience notification system. We do have a conventional purposebuilt security system in place, but it’s not cost effective to monitor every door.

Again, the ideal scenario. Do you know if this device can be used with SmartThings, and if it will report separate internal reed switch status and external terminal connection status?

Thanks, I will keep you posted as I progress.


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In my opinion, you should try it. This Open/Close/with optional ports device can be used as a multi sensor for one door. You can place the magnet detector side to make certain that the door is close while at the same time run two wired into the locking mechanism casing to detect when the lock is in its correct possision. But you will still need to buy a number of these for all the doors and will need z-wave repeters as @JDRoberts recomanded.

Another thing is to integrate some sort of wired or wireless camera system for the perimiter of the Church. As I am a strong supporter of one of these companys I am recommending Blink. They do work and you will always get a camera clip motion Alert to your smart phone. If you are interested, someone on the Blink community forum has posted a Break-In capture live on their systen.

Have you seen this device and the custom handler @krlaframboise made?

[RELEASE] GoControl/Linear Multifunction Contact Sensor

I don’t have one but in that thread it seems like the DTH can handle internal and external contacts simultaneously? It may even be able to tell you locked/unlocked vs. open/closed with some edits to the code.

This is a healthy attitude to have when getting started with ST as a security system. It’s not just the DIY-nature of it (which can be fun), but the unreliability/cloud gremlins/whatever that make it a poor option for more serious security needs.

Unfortunately I feel the same way about Blink overall too. Convenient for notifications, sure. But they have a ways to go before they can meet the standards of a more professional security system too.

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Correct, you can use both at the same time and my DTH has an option for generating a child device so you can use the internal and external sensors as separate devices.


Looks like the one that will work with the custom handler, the GoControl (WADWAZ-1) one, is not z-wave plus. Also one website has it at end-of-life in December, with no replacement. Don’t know where to go from here. Of course I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a v2 ST hub for the z-wave plus distance benefit, but don’t know now as far as the double duty open/closed / locked/unlocked sensor.

Went ahead and bought the version 2 ST hub and two door/window sensors. I’m in the testing phase. One of the sensors is the GoControl (WADWAZ-1) non-Z-wave plus sensor. It worked pretty good. Got Kevin LaFramboise (krlaframboise) handler to work with it seamlessly. (Thanks Kevin.) The other one is the Z-wave plus Ecolink sensor (DWZWAVE2.5-ECO). It didn’t have a handler to impalement the external sensor for separate report status operation, but I was hopeful some other handler would make it work, like the monoprice one. Didn’t work.
With both sensors I manually activated and deactivated the sensors internal reed switch while walking away from the hub in the church building. Line of site I could get about 100 feet of good results (99%). Going directly to one of the farthest external doors (about 80 feet away from the hub), and going thru two walls, one masonry block and the other drywall, I got about 90% positive open/closed results. Yes, I know this is not definitive as far as testing goes, because I don’t have mess implemented, and I really didn’t have good hub placement, but it’s a start.

I was thinking that with some of the drywall walls being new construction with light switches in them, could I use some Z-wave plus light switches and outlets as repeaters? If so, which have the best results in that capacity?

Also, does anyone know of a Z-wave plus door/window sensor that works as well as the GoControl and a handler that reviles the external contacts as a new separate “thing”?
Thanks, Bob

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Any zwave light switch or outlet will work as a repeater and they should all work equally well, this is base functionality for a certified Z wave device. The newest generation, Z wave plus, have better range so if they fit your budget those will be a better choice. But otherwise the brand/model shouldn’t matter. :sunglasses:

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.