SmartSense Multi use for an outside gate


(Darin) #1

Long story short, I have a gate on my deck to keep a crazy escape dog away from the neighbors. The problem is, I also have family members that think this particular gate being closed is optional. Of course, they don’t have to pay the $50 fine for said crazy escape dog running loose in the neighborhood. Anyways, I bought a SmartSense Multi, I have it enclosed in this (not trying to advertise for amazon here):

My goal, was to switch the device type to Garage, but (from SmartThings support) it only notices a change in X and Y orientation, and not X (horizontal) orientation movements. I would put it on just movement sensing, but that’s as touchy and sensitive as my mother-in-law, and would false trigger with a wind gust. Does anyone have any ideas on how to create a new device type that sense X movement?

I’d like to keep this waterproof, and the sensor simply cannot pick up the magnet when it’s in this enclosure. So the goal is to have it notice an X axis movement, and then text every able phone in the house to yell at said family members to close the darn gate.

Thanks in advance everyone!

Recommendations for an outdoor entry sensor?
Outdoor Z-wave Sensor for a Gate
Outdoor Z-wave Sensor for a Gate
Weatherizing open/close door sensors for outdoor gate use
Weatherizing open/close door sensors for outdoor gate use
( co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

I have lots of ideas :wink:

The challenge in the scenario you describe, I think, is deciding what “movement” indicates the gate is still open, no?

The 3-Axis measures acceleration; which is great for measuring general activity (shaking) as well as change in orientation relative to a constant acceleration – i.e., Gravity (1G “down”, unless you’re in Australia, in which case, it’s 1G “up” … yuk yuk).

BTW: I have the same scenario here at home and haven’t decided what hardware and/or Device Type / SmartApp combination is best … yet.


I would probably go a different direction.

Get a heavy duty weatherproof contact sensor like the following:

Then cable it to an everspring door sensor to give you the zwave notification. You can put the everspring in the protective box as long as the signal still gets through.

Examples here:

(Tim Slagle) #4

I got a regular old door sensor and coarted it with plastidip


Just depends on how weatherproof it has to be. The garage sensor I mentioned operates in temperatures from -15 degrees to 160 F, so good even for a Minneapolis garage. A lot of door sensors are only rated down to freezing and up to about 100. If that meets your gate use case, you’re set. :slight_smile:


Would a contact that is capable of being wired be able to monitor this gate for you in conjunction with notify if door is left open for X amount of time smart app? I apologize if I did not full understand the problem :slight_smile:

(Bruce) #7

The contact being wired isn’t really the issue per se as far as the app goes. But the answer to your question is yes.

(Darin) #8

I was actually able to get the sensor and the magnet to work together with the enclosure. It required a bit of dremeling and some thinner double sided tape (inside the enclosure). I then used some strong 3M double sided tape to hold both the magnet to the deck post and sensor/enclosure to the metal gate. The magnet itself is not weatherproofed. I may fill it with silicone at some point. Thanks for all the suggestions! Hopefully this helps someone out. Here is what I ended up with:


Looks like a clean install!

(Scott Windmiller) #10

How did you get the magnet to work thru the box?

(Darin) #11

It took some fiddling, but the sensor picks it up. I had to shave the inside of the waterproof box down with a dremel. Also, I used some super thin double sided tape between the sensor and the box. I haven’t had a single false-positive yet.

(Scott Windmiller) #12

Awesome. So you had to make the box thinner where the sensor is, right?
I may be doing something similar for our side gate.

Robomower and SmartThings
(Tim Slagle) #13

Love how this community comes together and helps each other. I’e been on the net since AOL was a startup and have never found a community like this! Ya’all rock!

Ok so back to on-topic

Or stronger magnet :smile:

Here’s what I did for everyones viewing pleasure.

Took the outside casing off of the sensor. Layed a large piece of saran wrap over it a d then put the cover back on. Cut off the excess saran wrap and it’s been holding up ever since. Last week we got 2.5 inches of rain and it was dry as a bone on the inside.

(Scott Windmiller) #14

Sweet! Thanks, that will work too :smile:

I agree about the community too. It’s nice when people are all willing to share and help each other out.

(Darin) #15

That’s where I was headed next :slight_smile:

(Chris Hall) #16

Great idea – can you tell me what you mean by “cable it to an everspring door sensor”?

I like the idea of using the w/p sensor on the physical gate, and then connecting to Z-wave somehow. Not sure about power supply to the w/p sensor.

Why has no one developed a truly w/p contact sensor??



[quote=“CHallMD, post:16, topic:13335, full:true”]
Great idea – can you tell me what you mean by “cable it to an everspring door sensor”? [/quote]

Lots of people use one of the contact sensors that has dry contacts available inside and wire another device to it. The first device measures whatever you want measured, the second has the network antenna. Used for everything from doorbells to pressure mats. Here’s one example:

As for your other question:

Why has no one developed a truly w/p contact sensor??

Weatherproofed contact sensors certainly exist–both the garage door sensors originally mentioned and the pressure mats are intended for exposure to many weather conditions. Many of them don’t need power, by the way. Either they’re pressure sensors like the mat (step on it, close the circuit) or they use magnets. All they do is physically close a circuit. The powered part of the device is sheltered elsewhere, that’s the point.

As for why there aren’t many battery operated transmitting antennas, that comes down to physics. Most batteries don’t work well below freezing and most low power transmitters are useless in rain.

There are some commercial zigbee sensors used in oil fields and agricultural installations, but they cost way more than most home owners would pay.

But for residential use, you usually run wire to the sensing part of the device and keep the powered transmitter out of the elements if you live anyplace with extreme weather.

(Chris Hall) #18

Thanks – I spent some time sorting this out, and I now follow what you were suggesting. The Everspring SM103 accepts an external lead, but the newer Everspring Door/Window sensor (automatically swapped in by Amazon when you try to order SM103) looks as if it does not. Had to buy an older version on EBay. Going to play around with this set-up once I get the necessary equipment.

I assume there are other Z-wave contact sensors out there that accept external leads (cabling in, as you say). May have to look for another if the Everspring ceases being available.

Thanks for heading me in the right direction. This is much better than rigging up some contraption that physically moves/displaces the magnet from the contact device on a cable inside a waterproof housing - yikes!!


I see you have this sorted out but just wanted to add that a regular old heavy duty ziplock freezer bag or trash bag with some shipping tape should waterproof it. Just stick the sensor in the corner of the bag, cut of a generous amount of bag and wrap it nicely and tape it. Maybe a little bit sloppy but it’s a clear or solid black bag so it shouldn’t look too bad. I personally tried something with pvc pipes but gave up on the project all together.

I like what you did though, nice and polished. I’ll probably do the same for my mailbox.


Just a reminder: never put a battery operated device into an airtight container, including a Ziploc bag, unless both the device and the battery are intended for that operation. Batteries can outgas.