SmartSense Presence Sensor FAILURE

Honestly. No idea. Hoping to find out one day.

Duncan has said for the gen 1 hub the channel is randomly assigned when the hub is assembled, not user configurable. It’s posted in one of the hub 2 discussions.

[quote=“joefilippello, post:41, topic:16644, full:true”]
I was probably just holding it wrong
[/quote]No, you were holding it correctly. The performance didn’t meet your expectations, even though it was performing within the bounds of any non-perfect device (ie, one that is radio based operating in an uncontrolled radio environment - ie “the real world”.)

That’s not an unexpected outcome. There are endless workarounds, and there are ways to adjust your use case to achieve what you want with current technology, but honestly returning it all and trying again in a few years will probably yield a better (but likely still not perfect) result - as the technology continues to improve.

I look forward to your blog post on - as a former reviewer for The Gadgeteer I’m no stranger to the “box arrives in the mail, you have a week to unbox, photo, and then use it like you mean it, then write it up because another box is arriving soon” cycle. I’ve also been a ST user for well over a year, but only recently (past two months) have undertaken a serious (40+ devices, hard wired switches, boatloads of sensors, locks, thermostats, etc) install in a home - and I’ve come face to face with many of the actual realities of what the tech can and can’t do.

As I said before - I do hope you find something that works better for you.

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[quote=“JDRoberts, post:47, topic:16644”]
I am in the process of switching all my presence-based automation over to iBeacons, which will work at my house
[/quote]We’re doing a lot of work using estimote beacons (iBeacons without the iTax :smiley:) - they’re all just BTLE anyway, after all, and to the point we see detection rates with beacons sitting 1’ to 10’ away from receivers at anywhere from 100% to 90% accurate. For no reason at all beacons will become non-readable for several broadcast cycles (radio interference is fun!) at both office (radio hell) and home (um… ocean air hell?) settings. For me, it’s about as reliable as the Zigbee fob.

Glad they work for you though!


There you go: “All home automation is local.” :blush:

How do I get it to save on a pic?

Estimote is interesting, is there a possibility that I can use this to track how many times my dog has been let outside to do her business? I was thinking if I can establish the signal strength when she’s inside then I can make assumptions based on the signal decrease.

Hi Don,

You can add custom images for presence devices by going to Things>Gear Icon>Preferences>Set Image.


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Humphhhh sad day :frowning:

Honestly about to give up on presence and SmartThings for good . . . I love everyone at SmartThings and Everything about SmartThings but you guys have got to admit that you have theeeeee worlds worst presence detection devices known to man haha

The batterys died in my presence tags after only 3 months (which is surprising as they hardly ever worked correctly when they did have battery)

Anyways non the less ive replaced the batterys today, but still for the last hour the battery has read as 1% so im still getting low battery warnings on both of them devices

To make things worse it dropped out on my girlfriends tag whilst it was sat here on the table infront of me for nearly 15 minutes, so i clicked BEEP in the app and it Beeped out loud which means it knows its present . . . If not then it couldnt of beeped surely.

To make things worse my iphone presence is to much more reliable and is a major drain on my phones battery having locations on all the time so im always reluctant to resort to that.

Please Please Pleaseeeeeeeee tell me there is a plan to better this in the near future, when the whole of your fancy (and impressive may i add) SMart Home Monitoring System pretty much depends on these devices, there is not really an excuse for them to be this much of a poor quality product.

Ive heald my tongue forever on this and i have only had the odd input now and again whilst noticing everyone else has the same issue and moans, but i give you guys the benefit of the doubt hoping the new systems may improve this . . . Something MUST be planned to fix this as its not at all something id class as a SMART THING in any sense of the word.

Has anyone had better look with the brand Spanking new presence sensors or are they the same, bit reluctant to spend another £90 on two presence tags when i only got these two recently…

Cheers from the joyful british lad, kyle :wink:

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my two presence sensors with v2 hub are working fine… reads comings and goings, just a little slow recognizing that I am home maybe 1-2 minutes… I even put a zigbee switch in the garage but did not improve it… would love to find a zigbee switch or repeater that is outdoor rated.

For my case, they have been unreliable with Hub v1 and Hub v2 (I own smartsense v1 and v2). I have tried everything from putting the sensors close to the hub, and increasing the presence timeout to 3 minutes.

The events are actually strange, as one sensor “leaves”, then immediately “arrives”, then after the timeout “leaves” again and “arrives” in a couple of minutes.

I guess is a thing about WiFi usage at those moment interferring with ZigBee. Im planning to change router (maybe use 5GH), and move the hub to be located away for the router (currently close).

Everything about the new arrival sensors exactly the same as the old presents sensors the plastic case. So you’re going to see the same behavior.

It’s always good to talk to support, because there are a few adjustments they can make. But ultimately they work great for some people, they don’t work at all for other people, they’re in the middle for other people, it’s just completely variable.

There are other strategies that you can try, including two device strategies. I use an iBeacon and the arrival sensor and the phone and I’m now very happy with arrival detection. But it took about eight months to get it right.

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As Always JD your the man !!!

And yeah id considered iBeacons aswell, just dont really see why i should have to buy third party presence detection devices to clean up for the mistakes SmartThings own ones make and then drain my phones battery aswell to back it up just incase - but i appreciate this is defo best option

I Wonder if the Apple Watch could be used as a presence tag of any sort, as that could really change a few things for me :slight_smile:

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No, it can’t yet. The watch will still use the phone’s location information (including beacon detection). Hopefully soon!

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If you’re already using a tablet as a dashboard for SmartTiles, etc., you can also associate a battery-powered bluetooth beacon with the tablet, and attach the beacon to your keys. That way you’re not burning the battery on your phone.

But honestly, I’ve been using USB beacons with my iPhone and BeaconThings for a while now, and I haven’t noticed any difference in battery life.

I do wish there was a better z-wave or zigbee solution, but I’m not sure how much of that is a limitation with the ST platform, and how much is just limitations of low-power mesh networking.