Smartthings Multipurpose Sensor - Easy Improvement Trick!

(Andreas) #1

So I was trying to set one of these up on my nightstand draw where I keep my home defense firearm. I keep a Glock 35 loaded in condition one. Obviously if that draw opens I want to know. I have a home alarm system but I want to keep tabs on that draw very closely. So I paired the sensor close to the hub and no problem. I tested it for a little while a few rooms away from the hub and it worked no problem. Then I took the sensor up to the bedroom and from it’s behavior I assume I took the little sucker to the limits of it’s range. A signal meter in the app might be a helpful addition but I am guessing that is just not possible. The sensor was on a serious lag in changing states and then it wouldn’t register sometimes. And then a funny thing happened, during the process, the cheap plastic covers kept falling off both of the sensors. So I decided to leave them off until I got them mounted. Well it took awhile for me to realize what was going on but I figured out that without the plastic covers on the sensor you get an extra 10ft of range. That was all I needed. Cosmetically you take a hit but I mounted these inside the draw (and attached the magnet to the inside of the dresser frame. So who cares. Hope this helps someone. Next sensors are going on the door of the closet where my gun safe is and the draw to get access to the safe with my wife’s jewelry and the emergency cash are. I am thinking I now need to set the dual WAN on my router to active/passive mode with a Verizon hotspot connected to the port in passive state. That is as long as ST can keep their servers running…

If any programmers find this helpful and can help me troubleshoot a problem I am having with Rule Machine I will mail them a case of beer. Or Redbull. Or whatever you coders drink. It is throwing a Java exception. I do hardware and networking. This coding thing is killing me. Different brain.

(Justin H) #2

Some devices do in fact report signal strength (RSSI or LQI), but I haven’t found it to be especially widespread or even that reliable…

Sounds like you got your sensor working, but the usual recommended fix here is to add a device somewhere in the middle of the problem link which will operate as a repeater. For ZigBee and Z-Wave, most devices which get their power from the mains will do this. The notes column on this page will tell you which devices work as repeaters. As long as its the same protocol (ZigBee vs Z-Wave), it should improve your link quality.

(Andreas) #3

So you’re saying I can put my covers back on? :wink: Thanks very much for dropping wisdom on me.