SmartThings Multisensor Troubleshooting


(Cory S) #1

I setup a multisensor in my kegerator to work as a thermostat in conjunction with the smart outlet. Everything worked perfectly for 3 days, until I noticed condensation pouring off the tower (a sign it is far colder than I configured it to be). I looked at the app and it said it was only 40F, and was powering the compressor non stop to try and get it down to the preset of 33F.

In reality it was closer to 28F in there, so I pulled it out and discovered condensation all over it, which I figured was screwing with it. I took the batteries out and blew it off with a hair dryer, and put them back in. It quickly readjusted and settled on room temperature like normal. To protect it against the condensation I covered the chip, and PCB in hot glue, leaving what I assume is the temperature probe bare (this red bar thing with a wire going in on each end) It was too big at this point to fit back in the enclosure so I put it naked back in the kegerator (with its hot glue shell)

But, this didn’t fix the issue. It quickly got done to 32F in the kegerator…but then did a steady climb back up to 40F…and is running the compressor non stop again. Anyone have any ideas?

here are some pictures of how I decided to void my warranty :slight_smile:

https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B2ggqo902tNhMHZwNzVEZE5MQ2M&usp=sharing


(Cory S) #2

Here are some log details…

Date	Source	Displayed Text	Raw Description	Displayed	State Change
21 Jun 2013 18:35:37 - 7 minutes ago	DEVICE	Kegerator was 38°F	contactState: 1, accelerationState: 0, temp: 34, battery: 1C, rssi: 73, lqi: 255	TRUE	TRUE
21 Jun 2013 18:00:35 - 42 minutes ago	DEVICE	Kegerator was 37°F	contactState: 1, accelerationState: 0, temp: 28, battery: 1C, rssi: 73, lqi: 255	TRUE	TRUE
21 Jun 2013 17:58:06 - 44 minutes ago	DEVICE	Kegerator was 38°F	contactState: 1, accelerationState: 0, temp: 37, battery: 1D, rssi: 72, lqi: 255	TRUE	TRUE
21 Jun 2013 17:45:42 - 57 minutes ago	DEVICE	Kegerator was 36°F	contactState: 1, accelerationState: 0, temp: 23, battery: 1C, rssi: 72, lqi: 254	TRUE	TRUE
21 Jun 2013 17:38:15 - 1 hour ago	DEVICE	Kegerator was 35°F	contactState: 1, accelerationState: 0, temp: 17, battery: 1C, rssi: 73, lqi: 255	TRUE	TRUE
21 Jun 2013 17:33:17 - 1 hour ago	DEVICE	Kegerator was 34°F	contactState: 1, accelerationState: 0, temp: 12, battery: 1C, rssi: 71, lqi: 255	TRUE	TRUE
21 Jun 2013 17:30:48 - 1 hour ago	DEVICE	Kegerator was 33°F	contactState: 1, accelerationState: 0, temp: 11, battery: 1C, rssi: 72, lqi: 255	TRUE	TRUE
21 Jun 2013 17:28:19 - 1 hour ago	DEVICE	Kegerator was 32°F	contactState: 1, accelerationState: 0, temp: 4, battery: 1C, rssi: 73, lqi: 255	TRUE	TRUE
21 Jun 2013 17:25:50 - 1 hour ago	DEVICE	Kegerator was 34°F	contactState: 1, accelerationState: 0, temp: 14, battery: 1C, rssi: 73, lqi: 255	TRUE	TRUE

(Cory S) #3

This is just getting strange now. I turned the kegerator off, and the temp dropped down to 32, I turn it back on and the temp goes back up.


(Cory S) #4

Haha, this thread is like my own personal log…

I think it’s the cold messing with it, and not the condensation as I previously thought. Perhaps it is messing with the battery voltage and throwing false readings.


(Ben Edwards) #5

Cory,

I am not sure covering the chip in glue was the answer. In fact, you left the magnet (the red bar) exposed. The temp sensor is actually a very a small bit on the circuit. We know that the Multi does not work well at low temps. The batteries will not last long at those temps. If you really wanted to try this I think sealing the whole device in a sealed container or plastic bag - however that will effect the accuracy of the readings. Lastly, there are much more sensitive and better temperature sensors out there that are better to use in this scenario - the Multi is a bit expensive for this use :slight_smile:

I know support has been talking with you on this issue but wanted to reach out.

Ben


(Cory S) #6

Thanks @ben_edwards, I reported the app not displaying temps under 55F bug to the beta program, but didn’t feel this would be problem to bother support with being how unorthodox it is. This issue isn’t that it isn’t displaying the temp in the app, it is that it is reading it incorrectly at low temps.

What other sensors would you recommend using for this purpose?

I figured the red bar was probably the magnet after I started thinking about it more. Could you possibly mark, or perhaps describe what the temperature sensor is on one of the pictures I took?

The reason I used hot glue is because it peels off easy enough without residue. It shouldn’t cause any lasting harm, and I would think would provide pretty good protection. It also seems to be working pretty good now, as long as temps don’t get under 34F, I think what did it in was when I lowered it down to 32F in an attempt to keep the draft tower cooler. I’m not too concerned about the batteries…they’re pretty inexpensive.

I am interesting in what sensors you would suggest that are less expensive though. I was about ready to create an external power source for it and put the batteries outside the kegerator.


(Ben Edwards) #7

There are only a few that I have used. This page shows a lot more that could potentially be integrated (many may already work but we just need to add support in the UI on some perhaps).

Zigbee
http://www.alibaba.com/showroom/zigbee-temperature-sensor.html

Z-Wave
http://www.alibaba.com/trade/search?fsb=y&IndexArea=product_en&CatId=&SearchText=z-wave+temperature+sensor

Of course most of these are bought in bulk but should give a sense of the breadth of offerings.

I am also really interested in the offerings of this company:

http://www.monnit.com/products/wireless-sensors/

Tons of potential for environmental monitoring.

Ben


(Cory S) #8

Thanks, @ben_edwards.

So, right now it looks like the only thing I could go out and buy would be the Z-Wave Everspring ST814-2. It costs 51~ dollars and looks like it may be prone to the same issues (condensation/poor performance at freezing) due to the fact the the entire unit would be in the kegerator just like the Multi.

How much is the Multi supposed to retail for when the store opens?