The Honeymoon is over

I am in the same boat. I have about 20 devices and only a few work 100% correct.
(One doesn’t keep it dimming setting, some switches don’t detect manual operations which I was able to fix myself, some of the same sensors installed as different device types, the development debugger frequently freezes, and local Networking devices is only partially implemented which is why IP cameras and such don’t work.)
Most work just enough just to keep me addicted, but I am loosing patience. As a Software Engineer with 20+ years experience I have noticed the following patterns:

  • ST is still a rapid prototype system and isn’t really ready for prime time. Too many bugs that have not been fixed.
  • No tangible improvements in the last few months from Smartthings
  • ST is buying it’s time for something, but it’s not to fix it’s current system. They have started various polls, but haven’t done anything with them. (The Arduino Shield improvements and New Devices polls.) My suspicion is that they are using their Software team to create V2 or something for new Samsung.
    I have also noticed multiple New users start off with great enthusiasm, but after struggling with multiple issues, they just stop working with ST. (Just look at old post and topics.)

If ST wants to improve it’s current system they should:

  • Create a way of users to publicly report problems and status the planned fixes
  • Provide weekly status of what they are doing (Not PR stuff, but tangible fixes and improvements)
  • Spend resources to get the system working reliable and get devices working 100% and not just 80%

ST has great potential and I am waiting and hoping they get their act together. (I realize fixing things is not as fun as creating things, but ST should invest in getting everything fixed.)

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Am getting my appartment una couple of months and hace been considering ST or Vera. With these comments, might as well wait a couple of months after ST’s second gen release, unless any of you guys can recommend vera…

@AKPTY, coming from Vera I wouldn’t recommend it to my enemy…

Being on SmartThings for a year, and having 133 devices now on the original hub, I’d recommend ST. ST does have their hiccups, but for the most part I’ve had a great experience. Keep in mind that I don’t do Hue, Sonos, or stuff from the Lab yet either; and my zwave mesh is quite large. Heck, I just bought 4 more zwave switches last night that will be installed before lunch today.

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Been running my getup for about half a year. I switched over from Vera which was true hell compared to ST IMHO. They have you “start all over” if there is a problem! I just don’t have that kind of free time anymore!

I am scared to change anything for fear of disrupting something thru collateral damage. I have had to accept that in its current state ST is just a toy and not an integral part of home infrastructure.

I’m running about a dozen ST devices on one hub. I have another half dozen in the garage waiting to be installed, or periodically used.

I’ve found the system to be pretty good, but some substantial flakiness. In particular:

  • Sometimes lights don’t trigger at scheduled times. Don’t turn on, don’t turn off. That appears to be random. Leave it alone, and it will trigger correctly the next day. At least one switch every few days – come down stairs middle of the night and a light is still on. At sunset, all the lights but on go on, etc…
  • Power hiccups to the house cause switches or lights to lose their z-wave link to the hub. Repairing the z-wave network doesn’t fix this. Physically rebooting the hub doesn’t fix this. The only solution I’ve found is to take them off the ST network, reboot the hub, and then reconnect them to the network. But a power blip can taken down 4-6 devices… so its a bit of work to redo the network. It seems to be just the z-wave network, not the zigbee.
  • I swear the IOS app for Smartthings sucks. After using it daily for almost a year, its still mostly a mystery on how to do more than pair a device. I’m moderately computer literate, so I’m surprised at how flaky the app is. Sometimes you do something, and it shows you a set of menus. You come back and try to do something similar for another device and you can’t figure out, or even find that menu again…

Given that my advice is don’t use ST for “critical” household functions – like home security. I use mine for convenience – light timers, smart light controls, etc And for that its pretty good, and fun to fiddle with. Pricing is moderate.

Probably the coolest thing I’ve done with my system was to put in a couple of z-wave outdoor switched to control the two sections of my Christmas outdoor lights, and the Christmas tree. As I’d drive home and turn onto my street, you could see the house light up.

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I’ve seen you complaining about both the harmony and hue. I’m sure you’ve worked with support on it, I’m always shocked about how many complaints there are. My hue’s work flawlessly through out my entire house including on, off, change color, etc. triggered by all sorts of events, modes, motions, etc. I’m not sure if it’s I should consider myself lucky or if something is broken on certain installs.

My harmony works flawlessly as well. Granted it’s limited to just calling activities but I’ve setup “fake” switchs within STs that my remote turns “on / off”. I then built apps to handle all the actions depending on switches turning on and off. It works great for doing all sorts of complicated actions from the remote to the house. I don’t really have a use case the other way other than trigger an activity or turning everything off.

I’ve noticed on my foscam install that once I started “playing” with the device it stopped working and it no longer registers the IP. I’m starting to think that once you get into a situation like this STs has to manually fix it and support doesn’t seem to be taking the time to resolve those issues. The last few tickets I’ve opened have all been met with “we know, we’ll fix one day, we don’t have a timeline” which is very upsetting since it use to be all about helping us ASAP. I also believe they are working through all their growning pains joining samsung and more importantly moving from DC to the west coast and from what I hear several support people are still in DC with very little support of their own.

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@craig What SmartApps are you using for your Hue? What types of different modes and motions and things are you using to trigger your hue? I only have a have a few hue bulbs, but i haven’t found anything reliable to trigger them for different actions…

I’ve mostly used two apps. 1) Phrases turning the lights on and off when a phrase is triggered and 2) an app that I wrote that I call “night light” which turns a set of hue lights on when motion is triggered to one of a list of colors for X minutes. I’ve been using this app for quite sometime to run as a night light both for my daughter and my on room (for a light strip under my bed).

Please let me know what you’re doing to get 100% accuracy with Hue lights. They haven’t triggered accurately for me since I setup ST.

For Harmony are you using the Ultimate Home model? I have the old Ultimate with the hub, but as I understand from Logitech this model won’t pair with ST until an update is made available.

@pd_ - I’m not entirely sure what “I’m doing”. I have recently unpaired my device completely and re-setup the entire HUE setup. I actually think this may have cleared a ton of issues up (not 100%).

You are correct about the Harmony remotes, I accidentally bought the Ultimate first and after spending some time with support on the phone they told me I bought the wrong one.

Just read this whole thread. Feel like we are on the same page with the frustration with SmartThings…

I’m in the same boat. I don’t want to deep-troubleshoot my smart home at most every week or two. It’s unfair to expect this. I have simple products like a light switch hat just stop working all of a sudden. It’s always something and I’m reaching the end of my rope. If there were a solid alternative that used z-wave I’d be gone already but I’m not eager to drop one headache for another slightly lesser one. I feel bad for anyone gullible enough to believe SmartThings is a viable home security option, it’s pretty shameful of SmartThings to advertise that. You’re messing with people’s safety. Smarty things is absolutely not reliable enough to be used as a home security system. Not even close.

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I fee like I’ve been beta testing a system for over a year but I payed full retail price and nothing is getting better. On top of that so many people had problems that live chat has been shut down, the opposite of what should have happened (live phone support being added). I also feel like not being a programmer, despite my ability to “create” and edit my own device types and smart apps via code shared by other users, makes SmartThings dismiss any of my complaints under the labe of “inexperienced/amateur”. I put serious time into troubleshooting and I know if in out of my own depth. Without changing my system or anything in the house a switch that was working on a schedule for months suddenly stops for days. Another just disappeared from my network. Both garage door openers take turns not reporting open close status and just not working. I repair networks, reset the hub, ensure internet connectivity and some of the devices that give me problems are close enough to the hub 1"(15-20 ft). You can’t honestly expect every device in the house to stay within 15 feet of the hub at all times…

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With due respect! If you are having distance related drop-offs, why not use some repeaters? I can understand that 15 feet is always not practical but repeaters do help. Between 90-100 devices here and zero drop-offs. Things will be ok with time. I am sure they are doing their best. I can well understand the frustration. Till few months back I was the whiner-in-chief about the hue integration and it has come long way since then… Give them some time and benefit of doubt.

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I have hard wired devices which are supposed to be the same as dedicated repeaters. I have a hard wired device/repeater every 15 feet. At least one. And how much time should I give them? They’re on version two and there are still LOADS of complaints. I understand hiccups but it’s not like a 1, 2, fix. It’s painful fixing some of these things, they still don’t officially support foscam (probably the most popular DIY-er camera around) and they’re backup by one of the largest electronics giants on earth, Samsung.

and drop offs aren’t my main problem it’s the device being seen but not working properly. It’s not a distance problem for me unfortunately. A switch that’s been installed for over a year just disappeared from the system and I had a lot of trouble getting it back on. I eventually did but no thanks to tech support that stop lord helping me after the first “here’s the standard fix” email AFTER I told them I followed the standard fix on their website which they acknowledged.

Which specific brands and models?

Linear switches (wd500z), GE dimmers and on//off switches, and linear garage door openers. Those are the ones functioning as repeaters (meaning not on the edge of the network).

Point in case, none of my outdoor switches have come on yet and it’s past time. Both switch are about 19.5 feet away from the hub (just pulled out the tape measure) with almost a perfectly unobstructed line of sight. The hub doesn’t even report sending the command, forget about distance issues. This is unacceptable.

I don’t know, I’ve had none of the problems you have, and I have a spread out network with a mismatch of almost every device, and I have about 90 devices and don’t have the same issues at all.

It isn’t a great security system, but it works well.

Those are all repeaters, it definitely sounds like something’s wrong. I feel your pain, I just wish I had an answer for you.