Thinking of Switching from zipabox: anyway to use wired sensors with a smartthings system?

I’m hoping someone can help me with some question regarding the SmartThings Hub. I’ve been using a Zipato Zipabox for about 2 years now and it’s really starting to annoy me. It doesn’t support basic things like GE dimmers and their support pretty much sucks. Their iOS app is terrible and they have been “working” on it for about 18 months.

Anyway, one of the main reasons I picked it was because it supported a wire security module. That allowed me to wire in all my door / window sensors and use it as a security system as well as an automation controller.

Maybe someone can help me with a few questions?

  1. How are wired sensors integrated with the ST hub? My assumption is that they aren’t and I’d need to go wireless making all my wired sensors worthless?

  2. Can the ST app connect directly to my Hub or does it need to go through a ST server? I think the Zipato servers are offline more than they are online and when they are offline, nothing works.

  3. Can you backup a ST hub? Meaning if mine dies, can I restore a backup should I have one available?

  4. How is the battery life on wireless sensors? I have a couple in my house that I use with the Zipato and the batteries last for about 3 months regardless of the wake time interval.

Thank so much for everyone’s help. I’m trying to nail down an appropriate replacement, should I decide to go that route.

First rule of home automation: “the model number matters.“ so the answers to your sensor questions, whether it’s battery life or the ability to use wired sensors will vary depending on the specific brand/model.

  1. Some wired sensors can be used with smartthings through a third-party integration called Konnected. The developer, @heythisisnate , is an active member of this community, so I will leave it to him to answer any further questions.
  1. The app speaks to the SmartThings cloud and the cloud speaks to the hub. There is no direct communication. Which means if your Internet is out, you can’t use the app to control the hub or its devices at all. :disappointed_relieved: technically, they didn’t have to do it that way, but that is the way they did it.

  1. No back up, no migration utilities. :scream: they’ve been promising one for about four years now, but it’s obviously not a high priority.

  2. Battery life varies hugely depending on model and the strength of your mesh. I have some which have run for more than two years before needing a battery change, and some which make it about two months. Most zigbee and zwave plus Devices are spec’d to go 1 to 2 years, most Wi-Fi devices are spec’d for about three months, But there are a lot of factors that go into it.

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Thanks so much for your quick reply. From browsing the forums, it looks like there is really strong support from the community, something else you don’t find in the Zipato forums. There are a few people that help out and know what they are doing, but they tend to get overwhelmed.

I have the Aeotec Recessed Door Sensor Gen5 and a pretty strong mesh. Crappy battery life is a re-occurring theme on the Zipato forums. The wired sensors are just the generic magnetic contact sensors. There isn’t any printing on them anywhere with a brand / model number.

The lack of a backup is annoying, especially if you have a lot of devices and rules.

The Konnected panel looks pretty cool, but I’m not familiar with how to wire up the senors. Unless it’s just a matter of moving the wires.

How’s the rule creator? I was looking for an online demo of the interface, but couldn’t find anything. Does it support a virtual weather station? For example, can you tell the system to turn off certain lights based on sunset / sunrise times? I use that a lot.

Thanks again for all your help and taking the time to create such a detailed post.

I can’t speak at all to the Konnected system. For your question about the rule creator there several options from various apps. The most versatile and powerful option is WebCore. I use it for many things in my home and give it 2 thumbs up.

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This might help:

How to Get Started Creating Complex Rules in SmartThings (2017) (SmartThings Classic)

As far as specifically your question about sunset/sunrise, yes, that’s part of the official features.

Rules are called “ automations“ in the official features. One of the popular unofficial communitybuilt rules engines, webcore, calls rules “pistons.“

Just in time to jump ship:

For its part, Zipato fixed the vulnerabilities within a few weeks of receiving the researchers’ disclosure.
Zipato’s chief executive Sebastian Popovic told TechCrunch that each smart hub now comes with a unique private SSH key and other security improvements. Zipato has also since discontinued the ZipaMicro hub in favor of one of its newer products.

It’s not the same model that most DIY customers would have, it’s one that is used for apartment buildings and installed by the landlord. And, as the article mentions, the vulnerabilities were fixed before the article went to press.

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Sure, but if their developers are in the business of hard coding keys and it took someone from outside to discover that, I would jump ship even if that was not the product I was using. It speaks of company’s development principles in general.

I think it’s more about the maturation of the industry as a whole. That particular hub was certified in 2013, when Zwave was mostly about lights and nobody was really worried about third-party hacking for those kinds of systems.

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Only problem I see with the Konnected hub is it can only monitor hard wired sensors/zones.

Konnected isn’t a “Hub”. It is a module for relaying wired sensor status to other smart home hubs/platforms, such as SmartThings, Home Assistant, and Hubitat.

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Divice/hub/computer/module… you say tomatoe, I say tomato . But exactly what I said .

Can’t arm your alarm, can’t monitor wireless sensors; as so isn’t a security hole. Also doesn’t require you to program your alarm. There are other solutions which act as a alarm key pad connecting as a serial device to the alarm panel and as a result allow you to arm/disarm your alarm as well as monitor wireless sensors connected to your alarm.

Which solutions and at what price?

Nobody said Konnected is meant to be the solution for all consumers. It serves a particular function that can be integrated various hubs/platforms to be an affordable DIY solution for some (rather non-trivial number of) households.