Today ST made me look the fool :(

Not sure if this is the right place for this but is there a way to change modes i.e. Security Mode -> Home Mode?
After bragging and referring my neighbor about ST (he has ADT) last night and showing how I can unlock my locks, turn off/on lights(and change colors), how the system knows when I’m home/gone, basically selling him on ST since he hates the monthly bill from ADT. Well, today, I looked like the fool…This morning I left in a rush to work forgetting all my phone chargers(I have an Android that’s my presence sensor and an iPhone for work), thinking I’d be home before both phones died I didn’t worry too much about it. Now when I leave, my ST knows I’m gone and goes into a Security Mode that if triggered by either my door/window sensors or my motion sensors, will set off 2 very loud sirens. Well, I had to stay late for work and low and behold my iphone dies shortly followed by my Android. I didn’t really think anything of it until I got home. How was I going to enter my house??? I had no way of switching modes from Secure to Home and BOTH charging cables were inside. I could unlock my Kwikset 910 but once I open the door the sirens will go off. All my ideas ended up with me setting off the sirens…my last option(which was my first idea) was to go ask my neighbor to borrow his charger to charge my iphone so I could switch to Home Mode. You could imagine how much of a laugh he got out of my ‘Smart’ home having such a non-smart owner. I had even thought of this scenario a few months back and was going to make an RFID switch or an Arduino based keypad that would change modes based on the keypad entry. Anyone here heard of something similar or how does one overcome the issue of switching modes or turning off the security without any presence sensors and without access to the ST app?

Hmm, think you just defined the absolute need for a web based app client to control the home. Granted, you could have logged into the IDE from any computer and wrote a quick reset program, but still…

I haven’t done this in ST, but another HA platform, my Yale Zigbee lock when a code is entered will disable my security system.

Also, most security system allow an entry delay to get to a keypad. Why not just wire up a light switch or contact sensor on a multi sensor that if opened and closed 3 times it resets the security system…

Also, why not send notification of motion and wait 60 seconds before alarm goes off, at least you will know it is going to happen (assuming your phone is charged)…

Best bet is to wire up the unlock action on the kwikset to disarm the security system.


This should help you out, [Smart Alarm][1]. I haven’t set it up yet myself, but you can set an entrance and exit delay, establish up to 16 zones, Arm Stay, Arm Away, etc., cool SmartApp
[1]: Smart Alarm is here

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I use BlueStacks to emulate an android tablet on my laptop and loaded ST on that. But I think the Smart Alarm app that Jason linked to would be a better solution.

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Time for the “Secret knock” Smart App. Use the vibration sensor in a multi sensor attached to a door.

Knock in a specific pattern, viola, system disarmed…


My next project in the queue, lol

Sounds like a good idea…as for the wear, I saw a samsung door lock that used a random dummy number to throw off the pattern…you could write the code to ignore the first or last digit…for example a 5 digit PIN is required, but the first digit can be any number 0-9 while the last 4 digits are the actual PIN

Some simple solutions:

  1. Never forget your phone charger. Put one in your car. (Also, never forget your phone).
  2. Put a SmartSense Presence on your car key chain
  3. Put a Aeon Button Fob in your glove compartment, set it to run the “Home” action
  4. Install the “Home on Code Unlock” SmartApp that I shared on the IDE Community.

The latter is my own safety - if all else fails (including the power) I can unlock the door with my security code. The lock tells ST which code index (not the actual code) was used to unlock the door…if it’s one of the one’s I’ve authorized to override the system, it goes into Home mode when the door unlocks. (It also goes back into “Away” if the door is locked and no presence sensors are found - useful for the cleaning lady, cat feeder, etc.).

Combine this last one with one that sets off the Alarm if the WRONG code is entered (or a specific emergency code), and you might just regain face with your neighbor…


Today it did it again…apparently, I had an internet outage and had workers in my home. The system went into home secured mode then, later, when one of the workers opened the door, the sirens went off…I switched it to home mode via my phone, but nothing happened…my phone app indicated I was in home mode but sirens were still going off. On the app it had the sirens in orange so I touched them to silence them…nothing…sirens still blaring…even though the app showed they were off…I had to frantically find a ladder and unscrew the set screw and pull the sirens down…no my ears are hurting since these sirens are quite loud and prolonged exposure can cause hearing damage…only good thing is that I was home to do something about it.

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I hooked up the siren but haven’t used it for anything. If it were to go off like that and my wife was home, that would be the end of HA for me…

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Yeah, these things happen. I had a faulty rs232 bridge card in my GE Concord panel, caused the alarm to go off and not respond to the keypad.

At least your system doesn’t dispatch the cops… Fun times tearing apart a security panel when the cops enter with guns drawn… I had some explaining to do. All worked out in the end, but proof it doesn’t have to be internet connected for things to go wrong.

If you ever worked in the security industry, false alarms are the only thing that ever happens with security systems. Rarely do they ever go off and some legitimate reason is happening…

Except when I wired a water bug up to a zone on my panel. That saved me 4 times when the sump pump failed.

Sirens are useless, alerts via text, push messaging, email (ideally with camera images accessible) are the way to go.

Heck most retail stores now just have silent alarms. I wish more houses did too.

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Not for everyone. While I can’t be certain of the criminal mind, I doubt that someone breaking into my home would lollygag around, perusing my stuff, and maybe fix themselves a cocktail for the 20-25 minutes it would take the local sheriff to arrive. In this case silent is useless, and perhaps the siren scares him off.

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Sure, but so is a sign that says home protected by security system. Sirens don’t scare real criminals, they just work faster.

Real criminals know response times, have police scanners and break windows. Smash and grabs are the #1 way. Nothing on the market will stop that. Cameras, those will see them coming, provide the evidence to police track them down.

Heck, just a camera and a sign outside will deter most criminals. Softer targets exist everywhere. Nash’s principle of equilibrium.

I’m curious, do you believe your local PD/sheriff/whatever has the time and interest in pursuing a home burglary or a stolen car? Short of taking the report, I mean.

Yes, had several interactions with my local PD. They respond to all calls, most are false alarms.

We had a rash of home break ins recently. Finally solved by putting together common details using crowdsourcing with my neighbors.

But I live in the burbs, where cops just park at the fire station waiting for a false alarm.

Hmmm… count your blessings. I’ve lived in the city, and now something much more rural than the burbs. In either case, it has been pointless to get them involved.

I’ll second the “Home on Code Unlock”. I modified mine to run “I’m Back” on ANY code, rather than a specific index, since I have several users and I want the alarm to deactivate on any valid code. I have that coupled with SmartAlarm. I had to enable the EntryDelay in SmartAlarm to give the “Home on Code Unlock” app time to work. That said, I also had to slightly modify SmartAlarm because I found that once an EntryDelay was configured, it would never go off. Basically, right before the RunIn commands, I had to run an Unschedule for that action (for example: unschedule(activateAlarm)).

Now it works beautifully.

would love to see the code for the Home on Code Unlock…mind sharing?

Found It on the Shared Smart Apps…will try it out.

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You might be interested in the newly-updated version that I posted this weekend…a few more useful features to protect you from future embarrassment :blush: