Unreliable SmartSense Multi Contact

Just having a look through my events I saw the following:

3 Jul 2014 02:27:19
14 hours ago DEVICE contact closed SmartSense Multi contact is closed

How can this be? The device is glued to a garage door, and the magnet is in the original box in a closet one story away. I am seeing numerous events telling me the contact state is changing.

One word Scott… ghosts. That, or mice with magnetic boots that are climbing your garage door.

I have a moisture sensor that is stuck in the ACTIVE position since yesterday…and there is no more water and the contacts are bone dry.

So I have to wonder, how do folks that are opening garage doors and unlocking locks have the confidence to do so? I don’t at this point. Last night it told me my garage door was closed… it wasn’t.

I use camera’s to confirm. Especially when away.

Doorbell action sends me an email with a photo of the front door.

There does seem to be some inconsistencies in the reporting of status of these ST devices I’m seeing too.

I plan on working up a quick app to keep my own logs of these device change states and see how reliable the sensors really are.

Last night my presence sensor left the house and came back 3 times. Where are my keys going when I’m sleeping?

Definitely email us at support@smartthings.com so we can figure out what’s happening.

Following up for everyone here…

I’m surprised I didn’t know the answer to this one!

When you add a SmartSense Multi to the Dashboard as a Garage door we change the device type to “SmartSense Garage Door Multi”. This allows us to detect if the garage door is opened or closed depending on the angle of the accelerometer. At this point we ignore the magnetic contact sensor. We copy the accelerometer open/close status over to the contact status so that you can continue using SmartApps that are looking for the “contact” capability without losing the ability to know if the door is opened or closed.

If anyone has questions from there please let me know.


1 Like

I had a multi set up as a garage door opener but it was unreliable. It constantly indicated open while I was at work and came home to find out it was closed. I tried changing it to a conventional open/close sensor and mounting it but it takes more than 6 minutes for the status to change to closed after it is physically closed. I just installed a relay today to open and close the door so I don’t want to hit the button thinking I am closing it but I am really opening it. Which type is more reliable: conventional or garage? What would happen if the magnet is left connected to the sensor while it is set as a garage door?

The garage door Multi type is going to be more reliable in my opinion. If it’s still several minutes delayed email us at support@smarthings.com.

If the magnet is left connected while the Multi device type is the garage door type it’ll just ignore the magnet.

Hi Tyler;

I found the Device Type Template code for both SmartSense Garage Door Multi as well as SmartSense Virtual Open/Closed in the IDE library… Ack: There is a THIRD template called SmartSense Garage Door Sensor Button.


  1. I presume that the Virtual Open Closed is obsolete, since it is very similar code, but not quite as comprehensive as the Garage Door Multi? But the last one (...Button) has extra functionality: capability.Door Control (and attribute.buttonPress). None of these have any documentation in their header comments, so it is very difficult to tell these apart.

  2. In the Quote I copied from your response above, you say: >>we change the device type to<<
    What exactly do you mean? How do you take a Device that is already been added to the Smart Hub as its default Type SmartSense Multi (based on its signature), and dynamically change its type to Garage Door Multi from within a Dashboard SmartApp? I know how to make this change manually using the Devices List in the IDE, but your quote implies that “we” (i.e., you / SmartThings) do this change automatically…?!

  3. My final point / question may depend on answers to #1,2; but: Isn’t it conceivable/possible to use Device Preferences to coax one Device Type Handler to flexibly work for each of the variations here? For example, a Preference would ask if X, Y, or Z values should cause an open/closed state event, and even what range of values would indicate open vs closed. The complication, I guess, is that tiles{} are not like dynamicPages in SmartApps … i.e., there is currently no concept of dynamicTiles (right @Jim?).

Thanks helping me understand this particular example, since it is simultaneously simple and complex!
…CP / Terry.