Use presence sensor to lock and unlock doors

(Sean Mills) #1

I know that it should be simple but I am trying to set the presence sensor to lock and unlock my kwikset 910 z-wave lock when I come and go from the house. I have tried to put it in goodbye mode but it doesn’t seem to automatically lock when I leave. I am sure it is something easy but I just got the system out of the box and am trying to learn everything as quickly as I can. Any help or a step by step set up would be great. (tried to google problem but couldn’t find an answer)

(Geko) #2

I’m not very fond of ST presence sensors and would not recommend using them for unlocking doors. The common issue is that the sensor may lose connection temporarily, e.g. due to an interference or a weak battery, making ST think that you have left. Then, when connection is restored, ST thinks that you’ve come back and happily unlocks your locks for you. Just my opinion, of course.

(Sean Mills) #3

Ok, that makes sense, so is there a good way to lock and unlock when you are coming and going outside of just doing it manually in the app?

(tduffy) #4

I use the ST sensors to lock/unlock my front door for myself and guests and have not had any problem with it. It’s much more reliable than using my phone for presence, which was the other option that I tried.

The only time I have had a problem was once when my lock did not report that it had been manually locked to ST - so when a guest came back the door wouldn’t unlock. It thought it already was unlocked, and since my presence sensor was home it made sense for it to be unlocked.

To get it to work, go down to the + on the Dashboard, go to Actions, and choose locks. There you can find the options for unlocking the door when you arrive home, and locking the door when you leave. You will have to configure the door as having a lock first (if you haven’t already) - using hte “Add a door” option.

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #5

I had all kinds of issues with mine initially; this with the hub in a bedroom directly above the garage.

I then added a SmartThings Motion, connected to power, in the garage and haven’t had a hiccup since. It now actually picks up my truck when I pull into the driveway; some 60-80 feet away (with the door closed). Go figure.

Of course, the new SmartThings motion has no power input and can’t be used as an amplified repeater (which I still don’t understand).

With that said… I don’t use SmartThings to automatically open/unlock anything.

(Sean Mills) #6

so what command is the motion carrying out when you pull in to the driveway and it senses you some 60-80 feet away? (I am just trying to see all of the potential for the product and how everyone uses them)

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #7

1.) Puts me into Home mode it is before sunset, or Night mode if after.

2.) Sends a notification to my phone that Tasker picks up on, which then takes it out of “Drive Mode” (BT off, screen to Auto brightness, Timeout back to 30 seconds, pauses the currently playing podcast, etc.).

3.) If it is after 5pm, it fires up my main A/V system along with the garage/patio audio system, sets inputs to TiVo, and instructs the TiVo to start playing the evening news.

(Ben Edwards) #8

There are plenty of ways to extend your network (ZigBee or Z-Wave) by using any powered or plugged in device such as the SmartPower Outlet. As for understanding, despite it’s usefulness, it was not a very widely used feature - only 5% of people were plugging their SmartSense Motion’s in.

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #9

I get that few folks used the external power, but that doesn’t help me understand its removal from the new device. Was it a cost issue? Certainly not for the connector. Are there other cost related issues that were avoided here, such as Zigbee chips being cheaper without the network extension aspect? I really would like to understand your decision making process that led to it’s removal.

(Geko) #10

I think the whole idea of using proximity sensors for access control is fundamentally flawed. When it comes to security, any erratic or unpredictable behavior is simply unacceptable. That’s why all alarm systems use key fobs. You have to press a physical button to acknowledge your intention to disarm the system or unlock the door.

(Edward Pope) #11

I have to admit, that I use various proximity sensors. I have seen the door unlock at random times due to the ST sensor. I ended up first writing a SmartApp that would auto lock the door in 5 minutes after it was unlocked. That helps but it certainly doesn’t resolve it.

Currently all parties are using a ST Sensor and Life360 app. When they both arrive and are together, the door opens. If one or the other leaves and returns (the door will not unlock unless both go). It is nothing more than smoothing out the sample data for the hub. But, it works better. And using the smartapp to auto lock the door, works pretty well. Except those times when you go out for a quick around the house (SMILE)

(Watwood) #13

Reasons for removing the USB connector - Using the UBS connection as a power connection adds some complexity to the certification and materials requirements along with added PCB components to manage the USB power; The housings were designed not use screw features - the USB port limits surface area critical to the snap features. As Ben mentioned, the USB port was not being utilized by most users and, in some cases, caused some confusion for users as to it’s purpose (ie users thought it would charge the batteries.) As with most development - device features are a series of trade-offs.
I’m interested in how you use the motion (powered) - your use case may provide substantiation for re-evaluating the USB connector on future devices. Any additional incites about using the motion with USB power would be greatly appreciated.

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #14


Thanks for the detailed explanation. As to my usage, see my post above. Clearly I am of a small few with this usage, but if I’m not mistaken, the old Smartsense was the only network extending Zigbee motion sensor available. That made it unique, and was the determining factor in my choice of it over the more capable Aeon Multi.

And while I am not certain of this, it may have been the only ≤ 6VDC powered Zigbee repeater available, allowing extension of the network via solar charged batteries in areas where 120VAC is not available. Granted folks looking to do this would make up less than 1 percent, but it is unfortunate when something unique like this is lost.

In any event, at least I understand a bit more your decision making process.

(Convinced ST will never be unbroken…) #15


Oh… and I ALMOST forgot. Where I live, the power goes out a lot (enough to have a BU generator around). The old motion sensor had powered and battery states to instantly notify me when the power goes out AND when it is restored. Frankly, this is more important than the darn network extension.

So what do I replace this with when the one I have now ceases to function?

(Watwood) #16

Your use case for the V1 motion sensor is certainly an excellent example an unforeseen use of the motion with the USB power. The SmartSence Motion V1 is still available on the Amazon site. We still have a stock of the v1 motion, too. I’ve asked one of our business developers to contact you about options for getting the motion v1 in the future and in case Amazon discontinues selling them.