Weekly Update from Alex - 05/19/16

The Hackathon sure looks like fun!

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Since the update it I have had trouble two days in a row now where SmartAlarm isn’t getting the status changes from my I’m Back routine to unarm. This is annoying and is forcing me take out the siren again.

Before this I had been OK sorta with the system. Random status mismatches keep coming sporadically. I can fix it if I open/close the door or turn on/off a light to force a status resync.

I think you can improve performance further by improving caching on the app themselves. I find it baffling how your devs think it’s efficient to load the full bitmaps for every thing and room every single time I use the app or even changing screens. Surely you can lessen the load on your back end by using some better caching algorithms and ttl on the app itself. Would also massively improve performance for end users if you did so.

@alex I am very disappointed to report that my wife has started doing the ‘chiken dance’ in the middle of the kitchen because the lights turned off while she was cooking. This has not happened since late October, I believe. It appears that changes were made to how Smart Lighting handles the lights on motion with delays. I have my kitchen lights set to turn off after 3 minutes. Today they turned off and wouldn’t come back on because the motion was still active. She had to stay still so that motion stops, before lights came back on. After such a good run without major annoyances, this was very disappointing to observe. @slagle could you please check on this issues, when you get a chance?

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I’ve had this issue a few times the last two days, figured it was just me. Maybe not. Exact same scenario.

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I have to ask the obvious question, @alex:

Since Smart Lighting is just a SmartApp like the ones anyone in the Developer Community can write, why not make it open source? This way the tremendous well of volunteer resources here can contribute to:

(a) Finding the cause of this issue … it may be particularly easy if the version control (git) change history is also published; and

(b) Helping to avoid the introduction of this type of issue to platform wide release by participating in code reviews and Beta testing for a short period prior to each update.


Certainly some portion of SmartThings’s platform and even SmartApp and Device Type Handler code will always be “proprietary”. As co-founder of SmartTiles, I know there are good justifications for proprietary code.

I think that the code for Smart Lighting, however, and perhaps even Smart Home Monitor, do not represent “trade secrets” that would undercut SmartThings’s commercial success if openly shared.

Regardless, even if the code must be kept closed, option “(b) pre-release in-the-wild beta testing”, can still help significantly … even if only for a day or two for minor updates!

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I’ve been seeing this exact same problem over the past couple of days.

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We are also having the motion sensor problem. This is a definite change.

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I did have something occur today that was completely new to me (though others have experienced it). I came home at 6:45 tonight to find every light in the house on… both switches and bulbs.

I have no idea what caused it… since I could not get my events log to refresh and go back past the first 25 events (real pain in the butt there ST).

It could have been a crazy glitch from the system

OR

It could have been cause by my minimote. I have a button programmed to set the living room lights to a random color. Before the event logs stopped cooperating with me I saw that he had pressed that button (my best guess here) at least 150 to 200 times over the past hour.

So, random glitch by ST or system went crazy because of my crazy 12 y/o that likes the pretty lights.

The system has been much more reliable. The routines seem to run on time.

We turned SHM back on. Noticed we could disarm and arm again without problems. Did have a false alarm one night, when one of our motion monitors detected motion where there is none. We’re no longer using it for security, using another instead, and that has been working without a problem.

When we did have the alert, with lights and alarms turned on, I was able to turn these off quite quickly. I did notice the next day that some of our lights seemed to be unresponsive when accessing with Amazon Echo. However, turning them on and off in the mobile app seemed to fix things. Perhaps the temporary problem was the Echo.

Have not seen the red bar of death in the mobile app.

We do turn one light on with a motion sensor, but we’ve not had the issue others have mentioned because the light is in the storage room, and we don’t remain there for long.

All in all, much more stable. I hope I’m not jinxing it by writing this.

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my galaxy S5 got Marshmellow update recently and included a “smart manager” app which consistently reports life360 as an issue, “operating abnormally”. Although it is a fantastic app, I WOULD prefer if I could remove it from my phone.

You cannot control what you cannot control. Alternatively, you can turn it off like I did :slight_smile:

Great news …
Will this “lots of attention this year” also apply to the Windows ecosystem? (Port of iOS app to Windows Universal App perhaps? see https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/bridges) ?

Thanks for further developing the Smartthings, Great support and Drive from Smartthings encourage more users to recommend the platform and further develop on it!

My guess, and its just pure speculation is that SL is using undocumented API calls. These calls could possibly be related to local processing, or in the case of SHM, a way to get apps to appear on the dashboard,

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My system remains much more stable and response times to switch on and off commands are really excellent. However, as mentioned in other posts here, those triggered by SmartLighting apps remain very unpredictable, whether triggered by a motion sensor or by a door open/closed sensor. Sometimes the responses instant on and off, other times it’s a delay of seconds or indeed minutes. That leads to the impression of lights coming on at random. Getting to have this basic functionality work reliably seems a priority need and deserve full attention by the SmartThings team. Looking forwards to the next updates. Thanks for all the work to make this platform even better!

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I too have the “random delay” on smart lighting - I have several SL instances that turn on lights when a door opens and it’s anywhere between “instantaneous” and many seconds. I have one where three lights turn on in response to a door opening, and all three will turn on a different (random) delays.

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I also have random delays in motion sensor response. Both from samsung brand and the lowes iris brand. I have three of each. I have one new sensor that pairs but doesnt show motion. And an old sensor that will no longer pair. Not sure if the last two are a seperate issue. But on the whole it is getting better.

Thanks.

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It’s also a native feature of Android (Marshmallow) called Doze, not just a Samsung fix. Agreed, this has improved my presence reliability as well.

Yes, thank you @alex.

I think my random delays have been solved with the excellent help of the support team and some exploration of my wi-fi settings. We identified it was the zigbee sensors that were the issue, everything z-wave seemed to work well. I’d tried moving the hub away from the router - extending the short cable that comes with the hub so that it would be 10 feet away, but this seemed to have only a short term effect. I hadn’t realized that zigbee is sensitive to wifi interference nor that the hub has a preset channel that doesn’t change. My router was set to choose channel automatically - and using a wifi analyser I found it would change channels from time to time. Some of these overlap the range of the zigbee channel (the numbers don’t match but there are some clear pictures out there that show this well), see link below. Setting my router to a single channel for 2.4GHz connection as far away from the zigbee channel frequency had an instant effect! Now all the automations work instantly - in fact blindingly quickly and the whole system seems so much more robust.

So my thanks to support for working this through, a request to have this emphasized more in the documentation and a reference to a really useful discussion that I hadn’t been taking notice of until I started exploring the issue. FAQ: Networking and Reducing Channel interference between WiFi and Zigbee

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