SmartThings Community

When/If ... Kumo wireless sensor tag integration with SmartThings hub?

#1

The wireless sensor tags (aka Cao Gadgets) are intriguing as they have up to 700 ft range, have long battery life, have quick response and are relatively inexpensive. I read a forum post from over two years ago that talked about integration with the SmartThings hub but there was never a “wireless sensor integration to SmartThings for Dummies” comprehensive solution posted complete with pro/con issues.

It appears that the wireless sensor tags communicate via a radio base station that connects to your internet router via Ethernet connection. There appears to be no Z-wave radio in their base station and I assume that this prevents direct SmartThings integration to work with the ST2 hub meaning you have to go a round about way as mentioned in that forum post. It would be great is the wireless tag base station included Z-wave support but in lieu of that has anyone put together a “how to” thread with specifics on what obstacles and limitations one can expect?

I get the impression that there may be a lot of folks who would be interested in use of Kumo wireless tag solutions but since there isn’t a comprehensive “for dummies” explanation of how well the integration works, the difficulty, limitations, cost, etc. that this prevents many from taking the leap to include them in their home automation system.

#2

So, doing a little more looking around the internet I came across these articles/reviews:

Cao Gadgets: Inexpensive and Tiny Sensors For Your Smart Home - which mentions that you can connect to SmartThings

Cao Gadgets Wireless Sensor Tags Review - which appears to be a comprehensive review but doesn’t mention SmartThings integration.

#3

You’re correct that there can’t be any direct integration as they use a different kind of radio than SmartThings supports.

However, Many people have been using them with SmartThings for almost 2 years. They’re quite popular, particularly for the longer range situations. :sunglasses:

There are two separate integration methods with their Ethernet bridge. First, you can just use IFTTT. That’s simple and works just fine.

https://ifttt.com/wirelesstag

Otherwise, there is a community created integration which works very well.

For any questions about how this integration works, just ask in that specific thread. As I mentioned, there are many people who are using it.

Although that thread was started two years ago, if you look at the end you’ll see people have been posting to it as recently as a couple of weeks ago. It’s an active functional integration. :tada:

If You’re saying that you don’t know how to use that kind of custom code, The custom code FAQ should help:

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#4

As far as pros and cons, that’s pretty simple.

Pros: longer range and smaller size than most of the sensors that integrate directly to SmartThings. Also provide a more precise calibration for temperature and humidity than most sensors in the same price range. And are weather-hardy. See the technical specs on the manufacturer’s site.

Cons: you’re setting up a separate system using their ethernet bridge and then integrating to it rather than integrating the sensors directly. This adds cost and complexity. The cost of the bridge has come down over the last year so that it’s now $49, and one Bridge can support up to 40 of their sensors. But the sensors themselves run about $40 each, and you can probably find something in zigbee for about half that, although again with shorter range and less precision.

So like everything else, choice is good. Some people will prefer the Kumo Wireless sensors (the company name is Cao gadgets). Other people want something that can integrate directly. Some people may just use them for specific use cases.

There’s a good welcome FAQ on how to select sensors which already includes this brand, you might find that interesting:

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#5

Thanks for the helpful info and links. I have a technical background and generally can make code modifications but haven’t coded in this language so I’d have to dust off some books…LOL.

I probably need to spend a little more time researching these gadgets to determine if I want to have a mixed system.

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#6

Since you have a technical background, you might enjoy the welcome FAQ in the community – created wiki:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Welcome_FAQ

And there is also a developer section of this form where you can ask questions if you decide to start doing your own coding. :sunglasses:

https://community.smartthings.com/c/developers

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