Wired and Outage-Proof Alarm for SmartThings?

I’ve just spent the last few days switching from Homeseer (Original HS1 user) to SmartThings and so far, it’s been such a relief getting rid of over a decade of frustration. It’s like going from Linux to an iPhone.

I’ve got everything moved over except my alarm which is the Vista 20P. I talked to Matt @ Konnected today and he was awesome and I love the product they’ve created but… The conversion kit is cloud-dependent and by that I mean the alarm does not work if you lose internet. It’s important to me that a siren goes off if a zone is faulted during an internet outage just from a deterrent standpoint. Power backup can obviously be handled with a battery. So Konnected conversion kit is out for me.

Next we started talking about the interface kit which is really cool but as I start digging in deeper there are questions about arming and status capabilities:

Konnected SETTING Arming State of Vista 20P:

  • The interface module has a momentary contact closure output and relay that can arm the Vista 20P using an input configured as a key switch. But when I read the key switch section the Vista 20P manual, I see there are different durations required for different alarm modes. A quick on/off disarms the system, a 1/2 second sets it to STAY mode and anything over one second sets it to AWAY mode.

Question - Can the Konnected interface module alter the momentary contact closure to initiate different arming modes? (waiting for a response from Konnected support)

Konnected GETTING Arming State of Vista 20P:
The documentation says to use a programmable output on the Vista 20P connected to a zone input on the Konnected to pass the arming state from the 20P > Konnected > SmartThings but there’s not a lot of detail in the documentation.

Question - How do I configure the 20P/Konnected so SmartThings knows what arming state (e.g. Disarmed/Away/Stay) the Vista 20P is in? Do I use multiple programmable outputs and Konnected zone inputs? Not sure how this works.

Any help is appreciated in the form of Konnected specifics or other solutions that would meet my needs. I’ve been researching all day and there’s not much out there. I want to avoid one-off solutions that will have limited user base and support. Trying to go with the flow here :slight_smile:

Thanks,
Dan

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I’d suggest asking your questions over at konnected , that should get you the quickest and most accurate answers:

Use an LTE modem for failover support.

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I am awaiting a response from them. It’s always good to get community input from anyone who’s done this before though. Or from anyone who did it a different way.

I did just find this documentation for configuring the Vista 20P

It describes configuring two outputs. Output 17 configured to send both armed AWAY and STAY to the same zone input on the Konnected which says to me that I won’t be able to tell the difference between AWAY and STAY (ok, not a huge deal) and the other output (18) is configured for alarm state (burglary) to tell Konnected that the alarm was triggered. I think I will lose the ability to know which zone was triggered in my HA system. Bummer but this may be good enough.

I also found this documentation:

Which has this blurb at the end:

Configure the OUT zone as a Momentary Switch in your smart home platform. The momentary switch may need to be set to open for at least 1000ms to work with most systems.

which makes me think the Konnected app allows configurable momentary durations.

It’s not so much about my own internet, it’s about designing a system that is life-proof… like when something bad happens, earthquake, zombie apocolypse… virus… and AWS or Azure is not working, the telcos are impacted, Konnected goes out of business or WHATEVER unforeseen thing happens… I want a system that still works as long as I’ve got power. I know that sounds a little crazy/extreme but that’s what I want.

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Those systems certainly exist, but smartthings will not be a part of them. :disappointed_relieved:

You can read lots of other threads on this here, but bottom line is it smartthings is still primarily a cloud-based system. Without the Internet, the smartthings app does not work at all and there is literally no way to change the mode. Or to arm/disarm the security features. Or to get any notifications at all even if your phone is on the same Wi-Fi. They didn’t have to design it that way, but they did, which is why it is not a UL listed security system.

People do a number of different things to improve connectivity but none of that protects you from the cloud itself being unavailable.

In addition, about once a month historically they have pushed out a hub firmware update which can be neither deferred nor denied, and that takes your system off-line. Hopefully for just a few minutes, but sometimes for hours.

The most people who need security features just get a different, purpose built security system and then work out whatever kind of limited integration they want to have with smartthings, with the understanding that smartthings may not always be available and is not intended for security purposes.

That’s not just my opinion: the company says so themselves in the product usage guidelines:

Data accuracy and consistency from SmartThings sensors, including those provided by SmartThings directly, resold by SmartThings, or supported by SmartThings, is not guaranteed. Therefore, you should not rely on that data for any use that impacts health, safety, security, property or financial interests.

Konnected is a popular product and allows you to use wired sensors or add some integration to an existing wired security system, but it doesn’t make up for any of the deficiencies in the basic smartthings architecture. It can’t keep the hub operational, it can’t send you smartthings notifications if the cloud is not available. And at the present time no custom code can run locally: it all runs in the cloud. So any smartapps or DTHs that connected provides to you will not run locally.

You may already be aware of all of those details, but I did want to put it here for people who in the future might see your topic title and think that there was someway to turn smartthings into a locally-operating security system. There isn’t. :disappointed_relieved:

How to: Planning for Outages

thanks, yup totally get there but yes it’s good to put it out there for posterity.

That is exactly why I’m not ripping out my Vista 20P and replacing it with a cloud-dependent system. But I do want some very basic control and query functions for convenience during the 4-nines of internet/cloud/telco availability.

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Also, in terms of what you are describing as “life proof” solutions, I suggest you look at either home assistant or hubitat. Both offer Konnected integrations And both run primarily locally except for the obvious third-party integrations like voice assistants. :sunglasses:

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Thanks for the help here… as I’m thinking through my scenarios, I think the Konnected interface kit should work fine for me. My doomsday scenario means I’m at home hunkered down or asleep with my generator running so getting the current arming mode is really not important.

As long as the relay that feeds the keyswitch can be configured for multiple durations to initiate different arming modes as part of my normal cloud-happy daily routine, then that will be fine too.

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Just make sure you have the situation covered where you were outside the home, the internet goes out, you arrive home, and you now want to disarm the system.

This has been one of the most common outage-related complaints in this community: that there was no way to change the armed status of the security features so, for example, the siren kept going off until they actually removed it from power. :scream:

(Also for completeness I should mention that the exception to all of these issues was the ADT/smartthings dual logo system, which did meet all the usual requirements for a purpose built security system. However, it is basically “end of life“ now and it is very difficult to get devices or even support for it. Last year ADT bought another company, lifeshield, and rebranded it as “blue by ADT“ to be their DIY install line. So although you will still sometimes see mentions of the dual logo system, it’s not a practical choice at this point.)

Good point, I didn’t even think about that with the Konnected total conversion kit. As I understood it, talking to Konnected support today, all event processing happens in the cloud so if internet was down and there was a zone fault, the alarm/siren would not go off. Now if there was a zone fault, the alarm went off and THEN internet was lost, I’m not sure what happens. Does the alarm/siren stay on indefinitely until it’s told not to? IDK I see that as another advantage to keeping the dedicated panel and keypad. You can just walk in and handle things on the keypad.

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