Smitho

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Smitho last won the day on March 5

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About Smitho

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  1. Smitho

    Who hasn't migrated already?

    I'm "stopping by" my parents house tonight to migrate them over to ST. Their hub is already setup, (I did this last weekend while visiting) so I just need to move their stuff over from iris and pair the replacement devices they purchased to replace their V1 stuff. I got all my stuff migrated over and have a pretty good understanding of the system, so it should go pretty smoothly. For my install the IDE shows 79 devices. I've got a handful of virtual switches, harmony activities, and other weird stuff in there, so the real number is closer to about 65, but that doesn't include the sensors and keypads and stuff for my ring alarm system or the echo devices I have in each room and other random smart home stuff that doesn't directly integrate with ST. This brings my total of smarthome devices to around 100. My parents will probably end up with about a dozen devices connected, so it should be a walk in the park.
  2. Smitho

    Echo Enunciates

    I like that, with announcements, you can pick and choose which devices get the alerts. I might change my ring motion alerts to happen as alexa announcements so I can keep them from playing in my daughters bedroom.
  3. There are only a couple of actual water heater manufacturers... almost all water heaters are the same rebranded units. I'm thinking there may be some differences in the firmwares that are keeping them from communicating. I'm almost wondering if I could replace the control panel from one out of a kenmore water heater (they look identical) and it work... I believe everything else is just thermostats and elements... all the brains are in that control panel and the wifi module. But at this point I don't think I want to spend much more time or money on something that could have the plug pulled on it just like iris did.
  4. Smitho

    Ring Protect Plans

    I purchased a ring alarm (and a bunch of extra sensors), video doorbell pro, flood light cam, and stick up cam from best buy. The alarm came with a free echo dot, the doorbell was $50 off and came with a free dot, and the flood light cam was $30 off and came with a free dot. So all together I saved $80 and additionally got $120 worth of echo dots for free... because I wanted the extra dots I opted for this over the costco promo, because it seemed like the best deal. Looks like they still have the free echo dots, but don't have the sale prices at the moment. Definitely worth watching their sales though. Edit: The ring alarm was also on sale. I saved $50 on it also... so that was a total of $130 in savings before the $120 worth of echo dots.
  5. Update: This didn't seem to work out for me the way it did for the other guy. I can't seem to enable grid mode on the water heater after switching to the kenmore controller. The little icon never appears on the screen like it does with the iris controller. I almost wonder if I could plug in the iris controller, enable grid view, and then swap controllers, but I'm afraid to try plugging and unplugging this while the water heater is powered up.
  6. Smitho

    SmartThings experience so far

    My biggest complaint about ST is the way all your automation rules are so disjointed into various "smart apps". I feel like they could give us a basic rule engine that takes the place of the smart lighting app as well as various other apps. Its annoying how I can go into smart lighting and make a lot of the rules I need, but have to jump out and setup one or more instances of another app (such as "button commander", or "notify me when") to accomplish other basic tasks that existed as a built in rule for iris. Its a minor annoyance though, given how powerful the system is overall... More than ever I appreciate the simplicity of iris' rules system, but on the flip side, I can see the inherent weaknesses of such a system now that I'm starting to dive deep into smartthings. I've been able to solve some of annoying limitations I had in iris using some creative logic and thinking in smartthings that was simply not possible in iris. I can definitely see where smartthings is a bit more geeky. It seems that iris was more powerful in the hands of "joe consumer", but smartthings is infinitely more customizable in the hands of the tinkerer. If you look at ST through the eyes of the average consumer, it looks much more limited than iris was, but when you really start digging into it you find that the sky is the limit. In a couple of weekends I have built out a system that does 99% of what I was doing with iris PLUS about 50% more.... The only reason for the 99% is that I lost integration with my water heater, but I'll let it "take one for the team" in order to get everything else I want out of my system... and I still have a few ideas to play around with when it comes to water heater integration... I just don't know when I'll have the chance to poke around at it.
  7. Smitho

    SmartThings experience so far

    I had a "emotional moment of silence" just before clicking yes. 😂
  8. This weekend I completed my migration to smartthings and so far I can say I am very pleased. In one weekend I've already been able to do MUCH more on smartthings than I ever could on iris... Observations so far: (1) Pairing devices was pretty much seamless. At the recommendation of others, I set up the v3 hub with the new app, then switched to the classic app for the remainder of my setup. I had an issue with a few z-wave devices that would not pair at first. I tried excluding them via the iris app, but the only way I could get them to pair was use the exclude function within the smartthings app. (2) The smart-things brand devices: motion sensors are much more sensitive than the old v1 iris ones I was using. I had to position them differently, but I made them work. The magnetic attachment is pretty slick though... It makes it easy to take them down or adjust the angle. For the buttons, I like that you can assign different functions to tap, double tap, and hold. I think this might have been possible with the iris v2 buttons, but not with the v1 buttons I was replacing. The contact sensors are also nice because they are "multi-function". They can act as a contact sensor, temperature sensor, vibration sensor, acceleration sensor, or tilt sensor. (3) SmartThings devices can trigger routines in alexa. This might get annoying eventually, but I created routines for alexa to speak when doors are open. This could open a lot of other possibilities as well. (4) Everything seems really stable... I never really had any stability issues with iris though. I moved my hub to a new location after setting up everything and I was afraid all the devices might not come back up, but everything came back pretty quickly. (5) The first party "smart lighting app" is really flexible and it RUNS LOCALLY. You can do a lot of your automation in this, and I would suggest you do anything you can within this app because it all runs locally. Seems to me that all my lighting rules run instantly... probably because they are not being processed in the cloud. Also, it allows you to create some additional criteria like "only if switch is off" (see next point) (6) The IDE allows digging into the system at a level not possible with iris... I was afraid it would take some time and there would be a steep learning cure to it, but fortunately what I've done so far was pretty straight forward. One of the cool tricks I came up with is to use a "simulated switch" created in the IDE in order to bypass a rule. For instance, I created a switch called "nap time". All of our bedroom lighting works on motion during normal "awake hours", but depends on this switch being off. If the "nap time switch" is turned on then none of the bedroom motion sensors will trigger lighting. To take this a step further, I enabled a power allowance rule that turns off the nap time switch if it has been on longer than 3 hours. This simulated switch can be turned on via alexa by saying "turn on nap time". It can also be triggered from an alexa routine called "it's nap time" which also has alexa verbally explain that nap time will be enable for 3 hours. I also created a similar setup for bathroom lighting, called "shower time" which gives you longer to take a shower before the lights turn off due to lack of motion. (7) Actiontiles: I've only started playing with this, but its really cool that I can have a tablet act as a touch screen controller for the entire house... Its a pretty slick setup. (8) Harmony hub integration: I can now control any of my lighting from my harmony remote and also assign lighting scenes as part of a logitech activity. I can also have my living room tv turn on as party of my "I'm back" routine in smartthings that happens automatically when the first family member arrives home, or it can turn off when the last person leaves if someone has forgot to turn it off (great for the bedroom TV). Speaking of location services... (9) Life 360 integration: I'm not using presence sensors to trigger home and away modes... my wife and I both use iPhones and I'm finding that the geofencing through life360 works really well. I like how quickly it detects we have left or arrived. (10) Integration with unsupported devices: Again, this goes back to the IDE, but I've found github projects to integrate with my ring alarm system and nest thermostat which are not natively supported. I've only recently setup the ring alarm integration, so the verdict is still out but it seems to work without any issue. I'm not a big fan of the nst manager smartapp, but at least it gets me some basic integration (thinking about switching to ecobee) It seems that "where there's a will, there's a way" in smartthings. If someone else hasn't figured out how to do it, it's probably because no one has bothered to try. (11) IFTTT: When all else fails, you can automate things via IFTTT. This opens up a whole slew of possibilities, however I've found very little I couldn't do outside of the built in integrations and/or custom device handlers through the IDE. (12) Device mirroring: This is something I always wished was available in iris. I have a light switch for outdoor lights that is difficult to get to and I wanted it to turn on and off along with my front porch lights. This was easy to setup in smartthings. I've only been running smartthings for a few days, but so far I would say I am really happy with the possibilities... and I haven't even gotten into webcore yet. I haven't needed to, but I'm sure that is something I will naturally want to explore in the future.
  9. Smitho

    Anybody got their pre-paid Visa card from Lowe's?

    I'm thinking they will expose their contact and motion sensors to smartthings and alexa at some point, but not the other way around (not let you use smart things sensors in ring) I'm hoping for official integration between the alarm and smartthings eventually, but in the mean time I set this up and it seems to work great! https://github.com/asishrs/smartthings-ringalarmv2 It was a little bit of work to setup... I wouldn't suggest it to someone who isn't really tech savvy, but I would guess most people in this group could handle it just fine. Remember though, smartthings has "home modes" and "smart home monitor modes". This operates based on "home modes", which can be triggered by routines.
  10. Smitho

    Multi-platform interference problem? coincidence?

    This was a Schlage BE469. Everything with the new lock looks the same, but it seems to lock much faster and the sticker on the back of the lock shows a much newer firmware version. My lock is probably about 15 feet from the hub, almost line-of-sight in the same room (but the hub is a little bit hidden). It's interesting that when your lock disconnected it seemed to take other things with it. I would assume because these things are battery powered they don't act as a repeater. It's just interesting that this only happened after adding the ring hub and changing locks (and moving the new lock to ring). I removed a bunch of zigbee devices and replaced them with zwave plus (17 contact sensors and a couple of keypads) but I didn't remove any zwave plug in devices. Could just be coincidence I guess.
  11. Smitho

    Anybody got their pre-paid Visa card from Lowe's?

    I got 2 cards that covered the total amount of my self redemption last Friday. It was a little over $2,000 so they split it evenly between 2 cards. I noticed USPS informed delivery shows another delivery from the same place (ARROWEYE SOLUTIONS / ENDICIA) scheduled for tomorrow, so this should be the card from the manual redemption process where I called in. This has been a bitter/sweet process. Its fun getting new gear... Its nice that there are some new capabilities that I did not have with iris, but the other edge of the sword is that there was a level of integration between the alarm and smart home functionality that I just can't get with anything else and still have reasonably priced professional monitoring with cellular backup. I'm going with ring and smartthings and hoping there is additional integration in the future that allows me to "have my cake and eat it too".
  12. I've had a stable iris system for a very long time. Aside from a flakey door lock (which was purchased 2nd hand) I've never had an issue with devices dropping offline. My deadbolt has given me issues over the years with adding access codes, and on a couple of occasions it has stopped communicating with my iris hub and had to be re-paired. Last Saturday I got a ring alarm system and set it up that night... after I had everything else working I removed my door lock and tried to set it up with ring but it would not transfer access codes. Knowing it was supposed to be supported, and it's been giving me issues from day one, I went ahead Sunday and bought a new one and swapped it out. Monday I had one of my z-wave wall switches drop off my iris hub... I've never had an issues with any of my switches in the past. I tried a 2 second reset on iris and air gapping the switch. The only way I was able to get it back working is to remove and re-pair it. I'm just wondering if this has anything to do with adding the ring alarm system, which uses "z-wave plus" devices, or changing out the deadbolt. Hopefully once I get my smartthings setup running I am not going to have any issues caused by running smartthings and ring together. Has anyone else noticed any z-wave or zigbee mesh issues after adding another hub in your home?
  13. Smitho

    Best Buy Promotions

    I ended up getting a ring alarm system with a bunch of extra contact sensors, a ring pro doorbell, floodlight cam, and stick up cam (and 3 extra dots). I already had 2 dots and an echo. Now I have a dot in practically every room of the house. Still waiting for all my smartthings stuff to arrive.
  14. Smitho

    Researching the Ring.

    Whether they steal a phone, or a keyfob, the result is the same. Only difference is they probably don't know that the phone is used to disarm an alarm system... However, the keyfob might be pretty obvious in what the purpose is. Again, what percentage of intrusions have this much forethought... if they are that determined to break in your home they are going to find a way no matter what.. The most likely scenario is that a drug addict notices you aren't home, breaks a window and grabs a couple valuable things before running off... Very rarely is there that much planning that goes into a burglary. This would be an OPTIONAL FEATURE... Just like their HIGHLY INSECURE logic to allow disarming by verbally stating your pin number, or someone watching you while you enter a pin on your lock keypad which disarms your alarm. Both of these features are OPTIONAL, and it's implied that it could be a security risk if you enable them. To me its a bit silly that they allow you to verbally say your pin number out loud to disarm, but think geofencing is "insecure". Like Guod said, if it really was about security they would allow you to arm, but not disarm via geofence... Personally, I think they just don't want to invest the R&D in that particular feature set right now. I came VERY CLOSE to going with another solution because of this... I'm hoping they at some point see that this is a feature that may sell some people on the product and reverse their stance in the future.
  15. Smitho

    Researching the Ring.

    I've looked and I cant find anywhere on their website you submit feature requests. The geofencing limitation is stupid. Most intruders are simple smash and grab situations... I think it would be much more likely that you forget to arm your alarm and someone breaks in than someone steals your phone, hopes you don't realize it, and then goes to your address to break in. If a criminal put that much thought into it, they could just as easily camp out somewhere near your home and listen for you to verbally give alexa your pin number to disarm the alarm, or watch from across the street with binoculars while you enter a code on a smart lock keypad... but ring didn't seem to worried about those "security concerns". For that matter, enable geofencing for arming only, but not for disarming... still stupid, but at least it would address both concerns.