Presence Rule that Would Improve Fob Detection
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Currently the hub pings for fob detection every two minutes.  Often, I will pull into the garage and go to enter the house and find that my arrival rule, which unlocks the door and turns off the alarm, has not yet run.  To solve this, I would like to see a rule that would have the hub ping for a fob every 30 seconds for 2 minutes after an event occurs, in my case, a garage door opens..  This could be done with a contact sensor, tilt sensor, motion sensor or GDO.  To me this would be a very useful feature.

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I agree this would be useful... or at least some mechanism for detecting arrival earlier.  My routine is predictable enough that I could even schedule hour blocks to ping more frequently in.  I often find myself standing there waiting for the door to unlock.  It sometimes waits for me to give up and start digging for the keys before it opens (and I'm certain it does this on purpose, usually when I have to pee :P)... I like the idea that the whole house would open up as soon as I pull into the driveway (like it's meant to do with the open-garage-door-on-arrival rule), but in practice it's just far too slow.

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Currently the hub pings for fob detection every two minutes. 

 

Does the hub really do this? I assumed the hub was always listening and when the presence sensor gets within range and sends out a message the hub will detect it and know the device is present, which would make your request hard to do, but if the hub pings the device then it seems like this might be feasible assuming that ping rate can be modified and is not fixed by the Zigbee controller chip or something. 

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Does the hub really do this? I assumed the hub was always listening and when the presence sensor gets within range and sends out a message the hub will detect it and know the device is present, which would make your request hard to do, but if the hub pings the device then it seems like this might be feasible assuming that ping rate can be modified and is not fixed by the Zigbee controller chip or something. 

 

It does this to preserve battery, it has always been like this, even with V1.  So depending on when you get home, if it had just pinged and not found the keyfob, it could be up to two minutes before the hub recognizes the presence.  I would like to see bluetooth turned on for our phones to act as the indicator.

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Yeah, my understanding is that the hub is always listening, and the fob only sends out an "I'm here" message every 2 minutes.
If you increased the frequency it would drain the battery faster.
It would be nice if the bluetooth on my phone could act as a secondary means to detect my presence.
Because of range issues, I wouldn't want this to ever override my keyfob (if my fob is there, and my phone isn't seen, it should still know I am there).

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2 minutes is just too long. Also 5 missed pings to register away is way too long - this should be configurable as well to allow for 1-2 (or more) missed pings.  I would be more than happy to have a shorter battery life to get a ping of every 30 seconds to 1 minute. I've had Iris for about 2 years now and I've yet to change any batteries in any of the contact/motion sensors/buttons so pinging every 30 seconds to 1 minute would still produce a fairly long battery life.

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I would just like to see the ping time be configurable. I have another issue because I live alone. With v1 I had to buy two fobs because occasionally the one I had would drop pings and trick the system into thinking I left, then two minutes later would see it again and run the rules I had set up for "I'm home", which meant it turned my alarm off and turned lights on while I was asleep- it happened about once a month before I bought the 2nd fob. The same thing just happened with v2 so until I finish migrating and move over my two v1 fobs, I'll have to disable the "open garage door" rule of my I'm Home scene anyway or I'll be at risk for the darn thing opening my garage door in the middle of the night. If I could say "don't run I'm Home scene unless I've been gone more than X minutes", that would prevent this particular issue.

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You can schedule the fob rules to not run over night. I did this so I wouldn't have any scenes running while I was trying to sleep if it acted up.

 

That might work for some, but I may sometimes come home very late, at which point I want my normal rules to run (some of which are based around not coming home to a dark house, so that would defeat the purpose).  There should be some other work around other than losing functionality or having to carry two fobs.  I already do it so it won't be a problem when I move the rest of my v1 stuff over, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks there should be a more graceful fix.  Adding a time check on the last ping from a fob before allowing the "I'm Home" scene to run *should* be one of the simpler recommendations to enhance the security of the system.  Most of the time when my fob(s- including both v1 & v2) drop, they're back within a few minutes of the Away scene running and I'm almost always gone more than 20 minutes when I leave (even if I forget something, I'd normally return to get it within the 10 minutes it takes to set to Away or else be gone longer than 15-20). 

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I would like for it to check if the alarm is activated to then immediately check to see if a fob has arrived.

It already does this... in a way... because the hub is ALWAYS checking to see if a fob has arrived... but the fob is only visible every 2 minutes.

The fob can only be detected when it sends out an RF signal... but it isn't constantly radiating a signal. (which would burn up your battery)

So if it worked the way you described, it still wouldn't find the FOB any quicker because if it started looking for the FOB once the alarm is activated it still would not be able to see the fob until the next time the fob sent out a signal.

I do think it would be nice to have an option to make the fobs ping out more frequently at a cost of battery life. (But still have it default to 2 minutes).

I would be willing to get 1/2 the battery life in exchange for <60 second presence detection.

Some people would probably be willing to even replace their battery 4 times more often in exchange for <30 second pings.

Another interesting idea could be a device that plugs into a 12v power point in your car and stays plugged in... with a rechargeable battery.

It could constantly send out signal while it is plugged in, and fall back to battery power when the car is turned off. I know there are people who keep a fob in their glove compartment instead of keeping it on their keys and this could be ideal for them.

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It already does this... in a way... because the hub is ALWAYS checking to see if a fob has arrived... but the fob is only visible every 2 minutes.

The fob can only be detected when it sends out an RF signal... but it isn't constantly radiating a signal. (which would burn up your battery)

So if it worked the way you described, it still wouldn't find the FOB any quicker because if it started looking for the FOB once the alarm is activated it still would not be able to see the fob until the next time the fob sent out a signal.

I do think it would be nice to have an option to make the fobs ping out more frequently at a cost of battery life. (But still have it default to 2 minutes).

I would be willing to get 1/2 the battery life in exchange for <60 second presence detection.

Some people would probably be willing to even replace their battery 4 times more often in exchange for <30 second pings.

Another interesting idea could be a device that plugs into a 12v power point in your car and stays plugged in... with a rechargeable battery.

It could constantly send out signal while it is plugged in, and fall back to battery power when the car is turned off. I know there are people who keep a fob in their glove compartment instead of keeping it on their keys and this could be ideal for them.

That would be perfect. Either a usb (since newer cars seem to have these) or cigarette lighter would work!

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Another interesting idea could be a device that plugs into a 12v power point in your car and stays plugged in... with a rechargeable battery.

It could constantly send out signal while it is plugged in, and fall back to battery power when the car is turned off. I know there are people who keep a fob in their glove compartment instead of keeping it on their keys and this could be ideal for them.

 

I second (or third) that.  It wouldn't solve the problem of needing two fobs to keep the arrival based rules from activating if pings drop (other than only needing one fob in addition to it), but it certainly would help ensure the rules run as quickly as possible upon arrival.  I actually think I'd prefer bluetooth sensors, where you could have one plugged in an outlet near where you enter and pair it with your phone as the trigger.  It seems like even though the whole network can't really be bluetooth (yet), you could still leverage it as a part of an individual sensor.

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Keeping on with the whole bluetooth idea, it would be great if our phones could act as a fob (I think this was already suggested somewhere on the forum). We could turn on bluetooth, and the hub could keep searching for our phone when it automatically connects. Only downside is I don't think we could connect to multiple devices at a time from one phone.

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Keeping on with the whole bluetooth idea, it would be great if our phones could act as a fob (I think this was already suggested somewhere on the forum). We could turn on bluetooth, and the hub could keep searching for our phone when it automatically connects. Only downside is I don't think we could connect to multiple devices at a time from one phone.

Yes, this has been suggested multiple times.

I believe the V2 hub does support bluetooth, so this may be something added in the future.

My biggest concern would be range issues. Bluetooth LE is better with range than standard BT, but it is still more limited than ZigBee I believe.

 

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Yes, this has been suggested multiple times.

I believe the V2 hub does support bluetooth, so this may be something added in the future.

My biggest concern would be range issues. Bluetooth LE is better with range than standard BT, but it is still more limited than ZigBee I believe.

 

This range issue is why I suggested having a bluetooth sensor instead of using the hub, since most people would have an outlet close enough to their entry door to work.  The sensor would communicate with the hub by zwave/zigbee but could be paired to the phone via bluetooth to immediately register an event when it comes in range sort of like a pre-authorized motion sensor trigger that could be used to engage "at home" rules.  There are a few problems with that idea (mostly for people with larger houses who walk around with their phone in their pocket so they could be in and out of range), but I wonder if multiple sensors could be configured.  I know you can't physically control two devices at the same time from your phone via BT but I wonder if it would work if it's the passive device.

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I know you can't physically control two devices at the same time from your phone via BT but I wonder if it would work if it's the passive device.

I do know that a phone can be paired to multiple BT devices at the same time, and they can all work together at the same time.

At one point I was using a fitbit, a pebble smart watch, and my cars radio regularly. I was able to stream music to my car stereo over BT while my phone was also pushing notifications to my pebble.

I'm pretty sure once I manually synced my fitbit while sitting in my car (again streaming music over BT) and I had some push notifications show up on my watch at the same time. I remember being a little impressed that my phone was able to talk to all those devices at the same time.

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I wonder if we could setup a BTLE device that listens for your phone then relay power to the fob when it's detected... in theory having your phone tell iris you are home.  Would require some homebrew but it might could work.

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I didn't realize the fob sent the ping. I thought the hub did the ping for the fob.

I don't have any concrete info on this, but the fob sending the ping is the only reasonable explanation when you look at what has to happen.

If the hub looked for the fob every few minutes, the fob would have to be "on" 24/7 so it can be visible to the hub at just the right time.

It has been explained multiple times on this forum that the 2 minute interval between pings is to save battery power.... how would that even work if the fob had to be discoverable 24/7? It really would not matter how often the ping was sent out, battery life would be the same if the hub pinged every second or every 2 minutes...

Think about it... to make this work which ever device is the receiving device has to be receiving all the time, otherwise it might not be receiving at the time the transmission is made. The device that is transmitting either has to be transmitting all the time OR transmitting periodically. The only reason I can think of to only transmit periodically would be to save battery power. Why would you design a battery powered device that constantly listens for a "are you there" message (burning up a battery), so it can reply "yes I am here" when it gets it, but save energy on the device that is AC powered by only sending out that "are you here" message every two minutes. That makes no sense. The more logical design would be a battery powered device that blindly sends out an "I am here, do you hear me now?" message every 2 minutes (to save on battery power), and an always on always listening device to receive that message. This would give you maximum battery life, with the draw back of "pinging" at a spaced out interval.

It is completely logical that the hub would be the listening device (running on AC power), so that the fob can save battery by only transmitting periodically.

This is probably the case with all the devices. Think about all the devices you have, whether they are input or output devices (or both) and the type of power source they have.

If it has to react instantly, it has some larger power source than one of those little batteries that can be found in the sensors and fobs, because it has to LISTEN 24/7.

The sensors and fobs main job is to send out a signal when something happens such as a button is pushed, a contact is made, etc... they only have to transmit when "something happens". They probably also send out a quick little burst in scheduled intervals just to let the hub know they are still there, and their battery level.

I dunno... this is completely logical to me...

If the hub "pings" every 2 minutes and the fob is always listening, that little battery in the fob must be made out of magical fairy dust... and the engineers must have set the 2 minute interval just to be mean.

 

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It makes perfect sense that the FOB "pings" periodically, but two minutes doesn't make useful sense.  Using Zigbee, its range if probably 100 - 200 feet, but unless you have a long walk from your car to the front door, that range is irrelevant since you'll be driving, and you can go a long way in your car in two minutes.  The ping period needs to be configurable (with tons of caveats and disclaimers about battery life) to a period that is just slightly less than the time it normally takes you to park, lock up the car and walk to the front door.

I have, however, programmed scenes that lock and unlock the door and attached them to two of the FOB buttons, and I have my phone get push notifications when the door unlocks, so if I don't here my phone beep, then I can press the button to unlock.

A better idea might be a "FOB" that is plugged into your car's cigarette lighter (or USB if you have one) and is a full time Zigbee transmitter.  That way Iris knows when your car is home.

 

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On 1/3/2018 at 12:01 AM, GraemeCracker said:

I have my phone get push notifications when the door unlocks, so if I don't here my phone beep, then I can press the button to unlock.

I have a scene that runs when I arrive, that includes turning on the front porch lights (even during the day). This way I know when the light comes on my door is unlocking.
The front porch light is configured to turn off automatically after a few minutes, so it doesn't really waste a lot of power. This is done via a smart switch instead of a bulb, so I don't have to worry about anyone accidentally leaving the power to the bulb turned off at the switch.

On 1/3/2018 at 12:01 AM, GraemeCracker said:

A better idea might be a "FOB" that is plugged into your car's cigarette lighter (or USB if you have one) and is a full time Zigbee transmitter.  That way Iris knows when your car is home.

I love this idea.... so much so that I already mentioned it in this thread about a year and a half ago:   

On 5/16/2016 at 4:47 PM, Smitho said:

Another interesting idea could be a device that plugs into a 12v power point in your car and stays plugged in... with a rechargeable battery.

It could constantly send out signal while it is plugged in, and fall back to battery power when the car is turned off. I know there are people who keep a fob in their glove compartment instead of keeping it on their keys and this could be ideal for them.

 

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