The Grass Wasn't Greener
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So, I've now taken some time and have gotten used to the Smart Things hub, app, and development suite.  I'm still enjoying it and very happy with its speed, ease of use, reliability and the communication from the company about changes or updates. 

 

I'll admit, I have pretty much just let me iris system in my office do what it needs to do.  It hasn't been completely reliable (few occasions of alarms going off, cameras not recording, devices dropping), but its working somewhat well I think.   Now that winter has hit upstate NY and its starting to get dark and cold earlier, I have all my automations schedule to run.  They turn on and off heaters when motion sensors reach temperatures.  They turn on parking lot lights, sign lights, porch lights, etc during business hours.  At least that is how I had it all set up back in March 2015 when I first "upgraded" to 2.0.  

 

So today I went to check the rules to make sure they were all firing as programmed.  They're not.  Well 1 is, but the others are not.  I reckon I will have to go through, delete and re-program the events.  And that is where my inspiration for this post came from..  I forgot how to do it.  Hah.  I spent so much freaking time months ago setting this up and then forgot about it until now.  After using the smart things app, I now, for the life of me, cannot find anything useful or intuitive about the Iris app (android).   I did eventually figure it out, but something as simple as turning on a light at 6:00 M-F (what I remember being called a scene) takes so many steps its crazy.  (They're called "Automations" in Smarthings)

 

I suppose most of the issues are because it is a phone/tablet app, which has a finite amount of room on the little screen which causes us so much aggravation.  They really have to consolidate a lot of functions to just a few screen options.  I don't know that I could come up with a better way to do it other than (cough cough) having a web interface...  

 

At any rate I have all the kinks worked out of my Smart Things System and I'm very happy with it.  Been installing new devices each week.  (Have not tried any cameras yet though).

 

Iris 2.0...  Still just m'eh.   I had to uninstall my thermostat (CT101)  a few weeks ago when I installed a new HVAC system.  Went with a more reliable Honewell thermostat.  All the rest is the same.  

 

Just thought I'd share with you all.  

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I did eventually figure it out, but something as simple as turning on a light at 6:00 M-F (what I remember being called a scene) takes so many steps its crazy. 

Open the Lights and Switches card, click schedule at the top, put in times, and you're done.  It is that simple.

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Been a few weeks since anyone has posted to this thread. I'd be interested to hear if you're all still happy with moving to ST, what problems have popped up if any, and what has changed for better or worse in the past few months.

For instance I recently bought a ST V2 hub and I noticed in the app that now you can have ST call up to three phone numbers as well as text or email, so the availability of that feature has changed from when many of you last posted.

I have only tried pairing one Iris V2 smart plug so far, and while it paired it does not have the functionality that the same plugs do with Iris. I have no doubt I have done something wrong because I can't control the plug, it only appears in my device list.

I like the WX alert Smart App idea. We'll see how that works when the time comes or maybe it will respond with the weekly test from the NWS.

For those that have Iris and ST and have Amazon Alexa, can one Echo device have skills installed for both systems and work smoothly as long as you don't use the same device names in both Iris and ST. Can you make groups in Alexa that contain devices from both systems such that they are both controlled by the same Echo command.

Do any of the Iris cameras work with ST?

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Been a few weeks since anyone has posted to this thread. I'd be interested to hear if you're all still happy with moving to ST, what problems have popped up if any, and what has changed for better or worse in the past few months.For instance I recently bought a ST V2 hub and I noticed in the app that now you can have ST call up to three phone numbers as well as text or email, so the availability of that feature has changed from when many of you last posted.I have only tried pairing one Iris V2 smart plug so far, and while it paired it does not have the functionality that the same plugs do with Iris. I have no doubt done something wrong because I can't control the plug, it only appears in my device list.I like the WX alert Smart App idea. We'll see how that works when the time comes or maybe it will respond with the weekly test from the NWS.For those that have Iris and ST and have Amazon Alexa, can one Echo device have skills installed for both systems and work smoothly as long as you don't use the same device names in both Iris and ST. Can you make groups in Alexa that contain devices from both systems such that they are both controlled by the same Echo command.Do any of the Iris cameras work with ST?

I also bought a ST Hub V2 durring all the issues in November with Iris. ST definitely has a few things right, like their rules engine which allows for far more rules choices than Iris. However their app interface leaves something to be desired, I love the Iris Doors & Locks card that shows on the Dashboard that all Doors are closed and all Locked and the Lights & Switches card tells you everything is off, I also like the history being in a single place.

As for the Smart Plug issue you brought up, first you should have gotten two objects although the first which shows up as Thing is usually easy to get the second requires you tell ST to add a thing again and press the button on the Smart Plug 8 times, and you may have to have it close to the hub for it to work and you may have to try multiple times but then you should see a "Z-Wave Device" show up, this will be the Z-Wave repeater and you can't do anything with it but it should repeat while this is paired. Then to fix the "Thing"device which is the actual Smart Plug, you need to go into the ST IDE at https://graph.api.smartthings.com/login/auth after logging in choose My Location and click on the Name you gave your hub and bookmark that sign in page so you don't have to sign in twice each time, and sign in again. Then choose "My Devices" and click on "Thing" and choose edit at the bottom then change the Type from Samsung TV or something like that to "ZigBee Switch Power" and save the changes. Your Smart Plug should now work.

A lot of work I know, also if you add a lock to your ST hub like a Schlage or Yale, you can Lock and UnLock them through the app and setup automations like When the door "Front Door" closes, lock the "Front Door Lock" after X seconds!(This is something I have asked Iris for for years). However you cannot modify the access pins stored in the lock natively through ST, to do this you have to go into the IDE again and add a SmartApp, like "Lock multi user code management with notifications and automatic relock", from RBoy, or "Lock Code Manager".

I'd like to try the WX alert app too but need to make sure I can edit what alerts me first. Alexa does work fine as long as the names aren't too similar and you can add devices from both systems to an Alexa group. I haven't tried an Iris camera yet, yesterday was spent figuring out the locks, today I plan to research if there is a community written device driver for the Iris cameras and if so I will try adding one and let you know.

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I am looking to jump ship maybe to ST hub, I am sure they will be on sale. I think I saw the hubs were $ 50 off. Does the door switches work? Please let us know if the Iris cameras work if you find out any info.

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A lot of work I know, also if you add a lock to your ST hub like a Schlage or Yale, you can Lock and UnLock them through the app and setup automations like When the door "Front Door" closes, lock the "Front Door Lock" after X seconds!(This is something I have asked Iris for for years). 

 

You can have Iris lock the door when it closes now, you just can't configure a delay time.  I'm not sure why you would need a delay time anyway.

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You can have Iris lock the door when it closes now, you just can't configure a delay time. I'm not sure why you would need a delay time anyway.

I don't think I ever looked for that since V2 but I see I can use the Run a scene when a door is open/closed, I didn't need the delay but had missed that option. Thanks.

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I am looking to jump ship maybe to ST hub, I am sure they will be on sale. I think I saw the hubs were $ 50 off. Does the door switches work? Please let us know if the Iris cameras work if you find out any info.

By the Door switches, do you mean contact sensors? If so, yes the V2 contact sensors work great, I got my camera to work with ST today but so far only as a still image. Not sure if I'll have any more time to look at it today.

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So ST can be simple to setup like Iris if you stick to the Samsung recommended products probobly, however once you get into the community devices and smart apps things get much more involved, although it is much more customizable. I managed to get streaming video to work for the Iris OC821 original outdoor camera, as well as the RC8221 which is the original indoor camera, while they are still connected to Iris, so I can use them on both systems! To do this I downloaded the Amcrest-Camera device handler from https://github.com/dguindon/Amcrest-Camera/blob/master/devicetypes/belgarion/amcrest-camera.src/amcrest-camera.groovy and changed the following lines when I added it to the ST IDE:

definition (name: "Iris Camera", namespace: "belgarion", author: "Belgarion") {

else { // Let's allow RTSP streams, but only for port 554 for now

apiCommand = "/img/video.sav"

Next I hit Create then Publish then For Me. Then I created a new Device with the Name I wanted for that camera, a Device Network ID of anything unique (this changes automatically on connection), a Type of "Iris Camera", and the Location and Hub both set to my ST hub. I then saved it and opened the ST App on my phone and choose my new Camera thing. Once in the New camera I scrolled to the bottom of the screen and clicked on the tiny "MJPEG STREAM" option in the bottom right corner to change it to RTSP STREAM, then I clicked the gear in the upper right corner to setup the rest of the settings. Put in the IP Address, Port 554, Username from your Local Streaming option in Iris, password from Iris as well, video channel 0. That is about it. I then added it to my Smart Home Monitor to be used in the case of an alarm trigger. I haven't tested the alarm and video recording yet, I plan to tomorrow when no one is sleeping.

Unfortunately the way the cameras are setup now they are not accessible from outside my network for live streaming. I'm not sure this can be helped due to the way ST is accessing the cameras via the local ip but I will look into it more tomorrow to see if I can get the hub to request the stream and forward it on when I'm on a different network. I'm not sure this will be possible though as the author of the original post said he uses public ips for all of his cameras. Also he said recording is only to Local SD on the Amcrest-Camera so I'm not expecting great results from my alarm trigger test tomorrow.

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So ST can be simple to setup like Iris if you stick to the Samsung recommended products probobly, however once you get into the community devices and smart apps things get much more involved, although it is much more customizable. I managed to get streaming video to work for the Iris OC821 original outdoor camera, as well as the RC8221 which is the original indoor camera, while they are still connected to Iris, so I can use them on both systems! To do this I downloaded the Amcrest-Camera device handler from https://github.com/dguindon/Amcrest-Camera/blob/master/devicetypes/belgarion/amcrest-camera.src/amcrest-camera.groovy and changed the following lines when I added it to the ST IDE:

definition (name: "Iris Camera", namespace: "belgarion", author: "Belgarion") {

else { // Let's allow RTSP streams, but only for port 554 for now

apiCommand = "/img/video.sav"

Next I hit Create then Publish then For Me. Then I created a new Device with the Name I wanted for that camera, a Device Network ID of anything unique (this changes automatically on connection), a Type of "Iris Camera", and the Location and Hub both set to my ST hub. I then saved it and opened the ST App on my phone and choose my new Camera thing. Once in the New camera I scrolled to the bottom of the screen and clicked on the tiny "MJPEG STREAM" option in the bottom right corner to change it to RTSP STREAM, then I clicked the gear in the upper right corner to setup the rest of the settings. Put in the IP Address, Port 554, Username from your Local Streaming option in Iris, password from Iris as well, video channel 0. That is about it. I then added it to my Smart Home Monitor to be used in the case of an alarm trigger. I haven't tested the alarm and video recording yet, I plan to tomorrow when no one is sleeping.

Unfortunately the way the cameras are setup now they are not accessible from outside my network for live streaming. I'm not sure this can be helped due to the way ST is accessing the cameras via the local ip but I will look into it more tomorrow to see if I can get the hub to request the stream and forward it on when I'm on a different network. I'm not sure this will be possible though as the author of the original post said he uses public ips for all of his cameras. Also he said recording is only to Local SD on the Amcrest-Camera so I'm not expecting great results from my alarm trigger test tomorrow.

Limitations:

Stills images are the only thing that can be taken from the Iris cameras for contact events like a door opening

They don't work for intrusion recording of video yet

The motion detector on the cameras doesn't currently work.

 

Here are all of the changes so far:

Line 36 change "Amcrest Camera" to "Iris Camera" *optional

 

I added the following at line 85 to allow stills to be taken with the same camera object and to correct an issue with the original device handler for RTSP usage -

       input("camStillPort", "string", title:"Still Image Port", description: "Enter the Port Number to use for Still (Typically 80)", required: true, displayDuringSetup: true)

 

Change Line 468 to -

hubGetImage("/img/snapshot.cgi")

 

Change Line 527 to -

apiCommand = "/img/video.sav"

 

Then I changed CamPort to CamStillPort on the following lines.

767

775

823

835

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ST doesn't seem to respond to their customers any better than Iris as far as community posts or requests go, https://community.smartthings.com/t/how-to-populate-the-dashboard-section/21693 they used to have a decent dashboard option like Iris where you could see at a glance if any doors where open or unlocked or any lights on but when they switched to the V2 hub they turned off the function to create those views so only the few users who brought over their system without following ST suggested method still have the dashboard view everyone wants and new users cannot get anything accept the Smart Home Monitor on the dashboard at this point.  People have been asking for it back since September of 2015.  They have room views but I found the best use of those for me was to create a Outside doors, Light & Switches, and Locks "Rooms" so I could go into each to make sure all the doors are locked and lights off, without having to wade through all the rest of the Things that I'm not currently worried about like the state of my motion detectors, cameras, indoor contact sensors...  Also the camera video usage on SmartThings is still in beta right now (which it sounds like it has been for a long time) so it is free but supposedly will be $5 a month if they ever make it production.  About the only reason they seem to be compatible with almost anything is because of the way they let the community build Device Handlers and Smart Apps not because Samsung has doe a whole lot more than Lowe's, although I do like that they are generally one of the first names on any compatibility list for things like Alexa, Google Home, Ring, and others.

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I've seen a number of people state that when they switched to ST that their devices paired right up without having to move the hub close. My experience so far is very similar to my experience pairing things to Iris. Zigbee devices seem to pair fairly well a long ways away and work fine after, however Z-wave wasn't as good. My front door has a Schlage touchscreen deadbolt and my walk through door on the side of the garage has a Yale keyless deadbolt. The two doors are about 15' apart with the Yale lock being further from the ST hub but closer to the Iris hub. The Schlage removed from Iris without issue and paired to ST without issue and it worked flawlessly. The Yale lock required the door to be halfway open before it would remove from Iris even though it had been working fine when closed, and that was also the only position where it would pair to ST and once paired it wouldn't work unless it was in that position. I was lucky it worked at all since i didnt want to remove the lock to carry it around or move each hub close by. I left it this way overnight but it wasn't anymore responsive the next day so I looked up how to repair the ST Z-wave network but that didn't help either. Once I migrated a Z-Wave GE light switch next to the front door to ST and repaired the Z-wave network on the ST hub, then the Yale started working perfectly.

For anyone wanting to know where to repair the Z-wave network on ST, click the 3 line menu button, on iOS it is the More button in the bottom right corner, on Android it is in the top left corner, then click "Hub is Online" then Z-wave Utilities. I don't yet know what the other options in the Z-wave Utilities screen do and they didn't sound like a good idea to try without researching first so eventually I'll take the time to find out what they are for.

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Here is another update on my smart things conversion for those that are interested.

I have been installing additional devices over the past couple days including 2 garage door openers, several GE outlets and switches and some motion sensors (Iris v2).

Everything is working great really, but I am still not comfortable with the app and its versatility. It is also quirky at times. For example: 2 identical GE switches were installed. On the app, one switch has the option to turn off the LED on the switch or have it on vs. off depending on state of the switch. The other switch does not have that option in the app. Both switches took 2x to pair correctly also.

As for the presence detection, it is pretty great, but it is not entirely responsive. I have it set up to close the garage door when I leave and turn off lights and music, etc. when my wife or I arrive it opens each respective garage door. Turns lights on, etc. it's detecting our phones about 600 to 800 feet from the house. But sometimes there is a delay in arrival or departure detection. So it's not 100%, maybe like 80ish.

As mentioned above the thermostats aren't as easy to program as Iris v1, there are a few round about ways to do it which I am learning as we go.

I agree the phone presence detection is nice, however in my experience it works better on iOS than on Android.  What kind of phones are you using?

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I have to say quickly that I've been using Smart Things in my home now for about two weeks.  I am pretty happy with it so far but I will agree that the app is a bit more complicated than Iris, but with that comes some HUGE versatility that is incredible. Just the Smart App development capabilities themselves are spectacular.  

 

But a couple of HUGE things that may lead me to convert my office system (Iris V2) to Smart Things:

1)  They communicate with you.  Got an email yesterday saying "We're enhancing security on the system, so you may have to log-out and log back in on the app"

2)  There is a web-interface that blows the doors completely off the old Iris V1 webpage.  You can get what seems like ANY information about your hub or device statuses from this page, on a big screen...  Using a mouse.  It's glorious. 

3)  Battery Level Indicators - They seem very accurate, giving a percentage of battery power on things like smoke detectors and motion sensors.  Not just 100% or 0%, but like 83% or 62%.  

4)  Better range - I'm installing devices all over the house without having to move the hub anywhere. 

5)  Z-Wave utilities are easy to use and very responsive. 

6)  I can control the fans on my HVAC system with a simple Smart App. 

7)  Local freaking processing.  Things work when your internet doesn't.  (not everything, but all the things you would expect to, do. ) 

8)  I can control my BOSE Sound Touch system with Smart Things...  

 

 

For those of you who are so frustrated with the iris system, check into this.  Most of my iris devices have paired and are working perfectly on my Smart Things hub and I don't even have to pay to be a beta tester!!  

 

I haven't tried any of the cameras with the Smart Things yet, but so far what I have seen has been impressive.  Just gotta learn more about the app and the other SmartApps available. 

The web page you refer to is that SmartTiles?

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Here is another update on my smart things conversion for those that are interested.

I have been installing additional devices over the past couple days including 2 garage door openers, several GE outlets and switches and some motion sensors (Iris v2).

Everything is working great really, but I am still not comfortable with the app and its versatility. It is also quirky at times. For example: 2 identical GE switches were installed. On the app, one switch has the option to turn off the LED on the switch or have it on vs. off depending on state of the switch. The other switch does not have that option in the app. Both switches took 2x to pair correctly also.

As for the presence detection, it is pretty great, but it is not entirely responsive. I have it set up to close the garage door when I leave and turn off lights and music, etc. when my wife or I arrive it opens each respective garage door. Turns lights on, etc. it's detecting our phones about 600 to 800 feet from the house. But sometimes there is a delay in arrival or departure detection. So it's not 100%, maybe like 80ish.

As mentioned above the thermostats aren't as easy to program as Iris v1, there are a few round about ways to do it which I am learning as we go.

Did you figure out the LED difference between your switches?  I'm wondering if the device type is different for some reason on them in your IDE?

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I agree the phone presence detection is nice, however in my experience it works better on iOS than on Android.  What kind of phones are you using?

I use primarily a Samsung galaxy s5. My wife has a iPhone but I haven't really tried it on hers yet. Good to know!

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Did you figure out the LED difference between your switches?  I'm wondering if the device type is different for some reason on them in your IDE?

Still not sure why one is different than the other. I haven't really fiddled with them since they are working well. Just strange that they were identical switches and installed exactly the same way.

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One benefit that I haven't seen mentioned, both Iris and Wink (I can't say I'd recommend Wink), allow you to get firmware updates on the devices. I'm pretty sure SmartThings cannot do that at the moment.

I'm not entirely sure how Smart Things handles the device updates but from what I have seen, if you go to the api webpage and select the device and the setup parameters, it will tell you if there are Firmware updates available.  (Or not)  This only seems to be available through the Smart Things devices that I have, not on the Iris devices yet.  

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I'm not entirely sure how Smart Things handles the device updates but from what I have seen, if you go to the api webpage and select the device and the setup parameters, it will tell you if there are Firmware updates available. (Or not) This only seems to be available through the Smart Things devices that I have, not on the Iris devices yet.

Neat! Well thanks for the info! I just picked a SmartThings hub up yesterday and have yet to set it up. Doing more research, I found there is (also) no local API access on SmartThings....

Vera might be in my horizon...

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