Best Contact Sensor for Outdoor use
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I have Iris V1 contact sensors on two gates outside my house.  Even though these are not rated as outdoor devices, they have been rock solid for over 4 years.  

Anyone have experience with using a ST compatible contact sensor outside? If so which ones?  I'm in Northern California, so temp range is question is reasonable (low as 30s and high as 90s, typically).  Real issue I think is rain. 

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What's the application? Can you protect the sensor itself from rainfall? I.E. is this maybe for a shed door? Why not mount it internally instead of externally? If you want to track say a gate, perhaps a camera / light with a motion sensor is a better solution...

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40 minutes ago, BigHoss said:

What's the application? Can you protect the sensor itself from rainfall? I.E. is this maybe for a shed door? Why not mount it internally instead of externally? If you want to track say a gate, perhaps a camera / light with a motion sensor is a better solution...

On fence gates to the back yard.  I want open/closed indication, so contact sensor.  If I don't find something comparable to the iris V1's (I love those things), then maybe what I'll do is make a mortise in the wooden gate to protect it from the rain.  Thanks for the suggestion.

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You're heading down the thought path I was going down... 

UV and rain will eventually destroy contact sensors, not to mention depending on your environment, dust.

 

Typically outdoor rated devices are sealed from the elements, and are UV stable... ish...

Do what you can to isolate from UV, dust and rain as best you can. Going to need to get creative but can be done...

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My friend has had contact sensors on a gate and he used clear silicone spray to make it water proof. He said he just peals it off to change the battery and re-applies it. I personally thought about putting them in those vacuum seal bags and making it snug, but I haven’t done it myself yet.


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17 hours ago, Vettester said:

I put some V1 contact sensors on two gate 2 1/2 years ago and they have held up really well.  I'm in the process of switching over to SystronicsRF so the gate contact sensors are staying put.

http://forum.livingwithiris.com/topic/3610-using-contact-sensors-outside/?tab=comments#comment-30947

 

Same here, but I've chosen SmartThings.  So I have to find another solution.  

 

17 hours ago, accessdenied79 said:

My friend has had contact sensors on a gate and he used clear silicone spray to make it water proof. He said he just peals it off to change the battery and re-applies it. I personally thought about putting them in those vacuum seal bags and making it snug, but I haven’t done it myself yet.


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Interesting.  Off to research silicone sprays...

Do you know what contact sensors does your friend uses?  If Iris V1, he really doesn't need the silicone..

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Interesting.  Off to research silicone sprays...
Do you know what contact sensors does your friend uses?  If Iris V1, he really doesn't need the silicone..

He was using the Iris V1 contacts and he is putting the SmartThings one out there soon.

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I have Iris V1 contact sensors on two gates outside my house.  Even though these are not rated as outdoor devices, they have been rock solid for over 4 years.  
Anyone have experience with using a ST compatible contact sensor outside? If so which ones?  I'm in Northern California, so temp range is question is reasonable (low as 30s and high as 90s, typically).  Real issue I think is rain. 
This one works with ST
http://www.getzooz.com/zooz-zse29-outdoor-motion-sensor.html

Zooz also has some interesting options for 3 way switches that use existing switches for the remote switches so you only have to replace one switch.


Iris Who?

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16 hours ago, dusterp said:

This one works with ST
http://www.getzooz.com/zooz-zse29-outdoor-motion-sensor.html

Zooz also has some interesting options for 3 way switches that use existing switches for the remote switches so you only have to replace one switch.

 

Thanks.  Doesn't look like they have a outdoor contact sensor though, which is what I need.

I'm intrigued by that 3-way switch though...  and price is right. - roughly same as the GE/Jasco switches that I have.  Still requires a neutral, but I'm sure at least one box in my 3way chain (have a couple 4 ways as well) has a neutral.

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Thanks for the input everyone.  Here's my plan...

I took apart a 2nd gen(?) ST contact sensor (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0118RQW3W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and it's possible to take the board completely out of the housing.  After doing that, I'm going to apply this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008O9YIV6/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_DRQGCbCK245A0 to the whole board, making sure to leave the battery contacts bare.  Then I'll pop the board back in the housing and put it up.   If this works, I'll do the same with a ST motion sensor (also confirmed the board can be removed).

I'll post the results...

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51 minutes ago, OhioYJ said:

Have you thought about just thought about using some nail polish on a regular contact sensor?

How to Waterproof Electronics || Nail Polish, Silicone, Potting Compound

Just use some dielectric grease on the out edge of the battery contacts after everything else is coated. Perhaps an idea?

That's kinda like what I'm doing.  Just with stuff that is specifically made for this purpose (link a few posts up).  Just arrived today.  Rain expected tomorrow, so I'm going to try and do this and get one up to test.

You guys will be the first to know how it goes.  Really hope it works - don't want to go cutting into my gate or buying a housing.

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10 hours ago, joelh said:

That's kinda like what I'm doing.  Just with stuff that is specifically made for this purpose (link a few posts up).  Just arrived today.  Rain expected tomorrow, so I'm going to try and do this and get one up to test.

You guys will be the first to know how it goes.  Really hope it works - don't want to go cutting into my gate or buying a housing.

Let me know how that stuff works for you. I've used some spray stuff in the past, which works for large items, but it was really thin, and tended to run. It also meant multiple coats. You shouldn't have those problems though with a brush. Nail polish was just easy to obtain locally for me.

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I have a few Gen 1 IRIS contact sensors outside.  Two of them on my gates that have been directly exposed for a few years.  No problems at all.  No coatings or anything.  The stock o-ting does the job.  I also have a few in a very humid nursery that have also been flawless.  I'm going to miss the gen1 devices.

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Yeah, I'm having pretty good luck with SRF, but I'm not getting the range performance on SRF that I had on IRIS with Gen-1.  Then there are all the missing bells and whistles that are still to be developed.  Trying to be patient.

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50 minutes ago, c379776 said:

Yeah, I'm having pretty good luck with SRF, but I'm not getting the range performance on SRF that I had on IRIS with Gen-1.  Then there are all the missing bells and whistles that are still to be developed.  Trying to be patient.

I'm not having any range issues. 

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On 3/8/2019 at 9:55 AM, joelh said:

Thanks for the input everyone.  Here's my plan...

I took apart a 2nd gen(?) ST contact sensor (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0118RQW3W/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1) and it's possible to take the board completely out of the housing.  After doing that, I'm going to apply this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008O9YIV6/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_DRQGCbCK245A0 to the whole board, making sure to leave the battery contacts bare.  Then I'll pop the board back in the housing and put it up.   If this works, I'll do the same with a ST motion sensor (also confirmed the board can be removed).

I'll post the results...

 

OK, status report.  So far so good.  I have two gen 2 contact sensors and one gen 3(? - the one with the magnetic ball mount) that I've applied this coating to (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B008O9YIV6/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_DRQGCbCK245A0).  All three are preforming nominally, and we'd had several rain storms since I did this.  

I'll report back if any of them go tango-uniform.

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