ECOLINK Z-Wave Garage Door Tilt Sensor problem

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  • Last Post 07 July 2014
krishkal posted this 18 June 2014

Hi,

I bought the Pro version of InControl software specifically for sensing/alarming on the Garage Door sensor, as the free version does not support this device. I can set up the scenes just fine, but I am plagued with false alarms. It seems that the "door closed" state is not consistently received by InControl, so the door is stuck in "open" position as far as InControl is concerned. There are many repeating devices within range of the sensor, so that is not the problem. In Googling around for a solution, I found the review reproduced below on Amazon.com website. This seems to reflect my exact issue here. So, my questions are:

  1. Is it possible to increase the polling interval so it does not miss this event? I know there is something called "device association" that can be done, but every time I try it, I get the error "did not respond to the associated device request", even though I keep it awake by tilting it back and forth by hand. Apparently the device is not smart enough to understand the "association" request.

  2. Is it possible to provide a "manual override" using the InControl app (would be particularly handy to do it on the iPhone app), so that if I know the garage door is actually closed, and the sensor is stuck in the "open" position as far as InControl is concerned, I can at least shut off the false alarms, without disabling the device?

  3. If none of this is possible, considering that I bought this software specifically for this purpose and it does not work for many people (as evidenced by the post below), can I return the software for a refund, so I can buy the SmartThings hub as suggested?

Thanks, -Kal.

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2VW9AEHGQ6F1C/ref=cmsrchresrtralt1

This device seems to work about half the time I tilt it and I'm not entirely sure why. I use a Aeon Labs Z-Stick Series 2 with the latest firmware (3.07), InControl (3.112.5243.19815), and have three other 2gig CT100 thermostats on the network which seem to be polled fine. I've experimented with some of the properties available in InControl and have still had inconsistent states reported.

If I had to guess why it doesn't work I'd say the device only stays "on" for a short amount of time once it is "tilted" and if it isn't polled shortly near that time then it will no longer report a status of "closed or open".

There are other reviews which seem to allude to the same conclusion with my same configuration.

I'll be getting a SmartThings hub instead of this InControl/Z-stick combo (don't waste your time with this combo) soon so I'll try to remember to report back to see if that hub does any better.

-- UPDATE --

The SmartThings hub and this device have worked flawlessly so far. I opted for this device instead of the SmartThings multi sensor because according to the documentation the battery life on this item is 5-8yrs and I really only needed the tilt sensor for my garage so I saved a few bucks by purchasing this item instead.

I'd highly recommend this thing so far if you are using the SmartThings hub, it works well.

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krishkal posted this 18 June 2014

Progress? I got it to "Associate" finally, not sure what I did differently, but I opened and closed the garage door and immediately clicked on "Association" and it came up fine this time, and I was able to check the box. I hope that is the magic bullet to make this work!

krishkal posted this 19 June 2014

No joy... "Associating" the tilt sensor with InControl made it totally invisible. No updates were received at all.

I had to remove the association, and re-add the device back to my network (using the GE remote) to get it back in action. I notice that there is a "polling" option in InControl. I have now set it to poll this device every 60 seconds. Let's see if that helps.

I really want to make this solution work, and not just give up and go to the SmartThings solution like the Amazon reviewer. So, any suggestions would be helpful!

Axial-User posted this 21 June 2014

I have the same device and it is working fine with InControl and the Aeotec Z-Stick Series 2. I don't remember doing anything special to make it work. I am not exactly sure what your current issue is - is it with the association, or with the device not accurately reporting it's orientation (garage door up / down)?

krishkal posted this 22 June 2014

Good to hear that there are success stories here, since the Amazon reviewer made it sound like no one has succeeded with it.

I am cautiously optimistic at this time. I deleted and re-added the device to my network, this time with it mounted to the Garage Door, as opposed to last time where it was sitting on my desk. I also did a "network heal" from InControl, and also set up the device to be polled every 60 seconds.

After doing all this, the device status has been 100% reliable for the past 2 days, no false alarms! So, I hope that was it. Will watch for a few more days before declaring victory.

mariusz@gmail.com posted this 26 June 2014

As far as I know you cannot poll a battery powered device unless it is awake. It only sends information when it wakes up to save battery, my guess is some of these devices communicate directly with the stick and do not use the "Network mesh". I have one in my garage and it works better then the regular AeonLabs door sensor I used to have. Every once in a while it sends a false open signal to Incontrol making it useless as an alarm sensor.

krishkal posted this 26 June 2014

I am sure it does use the network mesh. My garage door is too far away for it to reach the stick directly, and as I said it has been working reliably for many days now. It would not be possible without going through the mesh.

How often do you get the "false open" signal?

tnamey posted this 26 June 2014

Interesting to read all this. I never have a false signal but mine does miss an open or close event every once and awhile.

Not being an expert in anyway, but I remember reading something about associating devices with a controller and how the controller assesses the device. It wouldn't surprise me if we are better off associating a device at the location the device will be used. I'll delete and re-add my tilt sensor tonight, in the garage, and see if that helps my issue. I originally associated it in my living room, far away from the garage and the devices it would normal be closest to.

mariusz@gmail.com posted this 26 June 2014

I am sure it does use the network mesh. My garage door is too far away for it to reach the stick directly, and as I said it has been working reliably for many days now. It would not be possible without going through the mesh.

How often do you get the "false open" signal?


It has been good for the last couple of weeks but usually it does it every 2 weeks or so, strangely in addition to reporting battery level it also reports "Temperature" of 74F

Ryan-Scott posted this 07 July 2014

It sounds like you've got this problem figured out, but I'll chime in here... I've got the same tilt sensors and they also send false alarms on occasion. Actually, I should say that it's not a false alarm, but more of a "oops, I forgot to mention that I'm now open" - almost like the device itself sometimes doesn't work. Of course, this could also be that it sent the signal but was far enough away that it didn't make it to my server. Keep in mind too that radio signals are susceptible to metal and there's typically very large metal objects moving in and out of garages.

As a side note, I've also got a gen 2 Aeon Labs Door/Window sensor on my garage. The G2 version can be programmed to repeat its state every x minutes, which helps in cases where the signal doesn't get received by the USB stick. However, this drains the battery faster so as a consequence, mine is currently dead and not being used.

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