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EcoLink Door Sensor for SmartThings


Dave
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I purchased an Ecolink sensor for my SmartThings setup recently and had some time today to play with it.  It comes with brown plastic as well as white in case you have a dark door.  I thought that was cool.

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OJMD2FA/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00OJMD2FA&linkCode=as2&tag=mccabe-20&linkId=BBPAZWGN5ZW5PUQX

 

$27.95 so not a bad price either! Comes in a two pack for $57.91 or $28.95 each. Having a hard time figuring that one out.

 

I had trouble pairing it the first time I tried.  I power cycled the SmartThings hub and tried the pair process 5 feet from the device and it finally paired up.  It wasn't working right though.  In the app it would not report an open/close state and the device kept blinking red.  It also was not reporting battery life to the app.  I deleted the device via the web for ST.  https://graph.api.smartthings.com  

I'm not sure if this was the cause but in the initial pairing I added a door via the process that the device was supposed to be assigned to.  In the second pairing I didn't.  Just named it test, as that's all I'm doing with it now.   The battery reports 100% after successfully pairing.  It's a Panasonic Lithium battery too.  Not a cheapo.

 

I've noticed a reboot seems to help a lot before adding a new device to the ST Hub.  Also, pairing VERY close to it helps.

 

The Ecolink sensor has a cover removed switch in it so if someone pops the cover it will illuminate the red light.  It didn't alert in any way though.  

 

Here is what I was looking for though.  The circuit board inside has a 2 wire terminal on it.  If you hook wires up to it and close the circuit, it reports closed. Remove the wires, reports open.  Bingo!

 

More later.

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I just did a small test with the EcoLink door sensor.  I removed the two wires from my inactive wiring panel and put them in the Ecolink.  The wires belong to a hardwired door sensor. When I put the battery back in(the ecolink sensor) the SmartThings app reported the sensor as "open." Initially bummed, I went to the door while watching the app. Opened it, app still reported open.  Closed the door thinking, "at least I tried," and the app reported closed. Bingo! It works!  

I'm not sure what this means for me but I just wanted to know!  I have dozens of windows that are hardwired but there were not enough zones on the Brinks panel (BHS-3000C) to put them all into action.

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The logic behind the wired door sensors is pretty easy.  Now I'm wondering about pre-existing glass break sensors and the wired in smoke detectors.  I'm wondering how they worked with the old alarm system.  Also, the alarm installer hooked up a group of windows to one zone.  So, a bank of three windows must have a sensor for each window but it's all one zone in the old alarm panel.  This might work with the EcoLink Sensor as well.  Just some thoughts.

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I'm trying to stay away from Arduino at the momen although i've looked at it alot.  I would like to live in a single hub/system.  

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More than likely the door and window switches are reed switches.  A reed switch is just a set of magnetic contacts.  When the door or window is closed the reed switch is typically closed (there are some that the magnet keeps the switch open).  When the magnet is removed the switch opens.  You need to figure out which type you have and that will determine the next step concerning your zoned windows.

 

IF you have window switches that are normally open when the magnet is present then you can wire all the switches you want in one zone in parallel.  When any one switch closes the system detects this.

 

IF you have window switches that are normally closed when the magnet is present then you wire them in series.  Now if any of the windows is opened the switch breaks the circuit and the system detects this change.

 

You can test all this with a DMM.  You may also want to check how much resistance is in the wiring in your system.  The Ecolink may not have enough power to overcome the voltage drop that may be present in a system that is hardwired like you are describing.

 

Interesting project though.

 

BTW, did I tell you I design magnetic sensors?  One of the key markets we are trying to get into is security system magnetic switches as a replacement for reed switches.  Wiring is different if you use a solid state switch like I design....but that is another topic.

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's good info Chris.  It was in my plan to check the state of my switches too.  I'll have to dig out the meter.  I am doing all of this in spurts!  

 

I do think it would be cool to wire up a panel with several of these switches hard mounted on a board.  Power them from a universal power supply too.  That way it could be on battery backup with the rest of the internet equipment.  Then do like you said, pair up the windows in groups.  Next I'll look into the logic behind the glass break sensors.  They take power but I'm not sure what signal they return when tripped.  They have a clap test that I can try with the meter.

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