Being a n00b and getting my feet wet with the whole MCV thing has been pretty interesting; but I have a couple of questions about outdoor motion detectors…
Can anyone recommend a motion detector that I can use outside? I’d like to be able to control the driveway and porch lights using a motion detector, but everything I’ve seen (or been able to order) have been tagged “indoor only”.
Has anyone installed any outdoor motions? If so, what kind(s)?
There is no great solution for this in the Z-wave world just yet. Aeon Labs is still on schedule to release their outdoor motion/environmental sensor “around Thanksgiving” of this year as far as we know. It has been discussed at length here on the board, but many of us (myself included) gave up on waiting and weatherized their HSM-100s with some tape and silicone caulk.
You’ll like them, they work well. Before you set up an HSM-100 on Vera for the first time, recommend looking over http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=4450.0 for getting started tips. Seems a lot of people run into the same common issues and confusion when setting up HSM100s for the first time.
Newbie here. Been lurking for a LONG time and want to thank everyone for sharing their knowledge.
For the HSM 100 “winterized” units, does anyone have an idea if the batteries will last any length of time in frozen northern climates? Located in Michigan, and the units will see lots of below freezing temps.
low temps will certainly effect battery life, alkalines are poor in the cold, NiMH rechargables are better and the newer “low self discharge” NiMH batteries have better cold weather performance, I get a dependable 2 mo maybe 3 in temps down to single digits on my HSM-100’s
I am also curious about this topic since I live in Denver, CO. Would this sensor still function if it is placed inside of a weatherized box with a clear front? Perhaps constructed out of plexiglass? Since the device detects a heat signature will the box reduce the range?
To combat battery life issues and to get better performance out of the HSM100 you should really consider ditching the batteries and hard-wiring it to a small 3-5v power supply. Battery powered Z-Wave devices go to sleep to conserve power, you can adjust this setting but then you are burning through batteries so the power supply is preferred. That way you’ll get consistent updates from the sensor as it never sleeps. Heck, and maybe the small amount of heat generated by the power supply in an enclosure will keep condensation down.
I would think that a clear plastic/plexi cover shouldn’t be a problem. The plastic for the motion detector is just a fresnel lens made of opaque plastic (polyethelyne maybe?). You may get some distorion of the field it covers.
Keep in mind that the 3-in-1 even on AC/DC power will still only wake every 6 minutes. If you set it to “always awake”, I never could get the motion sensor to work since it’s always tripped. Great way to get temp and light readings frequently, but the motion sensor seems useless in this mode. One other advantage to “always on” is it becomes a routing node in the network too…
Thanks for the replies. 3 months would really be a chore as I’m looking at putting a number of these units around my home and with my luck I’d have to change the batteries in the middle of February! And getting an external power supply would also prove a challenge in itself, although I like the idea behind it.
Another option that people have discussed (though I’m not sure if it has been done or not by any Vera users) is wiring one or more motion sensors to an indoor mounted HRDS1 for interface with the vera. In theory, you can use sensors that are made for outdoors, and even chain them. You’d have to evaluate the power/batter situation for each of the outdoor units of course. The only requirement of the battery in the HRDS1 is communicating z-wave back to the vera.
Something to consider, though you’d have to do your own research on if this is really feasible. While I have considered doing something like this, I personally opted to just weatherize the HSM-100 for outdoor use. Then again, while rain is a consideration in Seattle, it rarely gets below freezing.
truth be told I’ve about had it with the vera/HSM-100 combination, dont know who to blame but I am tired of reconfiguring constantly to try and get them to update properly, I first got into this because i needed reliable temp readings to protect a house when I’m not there, when I saw i could get motion sensors in the bargain I was happy, what I end up with is motion sensors which are fairly (but not always) reliable and temp sensors that may update regularly or more often become stuck for days, same with the light levels but i care less about those, if i was starting over i would stick with the HM-TS001 sensors for temp which have been very reliable and they remember who their neighbors are, and get dedicated motion sensors for motion
I agree, and I’ve had it, too. Yesterday morning one out of two sensed my motion and turned on lights. Last night both worked. This morning, neither of them worked. In the past I’ve had traditional motion sensor lights that cost $19.99 and worked reliably for ten years. In my opinion, the HSM-100 is a seriously overpriced piece of unreliable, flimsy junk. To “fix” some of the problems I suppose I could drill a hole in the side of the thing and solder some wires from an old cell phone charger, but for $75 the thing should ship with an A/C adapter, have a weatherizing gasket around the lens and battery compartment, and work reliably.
I agree, and I’ve had it, too. Yesterday morning one out of two sensed my motion and turned on lights. Last night both worked. This morning, neither of them worked. In the past I’ve had traditional motion sensor lights that cost $19.99 and worked reliably for ten years. In my opinion, the HSM-100 is a seriously overpriced piece of unreliable, flimsy junk. To “fix” some of the problems I suppose I could drill a hole in the side of the thing and solder some wires from an old cell phone charger, but for $75 the thing should ship with an A/C adapter, have a weatherizing gasket around the lens and battery compartment, and work reliably.[/quote]
I’m not sure I’d blame it all on the HSM-100, seems like Vera has been a culprit in many of my “not firing scenes” or delays in activated scenes. I walk over to Vera and the Z-Wave dongle is OFF? I am on the fence, and until I can discover that it’s the HSM100 alone, I’m leaning towards Vera as the issue.
the shame of it is they (3-in-1 sensor) work perfectly when first set up, if someone could figure out why they loose routing info and correct it they might work well, in UI4 in the device control pad on the “device options” tab they have added a button for “update neighbor nodes” if i press the blue button and then press the update button they correctly update routing info and function perfectly, within a day they randomly begin to loose neighbor info one by one and within a week or two they are all screwed up showing no neighbor or an innapropriate one and not reporting light or temp info, strangely the motion sensors seem to still work and that may be because it is a small house and the motion signal may be reaching vera directly, if i understand correctly (which i may not) the light and temp data may be more passive requiring vera to poll rather than an active transmission as with motion detected. Can any of our resident geniuses verify if this is wrong? In any case hard wiring the sensors as some suggested (no offense, I know you are trying to help) defeats the point of zwave (and wireless), I could wire a conventional security system much cheaper with better reliability
I'm seriously considering an HRDS1 (or Aeon) door sensor hooked to an regular outdoor motion sensor. Has anyone done this?
I use this setup in my driveway.
You only need to add a relay to the regular motion detector switched circuit.
Motion detector to he coil.
Tripped on would toggle the relay. Use the N/C contacts on the relay to trip the HRDS1.