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False triggers and why they happens?


HomeSystem.sk
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Hello,

 

I wanted to open this topic as I discovered some new facts and I would like to share and maybe find a solution.

 

My test:

I wanted to test few devices and find the best way that suits me when it comes to securing showroom. I mean complete solution, what control center, what way to lock it...

So I started the test with:

Piper - and its own motion sensor

Home Center 2 - Alarm panel and Fibaro Motion sensor (default settigns!)

Popp Hub and any other motion sensor

Vera Plus and any other motion sensor

 

After 2 weeks of testing I came to this conclusion:

Funny enough, I found myself locking the Piper as the one solution for this. I am not saying Piper is better as control center (I actually do not have any Z-wave device added to it) but it is simple to lock AND there was not even one false alarm! This is important, not even one :) On the other hand, as soon as I enter showroom I get the notification. That really works.

 

Second solution is the Popp Hub. As simple and cheap as it is, it works surprisingly good. It does not offer notification sadly, but I see it always catch me when I enter as it turns the light on (kind of the way I see it is reliable, and the light was never ON when I entered). 

 

I will not mention Vera as I need to give it some more time.

 

But then it is Fibaro HC2, 3x more expensive as the others and actually the ONLY one that is used with its own motion sensor. And I am sorry but I must say it is the worst when it comes to reliability out of those 3. The biggest issue is the false alarms. As I mentioned before, motion sensor is in all default settings (I even tryed to turn off the tamper and set less sensitivity), and it actually never lasted one night without false trigger. I have it next to each other on the table with Piper and the other motion sensors. Ok, the window behind it is opened, but it does not make any issue for the others, so that should not be relevant. For the last tests I tried to move the sensor to completelly different part of showroom where is no way it got trigered, it was basically blinded. And still, false alarm.

 

Ok, now I am not saying this is always the case, Fibaro works many many times with no issues. BUT as we all know, time to time there is a high temperature alert, there is a flood alert, motion alert ... And when you have as many HC2 sold as we do you probably know that it is happening quite often. 

 

Now, why do I need to talk about it?

 

I dont mean to promote anything here, dont take me wrong. But what got me wondering is this : the motion sensor I have in the showroom looks like really bad piece. It really triggers far too many false alarms. Not usual, and I really tried my best to fix it without any luck.

BUT as soon as I excluded it from Fibaro HC2 and included it to Popp Hub the false alarms stoped imediatelly, the motion sensor works perfectly good and even now, I have it on the table where I am sitting facing the oposit way and I see in the history that it never gets triggered without the actual motion. The same motion sensor that I considered to be faulty (and again, probably like 1000 of those motion sensors went trough my hands so I know when it is not good) and was ready for RMA just became perfectly good.

 

The question:

 

I would actually be happy if Fibaro could answer this. Do you guys know about it. I always thought that the Secure theromstat is sending the false temperature report, or that there is issue with comunication between flood sensor and HC2 when it starts false alarm. But as short as this my tests are it really seems that the issue is not in comunication or in the sensors itself, but in HC2 maybe reporting things incorrect. The temperature alarts always seems like some faulty comunication problems as the temperature jumps hugely and goes right back, so probebly the sensor knows the temp is not 1000 degrees, otherwise it would hold the temp report up there for longer than a second...

So once again, is this something you see as bug in the system or do you consider this to be the problem of the comunication or perhaps the problem in the sensors?

 

And users, do you see Fibaro motion sensors as reliable way to secure the house? Do you often run into false alarms? 

 

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Hi @HomeSystem.sk,

 

I have 11 pieces of Fibaro FGMS001 motion sensors and in one and a half year only one of them started to give false motion detection. I tried all what I could do. Remove it from system and include it, move it to another place, reset it and include again but nothing helped. At the end I was playing with sensitivity and change it from default settings 15 to 31 and at this settings it still sees movement as it should but there is no more false breaches. After monitoring for some time it is now ready to be included to the alarm system.

 

All other FGMS001 have default settings except for parameters 2 = 15, 6 = 30, 40 = 40 and 81 = 1% and in the year and half never get false alarms from them.

 

Sometimes I get flood alarms but I'm not so sure that they are false alarms! Actually there is no real flooding, but I believe that alarm is triggered by condensation on cold ceramic tiles. Fibaro flood sensors are highly sensitive and unfortunately have no possibility to change that sensitivity. I came to this conclusion because only flood sensors in our bathrooms give those 'false' alarms, while two others that are placed inside wooden cabinet in kitchen and in laundry never get false alarms in all this time! 


Also, I had several times high temperature warnings from Dallas temperature sensors connected to door/window sensor. Nothing to worry about, and interestingly mostly from those installed on bathroom windows!

 

What really can change rapidly in bathrooms are temperature and humidity. Of course not in values that are sometimes reported like 80'C, but still it is something to be more carefully investigated. Is it possible that quick change in temperature can cause sensor to repeatedly send reports of which one is not received properly by HC? We usually open window after having shower since don't have ventilation. This false alarms always were reported with those windows opened.

 

I still believe that problem is in sensors in the first place because HC can't have value for temperature or motion if it doesn't receive one. Battery operated sensors are sending values only when measured value has changed enough to be reported. So, I believe that those spikes in measurement is caused by sensors and not by HC.

 

Solution to this false alarms is to first be very careful with sensor placement and with their parameter settings. I believe that default settings is ok in most cases, but sometimes default parameters must be changed either because of the environment or because of sensor itself and it's deviation from standard calibration in factory.

 

Fibaro can also improve firmware on HC and eliminate at least 80% of the false alarms or reports by incorporating slight delay in software that will recognize this spikes in reported values and give sensors time to report again. Since this spikes in reported values always last very short time this delay should not seriously influence safety features of the system itself.

 

 

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  • I agree with most of what you said, but one think is not true :)

    It is another issue which is not really similar to this one, but MCO thermostats are not working properly. The problem is, that even when MCO thermostat is set to manual setting, Fibaro polls it (pooling interwal is disabled) and shows in the interface settigns from the auto mode of the thermostat, which are turned off and not active at that point. Fibaro still takes them and shows them.

     

    That may be the case of the temperature alerts. Maybe the temperature sensor does not really send the temperature (MCO HOME thermostat dont send the auto setting temperature for sure). This seems to be two completelly different issues but if you think about it, in both cases it is possible that the reports are just "made out" by Fibaro bug somehow. 

     

     

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    @HomeSystem.sk
    Thanks for bringing this up. I faced so many problems with the motion sensors. Clients are complaining about the false alarm. Tried various method suggested by support & forum but none work. Same problem happens even after I replaced it with new sensors. Im really getting of tired of it.

    It is just not reliable enough and definitely doesnt work as the manual suggest (7m detection range) I find that 4meter is more likely the range it can detect and it is still not sensitive enough at 4m.

    I've not tried it with other hub, but probably I should and consider move to other solution. Since you seems to be a Fibaro distributor, do they offer you any solution for the questions that you raised?

     

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  • We are just "resellers", not the distributor (so worthless to Fibaro :D ), and no, I have no other answer or solution for that. That is why I opened it here, so we maybe find a way to deal with that.

     

    The range of motion sensor - again, that depends a lot. WE have one client with 16 motion sensors in 3 bedroom apartament (just in living room there are 4 of them...) and he still gets problems with sensors not seeing him on the sofa (there is sensor just over the sofa facing just and only the sofa) and then we have another client where the sensors sees you so fast and far that it is hard to believe. 

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    6 hours ago, HomeSystem.sk said:

    (...) The range of motion sensor - again, that depends a lot. WE have one client with 16 motion sensors in 3 bedroom apartament (just in living room there are 4 of them...) and he still gets problems with sensors not seeing him on the sofa (there is sensor just over the sofa facing just and only the sofa) and then we have another client where the sensors sees you so fast and far that it is hard to believe. 

     

    Presence detection, for me, is problematic. Users glued to their laptop or TV simply do not move enough. Two (or four !) sensors help, but it's still not good enough. I've tried radar (actually "field disturbance detectors" but nobody know them by this technical designation), but it goes through walls. An interesting effect, but not very practical. :)

     

    Next on my list are: a "CO2 sensor" (because people breathe even when they watch TV :P) and "a pressure switch under the sofa". I think, in the end, you'll have to combine all sorts of sensors and use some AI.

     

    Also, with all these sensors combined, the program logic gets tricky. It's a deceptively simple problem. For instance, my old MultiSensors often die without low battery warning, because  I use rechargeable cells (not recommended!). So they can get stuck in "breached" or "safe". You have to detect that in your script...

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    14 hours ago, HomeSystem.sk said:

    I agree with most of what you said, but one think is not true :)

     

    Hi @HomeSystem.sk,

     

    it is your right to agree or disagree, but my post was referring to your first post in which you were testing Fibaro motion sensors and also mentioned false temperature, flood and motion alerts! I shared with you my experience with those false alerts and what I did to minimize them. Still can't say that I eliminated them, because for that time is of essence.

     

    14 hours ago, HomeSystem.sk said:

    It is another issue which is not really similar to this one, but MCO thermostats are not working properly. The problem is, that even when MCO thermostat is set to manual setting, Fibaro polls it (pooling interwal is disabled) and shows in the interface settigns from the auto mode of the thermostat, which are turned off and not active at that point. Fibaro still takes them and shows them.

     

    I do not own any of this MCO thermostats so can't really comment on that. That is another brand product and my experience is that functionality can be impaired if Fibaro does nothing to support them despite claim that all z-wave devices should be compatible.

     

    5 hours ago, petergebruers said:

    Presence detection, for me, is problematic. Users glued to their laptop or TV simply do not move enough. Two (or four !) sensors help, but it's still not good enough. I've tried radar (actually "field disturbance detectors" but nobody know them by this technical designation), but it goes through walls. An interesting effect, but not very practical. :)

     

    Next on my list are: a "CO2 sensor" (because people breathe even when they watch TV :P) and "a pressure switch under the sofa". I think, in the end, you'll have to combine all sorts of sensors and use some AI.

     

    I agree with your thoughts regarding presence detection. But then again what kind of presence detection we are discussing here? To what extent or level this should go? Is this presence detection regarding one room, house or do we need our HA to know exactly who is present as person?

     

    I just ordered two CO sensors, but do you really think that they can detect somebodies presence reliably enough?

     

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    13 minutes ago, Sankotronic said:

    (...)

    I just ordered two CO sensors, but do you really think that they can detect somebodies presence reliably enough?

     

     

    Not CO, but CO2.

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    Just now, petergebruers said:

     

    Not CO, but CO2.

     

    Yeah, I mixed them. :-P but question remains.

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  • The answer is simple here - not reliable enough :D You need to count in the reporting time of CO2 sensor. Ok, the CO2 goes up after few minutes while you are in, but when you leave without opening the window the room will not understand that you left. Ok with the sensor under the sofa, that is a good idea, but then there are chairs in the dinning room, chair in kids room... :D you would need a lot lot lot of presure sensors :D 

    The motion sadly is not good enough but that is the current state. I dont think any motion detector is able now to see you sitting on the sofa and reading :/ We just need to wait for the new verions of maybe Bluetooth LE chips so that we can integrate them in something that we wear daily (neckles, watch...) and to have sensors recognise the presence of the tag. MAybe that is the way :D

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    20 minutes ago, HomeSystem.sk said:

    The answer is simple here - not reliable enough :D You need to count in the reporting time of CO2 sensor. Ok, the CO2 goes up after few minutes while you are in, but when you leave without opening the window the room will not understand that you left. Ok with the sensor under the sofa, that is a good idea, but then there are chairs in the dinning room, chair in kids room... :D you would need a lot lot lot of presure sensors :D 

    The motion sadly is not good enough but that is the current state. I dont think any motion detector is able now to see you sitting on the sofa and reading :/ We just need to wait for the new verions of maybe Bluetooth LE chips so that we can integrate them in something that we wear daily (neckles, watch...) and to have sensors recognise the presence of the tag. MAybe that is the way :D

     

    Indeed. I think you really need a combination of sensors... The list of possible sensors is long, I will never get bored when I get to this project :-):-)

     

    I've ordered a MH-Z19, it's about 20 EUR but it is not e Z-Wave module. From the manual: "MH-Z19 NDIR infrared gas module is a common type, small size sensor, using non-dispersive infrared (NDIR) principle to detect the existence of CO 2 in the air, with good selectivity, non-oxygen dependent and long life. Built-in temperature sensor can do temperature compensation; and it has UART output and PWM output. It is developed by the tight integration of mature infrared absorbing gas detection technology, precision optical circuit design and superior circuit design.". I'll share my experience with you!

     

    Some other ideas:

    • Optical sensors: proven technology, either based on reflection or interruption of a beam. Needs careful positioning. Low WAF.
    • TOF "Time Of Flight" sensors - kind of LiDAR sensor. If the object reflects light, sensors exist that can measure the distance form 10 - 200 cm. I've sensor modules < 10 EUR. Might try one of those.
    • Capacitive sensors: a bit like the Fibaro Swipe. Put them under a seat. Prone to detect electromagnetic fields. I have a very old chip called "TTP223" and I use it for my battery powered LED sensors.
    • Infrared thermometers. Obviously depends on environmental conditions. But actually might work. Price of raw sensor < 10 EUR. I have a complete device, and it measure me at 28 degrees C from 1 m distance.
    • Ultrasone sensors. Old stuff, but they still exist. Detects solid objects but unfortunately not foolproof either: interference can trigger false detection. Cheap arduino modules exist that are used on robots.
    • Some say IR video chips exist, and with processing used in camera systems that should "recognise humans". I haven't seen a practical implementation though. Should work better than video processing in visible light. Can't find that claim anymore... Wait, wait... isn't that a KINECT?
    • If you have pets, it complicates matters even more...
    • Wearable stuff: phone (ping detect or posting position), bluetooth beacon stuff. May supplement other tracking and detection stuff, but on its own I think it is not good enough. Not tried a lot of things, I'm going by the reports on this forum.
    Edited by petergebruers
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    Hi @petergebruers @HomeSystem.sk,

     

    Even thou I like your thinking, still it would be kind of difficult to install all those sensors and make some AI that would be able to detect presence. I'm kind of going other way with cameras that can recognize faces. At the moment I'm testing Netatmo welcome camera. For now I have only one installed at the entrance door. In short it works! Of course since it is only one camera it can't see us all the time, but face recognition is really working.

     

    I still need to write scene that will for starters get info from this camera and some other sensors and if that proves to be effective I will then get one or two more to build presence system that will not only know that somebody is at home, but will know who is at home, so that my Angelina will then get even more intimate since she will be able to know to whom she speaks and addressing us with our names! :-) 

     

    I know, this is not cheap solution, but it gives maximum since cameras are like eyes so Angelina will be able to see us :-P What I don't like with this solution is that this cameras use cloud which doesn't really sound good for the protection of privacy.

     

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    6 minutes ago, Sankotronic said:

    Hi @petergebruers @HomeSystem.sk,

     

    Even thou I like your thinking, still it would be kind of difficult to install all those sensors and make some AI that would be able to detect presence. I'm kind of going other way with cameras that can recognize faces. At the moment I'm testing Netatmo welcome camera. For now I have only one installed at the entrance door. In short it works! Of course since it is only one camera it can't see us all the time, but face recognition is really working. (...)

     

    I agree. As face recognition has been built in camera's and mobile phones for years now, I do believe it is viable technology. I suspect you still need several cameras per room, because the system needs to see your face... Or did I not understand the working principle of this device? Anyway, that would still be much easier than a bunch of other devices :-)

     

    I've never researched this kind of device, so I've picked a random review. Would you say this article offers a balanced view?

     

    Please login or register to see this link.

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    Would it be possible to connect this stuff with an Fibaro UBS and a VD:

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    This is an infra-red sensor with thermopile array sensor. According to its advertisement it would detect people in a room even if they are not moving.

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    9 minutes ago, Alex said:

    Would it be possible to connect this stuff with an Fibaro UBS and a VD:

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    This is an infra-red sensor with thermopile array sensor. According to its advertisement it would detect people in a room even if they are not moving.

     

    I've seen that sensor mentioned before. Looks nice. No, it cannot connect to any Z-Wave device with the exception of a Z-Uno, because this sensor talks I2C only.

     

    Unit price is about $ 22.2 from digikey. It is also a non-stock item so it is probably made from "Unobtanium" ;-)

     

    As I understand it, it is actually a 8 x 8 pixel IR thermometer, so it can measure temperature differences. It would detect a human body as a "blob".

     

    EDIT: they have the 5 V "high gain" variant AMG8853 in stock (same price):

     

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    Edited by petergebruers
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    4 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

    As I understand it, it is actually a 8 x 8 pixel IR thermometer, so it can measure temperature differences. It would detect a human body as a "blob".

    For me that would fit.

    Detecting a "couch potato" blob would fit my needs ;)

     

    But putting this together with the UBS and a proper I2C all together in a nice box might work?

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    21 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

    I've never researched this kind of device, so I've picked a random review. Would you say this article offers a balanced view?

     

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    Yes, review is OK, they keep it fair and true. Regarding integration to HA, well I still have to play with it, but if Netatmo weather stations is successfully integrated I don't expect much trouble with camera too since it uses same approach. 

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    1 minute ago, Sankotronic said:

     

    Yes, review is OK, they keep it fair and true. Regarding integration to HA, well I still have to play with it, but if Netatmo weather stations is successfully integrated I don't expect much trouble with camera too since it uses same approach. 

    Thanks! Good luck!

    2 minutes ago, Alex said:

    For me that would fit.

    Detecting a "couch potato" blob would fit my needs ;)

     

    But putting this together with the UBS and a proper I2C all together in a nice box might work?

     

    I have three couch potatoes here, and I'm not one of them. LOL

     

    I glanced at the full datasheet from Panasonic. It does not contain the I2C registers and commands, I must be missing some general document describing that.

    As I2C interface you could use the typical "arduino", nodeMCU or ESP8266 but if you can afford it... a Z-Uno is fun to use ;-)

    Also, it comes in a leadless SMD package, the land pattern seems doable (1.27 pitch with "a twist" on the corner pins) but of course I have no idea about your soldering skills.

    I've never worked with a MEMS sensor, but I've seen this warning before: do not drop the individual device, it may damage the sensor. It's all about the g-factor.

     

    I've found one module on Aliexpress. About 120 Euro. That is not going to happen ;-) So there are no "Chinese clones"

     

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    TME sells that module for about 82 EUR inc VAT ex transport. Errrrrrr... Errrrrrr... MikroElektronika D.O.O. Belgrade. Made in Serbia:

     

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    Maybe...

     

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    A Fibaro UBS with 4 temperature sensors often sends these fake messages. Other devices like Aeon multisensors, Qubino units with temperature sensors never send false signals.

     

    fre 2017-07-28 01:39
    929 Trafo (Uterummet): Important! Sensor 929 Trafo detected high temperature. It may mean potential fire.

    fre 2017-07-28 04:09
    927 Tak (Uterummet): Important! Sensor 927 Tak detected high temperature. It may mean potential fire.

     

    The ambient temperature in the room was 16°C

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  • On 7/27/2017 at 3:37 PM, Sankotronic said:

    Hi @petergebruers @HomeSystem.sk,

     

    Even thou I like your thinking, still it would be kind of difficult to install all those sensors and make some AI that would be able to detect presence. I'm kind of going other way with cameras that can recognize faces. At the moment I'm testing Netatmo welcome camera. For now I have only one installed at the entrance door. In short it works! Of course since it is only one camera it can't see us all the time, but face recognition is really working.

     

    I still need to write scene that will for starters get info from this camera and some other sensors and if that proves to be effective I will then get one or two more to build presence system that will not only know that somebody is at home, but will know who is at home, so that my Angelina will then get even more intimate since she will be able to know to whom she speaks and addressing us with our names! :-) 

     

    I know, this is not cheap solution, but it gives maximum since cameras are like eyes so Angelina will be able to see us :-P What I don't like with this solution is that this cameras use cloud which doesn't really sound good for the protection of privacy.

     

     

    I do have netatmo camera in stock and I am about to test it abd make an review as I heard good feedback for it (the face recognition apparently works great.). If you manage to get the recognition work with Fibaro please share.

    I checked with Hikvision distributor here in Slovakia about possibility to use the picture motion sensor as a trigger in home automation but what I heard from them was that because it is picture based, every change would trigger a motion. That would not be good for alarm, but for home automation where you need to see every motion, even the small one the sopha, this could work. And of course, if you use "home - away" mode correctly that could control lighting and stuff. Not suitable for alarm, but as this topic cleared already, neither are motion sensors sometimes. 

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