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Monday, June 8th, 2020 9:51 PM

Motion Sensor Does Not Work Consistently.

I installed the system about two weeks ago. I tested the system several times. The entry sensors work pretty well during those tests but the motion sensor and the glass break sensor don't give consistent results. I placed the motion sensor in a core location (dining area) of my house, which connects the family room, bedroom and study room. It is about 5-6 feet up on a corner of a wall.

The motion sensor claims to detect motion within 30 feet, but in all my test runs, the motion sensor will not detect anything until I am about 10 - 12 feet away from it. Sometimes it won't even detect anything at all. I once set it in Away mode and the motion sensor did not trigger the alarm as I walked slowly across the entire area. I am now very concerned that either this one is a defect or SimpliSafe motion sensor just doesn't work, in which case is a major drawback of the system.

Anybody else had this issue or have any solutions?

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

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10 Points

3 years ago

^ The claim that the motion sensor doesn't pick up pets is not true.

For kitties, mount your motion sensor upside-down (test button on bottom).  6 feet up the wall should be ok, but you might test at 5 feet and go up from there once you turn it upside down (test with kitties in the room, preferably if they are active and get on furniture etc, so you can determine if they are setting them off).  If mounted upside down, the "view" will be straight out and up, as opposed to mounting upside-right, which the view will be straight out and down.  The goal is for the motion sensor to detect heat signatures from humans at that level (and yes, depending on the pet, it could detect them as well).

There is also a sensitivity switch inside the motion detector, take it off it's back plate and you'll see the switch can be changed to L, M, H. (low, med, high).  Start at medium sensitivity and test with the kitties in the room, and if they set them off, then turn the switch to low.  If they still set them off, put your sensors higher up the wall slightly and test again.  Also test with you or another human in the room so you can determine if they will be tripped at the height and sensitivity level you've chosen (which is the goal, to catch a human heat signature, but not a pet's).

If the kitties continue to set them off, you can always opt for the "secret alert" option, if you're subscribed to the interactive monitoring plan.  This will send you an alert to your phone if the sensor is tripped, but the alarm won't sound and monitoring will not call you.  This can be a good option to use while you determine optimal placement of the sensors where they won't be tripped by pets.

Other causes of tripped motion sensors:  ceiling fans, heat/ac registers nearby a sensor, intermittent sunlight through a window, drapes moving on a window, even a bug on the lens.

1 Message

3 years ago

My Motion Sensor status shows "Off-Line", all other devices (including other Motion sensors) are working fine
What does it mean? How to fix it?

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

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10 Points

3 years ago

^ Not sure about the "off-line" error, but you can try to re-seat the battery, or replace with a fresh one and see if that resolves the error.  Be sure to test the sensor after you replace the battery.

If the issue continues, write down the serial number of the sensor and keep it handy, then from your online control panel in your device list (or via the keypad if you have SS3), delete the sensor, click "save changes" at the bottom of the page, then re-add the sensor with the serial number you wrote down prior, click "save changes" again, the base station should announce it was successful.  Again, test the sensor anytime you make changes like that.

If that doesn't work, you could have a faulty sensor, call SS for a replacement if you're under the 3-yr warranty.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

3 years ago

They are not really "motion" sensors, but "change in heat" sensors.  So the first thing to keep in mind is to give it a few minutes to adapt to the "normal" temperature.

1 Message

3 years ago

N/A

1.3K Messages

3 years ago

Haven't tested the theory but I've long speculated repeated attemps at testing over short periods may temporarily desensitize that type of sensor.

3 Messages

3 years ago

Here's what I can add to the story.

I set up the system with three motion sensors about one year ago.  I installed and tested it according to the booklet; everything checked out.

A few weeks ago I accidentally discovered the sensors were all but blind.  After reading through the blurbs here, I went through some careful testing.  I am an electrical engineer whose 35+ year career was in sensor system design, analysis, and test.

I called up SimpliSafe and they shipped me three new motion sensors.  I went through the uninstall/reinstall process, and the installation results were the same as when I first installed the system; everything checked out.

I have to say I haven't seen anything on this site that I believe is a logical explanation.  InfraRed (IR) sensors are usually cheap and robust, and I don't know why they should degrade so significantly over such a short time.  There may be a software issue, but usually those can be reset by removing the battery, which did not help here.

At any rate, if your motion sensors are acting up and they are still under warranty, get them replaced.  Until the problem is identified, the system should be tested regularly.  I was a bit lax on that, but this is certainly a wake-up call, since there is no indication when the units started to fail.  Note that pressing the button on the sensor in test mode establishes the link with the base unit, but as the instructions say, you have to test with actual motion.  Leaving the room for 15 seconds, as the instruction book says, will do the trick if the sensors are working.  Two minutes is not required or helpful.

Good luck -
Fred

6 Messages

3 years ago

Check the device setup!
I got two replacement motions sensors from SimpliSafe because the original units didn't seem to be working consistently.

While adding them to the system, I noticed a device setting available on the system control panel: scroll down in the motion sensor device menu, and there's a setting that says "Instant Trigger" -- it is set to "off" by default.

I set it to "on" for each of my motion sensors -- they now work fine!

There's no reference to this setting in the setup manual that shipped with the system.  

I'm guessing the default setting ("off") has a time delay to prevent nuisance triggering.  (Just a guess -- it would be nice if SimpliSafe would explain this in the installation manual for the system.)

I hope this is helpful.

3 Messages

Your comment about the instant trigger setting is interesting.  I have never used that setting, so my direct observation that replacing the sensors solves the problem is still valid.  As I said, I don't know why these sensors would "go bad" - and your observation would tend to point to a software issue.  But I did try de-installing and re-installing one of the old motion sensors, in addition to changing its battery, to try to clear software problems in either the device or the base unit.  No luck.

I did get a false alarm on one of the old sensors, so I'm not keen on using something called "Instant Trigger", but perhaps I'll experiment with it when I have some time to kill.  I have been curious about the apparent lag or latency throughout the system, but haven't been able to isolate that issue because of the erratic sensor performance.

If I come up with anything I'll update this post.  It would be helpful if SS gave a better description of what exactly the instant trigger setting does - and for that matter, what the default motion sensor setting does.

1 Message

you are correct, I set my sensor to instant, and the second I came into view, siren, from 20 feet away, set to medium

54 Messages

3 years ago

FYI, your motion sensors never will work properly.  This issue has persisted for years, and SS will do nothing to correct the issue, other than sending new sensors, which are no better, when you complain.  It's cheaper for SS than putting out a quality product, and SS is doing this intentionally.

Advocate

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724 Messages

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20 Points

My experience as a customer of 7 years is that the motion sensors work, work well, and work as intended (with both SS2 and SS3). They have in test mode and Home and Away settings (always learned by accident, i.e., housekeeper or house guests). The only issue I encountered was in my home office, which gave a message of "Motion sensor is not responding. Visit simplisafe.com/help or call" that was March of 2019 and removing the battery and placing it right back in quickly cleared the error and resolved the issue.

At this point, I am wondering if the problems are the date of manufacture related. For reference, I replaced my old system with the "All-New SimpliSafe" in March 2018. Perhaps the quality declined at some point after that.

Community Admin

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520 Messages

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10 Points

3 years ago

Hi @fred.flitzhoff,

Instant Trigger is a pretty simple setting that does just one thing. When Instant Trigger is turned on for a sensor, if that sensor is tripped it will skip the Entry Delay and immediately sound the siren on your system instead of having the keypad beep first. For more information on what all of the settings for your devices do, please visit our Help Center.

SimpliSafe Social Team
SimpliSafe Home Security

3 Messages

3 years ago

Thanks!  So I assume it has no effect whatsoever in test mode.  Is that correct?
Fred

Community Admin

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520 Messages

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10 Points

3 years ago

Correct. Since Instant Trigger only affects if a sensor observes the system's Entry Delay before triggering an alarm, it has no effect in Test Mode.

SimpliSafe Social Team
SimpliSafe Home Security

1 Message

Don't believe any of SS's comments here.  Just switched from ADT to SS to save on monthly monitoring fees.  The motion detectors are totally unreliable....tested in different positions, different sensitivity levels, all to no avail.  Sometimes they work, most of the time they don't.   All the negative comments here are 100% accurate.  This is crappy equipment and customer service is USELESS!!!!  The tech support staff can never answer your questions, and have to put you on hold for 10 minutes why they check with someone else.   Returning all this crap and going back to ADT.  That's what I get for trying to save a few bucks.  Lesson learned.

Advocate

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724 Messages

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20 Points

3 years ago

@mattyoh65

While there is no question many are having problems with the Motion Sensors, it is not a statement you can make that the component is unreliable. Some of us have Motion Sensors that work correctly, which leans toward some with reliability and some without dependability. While I feel for those with issues (at one point or another, we all have had them with the alarm over years of ownership), to state 100% negative comments as accurate is merely untrue.

Again, I empathize with those with problems and the attempt to find out precisely what is causing them. As I mentioned in my post above, perhaps it comes down to a manufacturing issue and is the manufacture date. I had no problems with my Motion Sensors from 2013-2018 with SS2, and I have not had any beyond a single unresponsive sensor (which reseating the battery fixed) since March 2018 with SS3. There is a problem (clearly), and perhaps SS can rule out or pinpoint the manufacturing/date of manufacture if those dates of purchase are shared.

The answer is getting to the solution, and a great majority of times over the years, we, the customers, and not SimpliSafe have accomplished and provided answers gone unsolved. It is not what we should expect, but it is what we have come together and always done.

3 years ago

I just had the same issue on a brand new system. System showed the device was okay. Waved my hand in front of it, nothing. Deleted it and readded it, seems to be working now. Will take it back if it continues... which sucks. I like it so far. I'd rather more tech and smart features, but if it works, seems best at what it does.

Captain

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5.7K Messages

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130 Points

3 years ago

@ SimplySus..  My SS3 system has six motion sensors on the 1st floor alone; three more on the 2nd, one in the garage and all work fine.  Yes, you may have a defective one or two, but all? Here are some suggestions on testing your motions.

First, make sure all of your motions to be tested are set to alarm for away mode..
Second, arm your system on away and be in part of the house not covered by a motion.
Third, have your phone or keyfob in hand, and then after waiting about 3-5 minutes, walk into an area your motion sensor is covering.
4th shut off alarm quickly.

You will not get a call from monitoring if you shut it off quickly. Want to test monitoring? Don't shut off the alarm but make sure you have your phone with you.

Yes, the sensors work on a heat signature and must "map" the area being covered with existing temps.  You can also test your motions by hitting the test button on top of the sensor, wait 3-5 minutes and then walk through the area and the base will say "motion sensor" but I like my method better.

If your motions do not test properly, call support.  Please post your outcome here after your test.
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