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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?

1 Message

3 years ago

I am a little late to this game only because I just installed the system a couple of weeks ago and like many, only now tested the motion sensors.  I experienced the same issue as everyone.  I could do a jig in front of them and they would not trigger.  I called support.  Long story short, I had my motion sensors at about 6'.  The documentation, for those with animals over 30lbs says to mount at about 4' with the button side down.  I had all this correct except the height.  I have since lowered to 4', set the sensitivity to high and after a couple of tries, they are working much better, well in this case, actually triggering the alarm.  I will continue to test and see if anything changes but what is interesting is that the documentation isn't more 'demanding' that the sensors be 4'-5' off the ground when in dog/animal mode over 30lbs because the sensor now, in this configuration looks straight out and up, which makes sense with an animal running around.  I will also grant that their doc is CONFUSING because in some literature it states that the sensor 'knows' the difference between a human an animal, (body temp) but in the next line has a user install the motion sensor upside down.  SIMPISAFE, your system is great but clarification is certainly warranted here, clearer directives.

Tom

1 Message

3 years ago

Sorta wish I'd checked this before. I'm having the same problem. Got the system today and set it up. The first time I armed the system to Away and then walked in front of the motion sensor, I got the alarm. But repeated attempts after that have utterly failed. After that, I went several rounds with online SS support and then phone support and I got nothing at all that helped fixe the problem. And not a one of them even suggested that maybe the sensor was defective and they'd send me a new one. Really pathetic customer service. Now I'm trying to figure out whether it's worth my time to escalate this with SS to try to get a fix or just to send it back for a refund.

I'm leaning toward the refund because I was also astonished when I was told the cam doesn't actually tie into the base system. So, it's cool that it records video and might be able to identify a perp, but all of that would be after the fact because the cam doesn't actually activate the alarm. It's really not surprising when equipment made by one company doesn't work with systems designed by another. But what are we to think when equipment designed by SS simply doesn't work with the rest of the SS system? WTF??!? What kind of brain-dead strategy is this?

I'll probably send it all back for a refund and try to find a company that can actually implement a workable system instead of one that spends so much money on national adverts.

1 Message

3 years ago

I just installed the SS system, and based on the above comments and my own limited experience with the motion sensors, I am concerned.

Two questions:
1. Have you found the entry sensors to be reliable?
2. Does another company make a motion sensor that will work with the SS system?

Thanks.

Advocate

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725 Messages

3 years ago

1. I have found the entry sensors to be the most reliable of all components throughout two systems (SS2 and SS3). But that is my personal experience.

If you are referring to the Motion Sensors, I never had a single issue with any of them with the former system. With SS3, the only problem I have encountered in two months shy of three years is re-seating the battery in one in my home office. Even though a minor issue, the moment it happened, a second-time SimpliSafe replaced it without problem under warranty. I find them reliable as well, but I do suspect what you have read here is a case of manufacturing above all else. It appears those with the most problems purchased their alarms during a specific timeframe. However, that is just my best guess based upon the reliability others (such as myself) have experienced.

2. No, the Motion Sensors (as well as all other components) must be SimpliSafe if you want them to communicate/work with the system as intended.

8 Messages

3 years ago

I can't comment on inconsistent motion sensor results but I wanted to mention that the two motion sensors that came with my Amazon SimpliSafe system were DOA.  They did nothing.  So was a 3rd purchased separately from Amazon. I called SimpliSafe about this and was told I had to talk to Amazon.  Not so helpful SimpliSafe.  Fortunately Amazon agreed to credit me the $$ amount for buying the two motion sensors separately, and I returned the 3rd.

This is a reason to purchase SimpliSafe systems from SimpliSafe and not Amazon in case one of the many components doesn't work.

But then I purchased two motion sensors directly from SimpliSafe and they both work!  I've let them get used to their locations.  I don't recall what the sensitivity setting is but it's the default since I haven't changed it.  They both seem to largely do what they're supposed to.

So...buy these from SimpliSafe and not Amazon.

1 Message

3 years ago

So after first installing the system the motion sensor(s) appeared to have the same issues mentioned here. However, after climbing back up the ladder I realized upon looking closely at the white globe in front there was a lighter shade on half of it, almost clear looking. I thought, hmm that's probably the part it "senses' thru and figured I installed it upside down (I put the button down for convenience. After installing right side up and leaving and reentering the room I get the alarm. I'll continue to test and see if this fully resolved my issue.

Community Admin

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521 Messages

3 years ago

Hi @foxtroop11,

Yes, it sounds like you figured out your issue. For more information on where and how to install your Motion Sensors, you can go to this page in our Help Center.

SimpliSafe Social Team
SimpliSafe Home Security

1 Message

3 years ago

The motion sensors do not sense motion as advertised. Fortunately, I decided to run a test on the motion sensors after having this system installed and trusted for years now. The sensors do not work. I tried them in real mode and test mode. They work intermittently and when they work, the sensing range is not as advertised. I am so mad that I trusted this system for years. We always thought it is perfect as long as the door sensors are working properly and thankfully we never had any intrusion. I tried to diagnose the motion sensors with online support and like mentioned, they work intermittently and this can't be trusted!!! I am canceling my service for this reason.

Captain

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5.8K Messages

3 years ago

Before returning your motions, or cancelling service, I would suggest you confirm you understand how they work and how to properly test. I have six motions on the first floor, four upstairs and one in the garage.  They all work fine, and I test the entire system, including all sensors, every other month. First, I send a test signal from the keypad.  When I get the automated call from COPS, I opt to get a live agent and ask for my entire system to be placed on test for 2 hours. (Don't need anywhere near that time but do it as a standard.) Place system on home via my phone app, wait for about a minute, and then start the testing, one by one. ALL of the motions are on instant trigger, medium sensitivity. Placement of each has been determined by many years of experience (away from ducts, not pointing at windows with direct sunlight etc). All have been nothing short of reliable and accurate, save one that did break and was promptly replaced under warranty.

Can you get a bad one from SS? Absolutely but if you take the time to properly place, configure correctly and test, you should not have the scale of problems that are in this thread. And, btw, 24+ systems recommend out there and no one has told me of any issues with motions, with the exception of pets. That's another entirely separate topic.

Added comment: Wanted to expand on configuration.  All first floor motions are armed for home mode with 2nd floor not active. For Away, all motions are active.

1 Message

3 years ago

I have had the same problems. I have 4 motion sensors and they are completely unreliable. Sometimes they are triggered when I am 25 ft away sometimes they are not even when I wave my hand inches away from the sensor. If I walk slowly in front of them they don't get triggered. I kept re positioning them around the house but there is no way I can get them to work consistently. I called the tech support 3 times but they keep claiming that they have not heard of these problems. This is ridiculous with some many people complaining about the same thing. Now I am waiting to get the replacement sensors. I may decide to go with a different company in the future.

Advocate

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725 Messages

3 years ago

@DrDi

The Motion Sensors work best when you allow them to acclimate to the room's temperature before testing. I usually allot 2-3 minutes. Are you allowing for this "warm-up" period before testing?

Although many use them (I have not - I have kept mine of Medium factory setting with both the old system and new), they have a low, medium, and high sensitivity switch. If you slide the bracket sensor that attaches to the wall off, you will see it.

I have noticed the SS3 Motion Sensors are less sensitive than the previous ones. While it is not too much of a concern in my personal opinion (as they still work well enough that no one can enter a room or area without trigger), I previously could not come within 20-30 feet with SS2 Motion Sensors. I would say 10 feet on the medium setting is about right with SS3 in my personal experience.

1 Message

2 years ago

I have the same problem.

I have motion sensors, entry sensors and glass break sensors.

In the test mode all are recognized and test out ok, but  motion sensors do not pick up motion.

Community Admin

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5.3K Messages

@Donssafe21​ you might have already gotten the chance to read some of the responses from our community. But the first thing to keep in mind is how the Motion Sensor works:

It's really looking out for heat signatures that are moving around in the room. So in order for it to do that, it needs to 'scan' the room for ambient temperature. When testing your Motion Sensors, we strongly suggest walking out of the room completely for about 2 minutes, and when you come back into the room, you should be detected immediately.

If that doesn't help, we would also examine how the Motion Sensor is set up. The Motion Sensor has specific viewing angles that go 45 degrees left, right, and down, but it goes straight out at the top. Like so:

You'll know that the sensor is the right way up if the Test Button is on the top of the unit. If it's not, the sensor won't be able to see anything below its own level.
And if you're still having trouble after checking for the above factors, we strongly recommend that you give our Support team a call at 800-548-9508. They can take you through further troubleshooting, and even replace your sensor at no cost, if necessary.

2 Messages

2 years ago

Agree . I’ve tested mine several times . Only react when I physically go them. 

makes me want to try something else 

Community Admin

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5.3K Messages

@Sdoz90​ I'd like to hear more about what you mean by that. Are you saying that your Motion Sensor does work, but only at very close range?

1 Message

Ok people I have good news! I just finished installing my new system and sensors did not work at all unless I covered them with my hand. I turned them upside down per the pet setting. Do. Not. Do. This. Caused them to not work at all. I flipped all of my sensors back the other way and they are working now. My basement sensor even got me from 25 feet away. I feel much better now because a motion sensor is really the lifeblood of the system for away setting. Goodluck all!

This reply has been converted into a comment

1 Message

2 years ago

Ok people I have good news! I just finished installing my new system and sensors did not work at all unless I covered them with my hand. I turned them upside down per the pet setting. Do. Not. Do. This. Caused them to not work at all. I flipped all of my sensors back the other way and they are working now. My basement sensor even got me from 25 feet away. I feel much better now because a motion sensor is really the lifeblood of the system for away setting. Goodluck all!

This comment was created from this reply

Community Admin

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5.3K Messages

@mccason2014​ there's a couple of things to keep in mind.

First, when you arm your system (as well as you put your system into Test Mode), each Motion Sensor needs a minute or two to 'scan' the room for the ambient temperature. So if you're testing, you always want to walk completely out of view first, wait 2 minutes, then walk in.

The second piece is that you can definitely set your Motion Sensor upside-down, but you must also lower it to human height (so about 4.5ft). This is because the viewing angle normally points down; if you have it pointed up, and if it's too high, it won't be able to see you. Here's what that looks like:

Captain

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5.8K Messages

2 years ago

@hanlulyman The motion sensors, once the system is armed, do take about 5 minutes to become fully funcitonal. During the "warm up" period, the sensor will scan the area being covered to determine the temperature in each area.  It is that temperature base reading that is used to set off the alarm with a warm blooded person coming into its field of view.  Based on how high you mounted the sensor (or upside down if you have pets) and the sensisitivity switch will all have effect on how far and where the sensor will cover. I made an offer to seattlejem and will make the same to you, feel free to direct message me and will be more than happy to try and assist.

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