‎Test Mode, what is expected behavior? | SimpliSafe Support Home
jonny_gogo's profile

Saturday, June 5th, 2021 1:43 AM

Test Mode, what is expected behavior?

I see how to place the system into test mode via the key pad. Having done so, how should I expect the sensors to work and how should I expect the base station to register sensor activity?

In other words, after placing the system into test mode, do all the sensors then behave just as they would if the system were "on'?  So I should be able to walk by a motion sensor and expect to hear from the base station that motion was detected?  And if I do NOT hear such notification, that means the sensor did not detect me?

Is there any programming that prevents a sensor from registering activity repeatedly during a single test session?  

I ask because I felt like the base station failed to announce sensor activity at times when I was right in front of the motion sensor. Or else I'd trip a sensor, then walk in front of it again at the same spot in the room just 30 seconds later and get nothing.

Things improved after setting sensitivity to high for three of four sensors, but I was a little surprised I needed to do so. If it matters, the rooms are on the larger size and this is the family room and kitchen, which are open to each other. Maybe open spaces make it harder to see the heat??

The low setting on the motion sensors must be for people who have Great Danes they leave at home while the system is in away mode . . . well actually if you have a Great Dane you probably don't need the alarm.

Community Admin


5.5K Messages

3 years ago

Hi Jonny Gogo,

Yes, the Test Mode from your Keypad is somewhat of a simulated alarm mode. If you trigger each sensor, that will prompt the Base Station to announce its type. For example, if you open a door, the Base Station will say "Entry Sensor".

But it's important to also know how the Motion Sensor works. Ours is the "passive infrared" type; that means it's looking out for heat-generating objects that are moving around in the room. In order for it to do that, it needs to scan the environment to determine the ambient temperature - so it can tell the difference between the room and an intruder.
So when testing, you'll want to walk out of the room entirely, and wait a couple of minutes. Once you walk back in, you should be detected right away.

And if not, the other possibility is that you're not quite in the field of view when you walk in. At medium sensitivity, Motion Sensor has an effective range of about 30ft, and as you might know , the viewing angles go left, right at 45° (so you get a full 90 horizontally). But a lot of people don't know that it also angles down at 45°. That means there's somewhat of a blind spot directly below the sensor - and most crucially, the higher the sensor is on the wall, the bigger that blind spot gets.
That's why we suggest placing the sensor at about 5ft from the floor. That way, even at pretty closer range, it can still catch most adult-sized humans.

- Johnny M.
SimpliSafe Home Security

56 Messages

3 years ago

@Johnny M.

Thanks for the explanation.  In most cases, I probably was not waiting long enough in some cases for the motion sensor to first understand the ambient, baseline environment before moving into its field of view.

We have no pets and live in a mostly shaded area, so we don't have bright spots of sun coming into the house. And we have a heat pump, so the vents generally are never pumping out hot air - although of course I'll have to wait till winter to really know how the heat system might affect the sensors.  For example, I wonder if in the dead of winter when the emergency heat comes on and THEN we might get some hot air from the vents, if that might trigger a sensor.  

So I ended up setting all the sensors to high sensitivity.  I can confirm, they are indeed pretty sensitive.  My 40lbs son tried slowly belly-crawling around, a fun test lol, and except for a few expected areas where furniture cast a dead-zone shadow, he was detected.

I probably should go back to medium sensitivity and do a few more patient tests, being sure to allow sufficient time for the sensor to get the baseline before testing it.

I might assume, also, that a given motion sensor will not continually trigger. So when I test by entering a sensor's field of view, trigerring the notification, I should not expect to be able to leave the room and re-enter 5 seconds later and get another trigger - which is what I was doing.
New to the Community? Get started by reading our Welcome Article and please be sure to review our Community Guidelines before posting.