Daughter dropped SmartThings motion sensor, now only reports temp

So.. my daughter came by for a visit and was joking around about my Smart Home and all my little sensors everywhere. She picked up my living room motion sensor and accidentally dropped it on the hardwood floor.

This is a SmartThings motion sensor, latest version.

My wife noticed that our lamps weren't triggering on motion for a couple weeks. We could still turn them on/off via Alexa commands, so I chalked it up to maybe a Hubitat issue with Simples Rules Automation after all the recent hub updates and figured it would settle down at some point or I'd look more deeply into the situation.

Changing my motion sensor in my automation app to a different one (Office Motion Sensor) proved that the Hubitat rule was running as written and has always run without flaw in the past. Switching back to the Living Room Motion sensor yielded the same problem of nothing happening.

Looking at the Devices page for Hubitat, I saw that the state for the Living Room Motion sensor was showing as Active non-stop. I took out the batteries and reset the sensor, but got the same thing: motion state Active non-stop. Looking at the device events show that only temperature is being reported by the sensor.

Is there any hope in fixing this sensor?

For the time being, I've renamed the sensor "ST Temp Only" and removed it from my Lighting Automation. I figure if the motion part can't be fixed somehow, I can always use it as a generic temp sensor and possible integrate it into the Ecobee Hubitat app if I ever use it in the future.

Thanks for any ideas!


Funny enough the same thing happened to me this week with the same results, I was testing a location by placing the sensor on top of a door ledge (so my fault) and when the door slammed shut, the thing fell onto the hard floor. Same results, temperature works but stuck as active :frowning:

It wouldn't be so bad if they weren't out of stock of course

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Interesting, I guess I've been quite lucky. I have one SmartThings motion sensor that sits on a small ledge on my porch, and it has fallen quite a few times about 5 feet to a wooden floor and still functions appropriately. It looks like it's time to put a little Velcro on the back of that one. Thank you for the nudge!

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Same - dropped one a couple weeks ago (it fell about 9') and it didn't come back. I was surprised how fragile it was. Very sad as you can't really find them any more. We had a small memorial ceremony w/the neighbors (distanced/masked) and scatted its ashes over my SmartThings hub.


Even easier

This stuff is amazing. Sticks like crazy, comes off clean, and a little dab'll do ya. I have a tablet stuck to a wall with a BB size dab of this stuff in each corner. When pressed to the wall I'm guessing the BB flattened to the size of a dime.

I would take it apart to see if the sensor orientation to the lens has changed. A fall would only damage the device if a connection/component broke OR the sensor is no longer in alignment with the lens.

I've not seen the insides of a SmartThings motion sensor, perhaps there is a small connector inside that came loose.


How does the loctite (HATE silly spelling!!) keep once you've opened it. I like the idea, but figured I'd use a tiny bit and then the rest of it would turn in to brick before I needed any more...

Nope, it stays good for years. I've had the pack for at least 8 and it's good as new. The stuff is reusable, too. I've moved stuff that was attached with it and I've put it back in the package and reused sometime later. All I've ever done is roll it between my fingers to get a fresh surface when reusing.

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Damn...so it'll still be here w/the cockroaches at the very end. Now I'm scared of it. :wink:


I went ahead and opened up the SmartThings Motion Sensor and took it apart. Surprising how little there actually is inside the thing. A small circuit board with the PIR sensor mounted in the middle of it. I was able to remove the multifaceted dome and the little black square (sensor) wasn't cracked or or loose. I popped the dome back on and reset the sensor to factory default. It didn't help.

Interestingly enough, after doing this, the Device manager status only shows Temperature now. It doesn't even report the false positive "Active" like it used to.

I now how a temp sensor.

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Most likely the motion sensor pins broken at the solder area. Happened to me when I tried changing the battery. Soldered the pin back and it's good as as also new.
Also did the same thing with my Iris v2 motion sensor. Getting old and clumsy :sob:

I'm pretty much clueless regarding circuit boards, etc.

Are the pins on the back of the board? How would I tell if one is broken?

The motion sensor doesn't work.


Sorry - I'm pretty close to you in the "clueless about PCBs" category, so I couldn't resist. I'm very interested in this discussion, as I think I put my broken sensor in a "to be recycled" pile and may fish it out pending your results. :slight_smile:

I'm sure you can find pics on the internet showing good/bad/cold/broken solder joints and device leads.

I can take some pics for the ST sensor tomorrow if you want. It will be hard if you don't have a small solder iron though.
Here's the Iris sensor.

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Thank you very much! I appreciate the time to take the photos. I will check my sensor. I understand now how the pins poke through and stick out the back.

Rather than just a visual inspection you should power the sensor and jiggle the part to see if it will trigger. If it does that's the culprit otherwise check to see if there are any missing components which might have fallen off the board, also use a non conductive stick (eg the end of a paintbrush) to poke at the components as well to check for cracked solder joints.

I've had the Iris sensors fall and break one of the battery tabs. Fragile seems to be the word of the day for motion sensors. :wink:

So I went to open mine to change it's batteries just yesterday, and I'm not stuck on "active". I didnt' even drop it.
But for me active means it's triggering in HE basically every 10 seconds. Is that what you are seeing?

I was hoping, assuming, it is because of low battery as I just ordered some new ones to arrive.

My battery was showing good, but I have an extra one. I will swap it out and see if that does the same thing as you.