SmartThings to HE known issues?

Let us know how it goes when you get started. :slight_smile:

Got the hub 3 days ago. Finished migrating all devices from ST and did some basic dashboards. Currently migrating the automation.

Hit a few issues along the way, most of them minor and already fixed: the HE community has been very helpful and responsive.

Planning on posting a summary of differences, pros/cons, and gotchas when the migration is completed, to help others.

Great, glad you've gotten through the initial transition.

I assume (hope) you've found Smartly if your playing with dashboards... :slight_smile:

Let us know if you find any cons. Most of the time people run into a problem and just think it can't be done but I have yet to find any limitations. There are a ton different ways to work in things here. Most people rush strait into RM4 but should really be doing the rule in Motion Lighting or Simple Automation. If you want some sample rules for ideas just ask and you'll get a lot of good stuff to get you started.

I have a neighbor that walks her dog and stopped by my house every morning to let her dog crap next to my truck. I got tired of it and setup my cameras to recognize her and turn on the front yard sprinklers immediately if they see her. She walks her dog on the other side of the street now. I think she realized how I have it setup because she stopped just outside my yard in a zone that the camera can't quite recognize her and let her kid go out in front of her to see if the sprinklers would come on. Of course they didn't so she thought the coast was clear. Two steps later they came on and she threw her hands up and crossed the street from my neighbors driveway.

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OMG I needed that laugh this morning with the neighbor walking the dog..

Main issue so far is unable to get up to date state for 15 z-wave switches & dimmers and making things much worse by attempting to fix this: now unable to control 8 of the devices.

Nice :grinning:! AWS DeepLens or something else?

I've completed the bulk of the migration and hoping to complete the last few items this week if all goes well. While I had a few days of major z-wave network instabilities, everything has been working fine for the past couple days.

As promised, a summary of my experience moving from SmartThings (ST) to Hubitat Elevation (HE) in case that can help others make an informed decision and/or perform a migration.

Migration experience:

  • The HE community has been impressively responsive. If it wasn't for the community I'd have returned the hub after a couple days. For most of my issues I had a working solution in place in a matter of hours.
  • Removing a device from ST does not remove it from Alexa. Had to manually delete a large number of devices. Don't know if ST or Alexa bug. Thankfully:
    • If a device with the same name is created in HE and exposed to Alexa, it overwrites the ST ghost device (no dupes)
    • Remaining device entries in Alexa can be removed from the web UI alexa.amazon.com & lingering ST devices were marked SmartThings (could do a search on the devices page). Makes it much faster than using the Alexa companion app.
  • Same goes with ST scenes. They stay here, even when removing the ST skill from Alexa. Here again alexa.amazon.com came to the rescue
  • moving z-wave devices from one hub to the other was a major PITA. Took me 2 days.
    • need to be really careful on which order the devices are moved since devices need to be close enough to nodes (= powered devices) of both mesh networks at the time of move.
    • need to physically touch and sometimes open each device, which in my case was not always practical: moving furniture, climbing ladders, etc.
    • Once you have physical access to device, the time spent to move the device varies a lot (for both removing from ST and adding to HE)
    • I was not able to determine what impacts the duration variability: same brand, device type, room can take from a few magical seconds to 15 minutes of cursing.
    • On average, spent 6 minutes per device. YMMV.
    • Z-wave mesh was very unstable after the move. Was getting busy messages in logs and the switch/dimmer devices were not responding to commands. I wasn't able to figure out why. Z-wave repair wasn't helping, same with stopping polling (more on this later). Rebooting the hub was only giving a short respite. It cleared itself after a couple days, possibly when I removed and added back some of the devices that appeared to have issues even after hub reboots.
  • GE z-wave regular (not plus) switches/dimmers don't report their physical state changes (paddle presses), while GE z-wave plus switches/dimmers do. Other devices, including battery powered ones (contact switches, motion sensors) don't appear to have the same issue. For ST this was transparent , they appear to do polling behind the scenes automatically to mask the difference. Not the case with HE: you end up with incorrect device statuses, such as light showing as on when it's off and vice-versa. Workarounds:
    • replace the devices. In my case impractical (over $600)
    • install the poller app. It's an app that polls the problematic devices every 10s. It could have been what rendered my mesh unstable, even after I stopped the poller. So I'm reluctant to try and turn it back on again.
    • Poll in your automation when needed. For example in webcore "if motion switches to active and light is on then ..." became "if motion is active, then poll light, then wait 10s, then if light is on, then ..."
    • I haven't yet solved "if light stays on more then x minutes then ...". Maybe I'll create recurring tasks to do it.
  • WebCORE works the same for ST and HE. I considered converting my pistons to Rules Machine but it appeared to not be straightforward (different logic) and there were a lot to migrate, so stayed in WebCORE. If you take anonymized snapshots of the pistons before removing the devices from ST and use the restore option, migration is much simpler. I found out about it late in the game.
  • IFTTT: now that they've moved to a subscription model, can't add new applets. And can't edit my existing applets to target HE devices instead of ST ones. For example I had applets to change status of virtual devices for Wyze on camera detection and MyQ for opening/closing garage doors. Undecided what I'll do about these yet. Move to another platform, create additional IFTTT accounts, use hubconnect?
  • The rest of the migration was uneventful. Pretty much every cloud integration worked right away, concepts are somewhat similar, etc.

Post migration pros:

  • Got back life360 and echo speaks. Both were no longer working for me in ST.
  • Everything that doesn't depend on knowing the state of GE z-wave non-plus switches or dimmers just works. Every automation I could do before I can do now. That includes WebCORE, Sonos, etc.
  • All devices that I tried to migrate got migrated successfully. I only have a few left, because I didn't try to migrate them yet.
  • The same device can appear in multiple dashboards (vs. limited to one room in ST). For example I have my motion devices in security dashboard, then in their associated room's dashboard, then in the weather dashboard (they report temperature). That's awesome.
  • Can customize to some extent how a device appears in a dashboard: color, background pic and template. This is something I missed when ST did its forced migration to the new app and removed support for custom icons.
  • No more duplicates & garbage imported in Alexa. Can choose what to export. That was a big plus. Ended up cleaning up a lot of cruft.
  • Web UI support means one can have multiple tabs/windows when setting up stuff. Something cannot do in an app unless you have multiple phones or emulators. Although the couple days of z-wave instability were not enjoyable, I really appreciated being able to have tabs on devices, z-wave status, settings (to reboot), dashboard opened at the same time.
  • family members no longer need to install an app to access the automation. Also, can create custom dashboards for some members, such as kids, and they don't have to know other dashboards exist.
  • (The same may also exist in ST, in which case I just didn't know about it). The Hubitat package manager is awesome. Similar to apt on Linux or chocolatey on windows. Installing and upgrading MyQ, echo speaks, WebCORE with it.
  • The Web UI for apps and drivers is better than ST's web UI for the same. Also it's nice to have it all in one place vs. ST that had some as web UI and some as mobile app.
  • Having it local has a number of pros:
    • more control on when to update firmware (didn't have a chance to try it yet)
    • should make some automated tasks run faster due to fewer roundtrips. I haven't been able to observe yet.
    • privacy/security. For example can make some dashboards local only. That pretty cool.

Post migration cons: (some could be because I haven't figured out yet the solution)

  • z-wave non-plus GE dimmers/switches don't report status, meaning these need to be polled. This happened automatically in ST and is not happening by default in HE. Tried the z-wave poller app (polls every 10s), but stopped as it may have been responsible for my z-wave woes. Don't have a working solution for this yet. If you have those, then think twice before migrating.
  • dashboards
    • Tiles don't auto-resize based on screen size. So tiles on phone are huge. My phone screen fits 1.5x2.5 tiles (6 tiles, with 4/6 of the tiles half truncated). In the old ST UI the same phone fits 9 devices on a screen. In the new one it's 6. In both cases with no truncation.
    • Tile templates are limited to a small (IMHO) non-customizable list. So people can create custom drivers & apps but cannot have custom templates for their custom devices. I don't understand why there's such a limitation yet.
    • The tile functions are limited. For example, can't see device history or customize device from dashboard. Need to go on the devices page for this. This may be intentional but I still miss it regardless.
    • Dashboards are slow to load, which is surprising since it's all local. E.g. it takes 3 seconds to load a dashboard with 5 dashboard tiles (therefore no device statuses to load). Same load time on a beefy PC on the same LAN as the hub.
    • Tiles aren't nice looking by default. They are ways to hack the CSS to improve them that I haven't tried yet.
    • There no built-in support for differentiating local vs. cloud dashboards. E.g. if you want to change the picture that gets loaded in a tile depending on local or remote dashboard, need to create the same dashboard twice or play some DNS games.
  • Didn't find an equivalent of ST "room history", that is the history of a group of devices, which is something I used often. Can only see history per device (click on device, go to events).
  • Other issues are minor/trivial. Such as no "Alexa scenes" integration (Hubitat scenes are something else), therefore have to manually create virtual switches and plumb them to change modes. Not a huge deal, but still a little more work.
3 Likes

Column Width and Row Height are what you are looking for. Click the gear in the upper right corner and then options.

The attributes tab exposes just about anything you could want to know about a device.

It polls the devices to get their status on load. There are ways to speed it up just depends on how you use them.

I agree. That's why there's Smartly. Click the gear in the upper right, select the advanced tab, copy the lines of code there into the Smartly Editor make some changes to icons and such and then paste it back in.

It even adds drag and drop!

Click on the 3 dots for a tile and then click History at the top of the window.

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That not at all similiar to room history, that in hubitat would be history for items in ( for instance a dashboard set up to show all devices in a room), which I agree would be very usefull.

Also missing a history of say notifications sent out ordered by time in one place,, That also, was nice in st.

do you have "use all your devices" selected? If so unselect and only select your devices per dashboard, otherwise you are loading everyone of your devices.

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Is there a recommendation on what to put to get it to auto-resize based on display?
Keeping the default means too-big-for-phone tiles & putting for empty for auto-resize renders it unreadable.

What I meant is that there is no way to add new templates for cases where there's no existing templates that properly handles the custom device specificities. For example I have a device that records CO2, PM2.3, TVOC, etc. For that device a custom template similar to weather that puts it all on one tile would be nice. Similarly for a raspberry pi device, having a template to display SD card remaining, CPU, temp, etc in one tile. A USB rocket launcher tile would have 3 buttons/icons (left, right, fire), etc.

I'm looking for the aggregate history for all the devices displayed in a dashboard. For example the history of a dashboard with all the devices in a given room would say that the light was turned on, then motion detected, then the door was opened. It answers the question "when did something last happen in the room". The history of a dashboard with all motion sensors in a house would answer the question "when and where did we see movement in the house". It's pretty handy for some scenarios :wink:

Depends on your phone and what resolution you have configured. I have mine set to high res and for 4 columns fits with 135 for column width. Phones with default res somewhere around 85 to 130 width would work for 3 columns.

Might give @Cobra app Super Tile a try. I haven't used it but I think this would give you a more customizable tile.

Well, they delisted the thread on SmartThings and assume it will be locked next. But my comment there stands:

Hubitat+SmartTools+{Lots of Hours} > SmartThings+ActionTiles+Pi+{Lots of Hours}

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Great guide. One additional note that is probably worth adding to your z-wave bullets: it's best to first remove the z-wave devices from the existing net (using ST), from farthest away to nearest. Then add them back (using HE) from nearest to farthest. If you don't remove them first, you may lost the ability to communicate with the most distant devices, resulting in needing to do a device reset to add them back in - which can be really tricky depending on the device.

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Yes! That's what I tried to convey with

but you explain it in much simpler terms :slight_smile:

FYI, I was able to make it work with a virtual contact.

  1. Create a virtual contact + switch device driver in Hubitat using below code
metadata {
	definition (name: "Virtual Contact and Switch", namespace: "vdbg", author: "vdbg") {
		capability "Sensor"
		capability "Contact Sensor"
        capability "Switch"
	}   
}

def on() {
    sendEvent(name: "contact", value: "closed")
    sendEvent(name: "switch", value: "on")
}

def off() {
    sendEvent(name: "contact", value: "open")
    sendEvent(name: "switch", value: "off")
}

def installed() {
}
  1. Enable IFTT integration in MyQ: IFTTT Garage Door Opener Integration | myQ
  2. Hook up the switch with MyQ through IFTTT
  • MyQ door opened => switch closed
  • MyQ door closed => switch opened
  1. when setting up the MyQ app in Hubitat, select the virtual contact & switch device as the contact sensor.

The caveats being that IFTTT's free tier is limited to 3 applets (and this takes 2), and MyQ is hinting they also want to go in the subscription business. But for the time being it works: able to use the Garage door with the "Garage (Control)" tile template in dashboards and both open/close and status work as intended.

(I get no credit for the idea; adapted it from here)

Cobra's Super Tile helped indeed. Thanks for the suggestion!

I successfully completed the migration of 320 devices (mix of: Z-wave, Zigbee, LAN, cloud) this week-end. Only one wasn't (Samsung TV). Decided I could live without it :stuck_out_tongue:
Unplugged the ST hub since it's no longer used.

Thanks a lot everyone for all the help and advices!

3 Likes

Man that's a whole lot of devices :slight_smile: Makes my setup like a hut lol

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