Who uses a PICO in their car?

I connected a HomeLink receiver to the inputs of a Zooz ZEN17. I use it to arm my alarm system from the car. Works great. But had I thought about the Pico that would have been a much simpler solution.


Only $3.18 at Home Depot!!!! :grinning:


What protocol. ZigBee doesn't really rejoin the mesh fast enough to use as a garage door opener. Bluetooth would work if it connects through your phone I guess but honestly that can be frustrating too due to the slow speed of the Hubitat app remotely.

I bought some RF remotes to connect to a MHCozy momentary ZigBee switch, but the second I did that a ghost moved into my garage door opener and does the absolutely weirdest stuff now. Back to square one, maybe a Switchbot bot on the physical button (which currently doesn't work due to that momentary switch after trying to connect RF to it).

Why are garage doors so difficult?

Sure it does. That’s why @iharyadi’s car arrival sensor works so well to raise garage doors.

1 Like

I've had varying degrees of luck using Iris V1 key fob which I believe is a presence sensor. I always ended up sitting at the door waiting after I push the button, than I end up hitting it too many times and the garage door gets crabby with me.

@iharyadi's is presence sensor is amazing... Making a believer out of me. Zigbee-based.

1 Like

@jnosa899, I just want to clear up something about ZigBee specifically about the rejoining delay. I hope it help to understand the mechanic of how a ZIgbee device rejoin work.

Irish FOB is powered by battery. As a battery powered device, it must conserve its own power. In ZigBee, rejoining back to a mesh is an expensive operation in term of power consumption. Therefore, those devices must be careful in setting the its rejoin interval. Too fast of rejoin interval, it will drain the battery. Too slow, it will got back into the mesh too late for some automation such as opening a garage for a car.

I do not have any knowledge on how Irish FOB is coded. But, if it were me making an Zigbee FOB, my FOB would have much more conservative rejoin strategy. I know as a out of mesh button does not really need to rejoin back immediately. My button can sleep during this time to save battery. I can start rejoin process when a button is press. I could still have a timer to trigger a rejoin at much longer interval.

I personally own a ST Zigbee button and Irish FOB. I am not too keen using them as presence sensor. This kind of strategy make an FOB hard to predict its presence.

When I embark to build my own arrival sensor, I narrow it down to specific use case. I design one that would work with my car. I want my sensor is powered by DC and recharge-able battery. This allow me to have in the order of seconds rejoin interval while the sensor is on DC power. This will help to get my car detected as soon as possible. In turn, it allow me to open the garage door just right in time.

@jnosa899, if you ever coming back to try to automate your garage door, you can take a look at a demo here.


Highest praise... It just works.

1 Like

@danabw What just works?

If you’re asking about the Lutron Pico, it uses Lutron’s proprietary Clear Connect protocol.

Dana was referring to Iman’s custom-made zigbee presence sensor:

@iharyadi I will look into this. It has me excited to try.

I don’t have a garage but was just looking into using my Prius’s Homelink Mirror buttons to control some smart devices in the house (turn on outside lights, inside, etc. on approach.) Is this what you are doing with this receiver?

I was hoping for a more direct/simpler solution to HE.

I have a Smartthings V2 ZigBee fob (with the battery mod) in each of our vehicles, I use push notifications to my phone. I get notified 1-2 houses away that the vehicle has arrived. Works a treat.

Can you elaborate?

1 Like

Samsung Electronics F-ARR-US-2 SmartThings Arrival Sensor

It is very easy to modify that to work with two AA batteries. Batteries last about a year. I used those for 3 years before switching to Iman’s arrival sensor.

Let me know if you want mine because I don’t think they’re sold anymore.

1 Like

This is one guide (basically what I did). I put the "hook" side of some peel and stick Velcro on them and stuck them the carpeted wall in the rear of our vehicles.

1 Like

I do, posted about it here. And there are a few other ones like this.

I LOVE it, super reliable and works well. I currently use it for our alarm and plan to hook up our garage door.

I just de-commissioned a couple of SmartThings presence fobs. A garage door opened after a recent power outage. I think it was because the battery-backed hub lost comms with the presence sensor, through a powered zigbee repeater and thought the car had left. Then, at some point, even during the outage or possibly after, comms were restored and the hub thought the car had returned. Then the garage door was opened when power was restored.

Even though I'm not doing presence at the moment, this thread has inspired me to see how far I can go with my Zooz Zen34, which had been in my box of stuff. Turns out I can just about reach the road. So, I might try this as an alternative to the garage door opener. It could potentially control more than just the one door with multiple presses, hold, toggle, etc. (all you'd have to do is remember, lol). I don't know how great it is on batteries though.

This topic was automatically closed 365 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.