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  • Motion Sensor II Unknown

    I have two Motion Sensor IIs installed with an Insteon Hub. One MS is near a range extender. The other is near an on/off switch. The MS IIs work correctly indicating motion. However, frequently, their status does not revert to All Clear. Instead, the status is indicated as "No Motion Detected" and then "Unknown". This suggests that the MS does not reliably send an All Clear after detected Motion, even though it does reliably detect motion. Sometimes, however, one or the other, or even both, do indicate All Clear. Any ideas about correcting this erratic problem?

  • #2
    I apologize. I must revise the above. When I wrote that the status is indicated as "No Motion Detected" and then "Unknown", I meant to write that, at this moment, one MS indicates "No Motion Detected" and the other indicates "Unknown". So then an All Clear is not signaled because one MS has not sent a "No Motion Detected" after detecting motion. Sometimes, both MS indicate "Unknown" and then sometimes, both clear, and the result is "All Clear" indication.

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    • #3
      If the status is Unknown, that suggests the device might be out of range or that motion hasn't been detected since you made changes to its settings.

      There is no 'all clear' message. In its default settings, the sensor sends an On when it detects motion, then sends an Off when its timer expires and no more motion is detected. If you change the settings so it sends an On only, then it won't ever transmit an Off message.

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      • #4
        Thanks for your information. I think I follow you. Since the MS always detects motion reliably, this suggests that it is not out of range. Both MS are set to send an alert ON and OFF. Sometimes, the MS sends an ON alert and then later an OFF alert. More frequently, one or the other does not register an OFF even though each always registers an ON. In effect, by my understanding, the OFF alert transmission is unreliable and so sometimes failing, while the ON is reliable and never failing. So I am reporting, I think, a software problem. Let me know if I have missed something.

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        • #5
          Okay, let me add a question. When one loads the app, the Hub polls the devices. Is this correct? Is the Hub able to poll RF only devices, such as the Motion Sensor II? If so, it is the polling that is failing not the OFF alert. So then the MS IIs are operating correctly, except the HUB sometimes fails in polling them. This would hardly be a problem, except an "UNKNOWN" status might indicate that the MS is not functioning at all, and so not sending alerts, rather than a simple poll failure. So one does not know if one's security system is actually working. But let me return to my first point. Does the Hub poll RF devices when initially consulted?

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          • #6
            Battery operated Insteon devices like the Motion Sensors. Go into a power saving mode and will not answer a poll. That could be why you sometimes get a Unknown from a poll.
            Not a good idea to use a Insteon Motion Sensor for your primary security purposes. I have seen them used for notifications as a secondary method of keeping track of things along with an approved security system.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the information on battery operated devices. Good point.

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              • #8
                Not only is it not a good idea to use the MS a security, it's a bad idea. Insteon devices are not meant for nor approved for use as a security system. If you have a security system in place, then it's OK to use Insteon devices to supplement that system.
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                Please don't PM with questions that can be asked in a forum.

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                • #9
                  Okay, I started this thread sometime ago. I now notice a small detail has been overlooked (I think). The thread begins with my question about the Motion Sensors II. After signalling motion, the Insteon Hub indicates "All Clear." But then sometime later, a few minutes, hours, or perhaps a day, the Hub indicates the status "Unknown." Responses explained that the Motion Sensor goes into sleep mode to save the batteries and so the Hub responds with status "Unknown." Good, I understand, I think. However, the Open/Close sensors do not respond with status "Unknown" but continue after days, even weeks, to respond with "All Clear." So here is my question, what is difference between the Motion Sensor II and the Open/Close Sensor that explains this? Do not the Open/Close sensors also laps into a sleep mode? Or not? Thanks in advance for your comments.

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                  • #10
                    The 'unknown' status has slightly different meanings depending on the type of device involved.

                    On most power line devices, "unknown" means the Hub tried but failed to receive a status update. That condition suggests a device has either been unplugged or that some sort of signal impairment has prevented the device from hearing or responding to the status request message.

                    In the case of the Smoke Bridge, "unknown" seems to mean that the bridge hasn't heard anything from a linked smoke/co2 detector in a while. Performing a smoke detector test, then clearing it, clears the "unknown" state.

                    Battery-operated sensors are different in that they only transmit when they change state or transmit a 'heartbeat' signal. Because they turn off their radios between transmissions to extend battery life, the Hub is unable to make an on-demand status request. Instead, the Hub app displays a cached status of the last transmission from the device.

                    In the case of cached status with battery-operated devices, you might see "unknown" status if the Hub hasn't seen an expected heartbeat signal in a while (suggesting a low battery or signal interference problem), or if the sensor hasn't transmitted a state change since the Hub has experienced a power outage (since it would then not know if the sensor changed state while the power was out), or if the sensor hasn't changed state since you've used the Set button to link the sensor or change sensor settings. If it is not a communications problem, the "unknown" status should clear the next time the sensor is activated.

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                    • #11
                      Thank you TFitzpatri8 for your detailed explanations. You have responded previously to my query and I appreciate it. While knowing more than at the moment I last posted, a piece of my question remains open, for what it is worth. I am seeing a different behavior with respect to Open/Close sensors and Motion Sensor IIs. Afrer an activation, the former indicates All Clear while the later indicates All Clear for some mintutes and then slips into "Unknown." Without going into detail, I am claiming that the difference is not related to a low battery or to a poor configuration. Insteon has programmed the two battery devices to behave differently,I would claim. I suppose it is possible that the Open/Close has a heartbeat signal while the Motion does not, perhaps because of power consierations. thanks again.

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