Connection to ZWave battery device (Fibaro Smoke Sensor) lost

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Hello there,

maybe this is linked to this thread, but I was not able to revive it:

I am using several Fibaro smoke sensors (FGSD-002) around the house as well as Fibaro motion sensors (battery devices). Today it happened the third time that some of the devices do not communicate with OpenHab anymore. I typically realize this when one of the devices starts beeping because of low battery.

The picture is always the same:

  • Some devices are still communicating, some not
  • The devices are still displayed as online in OpenHab
  • I cannot exclude the devices from OpenHab anymore
  • When pressing the wake up button on the device, OpenHab does not receive anything

It is not all of them, only some, and I cannot see a pattern. Most of the time is only the smoke sensor devices, but it also happened for some of the motion sensor devices at least once.

To recover I add the device again to OpenHab and edit my items files to the new node id. There is no reset on the device required, therefore I assume it has no controller anymore?

I am not sure what causes this, maybe a reboot of my Openhabian, maybe a system upgrade or maybe only when the power is lost on the ZWave controller (I sometimes perform a backup (image) of my flash disk).

Did someone found a solution meanwhile?
Is there a better procedure to recover the connections instead of re-adding them?

Thanks a lot!

Hi Christian, I also still have this problem with my Fibaro smoke sensors and I also have to reset them every time they loose the controller. I never found out what is causing this problem. I guess the smoke sensors have some hidden secrets that are just not documented and I also guess they would be running fine with the official Fibaro controller. For instance there is some sort of internal History that is collected by the device, but there is no documentation how to access this information. Also the firmware of the device can be updated but also only with the official controller. So this could simply be a bug in the firmware that I cannot fix because there is no official tool for the Aeotec ZWave controller to update the firmware.

Currently I’m looking for a much simpler and cheaper alternative to replace those smoke sensors. My idea is to modify a standard smoke detector that cost about 15$ with a simple circuit that does not use any power until smoke is detected. Then the circuit will turn on an ESP8266 that sends a message to OpenHab via WiFi or a via LoRa (or both). The smoke alert is the only thing of interest to me on those smoke detectors. Also without the constant ZWave communication the battery should last longer and the final solution would only cost about 20 to 25$.

I have two of these devices working without any problems.
When the battery is gone they of course do no longer communicate with the controller.
Normally you should just replace battery and wake up the device a few times.

Worst is to add the device again with a new ID, so you have several (old) “ghost” devices remaining on the controller which will for sure cause troubles in your network …

I would delete Thing (NOT Exclude from the Network) and then rediscover it.

Thanks for your input.

I personally think the probability of a true alarm is quite low and if you are at home, the siren will inform you. If you are not at home, it might be of help but would you call the fire department if you are not sure if it is not a false alarm? I had 4-5 false alarms in the past 3 years where I needed to reduce the sensitivity in the end and no real alarm.

The best thing for me would be if it sends me a notification before the battery is empty. At the moment the devices typically loose their connection before they are empty and of course the batteries are typically empty during the night (Murphy’s law) waking me up with the beep every 60 seconds and you are sneaking through the house waiting for the next beep to determine the direction you need to head :persevere:

This actually does not help, the device is always displayed as online. If I delete the thing it will be rediscovered immediately without any change in communication behavior (still not communicating).

Is this really an issue? Maybe this is the actual problem here. I never managed to completely remove those devices since they are still showing as online.

I have in sum 18 of these “ghost” devices (only ZWave battery devices, Fibaro Motion and Smoke sensors). Altogether I have 84 active ZWave devices.

Just to mention, I never had issues with my Devolo ZWave battery devices. Only Fibaro.

Sad though, I think I will call Fibaro on Monday. I have spent a lot of money into Fibaro products since they are really compact and also really good except this issue of course. So maybe the will help me…

yes, I believe this could cause problems.
Do you use Habmin? (it is a user interface) it has some zwave options that may help you to remove these ghost devices. If that does not help, search this forum for ‘PC controller software’
edit to add: the PC controller software is Windows only so you must have a Windows PC to use it

Yes, I have Habmin and PaperUI. I typically use PaperUI for everything except excluding zwave things. Here I am using Habmin (just a habit). What would be the steps to remove a ghost device? As far as I remember, removing it didn’t really work since the device is still online and it has to be offline / failed so that it can be removed?

I searched a bit but I am not sure what you mean. Can you point me to something?
I have a Razberry ZWave Stick on my Raspberry Pi 4. I ordered a AeonLabs USB Zwave Stick now for my Windows PC. Let’s see what we can do with this then.

Maybe I will switch from my Razberry to the AeonLabs USB Stick since it has some nice features (battery, backup…), but reincluding >80 devices takes me several days.

here is a link, you need to create an account (free)

@robmac Rob knows this software really well and has some tutorials but can’t find link real quick

I See the same issue on some fibaro Smoke Sensor and more rare also on fibaro Pir Sensor.
But Smoke Sensors are clearly the Most.

They are just gone from the Controller.
Only a reset of the Device and new inclusion Helps.

Ghost Devices dont play a role. I removed The…yet the issue happened again.

To early detect this you can Check the „Last Wake up“ to find the affected Devices.

Since fibaro also does reject to Release Firmware Files for 3rd Party gateways I avoid their Products. (To be fair other manufactorers also dont provide those in the Zwave world.)

hmmmm… interesting
I have one fibaro PIR. It was a bear to get included but since seems pretty good. But isn’t a smoke detector supposed to you know… save your life in a fire???
Not so sure I’d be counting on this hardware to ah… save my life

Okay, altogether this does not sound promising to solve.

Maybe one thing to add: I used FHEM prior to Openhab for around 2 years and I never had issues like this with FHEM. I’ve been using Openhab now since Mai 2018 and it was also okay in the first year.
To me it seems that this started with one of the Openhab upgrades during 2019, but I cannot exactly tell when.

Do they also still show up as “online”?

How did you manage to remove the ghosts?

Yes, I set up some rules to check the last temperature report through the influxdb persistence.

It will still do the loud beeping though. :slight_smile:

there is an explanation somewhere in another thread here.
As long as there is missing communication the device stays offline. Since a battery device could be silent very long its still considered as online. I struggle often with that state.
You can either read the properties and make your own state by reading the last wake up or you could use a “profile”. Take a look at the wiki for items about that ( [profile=“timestamp-update”]).
By that you can have a rule and alert you when there was no communication with a device for a certain timeframe.

with the tool from silabs that was mentioned some posts above aswell.

also possible. or check the “profile” item tag from above.

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