Not impressed with past few Google products

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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
29,885
10,424
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I thought you meant thermostats that could communicate with smoke alarms and send notifications to your phone.

These basic puppies, I'm more than aware of them.


My point was that having everything "connected" via the internet is far from 100% a plus and really isn't the "smartest" idea at all.

Sorta like using one giant touch-screen for most of the drivers controls in a fast moving vehicle.... it might look cool and high-tech but in reality it's just bad design.

The alarm-system that I had installed in 1996 was capable of detecting smoke, excessive heat/cold, leaks, motion and individual windows/doors opening then notify my wife and/or I directly by cell-phone. (on premises with battery-backup)
 
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pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
7,143
2,744
136
Nobody thinks (or seems to) about the fact that none of this smart hooey works at all without a web connection. If whatever is burning happens to be your modem, the smart smokey gizmo won't be able to send you squat.
The smoke alarm will still go off even if its not connected to the internet.
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
29,885
10,424
136
The smoke alarm will still go off even if its not connected to the internet. You can't be that dense...

At that point what advantage does a complex system have over a $15 Firex smoke detector off the shelf @ Home Depot?

Relying on a hardline internet connection (or outside AC power) for security in any way is a bad move.
 

Lost_in_the_HTTP

Diamond Member
Nov 17, 2019
9,660
5,738
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The point of discussion was to be notified if you're at work or out of town.


IF they would absolutely do that (somehow) without a web connection, that might be a different story. There are some that are cell based, but then you have an additional monthly charge and still no certainty of the cell signal.

I installed the old school home and business alarm systems in the 90s. They needed both power (AC or battery) and a landline as they used an internal dialer and recorded voice to call out to a series of pre-programmed numbers. No phone line, no notification. It was common for dirtbags to cut the phone line outside the building, killing the outcall possibility.

That got less likely once cell capabilities were added.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
65,916
11,350
126
Pretty much anything automated boils down to setting a relay on and off, and also reading a value from a sensor. Most of these smart devices overcomplicate the hell out of it for nothing by requiring proprietary apps and worse, an online account and connectivity to a server you don't control. This adds planned obsolescence for nothing not to mention privacy issues. Anything smart phone based is practically guaranteed to be spying on you.

Been meaning to expand my own setup so it's more modular, the direction I think I will go is ethernet for each device that way you can easily use existing infrastructure. You can buy lot of off the shelf parts to impliment ethernet, some ports even have the magnetics built right in. I may go with putting them on the pcb separately though as it's better for servicing. Ex: if you have a physically damaged port.

I also need to make the wiring a bit, cleaner.


This has been running for a good 10 years now though. I did a few tweaks to the code over the years but overall it's been solid. Don't have to worry about any outside interference like some bad update, or spying, or any of that stuff.

If I need to adjust anything from work I just VPN in. I can still use my phone too but it's just a web page, so the OS does not matter. I use a custom rom so any of this app based stuff won't work for me. For notification it just sends email so I will get those on my phone using a standard email client. Again, no proprietary app BS.

Some ISPs are even now requiring an app just to configure the router, it's BS that everything is going that route. I had to setup internet for a family member and holy crap what a pain. Why not just keep it simple where you connect to 192.168.0.1 or something like seriously. That's the other thing, I hate that most ISPs are not giving dumb modems anymore, but that's a whole other subject.
 

pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
7,143
2,744
136
At that point what advantage does a complex system have over a $15 Firex smoke detector off the shelf @ Home Depot?

Relying on a hardline internet connection (or outside AC power) for security in any way is a bad move.
The smoke detector functions like a normal smoke detector if there is a loss of power or internet...
 

Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
29,885
10,424
136
That's the other thing, I hate that most ISPs are not giving dumb modems anymore, but that's a whole other subject.


Wait.... YOU of all people are using a modem/router from your ISP?!?

:oops:



The smoke detector functions like a normal smoke detector if there is a loss of power or internet...


My point exactly.... at that point it has no advantages.
 

Red Squirrel

No Lifer
May 24, 2003
65,916
11,350
126
Wait.... YOU of all people are using a modem/router from your ISP?!?

No I figured out a way to bypass it. But not all ISPs make this easy. For me I just had to setup the right vlan on my firewall's WAN port then plug straight to the ONT. But I also don't have the TV service. When I had the TV service I had no choice but to use their router. But I eventually found someone online who actually wrote a custom firmware for a different router that emulated my ISP's router, but it also had extra features such as pass through internet so you don't need a double NAT to use your own router. But now that I don't have TV I was able to bypass even that.

The one I setup for a family member that requires an app is probably way harder to bypass though as it's super proprietary. Like the modem and router are not even from a known company like Alcatel or something they are basically just white boxes with little to no info on them.
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
29,885
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No I figured out a way to bypass it

Thank goodness! I was getting ready to trade in my tinfoil hat! :p ;)

I snagged a Motorola 24/8 cable-modem and a fairly basic Linksys AC1300 router back in 2020... the router does have a simple Android app available but you can also access the setup menu the old-fashioned way using a browser on any device.
 
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Feb 4, 2009
33,959
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I had a pre-google nest thermostat and I really liked it until we got our Bosch heat pump and the f-ing nest would not “talk” to it properly as in it ran a cold cycle when it was sub 40 degrees outside and broke some sort of board on the pump, fortunately that was warranty covered. Then it shut down our entire heating system because of a shut off valve failure thing on the oil tank (some sort of valve to detect fires). One of the main reasons to have a dual fuel system is so if one fails you have the other. Not with nest.
I had similar problems with the nest protects, couldn’t really do anything thru the app. I regret buying over priced smokes that honestly don’t work all that well cat litter dust will set the damn thing off.
I am satisfied with my google Wi-Fi, app works as it should and it is simple to set up and manage.

**An HVAC guy explained it best. Google is trying to make a smart phone be a thermostat and ecobee is trying to make a nice thermostat with smart features.
I swapped to ecobee and have had zero problems. App works fine just not as pretty as the best app, touch screen works fine just not as pretty as the best.
 

Lost_in_the_HTTP

Diamond Member
Nov 17, 2019
9,660
5,738
106
Fortunately my home has power and internet so...
Until the big truck crashes down the road and takes out the big pole with all of the power, telephone and fiber cables on it which might take several hours, if not a day or two to repair.

Or the tornado or other big storm wipes out a few dozen poles and all of the associated cables an equipment in the town a few miles away leaving your whole area in the dark.
 

Torn Mind

Lifer
Nov 25, 2012
10,953
2,454
136
Until the big truck crashes down the road and takes out the big pole with all of the power, telephone and fiber cables on it which might take several hours, if not a day or two to repair.

Or the tornado or other big storm wipes out a few dozen poles and all of the associated cables an equipment in the town a few miles away leaving your whole area in the dark.
Burglar cuts the line is a likely scenario.
 
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pete6032

Diamond Member
Dec 3, 2010
7,143
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Until the big truck crashes down the road and takes out the big pole with all of the power, telephone and fiber cables on it which might take several hours, if not a day or two to repair.

Or the tornado or other big storm wipes out a few dozen poles and all of the associated cables an equipment in the town a few miles away leaving your whole area in the dark.
Yes, and then the device functions as any normal smoke detector would.
 

snoopy7548

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
7,955
4,929
146
I'll admit that having that peace of mind is certainly worth it. I'd consider going with one of the smart smoke detectors for each floor, or just the main floor, if it works with my hard-wired dumb detectors. No way I'm paying $100+ ea. to replace all the ones in my house.
 
Feb 4, 2009
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A feature on the nest thermostats & nest protect smokes was the smokes will talk to the furnace if CO2is high. I realize that’s a remote thing to happen however the added safety was attractive espy for our pets while we are at work.
Problem is shit never worked right.
 
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MrSquished

Lifer
Jan 14, 2013
19,056
17,575
136
Fortunately my home has power and internet so...

I don't understand people that have a purely black and white view of things like say, smart devices. There are clear advantages to some and clear disadvantages to others.

It's pretty clear that the smart smoke detector you use has useful functions. Even my photoelectric smoke detector goes off when I don't want it to due to cooking, and scares my dog to death. I would absolutely love to be able to pre-emptively shut it off. Doesn't happen often but only when I cook a few dishes like a cast iron seared steak for example. I'd also love to know if it is going off when I'm not home. Those are definitely useful features.

Ditto with a smart thermostat that just does the basics, runs a schedule, tracks your energy usage, and most importantly, can turn itself off when you leave home. This can clearly save energy - money for yourself, and reduce load on the grid plus reduce pollution if your energy is not renewable. A convenience thing is I can turn on my A/C or heat about 10 min before I get home as well. I don't see why people have to be so closeminded as to deny all advantages.

Clearly a disadvantage is on 'spying on you' - but that more relates to always listening smart home speakers and also security cameras, depending where they are placed.

Hey if people don't want to take advantage of the good things of smart tech, good on them. Meanwhile I'm taking advantage of some and avoiding others.
 
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snoopy7548

Diamond Member
Jan 1, 2005
7,955
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Yep. I was against anything "smart" for a long time, then my mom got me an Amazon Echo. Even though I have a massive digital music collection and the stations I listen to never get any new songs, the ease of use makes me prefer it over my collection, and I just unplug it when I'm not using it. I recently bought an Echo Dot for my garage/workbench.

I've also had an ecobee for a few years and I love that thing. Besides being able to control it from my phone, it lets you customize pretty much anything you can think of - thresholds, setbacks, run times, etc - and it's rock solid. Even better is the smart sensor which I put upstairs, so it can cool/heat according to the average house temperature, or based on either the thermostat or sensor.

I guess I draw the line at things that won't give any benefits just for being smart, like a fridge, toaster, microwave, etc. Not too sure how I feel about smart door locks.
 

JM Aggie08

Diamond Member
Jan 3, 2006
8,133
762
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If it makes my life easier, I'm here for it. I'm not going to put on my tinfoil hat and balk about privacy -- unless you're off the grid, then there's no point lol.
 
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Captante

Lifer
Oct 20, 2003
29,885
10,424
136
Clearly a disadvantage is on 'spying on you' - but that more relates to always listening smart home speakers and also security cameras, depending where they are placed.


I was PARTIALLY giving you a hard time... Google (and by extension Nest) already knows pretty much everything about us anyway so I'm afraid that ship has sailed!

;)


My concern with externally connected devices potentially being compromised/hacked and used against their owners is however not paranoia... it's already happened many times.
 
Feb 4, 2009
33,959
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BTW next year there will be better smoke detectors. Something about it “sniffing” for fire or smoke and not dealing with the less accurate old ways of detecting. Fire Chief told me the other day the new designs should all but eliminate false alarms.
I don’t know anything else about them and I am assuming a fire department chief follows this stuff better than I do.
 

Lost_in_the_HTTP

Diamond Member
Nov 17, 2019
9,660
5,738
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I've had variations of keyless entry on the house, garage and yard gates for quite a while. One is from the 90s and is almost entirely hard wired switches.. Some are stand alone keypads that only work with a code or FOB. For the front gate, I added one with a LAN connected controller module. I can set codes for delivery drivers and times when they will or won't work. I can log in to it and see a history of which codes were used when and whether or not access was granted. It can also be set up to send email notifications. No mobile gizmo connection though.

They all need power and some kind of electrically actuated latch.
 

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