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Recommendation? - Repurposing an indoor door sensor for an outside gate

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    Recommendation? - Repurposing an indoor door sensor for an outside gate

    I'm using a Z-wave solution with my HomeTroller Zee S2.
    I am looking to install a wireless door sensor on my side gate. I can't seem to find any that are specifically rated for outdoors so I'm willing to buy an indoor one and roll the dice with it. My question for those of you already using Z-wave door sensors, is, which would you use (or specifically not use) in that kind of situation. (Canadian weather, BTW).
    I know the elements will shorten its life etc. etc. but which unit seems to have the best design to handle the sun/rain/snow?

    Thanks in advance
    -steve

    #2
    Search for "Sensative Z-wave door sensor" on Google. They used to be packages of three, now it's one for too much money. But they work very well with excellent battery life.

    https://www.amazon.com/Sensative-Z-W...%2C6886&sr=8-2

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      #3
      Search YouTube for "mailbox sensor" or more specifically "z-wave mailbox sensor". You'll get some good ideas from these videos. Most are using magnetic contacts that you'd use on the gate.

      BTW, how far from the house is the gate? Can you put the z-wave module inside and run a length of wire to the contact?

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        #4
        I use wireless X10 door sensors on my gates. I mount a hidden magnetic reed switch designed for interior doors on the gate and run the wires to the transmitter in a small plastic box. I've never had problems with water damage, but ants can be a problem. I found that painting the box with spray paint for plastics was useful to extend the life of the box outside. UV is really hard on cheap plastic. I also spray the box several times a year with ant repellent. Still occasionally lose a transmitter when the ants fill it with eggs.
        Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
        HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548, NUC i3

        HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti

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          #5
          BTW, how far from the house is the gate?
          The distance that needs to be traversed is a significant factor. There are many open/close contact solutions with various technologies.

          I have been very happy with Zigbee for battery-operated sensors including contact and tilt sensors. In my mailbox case, I use Zigbee on the mailbox with an embedded magnet and Xiaomi contact sensor. I get the status back to HS using LoRa/Serial with redundancy using WiFi NanoStation. This is much more technology than you need but illustrates the distance criteria.

          I have also been very happy with 433 MHz RF as a transmission mechanism using the very cheap QIAChip. These are 4 channel RF transmitters with corresponding receivers. These are the devices you see in the generic 4-button keychain remotes. In my case I use SonoffRF or SDR to receive, but it could also be done with the QIAChip paired receiver to provide a discrete input. In my experience the range is around 50 ft.

          For non-critical applications then you can consider things that interface via Cloud. YoLink provides contacts sensors for both indoor and outdoor applications. YoLink uses LoRa so range is usually not an issue. mcsMQTT plugin can handle the YoLink to HS interface.

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            #6
            Here is a similar thread from few years ago, I have two gate setup this way and they still work fine.

            HTML Code:
            https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/homeseer-products-services/general-discussion-area/1265415-sensor-for-outdoor-gate?p=1265426#post1265426

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              #7
              Indoor Z-wave sensor converted to Outside Gate sensor with gap external contacts.

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                #8
                Otto-mation - This is a very low-tech approach, but I just wrapped a Gen7 Aeotec recessed door sensor in black vinyl tape and it has been working fine on a wood gate in my backyard for well over a year...probably closer to two years. I've done the same with older monoprice vibration sensors on my window wells too. The lack of outdoor z-wave stuff I find surprising.

                It's a bit of a pain cutting off the old tape and putting on new tape when replacing a battery but with Gen7 battery life I've only changed it once.

                PS - I live in Denver so cold seems to not be a factor.

                Amazon.com: Zwave Door Sensor Aeotec Recessed Door Sensor 7, Z-Wave Plus Enabled Smart Door Sensor Battery Powered, SmartStart S2, Zwave Hub Required SmartThings Fibaro Home Centre 3 Hubitat : Tools & Home Improvement

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                  #9
                  I saved this one from Zooz for my gates which says they offer an outdoor case for the sensor. Haven't gotten around to trying it yet.
                  https://a.co/d/6o967kG

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                    #10
                    Wow, lots of useful and creative solutions and suggestions here. Much thanks to all.
                    I'm currently using a pair of generic magentic reed switches on the gate, running Bell quad wire into the cabana connected to the Aeon ZW097 contact sensor, which has been working great (other than heavy rains would short the exposed contacts).
                    Since we're now (just today) thinking of moving, I think I will stick with this for the time being.
                    But I have saved all of your suggestions because there are some gems here that also have a broader applicability, too.
                    (gawd, I love this forum! You people are the best!)

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                      #11
                      It isn't Z-wave, but I have some Dakota Alert equipment that I use and I used their closed contact sensor in our mailbox. Rated for outdoors...

                      HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.435 (Windows Server 8.1 on ESXi box)

                      Plug-Ins Enabled:
                      Z-Wave:,RaspberryIO:,AirplaySpeak:,Ecobee:,
                      weatherXML:,JowiHue:,APCUPSD:,PHLocation:,Chromecast:,EasyTr igger:

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