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Wed, Sep 16, 2020 11:51 PM

Battery backup failed.

Power went out with the recent hurricane (Sally). Approx. 12 hours later I thought to check the system.  Dead as a doornail.  Can someone from SS explain why and how to ensure this doesn't happen again?   Terribly disappointed at finding this out

1.3K Messages

2 y ago

The backup didn't fail, it simply ran out of gas, so to speak.

The SS system in backup is no different than any other thing powered by batteries, there is a finite amount of time it can run on the batteries.

Leave your cellphone off the charger, the battery eventually goes dead.

Leave a flashlight turned on, the batteries eventually go dead.

Leave the headlights of your car turned on without the engine running, the battery eventually goes dead.

There is no way to absolutely ensure it will never happen again because there is no battery that can provide power indefinitely.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

2 y ago

No battery by itself, but a large battery connected to a solar panel can give a good impersonation of an indefinite battery.

1.3K Messages

2 y ago

Sure, provided it too survives a hurricane.

That, however, seemed well beyond the OPs expectations of the inherent system capabilities,  "terribly disappointed at finding this out", that the batteries eventually run down.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

2 y ago

^ Except that SS advertises the base station battery can be powered up to 24 hours in the event of a power failure.  OP checked their base at 12 hours.  I've only seen it reported on the forums, around 8 hours at best.  This is a far cry from SS's claims.

Just like the smashsafe claim.
And the motion sensors detecting intruders, not pets.
And a half dozen other claims SS has continued to make.  We all know better, but new customers don't, because they have faith in the claims made by the company, and won't find out until after purchase, or via forums, fb etc.

A few changes to their claims isn't going to hurt their bottom line.  Best to be honest than not.

10 Messages

2 y ago

Few observations on my OP and replies:

1.  While I did check the system at about the 12 hour mark, I have no idea when it actually died.  Might have been after 11 hours 59 minutes; or maybe within the first hour.  

2.  Checking the activity log of my account, it shows several power outages with the follow up message (and I quote):   Power out.  Your home is still protected.  Battery back-up in use.    This message was repeated many times after I confirmed the dead battery.  So, no, it was not protected SimpliSafe.  

3.  As to the trolls & keyboard warriors who took the time to slam my post by inferring that I'm too dim to know batteries eventually die-- no kidding?  And that is helpful how?   [Rhetorical question, don't bother answering].    

Perhaps I should have made my question clearer - how do I ensure I get the battery life more in line with what I was promised and paid for?  

22 Messages

2 y ago

It could be that the battery life is being exhausted as it is possible with rechargeables they can only handle so much. try getting high-quality rechargeables. I was also having issues until I pulled the rechargeables and put them in a high-quality AA battery charger that is able to do battery refresh and then charge trying to get them to work properly but does sound like the battery is losing charging cycles depending on how many times it bad been off and on with charging and using battery backup along with the length of time you have been using them. Try replacing them with Energizer Rechargeables or similar that is recommended for high battery usage and high battery drain devices

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

2 y ago

Legally 8 hours is part of "up to 24 hours".   If someone got 25 hours out of the backup, SS could be in trouble  :-)

Perhaps they picked 24 hours out of the air.   You know something like  "Hey we've going to have backup batteries, how long should they last for.  I don't know, 24 hours sounds good.  Yeah,  that sounds good."    And then did not design or test for that.  We know there is not good communication between the customer team and the development team, so it should not surprise us if the same is so between the marketing team and the development team.

1.3K Messages

2 y ago




3. As to the trolls & keyboard warriors who took the time to slam my post by inferring that I'm too dim to know batteries eventually die-- no kidding? And that is helpful how? [Rhetorical question, don't bother answering].

Perhaps I should have made my question clearer - how do I ensure I get the battery life more in line with what I was promised and paid for?



There was no trolling.

Nobody here knows what you do or don't know. So, yes, when you make a post that sounds like you don't have a clue then you might just get a response geared for someone who sounds like they don't have a clue.

As someone else mentioned, standby time seems to be around 8 hours, give or take. A year or so back I actually measured the current draw of SS2 base in my system and calculated the theoretical max standby. Unfortunately I don't recall the numbers. As well, how SS2 compares to SS3 in standby is unclear.


How SS comes with up to 24 hours nobody (except them) knows and they generally don't divulge that level of detail. Probably under some sort of ideal test case. Unfortunately, "up to 24 hours" is a bit of a weasel word phrase because it doesn't guarantee anything specific.

1.3K Messages

2 y ago

A little experimentation with one of my SS2 systems over the last day.

Rigged up a way to monitor current draw when the base was running on the standby batteries. Over ~8 hour period the average draw was ~40mA (as recorded by Min/Max/Average function of Fluke 179). Based on 1000mAh capacity of the batteries, in theory, that's 25 hours of standby on the presumption the batteries can deliver their rated mAh. Of course, arming/disarming and other things that make the base talk spike the draw. As well, there is a frequent, regularly occurring small spike in current that I presume may be the base polling the sensors or cell service, or maybe it's just some other process inherent to the system.

Anyway, what I found interesting was around 8 or 9 hours in the base reported low battery but I let it keep going. Some while later it appeared to go offline as I disarmed and tried to rearm it. I removed the batteries and checked their voltage, the four were all 1.23 - 1.24 volts. Interesting, since the nominal voltage of NiMh AA battery is 1.2V. Thinking maybe it was just unloaded voltage, I put the batteries back into the base and it fired right up. Measuring the batteries actually working in the base there was no appreciable change in the measured voltage. To me that suggested there was at least some life left in the batteries but that can be a little tricky because NiMh has a pretty flat voltage curve to discharge.

Now, the real kicker, after I put the batteries back in the base (mind you they'd already been used in standby for 8-9 hours) the base is still functioning this morning after another 8-9 hours on standby and the battery voltage is still 1.213 - 1.217V on all cells.

I'm wondering if the main reason the standby time doesn't seem to be longer is due to an error in battery life calculation rather than just a matter of battery capacity vs load. No doubt there will still be some variability between systems, but these are very interesting observations to me.

Going to keep on with this, removing and reinstalling the batteries if necessary, to see just how long it might go in this experiment before it seems truly dead.

(and, yes, i understand removing and replacing the batteries isn't practical nor should it be required. the point is the experiment and what it might be telling us)

1.3K Messages

2 y ago

Well, after a cumulative total of approximately 24 hours and 15 minutes of running the system on the original 1000mAh batteries in onw of my SS2 systems, I conclude "up to 24 hours" standby seems like it should be possible. At the conclusion of my test, the working voltage (checked while installed in the base) of the batteries was ~1.18V average.

Why it seemed to stop working properly after the first 8-9 hours of standby, but then worked normally for an additional 15-16 hours after removing and reinstalling the same batteries is a mystery. My hypothesis is there is something not right about the battery life monitor. That said, it was a one unit sample and under fairly ideal conditions...not a huge number of sensors, only one sensor at a somewhat far distance (~70ft), and pretty good cellular signal. Still though, I find the results interesting but what's really going on for sure I don't know..

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

2 y ago

^ Thanks for doing that test.  My concern is the general consensus of around 8 hours after power failure, and a lot of people are away from their homes when that happens.  Maybe SS could change their claim to "results may vary" or to some effect that isn't the (what appears as "exaggerated") claim that it currently is.  Oh wait, no, they won't, lol.

1.3K Messages

2 y ago

Yes, all the reports of about 8 hours, mine included, don't make a lot of sense when it seems the system should be capable of quite a bit more.

It would be even more interesting if someone else with SS2 (just to keep apples to apples) would let their system run on standby until it stopped working, then pull the batteries for minute or two then put them back in and see what happens. Will that system too then run another 8 hours or more?

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

2 y ago

Perhaps someone could come up with an accessory which would have a separator to be inserted into the battery compartment and circuitry which would interrupt the battery path every 7 hours  :-)

1.3K Messages

2 y ago

Hey, that's the ticket! ;)

1 y ago

I purchased a brand new SimpliSafe system at the start of February and two weeks later Houston was crippled by freezing temps that we are nowhere near prepared to deal with.  I lost my electricity on 2/15 at 11:15 AM and SimpliSafe went to battery backup.  At 1:08 PM, SimpliSafe received the test ping and everything was still fine.  Then, at 5:18 PM, the battery gave out and I had no security system until my electricity was restored around 1:15 the following morning.  I was pretty surprised, given that the battery one of the buying points I had considered was the system could still be functional for "up to 24-hours" without electricity (this is something you need to be concerned with in Houston!).  I called their support line and the woman I spoke with told me, "yea, they really only work 6-8 hours.".  I was pretty shocked to receive that as an answer to my concern given it seemed so dismissive of my concern.  So, I asked to speak to a manager, thinking she must not be correct.  She said she would transfer me, but the manager would tell me the same thing because "everyone working there knows that's the case" (paraphrased).  Hmmmmm.  The suggestion?  Try putting better batteries in.  This whole thing does not exactly make me have confidence in this system and for a company that's supposed to be protecting me, it's irritating to feel deceived by them.  If "everyone" knows it's an issue, they clearly should change their claim.  Because, yes keyboard warriors, it DOES say it works "up to 24-hours", but consistently hearing from your customers that it's  working for only a quarter of that time should mean that you 1)  develop a fix to make it work the way it's supposed to...whether that's a change to the device or a better quality battery OR 2)  remove that verbiage from your marketing materials and website, because it's deceptive.  Very frustrating.

1.3K Messages

@kristendoss64

Send it back if you are displeased and feel deceived, citing that as reason. Maybe enough of that will catch someone's attention, or not.