rj31234's profile

Sun, Feb 13, 2022 2:50 PM

Two keypad questions

My gen 3 system has been installed for 3 months and has had no significant issues.  I have experienced two keypad occurrences that have me baffled.  One I have a theory as to what is happening and the second still has me scratching my head.  Hopefully y'all can help.

1. Approximately 2 AM last night the keypad in the bedroom activated itself similar to when a hand is placed on the bottom.  The upper display showed "Home" and the numbers lit.  Both turned off after 5 seconds or so.  This happened at least four times at random times over a five minute period. At the time there was no error displayed on the keypad nor in the Simplisafe app status or timeline.  This morning the timeline showed a test at 1:57 AM.  My assumption is that this is a normal daily occurrence and I just happened to notice it.  Can someone verify or explain what is happening? I would like the peace of mind knowing nothing is failing.

2.The keypad near the door leading to the garage lit up when the garage door was opened ( one time).  The keypad sequentially lit up off, home and away several times before settling on off.  No error was displayed nor was anything error related shown in the app.  Everything then functioned normally. Is this behavior normal and under what conditions does it occur?  Again I just want to correct error conditions before they become a crisis.

Thanks for your time and feedback.

As a way of general feedback, my Simplisafe system replaced a 17 year old GE Concord hardwired alarm system monitored by Monitronics/Brinks.  The Simplisafe system is technologically superior, more flexible and more powerful. Installation was easy peasy. Monitoring costs are significantly less than my old system. Every time I had a question and called Simplisafe a knowledgeable person promptly answered the phone and resoved my question promptly. Color me a satisfied customer.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

6 m ago

@rj31234 

1.  This is a known issue with SS3 - sometimes the keypad will light up for some odd reason (we've never really got a concise answer from SS).  Some of us, however, have determined it might happen more often when it senses an abrupt temperature change (i.e., your furnace kicks on in the room, or, you have a ceiling fan in the room) - and SS has said on at least one occasion, it sort of acts like, or has, a motion sensor ability (heat sensing), so it might detect heat (although it seems to occur without abrupt heat, can occur when the keypad is near a tv that's on, or for no good reason at all, so users really don't know - an OTA update was supposed to fix it at one time, so check your keypad to see if you have a gear icon on the display, in which, that's letting you know there is an update available).  To save battery power, you can go into your settings from your keypad and turn off the keypad power mode.

2.  If you mean the top 3 buttons at the top of the keypad (Home, Off, Away), flashed white from left to right in succession a couple or three times, more than likely, it was having trouble communicating with the base station.  Sometimes this occurs if you also get an error "keypad out of range", but if you did not get an error on the keypad display, check the batteries, and if they've been in use for quite awhile, change them.  

That said, a few of us have been having weird behavior regarding # 2 above in recent weeks.  Mine for example, will flash across Home/Off/Away in succession a few times, and sometimes it will reconnect (it is always in OFF mode when it does this, and it does it whenever I open one particular door).  Other times, it will flash Home/Off/Away, and then produce an error "keypad out of range", which means I usually have to go and unplug the base station adapter from the wall outlet and plug it back in, then it will reconnect.  Have brought this up with SS on the forum, but no solution (rep says possible interference with things like garage door opener, baby monitors, etc, but none of these things apply in my situation).  Since there's no resolve, I'm waiting for a hopeful OTA new update that will correct it, but who knows.  If you continue having the issue, call SS, maybe you'll get a different answer!

And yes, if you have the interactive monitoring plan, you should see in your timeline, at the same time every day (except for an hour difference for both daylight-savings-time changes), "test signal received".  

8 Messages

6 m ago

Thank you for the prompt and detailed reply.  Below I will add some additional details that will hopefully help you identify the root cause of both failures.

1. The temperature in the bedroom whose keypad spontaneously turned on and off was stable to 2 degrees over the preceeding 24 hours. There are no air vents blowing near the keypad.  The turn on/off occurred at 2 AM and the timeline flagged the test at 1:57, an interesting coincidence?  I will watch closely and report any other details I observe.

2. The reset of the keypad near the garage door coincided with opening the door.  My overall system has exhibited stability with no timeline events other than arming/disarming and automated tests. The garage door is opened/closed a minimum of 2 to 3 times a day.  The batteries are original equipment and show good status.  The system o/s was updated about 4 weeks ago and is current.   I will also monitor closely and report any details I observe.

Feel free to ask questions if I can help.  As background I have 42 years experience in the computer industry (every phase).

Have a good evening.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

@rj31234​ 

1.  Again, sometimes for some people, there is no rational explanation.  If it isn't heat, I'm not sure what it is, and I do not think it is coincidental with your test signal (when SS3 rolled out in Jan 2018, there were a lot of people experiencing the keypad lighting up, and there was never an across-the-board explanation, so this has been going on for a long time).  For example, my keypad (and others) used to light up may times during a day or evening, with no correlation with the time of day the test signal was received.  It still does this occasionally, and if I recall, I think it has been less frequent since the latest firmware update.

2.  Mine is doing the same thing, and I notice it right away because when it happens, I too have just opened/closed the door and can see the keypad light up.  What alerts me to a problem (besides the keypad flashing) is that neither the door, nor the windows chimed when they were opened, but the keypad was trying 'to connect' to the base station.

I don't expect SS to have an answer until or unless a lot more people start having the same issue (so far, at least 4 people have experienced it and posted on the forum in the last week or so).  One person recently has had his base station recently replaced and is currently waiting for a replacement keypad to arrive, will see if he updates his post and if those two replacements resolved the issue.   

Hopefully, tomorrow, Davey_D (forum admin) will see your post and respond.

26 Messages

6 m ago

I've been through several keypads and I think they all did the phantom-illumination thing. I think it happens more in dry weather which yields more carpet static - no real idea though. I've had other non-simplisafe devices in the past that had a misadjusted touch sensor and this seems like the same thing.

You can set the keypad to battery savings mode which will work around this bug but now you will have to tap a button to see the display. I use this mode with one of my nearby keypads but the ones out of view I don't worry about it.

(edited)

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

6 m ago

Hi rj31234,

Yes, the Test Signal on a Gen 3 SimpliSafe system happens daily. It's just the system checking in with our servers to let us know that it's still active. So that part is totally normal.

As coltmaster mentioned, the Keypad features a proximity sensor, which works very similar to the standalone Motion Sensors - in that they're really triggered by sources of heat moving around in the room. When you noticed these occurrences, were you, or any other humans or pets nearby? If you can see the Keypads, they might also be able to see you!

Just in case you didn't know, you can go into the settings on your Keypad to toggle the Power Saver feature. The Keypad will no longer automatically light up when you're nearby, but it can still light up if you press any of the buttons.

8 Messages

@davey_d​ 

The bedroom keypad is on an interior wall next to the bedroom door. Only the foot of the bed is exposed to the keypad, blocked from seeing the head of the bed due to a dresser. The keypad is approximately 10 feet from the bed and the bathroom door.  We had gone to bed approximately 10:30 PM. Due to our age we often go to the bathroom at approximately 2 AM, as my wife did the evening in question.  She was exiting the bathroom and at the edge of the bed when the keypad first turned on.  She wakened me and I looked at the keypad to see any messages (there were none).  I had to touch the keypad to turn it on.   I checked the app and also saw no messages.  I returned to bed.. Over the next 5 minutes the keypad turned on and off approximately 5 times.  I fell back asleep assuming it was system malfunction. The next morning was when I saw the timeline message that a system test occurred at 1:57.  We have seen no further errors.  Please note that we live in Florida and the heating system heatpump  rarely ever runs in the winter.  I do not plan to disable the keypad as it is a very useful feature and I expect the system to run as intended.  In my opinion you have a design or component problem. I am available to assist you in troubleshooting as needed.

Regarding the garage door keypad resetting itself, I had a second occurrence yesterday.  As I opened the garage door the keypad restarted flashing the top row of lights showing a message out of range and then immediately went back to normal operation.  This keypad is approximately 12 feet from the base station with one interior wall between.  There was no timeline entry regarding either the keypad or the garage door entry sensor.  My next step is to interchange the bedroom and garage door keypads to see if the problem follows the keypad.  Again, if there is any way I can assist in identifying the problem feel free to contact me.

I will continue to post any additional information I deem relevant. 

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

Hi @rj31234 ,

For the bedroom Keypad, you mention that you had to press a button to actually light up the keys, but then later it started spontaneously lighting up. It sounds to me like the proximity sensing was somehow delayed. I would recommend forcing a reboot by taking out one of the batteries, waiting 10 seconds, and reinserting.

I do want to clarify that the Power Savings feature doesn't turn off the Keypad entirely - only the proximity sensor that lights up the keys when you're nearby (it also turns the backlight off when you're far enough away). With the feature disabled, the Keypad will still light up when the system is triggered, and when you press a button.

And now that we have more detail, the garage Keypad seems to be having a totally separate issue. The "Keypad Out of Range" message means that it lost contact with the Base Station, most likely due to wireless interference.

Do you happen to have a garage door opener that can be operated by remote? Those units tend to work using the same radio frequency range that our system uses. And of course, that signal would be very strong, so it wouldn't be unusual for it to interrupt the security system signal.

8 Messages

There are two 17 year old Liftmaster garage door openers, one of which has been automated with a MyQ system.  At the time I opened the door to the garage neither door had been activated for hours. I will pay more attention to see if there may be a connection. Thanks for the information.

Last night the bedroom keypad flashed once at approximately 1AM as my wife walked into the bathroom at 1AM.  The automated system test did not occur until an hour later.  I feel confident that the blinking is not related to thectest signal.  How does the proximity sensor operate, capacitance or infra red?

Community Admin

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2.9K Messages

The Keypad's proximity sensor works by infrared.