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Thu, Mar 1, 2018 6:50 AM

Base Station no longer 'SmashSafe'? (removed from website)

I noticed the 'SmashSafe' description changed on your website this month.

http://web.archive.org/web/20180210023121/http://simplisafe.com/
'An intruder can damage the keypad or Base Station. Doesn't matter.'

http://simplisafe.com today:
'An intruder can damage the keypad. Doesn't matter.'

Why did this change? Is the Base Station no longer considered 'SmashSafe'?

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

Il y a 5 y

That is how we HOPE it would work.  From the tests which have been done, it appears to NOT work that way.  I would do the "real" test to verify working as claimed or not working as claimed, except, oops, I can't afford the new systems.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 5 y

So the only time that COPS won't call you and take action is if the Base Station is disabled (destroyed) BEFORE a sensor is tripped.


Except for the following.  Sensors triggered.  Base station and/or keypad "destroyed".  No call from COPS.  IN THAT ORDER.  No log events that indicated canceled alarm, nor PIN nor disarm.

You see, that's the very premise of both SS2 and SS3, according to simplisafe - if a sensor is triggered, don't worry, you're safe because we already got the signal, bad guys go ahead and smash away, we already got the signal.  

Yet three different tests produced the same exact results.  No signal, no call.

Maybe all three users did it wrong.  Right?

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

Il y a 5 y

I don't think SS2 ever claimed that.  I'm pretty sure nothing happens with that system until the delay (if any) expires.  They always said, accurately, that destroying the keypad never affected the alarm function

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 5 y

If I'm interpreting the testers' results correctly, the delay expired - and event logs did not indicate the system was ever disarmed.

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

I give up.  Call COPS up yourself.  My posts reflect what I was told by COPS.  This is really very simple.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 5 y

^  Funny, I was about to say the same to you.

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

As I said in a previous post, I CALLED COPS.  What I've written reflects what I was told.  Nothing is my opinion or speculation.  Validate my claims yourself.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 5 y

Of course they did, because that is how the system is intended to work.  Yet it did not work as intended for three different users testing it.  Short of wasting 115.00 and taking a bat to it, how else would you suggest it be tested in the field?  What did all three testers do wrong? (remember, you, a rep, and COPS said entry delay vs instant trigger doesn't matter, they're treated the same - the tests were nearly identical)

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

Do you work for AT&T, ADT , vivint or Frontpoint?  So you are saying that SimpliSafe is telling a bald-faced lie based on 2 alleged tests done by unknown people and mentioned on an internet forum.  The #3 test mentioned in this thread was inconclusive.

SimpliSafe's system is smash and crash proof based on their claims and on how their hardware and software performs (anyone with a SS3 system can check this out for themselves).  

If you are so convinced that SimpliSafe is such a poor product, why are you here?  Why haven't you dumped your SimpliSafe system and gone to some other company?

If SimpliSafe is lying, they put themselves at risk of being sued for a lot of money, and would probably do them in. I don't put any weight on anonymous posts.  

Simply put, SimpliSafe is by far the best alarm system for the money out there.  That's why I bought it.  It's main flaw is that it can only perform optimally if everything is installed correctly.  But this is a problem and risk for any DIY system or product.

And it is significantly cheaper than the competition.

Advocate

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2.8K Messages

Il y a 5 y

Sigh. Never mind.

Advocate

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2.2K Messages

Il y a 5 y

@pkwz, way to sweep a potential problem under the rug.  

I don't think SS is lying, but there is a good chance they were mistaken and took a claim off the web site.  If there is a problem, then hopefully they will fix it eventually.  

But if a company says one thing and people I am familiar with say something else, I'm going to lean on the side of the people who actually tried it.  Because I spent a whole career testing things, and I know that intentions do not alway match reality.  And companies know it too, otherwise they would not spend all that money on people like me.

84 Messages

Il y a 5 y

Just stumbled upon this. I'll detail what I did for my test. I didn't do any other alarm tests that day, so there's no reason for them not to call me. Even if I had, I believe their dispatch protocol is simple and straightforward, so unless you told them to put your system in test mode for a period of time they will call you regardless of how many alarms you've had in the last ~15 minutes.

Step 1: arm in away mode
Step 2: wait for entry delay to count down
Step 3: open entry door, 30 second delay activates
Step 4: remove power and at least 1 battery from your base station BEFORE the siren activates
Step 5: look at your event log
You will see:
Entry delay triggered by sensor X
You will not see:
System disarmed by PIN/keyfob/etc

You will not get a call, and you will not get any notification that the base station was destroyed before the entry delay was up besides that one event log entry. Maybe your cameras will notify you if you have them, see the alert, and call the cops yourself.

Also, COPS dispatches for lots of different companies. They will not know the specifics of your alarm system, they just know that if they receive a signal they will act on it. It's clear simplisafe isn't sending a signal to them unless there's an Alarm Triggered event.

So. Of course if the alarm has gone off, and you destroy the base station, you will get a call. That's not the point, and it never was.

@pkwz You can talk to the people at simplisafe or COPS monitoring, and maybe they'll give you some wrong information, but at the end of the day you can only rely on verifying this yourself. Unless simplisafe plans on violating alarm.com's patent, this will stay this way for a while, so you don't have much risk of causing a false alarm. Just keep your phone on you and be prepared to answer it.

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

Question:  What shows up in your event log if you do all the things above without disabling (removing the batteries) from the base station?  That is:

1. Countdown to Away triggered by Keypad
2.  System Armed by Keypad
3.  OPEN ENTRY DOOR (starts 30 second countdown)
4.  Wait for delay period to expire
5.  ????(What does the base station do?  Does it then send the "Alarm Entry Sensor" message?)

Did you do this test?

I just did this a test which is slightly different in one way.

1.  Pushed "Away" button--"Countdown to Away triggered by Keypad" (Timeline Log Entry)
2.  Panel says "Away"--"System Armed (away mode) by Keypad"
3.  Tripped Instant Trigger Entry Sensor--"Alarm Entry Sensor".  As soon as I open an Instant Trigger door, the siren went off and the entry "Alarm: Entry Sensor" showed up on my Timeline Log.
4.  Pushed "Off" button, entered Master PIN--"System Disarmed by Master PIN", "Alarm Canceled by Master PIN".

Here I armed the system and tripped an Instant Trigger Entry Sensor.  The Siren went off immediately.  
The Base Station immediately sent the "Alarm: Entry Sensor" message.
When disarmed with the PIN, both the "System Disarmed" and the "Alarm Canceled" message showed up in my log immediately.

So if you arm the system and then tripped an instant Entry Sensor, the Siren will immediately sound and the "Alarm: Entry Sensor" message goes out through the base station.  In this case I tripped an Instant Entry Sensor and did NOT touch the base station.  But in this scenario if the bad guy trips an Instant Entry Sensor, both the siren and the "Alarm: Entry Sensor" immediately occur.  If the bad guy destroyed the base station, it would be too late since the Alarm message has already occurred.  

I did not wait for 30 seconds to see if COPS called me back--I assume in this case that they would have since it's just an "Alarm: Entry Sensor" situation.  This is why I'm curious to know what message the Base Station sends out AFTER the 30 second delay in the scenario where the Base Station is disabled before the 30 second delay period expires.

If you put all your sensors in Instant Trigger except your Entry Door, then whenever one of those sensors is tripped the siren sounds and the Alarm Entry Sensor message is sent.  If the Entry Door sensor with the delay is tripped and it DOESN'T send the "Alarm: Entry Sensor" message until the delay period is up, then the thing to do is to make sure the intruder trips a sensor BEFORE he gets to the Entry Door or Base Station.

So what happens if you don't take the battery out of the Base Station?

84 Messages

Il y a 5 y

> (snip)
>Did you do this test?
Yes, I regularly test my system so I see what normal alarms look like. It will say "entry delay triggered by sensor X" then it will say "Alarm: (type) sensor "(name)" "
As opposed to "entry delay triggered by sensor X" then "system disarmed by master PIN"

>But in this scenario if the bad guy trips an Instant Entry Sensor, both the siren and the "Alarm: Entry Sensor" immediately occur. If the bad guy destroyed the base station, it would be too late since the Alarm message has already occurred.
Yes, which is why you should set most of your sensors to instant trigger. If you have interactive or keyfobs then your front door should be an instant trigger, if anything you will cut the police response by ~30 seconds even if the intruder doesn't go after the base station.

>This is why I'm curious to know what message the Base Station sends out AFTER the 30 second delay in the scenario where the Base Station is disabled before the 30 second delay period expires.
If it is disabled, it cannot send anything. Therefore all you will see in the event log is the message about the entry delay being triggered. I have a screenshot of my event log from when I tested it, and it's really easy to re-create.

>If you put all your sensors in Instant Trigger except your Entry Door, then whenever one of those sensors is tripped the siren sounds and the Alarm Entry Sensor message is sent.
Yes, unless the sensor with the entry delay is triggered first.

>If the Entry Door sensor with the delay is tripped and it DOESN'T send the "Alarm: Entry Sensor" message until the delay period is up, then the thing to do is to make sure the intruder trips a sensor BEFORE he gets to the Entry Door or Base Station.
Yeah, basically. Easiest way to do this is to set everything to instant trigger and use keyfobs/the app to disarm. You could also have your entry door be your interior garage door, and have instant trigger sensors on any exterior garage doors except the one for your car. Although if you're doing that you could just mount the keypad in your garage, and have the interior garage door be set to instant trigger.
Keep in mind, all of your sensors are disabled during the entry delay. So pointing an instant trigger motion sensor at the base station won't help if an intruder has triggered the entry delay before attempting to destroy the base station.

Just an aside, it's hard for me to hide my base station. My condo is less than 900 square feet, and when I tried hiding the SS2 base station I had connection issues. Tech support's recommendation was, of course, to stop hiding it in a cabinet. That didn't actually solve my connection issues (hence the upgrade to SS3). So, that's why I was hopeful this feature was implemented as-advertised. Oh well. I'm still mostly happy with how it works. This is just a disappointment, which could've been fixed by better communication between the engineers/project managers and the marketing team.

43 Messages

Il y a 5 y

My solution to the entry sensor delay is that my entry door is the least likely portal of entry to my house.  In other words, the bad guys will probably enter through another window or door (or walk through the motion detector field) instead of my entry door.  This can be done in many ways if you organize things carefully.  But if you have a small apartment then you don't have this luxury.

I've lived in small apartments with the typical one entry door setup.  Maybe one solution would be to place the keypad as far away from the entry door as possible.  Say in a bedroom in the closet which would still have a good connection with the base station.  

Then you can easily arm the alarm (away) and get out of your entry door.  Coming back will be just as easy.

But, if you're a bad guy, if he enters through the entry door, he might not even notice the keypad beeping.  And then he'll have to find the keypad.  Then he smashes the keypad--beeping stopped.  Then the siren and alarm are triggered.

Making the intruder have to look for the keypad will take up many seconds.  And most dimwitted intruders won't even notice or know what to do anyways.  When they find the keypad then they'll spend more time smashing it.  Or if they're super genius types, they'll recognize it's a SimpliSafe and then scramble to find the base unit.  

Realistically speaking, I doubt that any apartment burglar will get to step three (1. Realize an alarm keypad has triggered. 2. Find the keypad.  3.  Recognize it's a SimpliSafe and then find the base station).

I might also make decoy base stations.  I was at a friend's house and she had one of those bathroom deodorizers that is shape like a vase. It has a button on top to release the spray.  If you painted it white and stuck a SimpliSafe sticker on it, it looks a lot like a real Base Station, especially if you're rushing through a strange apartment.

I really don't find it very likely that any thief will get to my step 3.  I don't know what the SS2 was like--I just got my new SS3 recently.  I really am satisfied with it so far.