How to debug/test a presence piston?


1) Give a description of the problem
I have a simple arrival auto-unlock piston.
Is there a way for me to test the piston without having to leave my house and come back?
Can I use some kind of virtual presence device that I can manually change to test the piston?


Create a virtual switch and trigger on it turning on/off.


Well, for what it’s worth, I would be extremely reluctant to program an unlock command until you are quite familiar with webCoRE. Security pistons need to be complex, and complex pistons require a debugging period. I would hate for your house to unlock itself when nobody is home.

I highly encourage you to hold off on the unlock coding for now. Even with thousands of pistons under my belt, I refuse to put an auto-unlock in my own house.

That being said, you can create a Simulated Presence Sensor in the IDE, and then toggle that during testing.


Also, keep in mind that (all?) presense sensors will occasionally drop out… Meaning that at 3AM, your house may think you have left and come home. (potentially unlocking your house while you are asleep)


I totally agree with @WCmore
pls don’t get me wrong, we are not here to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do with their homes:)
I have an auto LOCK piston (if the door is not manually locked, it locks itself in 3 minutes) and I have another piston checks the first piston (safety)
YET I still find the door not locked every now and then. (very very very rarely but it happens)

until devices communucate better, and/or universal standarts are set in systems. I would not recommend any safety related parts of houses depending on smarthome technology.


I second all of the above. I have pistons that turn outdoor lights on/off based on my presence. I rotate working day and night shifts. FREQUENTLY, those lights are not correct because of presence problems.


Thanks for all the great advice!
I understand the issues with any auto-unlock piston/presence bugs causing the door to unlock unexpectedly.
Our house is such that 90% of the time there is at least one person at home. The auto-unlock is really as a convenience for family members arriving and not having to unlock the door even if there’s someone at home.

I also setup an auto-lock piston so that the door will lock when someone leaves even if people are at home, just in case. Normally we leave the door unlocked most of the time, but now if these pistons work, the door will be locked if people are upstairs or not near the front door.

Regardless, I am also doing a LOT of testing with all the various presence detection methods. I am using the Reliable Presence DTH with Life360 and Webcore and Smartthings apps for presence detection. It has been working really reliably for the past week. So far no failures or false triggers, etc. (knock on wood…)

For now, thanks to your suggestions, I was able to setup a Simulated Presence Sensor to test the auto-unlock piston.

Thanks for your help!