It is about 5 months since i wrote Housegard Note – Smokealarm (it works, kinda).
I can happily say that we have had no fire in the house since I started to test these – but there have not been any false alarms either.
I bought this for testing when we started renovating an apartment in the basement. As the renovating is almost finished now, I started to look for smoke detectors again, to see if there is anything new in the market. It is mostly the same, expensive, and not serial connected – so Housegard Note is still a cheap, basic, smart, smoke detector.
I decided to order three more yesterday. I need about 16 for the whole house, but I do not want to invest that much money on a one-time-purchase when the quality is that buggy.
So, what have actually changed for the last 5 months? Not much really…
Notification-center on iPhone
I found that you have to click the notification line at the bottom, then drag it up (on iPhone). Not sure, if this is after the last update or not – but as this work, it is possible to see which smoke detector that triggers.
Both my smoke detectors report 100% battery. Another bug? The battery should last about 1 year, and they both still have 100% after 5 months?
Wondering if they will start beeping when it’s almost empty?
Disconnect and connect test
As the battery status is probably wrong, I disconnected one of the smoke detectors by taking out the batteries, to see if the status-reporting in the app was working at all.
09:36 Taking out the batteries
10:00 Still reporting as online in the app
10:11 Smoke detector reporting as offline
10:12 Inserted the batteries again. Checked the app, and it was reported as online immediately.
Battery is still reporting as 100% after reconnecting to the hub. No event logged that the smoke detector was offline. It is not possible to set an alarm/automation for when a smoke detector goes offline.
No answer from Housegard
I sent Housegard two emails, where I asked about the bugs and if they have an API. Still no answer at all.
One update in the last 6 months
The iPhone app has had one update the last 6 months.
– Server connection optimization
– Add AP distribution function
– One click distribution network optimization
Every version from 1.0 to 1.5.0 now, has the word optimization in it. This doesn’t really help me understanding what they have done to the app, but it’s probably an optimization…?
Found a new interesting bug. When trying to set a automation/timer, there is some Chinese characters. This actually confirms that this is a cheap Chinese-rebrand product.
Still worth it?
The possibility to open the notification-center on my iPhone was the “game-changer” for me, and the reason I ordered three more. There is no use for smart smoke detectors if you cannot see which one was triggered.
There are still some bugs and I wish it had some more functionality, like notification if a smoke detector goes offline – but you get what you pay for. As this is probably a 100% bought and translated Chinese-product, Housegard has probably not much to say in the future and development – and is probably the reason why Housegard just ignores my emails.
I see they have a one-star rating on e.g. Komplett.no, with complaints about fake alarms. As mention, I have not had any fake alarms with the Housegard Note, but fake alarms are a common issue with a lot of smoke detectors. I have had problems with fake alarms on my Fibero Z-wave detectors, I have heard others have problems with “not-smart” serial connected detectors. The common thing for most of the fake alarms, is that they usually start with a smoke detector placed in a none-living area (typically garage, outdoor buildings, barns/stable/playhouse, none-used room in the house).