Do contact sensors and motion detectors behave differently in entry delay

Here’s a scenario I’ve been testing that I’m confused by. In this scenario, I have two contact sensors (front and back door) and one motion detector. The front door sensor is a “main door” so it allows entry delay. The back door is not a main door so it would trip the alarm immediately if it were the first breach of the property. The motion sensor is in a room (not entryway) so it is also set to trip the alarm immediately.

Here’s the experiment I did: I put the system in armed/away mode. Then I opened the front door to put the system in 60-second entry delay. Then, during the entry delay, I opened the back door. Result: the alarm sounded immediately and called the monitoring service. (I’m in practice mode, so no harm.)

Then, I repeated the experiment (again, starting in armed/away mode), but this time I ran in front of the motion detector during the 60-second entry delay. Result: the alarm did not go off. (The event history shows the motion detector did see me.) Instead, it continued to give me the rest of the 60 seconds to disarm the system, which I did.

Both of these devices trip the alarm immediately without delay if they are the first breach of the property, but they behave differently when the system is put in entry delay by opening the front door. Why is this? Are motion detectors and contact sensors just programmed to behave differently during the entry delay, regardless of how they are set up in your account?

Hi @user75373. There are a few different things to keep in mind regarding Motion Detectors and their behavior. By default, Motion Detectors are armed in Away Mode, but not in Home Mode. When performing any testing with Motion Detectors, make sure to swap to the correct Mode. You can always check and change which sensors are armed in each Mode by navigating to the Modes Settings.

In addition, I’d suggest verifying that this particular Motion Detector has the Placement set as Room and not Entryway. This is the setting that determines if the sensor is going to provide the Entry Delay or not. Lastly, if you have just triggered that Motion Detector, allow it a moment to clear the motion detected status before attempting a test.

If this issue persists, it would be best to get in touch with our support team at one of the numbers available here. Request to speak with the Ring Alarm team specifically. They can investigate things on the back end further, as we can mainly only assist with general troubleshooting tips and tricks here on the Ring Community. I hope this helps.

Hi Caitlyn,

Thank you for your reply. Let me clarify what the setting were. I also want to clarify that I don’t consider this a problem, certainly not with the motion sensor hardware. I believe this is a feature of the base station programming, and I’m just looking for a more accurate description of what that programming is telling the system to do. Here are the parameters of my system and the test I ran:

Front door: set as an entryway, armed in away mode, with 60-second entry delay.

Motion detector: Set as a room, armed in away mode. Since it is set as a room, not an entry, there is no entry delay.

The test: With the system in away mode, I verified that the upstairs motion detector was “not detecting motion”, and I had not been near it for several minutes so there’s no reason it would be. I then opened the front door to trip the alarm and start entry delay. I then ran upstairs in front of the motion detector during the 60-second entry delay. I saw the green LED flash, and later verified in the history that it had seen me at that time. The result: the 60-second entry delay continued without the siren sounding.

Just to contrast, when I repeated the experiment (opened front door in away mode, and then opened back door during the entry delay), I got an immediate alarm because the back door is not on delay. I also later put the alarm in away mode and - without opening the front door - walked in front of the motion detector; the result is that the siren went off immediately.

So, hopefully you can see this is not an equipment malfunction, nor is it me being unaware of what mode my system is in. The situation seems to be that the back door and the upstairs motion detector are both set to alarm immediately in away mode, but the 60-second delay initiated by opening the front door has different effects on them: it overrides the immediate siren on the motion detector but not on the back door contact sensor.

If this is the case, it’s fine. It’s actually kind of better, because it’s theoretically possible that someone could run upstairs really quickly (e.g., to use the bathroom) while we’re still in the process of disarming the system on delay. It’s also clear to me that this has nothing to do with the sensors, since the siren behavior in response to activating a sensor is determined by the base station software. I just want to know what the official specification of that behavior is. Based on what I’ve described, I think I know the exact behavior: delay overrides a siren response for a room motion sensor but not for a non-main-door contact sensor. I just want to confirm that I’ve described this behavior correctly.

@user75373 A Motion Detector set as a Room Placement and not Entryway should trigger the alarm immediately if the system is armed, or the Entry Delay is counting down. So in this case, my recommendation is to contact our support team to take a closer look at what’s going on during these tests you’ve run.