Motion Detector Behavior while Exit/Entry Delay is in Progress

Hi, I have a question on Motion Detector and alarm system behavior while Exit/Entry delay is in progress.

  1. As I understand, a motion detector alert is ignored by the system after it is armed AND exit delay is in progress - the assumption being that the people exiting may be causing the alert. After the motion detector’s dwell time AND the exit delay completes (whichever is longer - since the exit delay may be 60 seconds and the Gen 1 motion detector dwell time is 180 seconds), the next motion detector alert is recognized by the system. This is the case regardless of whether the motion detector’s placement is Entryway or Room. Is this correct?
  2. Using the above example, if the exit delay is 60s and a Gen 1 motion detector is triggered on the way out, given its dwell time of 180 seconds, there are 120 seconds without the motion detector protecting - since its dwell time has to complete before it can send the next alert. Is this correct?
  3. If an Entry delay is triggered, by a contact sensor - by opening a door to enter a home, and while going towards the keypad to disarm the system, a motion detector is triggered, then will the alarm sound if the motion detector’s placement is Room or, because an Entry delay is already in progress, the system ignores the motion detector because an Entry delay is in progress - similar to the exit delay? OR because the motion detector’s placement is Room, the alarm sounds right away, even though an entry delay is in progress, activated by a contact sensor?
  4. If the system is armed and a motion detector with Entryway placement is triggered, will the system initiate an Entry delay before sounding an alarm EVEN though all the doors have contact sensors and none of the contact sensors have been activated?

Thanks.

Hi @njarwala. I would consult @Boone for this subject! Boone has an incredible write up, that can be found HERE, on Motion Detectors. I’m pretty sure this information will answer all of your questions. Also, you can always put your Ring Alarm into Self Monitoring and test your system. Just be sure to switch back into Professional Monitoring when you are done testing! :smiley:

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Tom, I did read the very detailed and excellent posts by @Boone. Believe it or not (unless I missed it in the extensive detail…), the questions I posted were not covered. Yes, I guess I can try and test but thought these may be design details that may already be known.

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@Tom_Ring
, thank you for the very kind words!!! :slight_smile:

Hello @njarwala ,

Those are a bunch of very excellent questions! Yes, you are correct that I never wrote in previous posts about what happens while the Alarm system during the Time-Delay countdown. You got my curiosity up and hopefully you’ll be satisfied with my answers, as I try to answer them one-by-one. :slight_smile: It took me a little time experimenting and reading to ensure I got the correct answers. I’ll apologize now, because it also turned into a little lengthy written explanation too, but I wanted to be very clear.

But for the benefit of other readers of this post, and to be clear, here is a quick refresher on the “Placement” designation for Alarm Sensors:

The " Placement" setting is important for your sensors and will determine if the alarm will immediately go off or delay (for the time you set on the Entry/Exit delay).

  • Contact Sensor “Placement” set at:
    • “Main Door”: Uses delay Entry/Exit Time settings.
    • “Secondary Door” or “Window”: No delay. Immediate.
  • Motion Sensor “Placement” set at:
    • “Entryway”: Uses delay Entry/Exit Time settings.
    • “Room”: No delay. Immediate.

To set “Placement” for each sensor:

  • Main Menu > “Devices” > Alarm Base Station > and then select the Contact or Motion sensor > select the blue “Gear” icon (upper-right-corner) > Placement > choose Placement designation > “Save” (upper-right-corner).

Now back to what you wrote. To ensure I would be giving you the correct information, I experimented using my Ring Alarm Base Station, and Alarm Motion Sensors, and Contact Sensors. All of my Ring Alarm components are 2nd Generation. I repeated this experimentation several times in both armed Modes of “Home” and “Away” to make sure I got the same results with both armed modes (which I did). Of course, I changed from “Professional Monitoring” to “Self-Monitoring” during this experimentation so that the emergency response teams would not be showing up at my door! I did learn some surprising answers to your questions. And although you apparently own 1st Generation Ring Alarm components, I doubt the results would be different (except for the 2nd Gen Motion sensor Dwell-Time, which I’ll address at the end).

  • You wrote, "As I understand, a motion detector alert is ignored by the system after it is armed AND exit delay is in progress - the assumption being that the people exiting may be causing the alert.

Dang, the first sentence makes me respond with a little bit of a wishy-washy reply of, “Well, yeah, but it’s not exactly ignored” because you stated during and while the Exit Delay countdown is occurring. First, remember that all alarm sensors are always ON (there is not a sensor OFF switch). To really “turn off” an Alarm Motion Sensor (or Contact sensor) you need to remove the batteries or have dead batteries in it. The Motion Sensor always sends a Z-Wave signal to the Alarm Base Station whenever it detects a motion-triggering event, and then enters the “Dwell” reset time where it remains quiet until that reset period is over. A Contact Sensor always sends a Z-Wave signal to the Base Station whenever its status is “Opened” or “Closed” too (no such thing as a Dwell-Reset-Time for a Contact Sensor). What the Alarm Base Station does with that Z-Wave information is the key, and its response is dependent on:

  • What is the current Alarm Mode the Base Station (or during a countdown transition period).
  • What is the “Placement” designation for that Motion Sensor (“Entryway” or “Room”).
  • What is the Entry and/or Exit Alarm Delay time settings.

The Base Station is always 'listening" and “aware” of whatever signals are sent from its sensors. This is true even the “Disarmed Mode.” But when using armed Alarm “Home” or “Away” Modes, during the Time Delay countdown the Base Station will not respond/siren to a motion-triggered-signal from either a “Entryway” OR “Room” Motion Sensor or other Motion Sensors (regardless of their Placement designation) that are tied to this same Base Station. If a Motion Sensor “detects” your movement as you exit, it tells the Base Station and it isn’t until the Exit countdown is completed that the system becomes Armed for Motion Sensor signals that any motion-trigger signal sensor can cause the Base Station to response/siren. Note: This is NOT true for Contact Sensors that have their Placements as “Secondary Door” or “Window.” If these Contact sensors are “opened” during the Entry or Exit Countdown, the Base Station will immediately trigger the siren! Only a “Main Door” Contact Sensor will not cause the siren during the countdown.

  • Next you wrote, “After the motion detector’s dwell time AND the exit delay completes (whichever is longer - since the exit delay may be 60 seconds and the Gen 1 motion detector dwell time is 180 seconds), the next motion detector alert is recognized by the system. This is the case regardless of whether the motion detector’s placement is Entryway or Room. Is this correct?”

Yes, the Base Station is always “listening and aware” of any sensor signal. Once the Exit Time Delay countdown is completed, any subsequent motion-trigger-signal from a “Room” Motion Sensor will cause the Base Station to immediately sound the siren . But all Motion-Sensors can not “talk” until their Dwell-Time is completed, so if they detected a movement-triggering event during the exit, they will be ready once their Dwell-Time period is over. If a “Room” Motion Sensor sends a signal, an armed Base Station will immediately trigger the siren. A “Entryway” Motion Sensor signal will start the Entry Delay Countdown, and trigger the siren if the Armed Base Station is not Disarmed prior to the countdown finishing. If there is already an on-going Exit countdown, then this Motion Sensor will use that countdown and not add additional time to the countdown.

  • You wrote, “Using the above example, if the exit delay is 60s and a Gen 1 motion detector is triggered on the way out, given its dwell time of 180 seconds, there are 120 seconds without the motion detector protecting - since its dwell time has to complete before it can send the next alert. Is this correct?”

Yes, you are correct. Any Motion Sensor(s) that you triggered during exiting can NOT “talk” to the Base Station until the Dwell-Time is finished. Any other non-triggered Motion Sensors will not have a Dwell-Time period started are ready to instantly send a Z-Wave signal to the Base Station. Once the Base Station has completed the Exit Countdown and the Base Station is now armed, “Room” Motion Sensors or any “Secondary Door” and “Window” Contact Sensor will immediately trigger the siren. Any “Entryway” Motion Sensor or “Main Door” Contact Sensor will start the Entry Delay countdown.

  • You wrote, _“If an Entry delay is triggered, by a contact sensor - by opening a door to enter a home, and while going towards the keypad to disarm the system, a motion detector is triggered, then will the alarm sound if the motion detector’s placement is Room or, because an Entry delay is already in progress, the system ignores the motion detector because an Entry delay is in progress - similar to the exit delay? OR because the motion detector’s placement is Room, the alarm sounds right away, even though an entry delay is in progress, activated by a contact sensor?”? _

This answer was a surprise to me too. If an Entry Delay Countdown is triggered by a "Main Door"Contact Sensor, the Base Station will not sound the siren for any Motion Sensor triggered (after the Countdown has begun) or during the countdown until the countdown is completed. So even though any Motion Sensor placement setting will not trigger the siren during Entry Delay, whatever sensor initially started the Entry countdown will cause the siren to sound unless the Base Station is Disarmed before the countdown finishes. Any “Secondary Door” Contact Sensor or “Window” Contact Sensor “opened” during the Entry Delay Countdown will immediately sound the siren, even with time remaining on the Entry countdown!

  • You wrote, “If the system is armed and a motion detector with Entryway placement is triggered, will the system initiate an Entry delay before sounding an alarm EVEN though all the doors have contact sensors and none of the contact sensors have been activated?”

Yes, an Entry Countdown will be started triggered by the “Entryway” Placement on this Motion Sensor, even if no Contact Sensor was “opened” prior to this. If other “Main Door” Contact Sensors are “opened” after the Entry countdown has started, the initial countdown continues (no additional time added to the on-going countdown). But if a “Secondary Door” Contact Sensor or a “Window” Contact Sensor is then “opened” during this Entry Countdown, the Base Station will immediately siren, even with countdown time remaining.

From my experimentation, I discovered that the Motion Sensor Placement designation settings did not function exactly as I had previously thought. I thought “Entryway” Motion Sensor would act just like a “Main Door” Contact Sensor, and it basically does during the Exit Delay but not because of the “Entryway” placement setting. My Base Station would not use any “movement-trigger-event” signal from a Motion Sensor if the Station received the signal during a Time-Delay countdown. I was surprised that a Motion Sensor that “sees” you exit or enter with a “Room” placement does not immediately cause an armed Base Station to siren if a countdown is on-going (like the “Secondary Door” Contact Sensor or “Window” Contact Sensor does). This revelation prompted a new question of my own that you didn’t ask.

  • I wondered, "Since the Base Station “listens and is aware” of the Z-Wave detected “movement-triggering-event” that happens during a Exit Delay countdown, does the Base Station sound the siren after the countdown is completed (using and remembering that motion-signal)?

No. Regardless of Motion Sensor “Entryway” or “Room” placement, the Base Station did NOT activate the siren once I completed exiting the house while the countdown was still on-going, even if I triggered the Motion Sensors on the way out. But once the Base Station completed the countdown (now armed) and the Dwell-Time was completed, any following “movement-trigger-event” Motion Sensor signal would result as expected (had my wife stay inside motionless until I told her to move): Immediate siren by “Room” Motion Sensors or the start of a Entry countdown for “Entryway” Motion Sensors. So if a “Room” Motion Sensor has a view of your door that you leave by (without any Contact Sensor on it or a bypassed “Secondary Door/Window” Contact Sensor on that door, OR a door with a “Main Door” Contact Sensor), you then can exit without accidental siren sounding when it finishes arming. But to get back into the house with a “Room” Motion Sensor that can “see” you entering, you need to have a “Main Door” Contact Sensor on that door to start the Entry Delay Countdown (so the Base Station won’t use the Motion Sensor signal), OR use your Ring App on your phone to disarm prior to entering.

So to summarize my experiments:

  • While the Base Station is in either an Entry or Exit Countdown time-period, any Motion Sensor, including other multiple Motion sensors at this time, that send a “movement-triggering-signal” to the Base Station will not activate the siren, regardless of their Placement designation.
  • Once the Base Station is armed with no on-going countdown, any “Room” Motion Sensors will immediately activate the Base Station siren.
  • Once the Base Station is armed with no on-going countdown, any “Entryway” Motion Sensors will start an Entry Countdown.
  • Any “Secondary Door” or “Window” Contact Sensor “opened” during an Entry or Exit Delay Countdown will immediately cause the Base Station to sound the siren, even with countdown time remaining. You should use “Main Door” Contact Sensor placement setting to prevent an unintended alarm activation while entering or departing.

Before I thought the “Entryway” Motion Sensors where needed if they can view your departure or entry during the countdown. I’ve re-evaluated my use of the “Entryway” setting on my Motion Sensors. And now I’ve changed all my Motion Sensors to the “Room” Placement setting, to depend on the “Main Door” Contact Sensor on my door and the Time Delay Countdown to prevent accidental alarm sirens when I return back. This way, all my Motion Sensors will immediately cause the alarm siren for intruders without delay no matter what time I’ve set for my Entry or Exit Delay Time (if the intruder successfully got past my Contact Sensors). I kind of like this now, because before I was concerned about some activated downstairs “Entryway” Motion Sensors delaying, while I was asleep upstairs. I own two Keypads, one downstairs near the doorway and one upstairs next to my bed. If I only had the one downstairs Keypad, this would be a good reason to utilize the “Entryway” Motion Sensor Placement setting on the sensors that would detect my movement on my way to Disarm on the downstairs Keypad (or I could just use my phone to Disarm while upstair prior to going downstairs).

So @njarwala , I don’t know if your 1st Generation Ring Alarm system will act the same way as I found my 2nd Generation alarm devices do. It probably does. But you should probably confirm this by doing your own experiments as I did. I’d like to hear about an update back if you do experiment. :slight_smile:

Why is there a Motion Sensor Dwell-Time at all? One reason is the Motion Sensor would continually be telling the Base Station “there’s movement, there’s movement, there’s movement, etc.” and your phone (if Notifications are enabled), and your Base Station & Keypad (if Chirp sounds are enabled) would go off over and over and over again. Secondly, the Base Station only needs to be ‘told’ once to trigger an alarm. Dwell-Time attempts to limit one Z-Wave signal per the same motion triggering event.

Also know that the 2nd Generation Motion Sensors are a bit different than the 1st Generation Motion Sensors in two major ways:

  • 2nd Gen Motion Sensor “Dwell-Time” is just under 30-seconds (instead of 180-seconds of the 1st Gen). https://community.ring.com/t5/Ring-Alarm/Things-you-DIDN-T-WANT-TO-KNOW-about-Motion-Detectors/m-p/66372#M6401

  • According to the Ring Help Article,_"The Ring Alarm Motion Detector (2nd generation) uses new patented motion detection technology that works differently, so first and second-generation Motion Detectors can’t be easily compared, even though the settings look similar. _Motion Detector (2nd generation) is designed to measure both heat and movement over time, which should help reduce false alarms. You may experience differences in how motion is detected due to a number of environmental factors when installed in your home or business. If you set the second generation Motion Detector to the High Detection setting, you should have a similar experience to the first generation Motion Detector set to the Medium Sensitivity setting."

https://support.ring.com/hc/en-us/articles/360040043232

Whew! Well, I hope you find this information useful! I did and I changed my settings as a result. :slight_smile:

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Thank you, @Boone for an incredibly detailed response! Thank you for being so generous with your time and sharing your experience and expertise. This level of detail must take a great deal of time to first discover and then of course write-up!

I do have one Gen 1 Motion Detector. I will confirm that the overall behavior (with the exception of course of the dwell time) is consistent with your observations on Gen 2.

Two key takeaways:

  1. The 180s dwell time on the Gen 1 motion detector is unusual and potentially problematic. I presume this is hard wired into the product - not configurable/updateable by software/firmware. While possibly contrived, there could be scenarios where this duration could pose a security risk. I will revisit where I am using this and whether it should be used at all.
  2. The only reason to have a motion detector in Entryway placement is if it is covering a Main Door which does not have a contact sensor. This is possible, if unlikely. Otherwise all motion detectors should use Room placement - since the Exit/Entry delays will prevent them from trigerring an alarm while leaving/entering the home.

Thank you again. Your response has been tremendously helpful.

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Thank you! No where in the manual does it explain that and I could not understand why my basement door (set as secondary door) wouldn’t follow the exit delay setting. Appreciate the thorough answer.

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@HSI_Joe,

You are very welcome, and thanks for taking the time to say so. I’m glad I was helpful. :wink: