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Arlo Pro 5 - Setting up Geofencing and Schedule Routines to work in Combination

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Dom_donald
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Desired behaviour: I want the system to be in 'Arm Away' after 10pm regardless of who is home or not. During the day, I want the system to be in 'Arm Away' if no-one is at home, and 'Arm Home' if someone is at home.

 

Can someone provide details of the precise settings for this scenario? It's terribly hard to understand how the automations work in combination. I managed with my old Arlo version, but the new automations are confounding. 

 

I have set up two 'schedules':

  • Home Daytime (07:00 everyday) > Arm Away, Arm Home enabled, Schedule: WHEN 07:00 everyday THEN Arm Home
  • Home Nighttime (22:00 everyday) > Arm Away, Arm Home enabled, Schedule: WHEN 22:00 everyday THEN Arm Away

and two Arrive/Leaves:

  • Home Anyone Arrives > Arm Away, Arm Home enabled, WHEN Anyone Arrives THEN Arm Home
  • Away Everyone Leaves > Arm Away, Arm Home enabled, WHEN Everyone Leaves THEN Arm Away.

This configuration doesn't work. When my wife and I are both at home, at 22:00 I expected the Mode to change to 'Arm Away', but it doesn't. It stayed on 'Arm Home'.  Confusingly, when I run the automation test on the schedule, the mode changes to Armed Away!

It's amazing how anyone can create such a complicated, convoluted, difficult to use system. I'm sure there's plenty of flexibility, but unless you were the app developer, it's nigh-on impossible to figure out how to use it (and I'm an experienced software engineer).

I think it would help if the set-up was done using a wizard, based on typical configurations that people might use.

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Dom_donald
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Hi Melinda - thanks for taking the time to write your response (again!).

I can't see any attachments. Could you please check to see if they uploaded? It would be super helpful, even though I understand your instructions and think i've now configured it correctly. 

 

First I set up the arrive/leave automations:

* Anyone Arrives: Mode = Armed Home

* Everyone Leaves: Mode = Armed Away

 

Then I set up the Schedule automations so they set the Mode but allow the appropriate arrive/leaves to change it:

* Daytime: Mode = Armed Home, Schedule: at 06:15 every day THEN Everyone Leaves -> Enabled

* Nighttime: Mode = Armed Away, Schedule: at 22:00 every day THEN Anyone Arrives -> Disabled.

 

This is very different than what the Arlo representative suggested (his configuration didn't seem to work). I'm eager to see if this works - it makes sense, at least!

 

If you could upload your screenshots, that would be fantastic!

 

cheers

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16 REPLIES 16
DannyBearAgain
Master
Master

I totally agree with the wizard, even if arlo built it only into the website app it would reduce the need to contact arlo support which would not know either.

 

Its a shame that arlo intends ramming this new experience to everyone some day.

 

RegularJoe
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

I gave up on trying to set up "automations".

The modes never changed... whether I arrived or left... I finally deleted all the automations and just change modes manually.

 

Dom_donald
Star
Star

I can understand your frustration. As someone who has developed engineering software systems and worked with logic my whole life, I'm still flummoxed by the Arlo app!

 

To Arlo's credit, one of their customer service people reached out to me privately by email and made some suggestions regarding the configuration.

 

So, my configuration now is:

Schedules:

  1. Home Daytime, 06:15 every day > Always Enabled, WHEN 06:15 Everyday THEN: Arm Home (1 camera on)
  2. Home Nighttime, 22:00 every day > Always Enabled, WHEN 22:00 Everyday THEN: Arm Away (2 cameras on)

Arrive/Leave:

  1. Home Anyone Arrives > Always Enabled, WHEN Anyone Arrives THEN
    • Home Nighttime > Enable
    • Home Daytime > Enable
  2. Away Everyone Leaves > Always Enabled, WHEN Everyone Leaves THEN
    • set Arm Away (Mode)

Then, in the Modes set up, I have:

  • Arm Away (2 cameras on) > All automations enabled
  • Arm Home (1 camera on) > All automations enabled
  • Standby > All automations enabled

The main thing I changed was enabling both Schedule Automations for the Arrive automation, rather than setting the Mode to 'Arm Home'.

 

I can kind of see how this works, i.e., if you leave then both cameras will be armed ('Arm Away'). If you arrive home, then the mode will be set according to the Schedule (so if it's after 10pm it'll arm both cameras ('Arm Away') and if it's before 10pm and after 6:15am it'll arm one camera ('Arm Home')). 

 

It's still confusing to me, because on the Arrive automation, the Schedule Automations are merely enabled rather than triggered. Unless those two words mean the same thing?

 

Also, I'd check that Arlo is able to use your phone's location services always, so it can detect when you're arriving/leaving.

 

Anyway, hope some of this helps.

Dom_donald
Star
Star

I should say, this configuration failed today.

When my wife and i left the house the system correctly changed mode to 'Arm Away'. When my wife returned, the Mode stayed on 'Armed Away' and it remained on 'Armed Away' even when i returned home later. So we were both at home with the system on Armed Away. I had to change the mode manually.

The old Arlo system used to work fine, with the interaction between Schedules and Geofencing. This system is a nightmare. I've gone back to customer support to see if there's anything else I can do before I just change modes manually or buy another system which is less hassle (and free to use).

MelindaMay
Tutor
Tutor

Try this: Set up your arrive/leave automations first, then your schedule for day/ night. 

 

If they don't seem to be working, just go back in, test the automation until it showing the mode you want and it should be right [that's what I had to do!].

 

It's taken me FOREVER to figure out it but seems to be working. 

 

 

Screenshot_20231024_105606_Arlo Secure.jpg

Screenshot_20231024_110447_Arlo Secure.jpg

Dom_donald
Star
Star

Sorry, I'm not sure which part of your advice is the important bit.. is it the order in which you set up the automations or is it the testing? 

I have arrive/leave automations and schedules for day/night.

If I test my automations, my 'Anyone Arrives' automation doesn't set the Mode to 'Arm Home' correctly.  This corresponds to what happens during normal operation i.e. when I arrive home, the mode doesn't change to 'Armed Home', rather it stays on 'Armed Away'.

 

The other automations seem to work ok when I test them.

 

My Anyone Arrives automation is:

WHEN Anyone Arrives THEN

     Home Night Time (automation) -> Enable

     Home Daytime  (automation) -> Enable

 

So the 'Anyone Arrives' automation does NOT directly change the Mode. Rather, it enables the two schedule automations, which in turn set the Mode. I did this on the advice of an Arlo customer support person. The reason I don't directly change the Mode when I get home is because it depends on the time of day. If I get home during the day, I want Mode 'Armed Home' and if I get home during the night, I want Mode 'Armed Away'.

 

Is this how you have done it?

MelindaMay
Tutor
Tutor

I had typed out a long initial message and then the system crashed on me, deleting it. So I just attached the two images - can you see them? They basically show the important bit!

 

My arrive/leave automations and night/day schedule worked fine if only one of the automations existed - does yours? My issue was trying to get them all work together.

 

I got it to finally got the two automations to work concurrently by first creating my 'Arrive/Leave' automations.

 

Then I set up the 'Day/Night' scheduled automations... and what did the trick, was creating exceptions in the 'Day/Night' automations - which is what the images show.

 

In the 'Day' automation:

  • 'Day Time' = Arm Home [or whatever mode you want];
  • Schedule > When: > Sunrise or Custom time
  • CREATE THIS EXCEPTION ~ 'Then' = 'Leave*' automation is set to ENABLED.

That way, if you go out, through the day, it will trigger your 'Arm Away' mode. If you come back, it will switch to 'Arm Home' mode [or whatever modes you want to select based on how you use your modes].

 

In 'Night' automation:

  • 'Night Time' = Arm Away [or whatever mode you want];
  • Schedule > When: > Sunset or Custom time
  • CREATE THIS EXCEPTION ~ 'Then' = 'Arrive*' automation is set to DISABLED.

That way, if you come home at night, it won't change it to 'Arm Home', when you want the camera to remain set on 'Arm Away' [or whatever other mode you want it to stay on].

 

*arrive/leave or whatever you name them [my images show the names I named them]

 

I had to just go in and test the automations to get them working correctly and onto the current mode [I was Home but it was Night - so I wanted Arm Away mode] but it's been working exactly as I want it to!!

Dom_donald
Star
Star

Hi Melinda - thanks for taking the time to write your response (again!).

I can't see any attachments. Could you please check to see if they uploaded? It would be super helpful, even though I understand your instructions and think i've now configured it correctly. 

 

First I set up the arrive/leave automations:

* Anyone Arrives: Mode = Armed Home

* Everyone Leaves: Mode = Armed Away

 

Then I set up the Schedule automations so they set the Mode but allow the appropriate arrive/leaves to change it:

* Daytime: Mode = Armed Home, Schedule: at 06:15 every day THEN Everyone Leaves -> Enabled

* Nighttime: Mode = Armed Away, Schedule: at 22:00 every day THEN Anyone Arrives -> Disabled.

 

This is very different than what the Arlo representative suggested (his configuration didn't seem to work). I'm eager to see if this works - it makes sense, at least!

 

If you could upload your screenshots, that would be fantastic!

 

cheers

MelindaMay
Tutor
Tutor

Screenshot_20231024_110447_Arlo Secure.jpg

MelindaMay
Tutor
Tutor

Screenshot_20231024_105606_Arlo Secure.jpg

Dom_donald
Star
Star

oh, the image shown is a yellow triangle called 'image_unmoderated', so maybe it needs approval before it will show up...

Dom_donald
Star
Star

Seems to be working now, thank you!! 

Wow, that was a few months of torture to get to the apparent solution.

They don't make it easy, do they? 

The FAQ and support sites are useless. I suggested that Arlo should include some common scenarios as examples.

MelindaMay
Tutor
Tutor

Hahahaha - seriously, they have ZERO information anywhere on how to set that up and it sounds like their own staff couldn't even help you.

I'm glad it's working for you 🙂 - finally!! [I felt your pain!]

jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

The FAQs are here:

 

https://kb.arlo.com/000062942/How-do-I-add-a-Schedule-Automation-to-my-Arlo-system

 

https://kb.arlo.com/000062822/What-are-Arrive-Leave-Automations-and-how-do-I-set-it-up-for-my-Arlo-s...

 

There are duplicates of many of the FAQs with some giving directions for the old user interface (UI) that uses Library to view recordings and the others for the new UI that uses Feed. Each of the FAQs have a link near the top to help steer you to the right version.

Dom_donald
Star
Star

Yes, and it's precisely these knowledge-base articles that are useless for anyone wanting to use a combination of automations.

 

The Arlo articles follow a similar formula to many other 'help' articles. They describe the function without describing clearly what it does or how to use it. Simplistically, the articles say things like "if you want to add an automation, click 'add automation'. To enable an automation, select 'Enable Automation'". 

 

Firstly, it's not obvious what 'enabling' an automation does. For example, does it trigger an automation, or does it merely enable it so that it can be triggered by another event (automation)? Does the order of automations in the 'THEN..' part matter? If so, how? 

 

It's also not obvious how an arrive/leave works in combination with a scheduled automation. If you arrive home during the day, should you 'enable' the 'day' schedule automation to 'trigger' the Arm Home mode? Or should you set the Mode directly? 

 

I understand that the way it works will offer a lot of flexibility for many different scenarios, but your knowledge-base articles don't appear to offer any examples and they're very simplistic.

 

If it was that clear, people wouldn't be in the forums trying to figure it out.

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Dom_donald wrote:

 

I understand that the way it works will offer a lot of flexibility for many different scenarios, but your knowledge-base articles don't appear to offer any examples and they're very simplistic.

 


I agree - better descriptions and realistic examples would make it much easier.

 

I do want to clarify something - neither @jguerdat nor I work for Arlo, so they are not our articles.