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{mospagebreak toctitle= Introduction, Setup}

D-Link DCH-S150 product shot

At a Glance
Product D-Link DCH-S150 mydlink Wi-Fi Motion Sensor [website]
Summary Wi-Fi enabled motion sensor that pairs with DSP-W215 Smart Plug
Pros • Easy to set up (uses WPS)
• Sends in-app notifications for motion triggers.
• Works seamlessly with the DSP-W215
• Device logs every event
Cons • No Web UI or desktop apps - must use smart phone apps
• No Email or text notification options

Introduction

Several weeks ago, we reviewed D-Link's first product in its Connected Home product line - the DSP-W215 Smart Plug. The second entry in the Connected Home line is the DCH-S510 Wi-Fi Motion Sensor that I'm reviewing today. Priced at $39.99, the DCH-S510 is the perfect companion for the Smart Plug. Motion events can turn the Smart Plug on and off and send in-app notifications.

Though Smart Plug had its own iOS and Android apps, the Motion Sensor is set up and controlled by D-Link's new mydlink Home app. Here are the QR codes for the mydlink Home app taken from the mydlink.com website.

QR Codes for mydlink Home App

QR Codes for mydlink Home App

The Smart Plug can also be controlled by the new mydlink Home app, but with somewhat reduced functionality compared to its dedicated Smart Plug app. Both devices are available through your "mydlink.com" account that you can set up for free. And, while both hardware devices show up in the desktop version of mydlink after you register them, you must use the mobile apps to connect to or control either of the devices.

The D-Link Motion Sensor is a small device measuring 2.28 x 2.13 x 1.71 inches. The image below shows the positioning of the non-polarized two prong plug. It is offset from the center of the device meaning that if you plug it in using the right orientation, you'll only lose the use of one socket in a standard U.S. duplex wall outlet.

D-Link DCH-S150 side view

D-Link DCH-S150 side view

The image below shows an overview of the hardware and LED status codes. On the side of the unit, there's a power/status LED the WPS button and a reset pinhole. Motion is detected using a Passive Infrared sensor.

D-Link DCH-S150 callouts

D-Link DCH-S150 callouts

Setup

Setup of the Motion sensor is almost identical to the setup of the Smart Plug. You need:

  • A Wi-Fi network that's connected to the Internet
  • An Android or iOS device
  • A "MyDlink" account. If you don't already have one, you can set up an account for free at www.mydlink.com.
  • The mydlink Home app downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App store

For setup, you need to enable Wi-Fi on your smartphone and connect it to the same network that the Motion Sensor will be using. The entire setup process is performed through a wizard that launches when you add a device on the mydlink Home app on your mobile device. You merely plug the Smart Plug device into a power outlet and run the Smart Plug app on your smart phone.

WPS (Wi-Fi Protected Setup) simplifies connecting to your wireless network. After pushing the WPS button on your router and on your Motion Sensor, you should be connected to your wireless network in about 30 seconds. If your router doesn't support WPS, and virtually all modern routers do, you also have the option of performing a manual network setup using information provided on a printed card that's included with the product.

During the setup process, you provide login credentials to your MyDlink account. After completing setup, you'll land at a screen similar to the ones shown below. The image on the left is from my iPad and the one on the right is from my Android phone.

Mydlink Home app landing page - iOS (L) and Android (R)

Mydlink Home app landing page - iOS (L) and Android (R)

Both devices show not only the DCH-S150 motion sensor, but also the DSP-W215 that had been installed for the previous review. The Android screen, however, shows all of the devices currently registered to my "mydlink" account, including a DCS-932L camera and DIR-880L AC1900 router. While both of the devices are active and online, the current version of mydlink Home doesn't support either the router or the camera - at least not yet.

The screenshot below shows the DCH-S150 landing page as displayed on my iPad. The Android version looks almost identical. You arrive here by tapping on the its icon from the mydlink.com landing page shown in the above image.

D-Link DCH-S150 Landing Page (iOS)

D-Link DCH-S150 Landing Page (iOS)

There aren't really many options to set on the device, but I've included a short gallery below. Essentially you can enable/disable motion detection, view the log of previous motion events by tapping on Last Detection, adjust the IR sensor sensitivity and create schedules. By default, motion detection is always enabled. Without a companion device to trigger, the only use for the Motion Sensor would be for notification.


Hands On

As noted above, there's a "mydlink Home" app both Android and iOS platforms. Like the iOS version of Smart Plug, the iOS version of Home is also an iPhone app, but runs on an iPad. In addition to being able to set up and control D-Link's Connected Home devices, the Home app also lets you link devices together.

I linked the Motion Sensor to my Smart Plug device. You can set up rules for what the Motion Sensor should do when motion is detected. For the Smart Plug, your options are Turn On or Turn Off the Smart Plug or you can create a rule to notify you when motion is detected. You can run multiple rules or enable/disable the rules. Notification is done via in-app notification. There isn't an option for either email or text notification.

If you should happen to have quite a few Connected Home devices, the mydlink Home app will also let you create groups of devices. You can name each group, choose from a very limited set of icons, or use one of your own photos to help identify the group. I created a group and named it "Home" and added both of my devices. While the group feature worked fine on my iPad, neither the newly created group nor the "My Places" screen appeared on either of my Android devices.

In testing the Motion Sensor, I tried it in several locations around my home and it triggered as expected. I had the trigger set to turn on the Smart Plug that had a light and fan attached. When motion was detected and the Smart Plug was already turned off, motion turned on the light as expected. I also got in app notifications of the trigger on both Android devices as well as the iPad.

It appears that D-Link will only send a notification at what appears to be about a 5 minute interval to prevent a stream of notifications should the motion sensor be triggered at close intervals. Individual trigger events are logged and you can view them through the Home app as shown in the first slideshow gallery. Below, I've created a second gallery to show linking the motion sensor to a device, configuring to send notifications and grouping of devices.

Closing Thoughts

When I first started testing the DCH-S150 Motion Sensor, I downloaded the new mydlink HOME app onto both of my Android devices as well as my iPad. The roll out of the new app wasn't what I would call a smooth release. Initially, the mydlink platform seemed slow and non responsive - even on the DSP-W215 Smart Plug that I had just reviewed a few weeks ago. And, the Home app was very buggy.

D-Link quickly addressed the server side problems and both the Smart Plug and the Motion sensor worked as expected. But there are still some user interface issues that needed to be addressed. Many of those issues that I discussed with D-Link were resolved with the 7/10/14 update of the Home app on both Android and iOS platforms. Still, there are some bugs that are yet to be fixed. For example, on the Android version of the Home app, you can't change the temperature display for the Smart Plug from "C" to "F". Nor does "My Places" appear on the Android version, so you don't have access to the groups you may have set up on an iOS device.

Even almost five years after introduction, "mydlink" can still be best described as a work in progress. While a lot of improvements have been made both on the back end and in the apps in the last two weeks, D-Link still needs to address the remaining bugs in the software and work on integrating the balance of their mydlink-enabled products to work on both mobile platforms. Webcams and routers don't appear on the iOS version. While they do appear on the Android app, they are grayed out. According to D-Link, the ultimate goal for is for all mydlink-enabled devices to be accessible on both mobile platforms. The question is how long it will take D-Link to reach this goal.

In looking at just the Motion Sensor and the Smart Plug, both worked well on both mobile platforms and with each other. Given their current state of development, I wouldn't have a problem recommending them both. I hope that the remaining bugs will be addressed quickly. But D-Link's Connected Home will be much more compelling when all of their products work with the mydlink Home app.

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