Can I integrate Hive Active Heating into HA without the Hive Hub?

I’m wondering if anyone here could help me. I’m looking to replace two old thermostats and the Hive Active Heating ones look like a good fit. The wiring is exactly the same as my existing set up.

Here: https://www.hivehome.com/products/hive-active-heating

I see that they are ZigBee devices and both the thermostat and receiver are listed as being compatible with HA.

Receiver: https://zigbee.blakadder.com/Hive_SLR1b.html
Thermostat: https://zigbee.blakadder.com/Hive_SLT3.html

Would I be able to install them with both local control via the thermostats and have control of them through HA? Do I need the Hive Hub or will my HA act as the hub?

My understanding is that Hive devices use some bespoke subset of Zigbee such that a hub is required for full functionaliy. There are some reports of people getting a generic ZigBee receiver to work, eg here, but it’s not entirely clear. I certainly think there are some features of the HiveHome heating implementation that are not part of the thermostat so YMMV.

If you are going into the weeds like this, it may be better just to get a zigbee thermostat and connect a RPi to the boiler demand. After all, the Hive thermostat is nothing special without the backend stuff.

Thanks for your reply. Since asking this question I’ve bought and installed two Hive Thermostats. It took a while to get everything paired and connected with HA.

Since then it’s been pretty solid. The only negative is that one of the thermostats disconnects/reconnects from the receiver pretty regularly. This itself doesn’t cause an issue most of the time but sometimes it will turn off the heating when it reconnects.

I think i’ll keep this set up for now and if it becomes unusable I’ll just get a hub.

Interesting. I have quite an investment in Hive products and they work very well, but I have been idly wondering what will happen when they realise supporting the hub/cloud system for nothing becomes untenable and they start to charge a subscription. That’s something I’m not interested in so, if it’s possible to use these devices with a generic zigbee receiver, that would be something. Sounds like you’re on the way to that.

Sorry to hijack your question with queries of my own, but it sounds like you’re heading in the right direction. Hope it works out for you.

Ahh don’t worry about all that. It’s the same reason i was so determined to try it without the hub first and purchase one only if i really needed to.
Can i ask do you have any of the Hive TRVs? I’ve been wondering if they’re worth it but the price of them is putting me off somewhat.

Like I say so far it’s working out but FYI getting them connected wasn’t much fun. I found that connecting one was really easy but it was somewhat misleading as it would show two climate entities when only one of them was working. After a day or so of trying it eventually picked up the second one, which also had two entities (with only one working). It also picked up the Thermostats entities with temp and battery attributes but they they don’t really seem to work.

On top of that i had to bring the upstairs thermostat back down in order for any devices to be paired. It must have been interfering with the signal somehow.

There is also a motion sensor on the side of the boiler that has now started false triggering, presumably for the same reason. I will be moving that today so hopefully it’s not an issue.

Other than this so far so good haha

Nah, no TRVs. Too costly. We have 24 rads!!

I’ve got the stat, six bulbs and seven switches in a big old Victorian house. With the Hive hub, there have never been any Zigbee issues at all, so your problem may not be interference unless the receiver is very poor. If it is just poor signal, you do know you can stick a plug/bulb halfway and have it act as a repeater right?

If you can make it work to your satisfaction without the hub, go for it. All the unreliability I’ve had has been down to the app and Centrica breaking the backend. Happens all the time.

Yeah I know about the repeater, not that I know how to specifically do that. I was under the impression that the ZigBee network sort of manages that itselfs. I have almost 50 ZigBee devices and a lot of them are repeaters.

The reason I suspect interference is because the thermostat upstairs (on the 3rd floor) has not once lost signal but the downstairs one (on the opposite side of the room to the receivers) looses it pretty regularly.

OK, well you are way ahead of me. The only thing I have found is that sensible positioning of some devices can bring others into range or improve reliability. So, line of sight, etc.

Maybe the downstairs device is getting hit on by a microwave or WiFi AP or somesuch.

Good luck!

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Do you actually have Home Assistant controlling your Hive devices in any way or just reporting on them? I’ve linked my Hive Thermostat and Boiler Controller to HA but cannot control them at all

I do have them controlled by HA. As mentioned before, one of them regularly disconnects/reconnects but I’m able to create a heating schedule in HA and it works pretty well all things considered.

Took me an age to get it all connected properly though.

Well done. Can you share your MQTT Broker and zigbee2mqtt configurations?

I’m using ZHA so not sure what i would/could share.

Interesting; I’ll have a look at ZHA instead - thanks.

Good luck, sorry I can’t be of much help. I can tell you that it was way easier to pair just one heating zone than two.

With two zone, each receiver would show two climate entities where only one would actually do anything. So once I found out which controls which I disabled the unless ones.

Hope this helps

@jampez77 how did you get the boiler unit into pairing mode? Is it the pink flashing light or the two amber flashing lights?

it’s the amber flashing lights.

The pink light will just pair it to the thermostat.

Hold down the button on the boiler unit to change the pairing mode.

FYI I found it easier to pair by only pairing the thermostat after the boiler unit has been paired. I had issues when I tried to pair everything at once to HA.

Hope this helps

Many thanks @jampez77

Writing up the procedure for others’ benefit

  1. Remove the thermostat from the wall and remove a battery
  2. Turn boiler off, then on again
  3. Hold down central heating button on the boiler receiver until light turns pink then release
  4. Hold down the central heating button again until the light turns amber with double flashing
  5. Pair with Home Assistant - I will be using ZHA’s ‘add device’
  6. At this point the amber flash may change to a single flash
  7. Stop ZHA from searching for devices by pressing back
  8. Replace the battery in the thermostat and allow to boot
  9. Press and hold the menu and back buttons, allow the countdown to finish and release when you see welcome - after selecting a language, it will enter pairing mode.
  10. On ZHA select the boiler device you added earlier, now click “ADD DEVICES VIA THIS DEVICE”
  11. The thermostat should now pair to the boiler receiver. The amber light should turn green.

I Will edit this after I’ve tried it if it does not work

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Perfect!!!

I’ve had a Hive system for a few years and also been interested in the Zigbee query, mostly for fun/experimentation but also to have the possibilty of escaping the clutches of BG’s server. So recently I bought from eBay a boiler controller (Hive SLR2b) to tinker with, not wishing to possibly confuse my real system.

The Hive SLR2b paired immediately with my cheapskate CC2531 easily, no tricks, no fidgeting, no problems. I can send MQTT commands to it and get correct messages back, and nice clunks from the controller as it switches. If Hive Zigbee is a subset, I’ve not yet found what is missing.

Someone clever at zigbee2mqtt has done the hard work; all credit to them.

No excuses now chaps :wink:

Thanks I’ve been wanting to do the same thing and looked on eBay for a cheap one to me about with.
What’s putting me off mainly is how would I recreate the schedule and boost etc as I would lose the hive ones.
What about the hive wall thermostat have you paired that also ?
If so does that still work the same ? As in the built in schedule syncing with HA and the rotary dial.