Getting rid of Smartthings - Some questions on HA and Z-wave stick

It’s about time to get rid of my Smartthings hub and the frustrations that went with it (lack of multi-hub support, flexibility restrictions, etc). I’ve got some zigbee and z-wave devices in my house that work 50% of the time. I need to change that

I’ve toyed with Smart Life websockets, IFTTT, MQTT (on a pi with Mosquitto), Node-Red for another project so i’m fairly high-level well rounded in some of the functionality in HA.

My questions are

  1. Is it best to run HA on a PI or a VM on my server that runs 24x7 (for stability and backup purpsoes (very easy to clone PI hardware)
    2). Is the Aeotec z-wave stick the best way to get z-wave sensor to talk to HA?
    3). How is the distance for the stick?
    4). Is there a way to integrate multiple sticks to the same system? My ccurrent hub can’t reach up stairs (rebar and concrete walls) and therefor I may need multiple “hubs” - Seems the repeater function doesn’t work well for me. Maybe my kid pulls out the socket to mess with me. I dunno
  2. For #4, can I use 2 raspberry Pi’s with z-wave sticks in the same ecosystem HA

Many thanks and appreciate the welcome, may be spending a bunch of time here as a newb

Can’t talk about all the points, but I have recently made the jump from SmartThings to HA and my finding / points on the above are:

  1. If you want automation to run at any point 24/7 is best, i had a NUC and so used that, I’ve heard the pi is ok, but might seem sluggish at times… but can’t talk to if that’s true.
  2. I ended up getting a £7.5 (UK) everspring z-wave usb from eBay, as I just wanted to flash some nano dimmers I had, however after using it with my house I can safely say its robust & have not noticed any delays (once the network has stabilised), so as stable as SmartThings for z-wave.
  3. for the cheap stick I have devices around my house and all are direct connection, not hops etc. (4bed semi in the UK for size reference).

Good luck and enjoy the experience

You mention having both Zigbee & Z-Wave devices. Perhaps a USB stick like the HUSBZB-1 would work better for you. I am using one for my small Z-Wave network but I understand Zigbee works with HA zha platform.
I think the way people do #4 is to use MQTT to communicate between instances.
If you use a VM, be sure the VM has USB access. Microsoft Hyper-V does not permit access to physical devices on the host.

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I’m using the same one for Zigbee. No problems at all, about four months in. HA is running fine on a RPi 3B+. Nothing sluggish about it, even when I was monitoring a ton of data coming from my router (which I’ve since stopped doing.)

Thanks a bunch everyone. Really do appreciate it.

I’m willing to get rid of my zigbee devices and go full z-wave if it makes sense.
Really the problem i’m trying to get around is Smartthings poor distance that I was getting, unable to integrate with many things that I wanted to and now their attempt to lock me into a Samsung account that tries to scavenge all of my device data.

Just looked at my numbering again. Somehow 5 became 2.

#4 / #5 - Anyone know if it’s possible to link multiple raspberry Pi’s together with z-wave cards into a single system. I’ve got a 2 story house and the walls are concrete which means there may be no-signal areas and I may needed multiple hubs.
– Missed a comment above. MQTT is an option as I saw Mosquitto in the HA setup. Easy Peasy. Any other options?

Is your SmatThings hub Z-Wave instead of the newer Z-Wave Plus? The newer standard has more distance while being backward compatible.

I have a smartthings V1 and V2 so I guess it’s not z-wave plus.

That said, I’m a little more than peeved at this vendor lockin with the user-id’s than I was with just the ST hub. With 2 hubs, I could pair my systems and maybe use MQTT or something to exchange information or alert.

I’m gaining more and more interesting in and just using a z-wave dongle.

Has anyone used multi PI’s and stuck them together with MQTT?

I have seen that. Search the forum.

I just searched. Smartthings V2 is supposed to be Z-Wave Plus.

I think what you are looking for is called eventstream and statestream.
ive never used it tho.

Thanks Seb… Not 100% sure what i’m looking for… I may have to run a HA upstairs and a HA downstairs to deal with the distance…

Unless I can find some better z-wave repeaters and handle these concrete walls. I guess that’s a different discussion though…

Or maybe really long atennae with another z-wave stick…

You could replace some light switches in your house with some zwave ones.
or even some zwave outlets. (pretty much anything that’s plugged in)
They act as repeaters, it works very well for me.
My server is in the basement and I get coverage everywhere in the house without a problem.

You could alse use this graph to try to find which node causes problems

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