HELP Some NEWBEE basic questions regarding ZWave inclusion of older devices and USB passthough

Hi and happy new year!

I have had a Vera based system for many years… However Casa Verde has got new owners and there has been only one major SW update in three years. I think the platform is dead and want to merge to another more modern one and HomeAssistan has got my attention

I have currently set up a HA on bare metal on a x68 based system (NUC but not Intels) I have some 70+ ZWave devices in our home for Light, HVAC, MEDIA control, Security +++. I have installed the ZWaveJS2hqtt. I have problems in understanding how HA and the ZWave controller works and how to find my way in the documentation. I hope someone can help me with the following basic questions , either through explanations or point me to relevant info.

  1. Is it possible to include generic ZWave devices which does not already have a json config file in HA? If so how can this be done?

  2. I have several ZWave devices that is many years old which is functioning ok and I would like to continue to use them (they are not ZWave plus). Some of them are problematic to include and specifically so for battery devices ending up with Unknown device ID, Unknown Manufacturer, Unknown Device etc. I assume the that HA is not able to find a suitable json file or the the setup can not be conclude due to go back to sleep? Is it possible to manually add a json file and/or to edit the json file? How is this done?

  3. How do I set up group associations. For instance a ZWave thermostat to be associated with the panel heaters it controls. If HA go down the thermostat can operate the heaters through the assosiatoins. In Vera this could be done from Vera… Can this be done with ZWaveJS2hqtt control panel?

  4. I want to leave ZWave as much as possible as I always experience problems with the devices and many has been unreliable (experience only from Vera and early version of Homeseer and). Is it possible to include generic WIFI devices (I guess it has to be supporting certain protocols)? Where can I find detailed info about this

  5. I have installed on bare metal but I want to use a Virtualization Server with VM’s. Specifically I want to use Xen Server which is professional, well documented, Widely Used and Open Domain. The Xenserver(s) can be controlled through the network from a centralized place of choosing with Xen-Orchestra of xcp-ng center. The problem I encountered is also well known the lack of support for USB pass though. I understand this can be overcome by using MQTT. How can I achieve this on a x68 based system? Links or pointers to information would be highly appreciated

Rgrds …/O

Hi elogreb,

Sorry but I will not be able to assist you but find this questions very interesting. Finding myself in a similar situation, years of several Vera devices (now on veraplus) and was initially attracted by the open ecosystem the vera offered. With Ezlo takeover and incompatibility towards Vera, Home Assistant looks very appealing.

1+2. Share your hope for possibilities here
4. On the contrary I would like to keep away from the already crowded wifi frequencies and I’m very pleased with z-wave device stability and mesh capabilities.
5. Also very interested in running in a VM and how usb-passtrough can be accomplished.

To my surprise it seems possible that combining Vera and Home Assistant should work. This would be an ideal migration scenario.

Hi BMesh
I have advanced considerably since the posting… but not a single reply in here…then it is best to learn by hard work although slow and rather dissapointing…

At least I can tell you that the zwave integration of HA (i use the gudieline from Franck Nijhof about the Z-Wave JS to MQTT add-on) is far better and more advanced than that of Vera. Im thinking about gost nodes, unstabilities, nodes suddenly stop working due to strange network optimization beeing done in the nigh etc etc… I have not started to build the automations or to write scripts so that may pose challenges…

I do not think that the level of WIFI transmissions pose a practical problem but I have slightly changed my opinion on leaving ZWave as it seems that the implementation in Vera was the problem… but it is early days and I only have 15 devices in the network over a rather limited physical space

I am generaly very impressed with HA although the step to understand/using it is high. Questions 1-4 I am stil in the dark but number 5 is clarified… The ability to also integrate many kinds of my WIFI devices is outstanding and was absent in Vera…

  1. I started to put HA in a VM under Xem server but I could not get USB passthrough. It seems you need a pci card that then can be passed but that is not a viable solution for me due to lack of physical space in my NUC (A chinese x64 machine the same size as a Intel NUC).

  2. The second prefered choice was Proxmox which workes well and was easy to set up and I have both the Zwave USB and the ZigBee passed though the VM. Here is a good guide Installing Home Assistant OS using Proxmox

  3. Instalation on bare metal also works fine ofcourse but i will stick to Proxmox