Ideas to Get a Z-wave USB Stick Centrally Located?

Background: Home Assistant user for the past two years but I only have three Z-Wave devices. I’m running HA OS in an Oracle VirtualBox on a Windows 10 desktop. For years, an old, centrally located, SmartThings hub took care of all Z-Wave needs for the house. With the end of ST, I bought a Zooz ZST10 USB stick.

The USB stick is running fine with Z-WaveJSMQTT. The problem is that I can’t hold a three device (plus controller) network together with a USB stick stuck in the home office where the desktop is.

How do we get a USB device like this to a better location? Raspberry users just move their little box around. That’s a no-go with a big 'ole desktop tower.

All creative ideas appreciated! Proven ideas even better. (At this point, I just placed an order for a 15’ USB extension cable to run through the wall to help a bit. I doubt that’s gonna get it done.)

With so many moving away from ST over the next month or so, this could a great resource thread.

  1. Buy more mains-powered Z-Wave devices to improve your network coverage
  2. Or use a raspberry pi with zwavejs2mqtt and the USB stick, centrally locate that.

With zwavejs2mqtt you should be able to run that with a USB stick in a central location and then run the mosquittoMQTT broker on either that or your HA system and use MQTT to get the information into HA.

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Good thoughts.

Looking around the house this morning, I don’t have an available Pi but I do have an ancient Core2Duo laptop running Zorin Lite (a lightweight Ubuntu flavor). I know I can’t run a HA instance on the laptop (BIOS won’t support 64bit virtualization and there are no 32bit vdi packages for HA) but maybe there’s a simpler way to get just zwavejs2mqtt running on the laptop (per @freshcoast’s idea).

I’ll report back.

I am not sure if you can rn zwavejs2mqtt in ws mode and avoid the broker, directing the integration to the remove ws server.

I run my Zooz stick on a USB extender that is about 8 feet long and it works fine placed high and more centrally located.


Thanks to all for the help. A combination of strategies has saved the day.

Here’s what worked for $5 out of pocket.

  1. Old laptop repurposed with Ubuntu Server and SSH.
  2. Install zwavejs2mqtt with docker per these step by step instructions. (While designed for a Pi, they’ll work for most any Linux box, I suspect.)
  1. As I was already running the HA MQTT broker Mosquitto, the proper settings from the website above worked like a charm, automatically populating the devices and their entities back to Home Assistant.

  2. After moving the laptop to a hidden location nearer the middle of the network, I used a $5 USB extension to get the USB stick in the optimal spot.


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The link/blog above seems to have passed into the sunset. Here’s the link to the Wayback Machine archive.

I would use zwavejs2mqtt but use websockets instead of MQTT. that is the same protocol used to connect the supervisor addons to the integration but can work over the network too.