I have a very similar looking unit from Ali Express. It’s been working fine with ZHA since July of 2021.
The only thing I’d caution is that it doesn’t seem like it would have enough power to open or close a very stiff ball valve, like a main shut-off which hasn’t been moved in years. Ball valves can be hard to turn if they’re not used very often. Check that yours is fairly free before trying one of these motorized operators.
Well, not if you want to run Zigbee or Z-Wave. Out of the box, the RPi will use IP, but those other protocols are totally separate. You’ll need a coordinator, which is basically just a radio transceiver running at the appropriate frequency, and the firmware to build and manage the network both of those protocols use.
I like Zigbee because it’s pretty much plug-and-play. The mesh network is created dynamically, with very little configuration or management on the user’s part. As far as I know Z-Wave works similarly. But the best part is that any Zigbee smart devices you buy will be natively local. Most IP (WiFi) devices either want or require you to use their “mother ship” servers.
To make sure I understand, when a WiFi product integrates with Google Home or Alexa, does it mean that in fact the “mother ship” (liked the term! ) integrates with GH or Alexa and not the local WiFi operated product?
About Zigbee coordinators -
Is there a preferred Zigbee Coordinator that integrates better than others into HA?
Preferred one in terms of radio range?
Preferred one in terms of capabilities (support more types of devices)?
Is there a common property to Zigbee devices (e.g. low bandwidth devices), or does it support theoretically every smart home aspect I can think of? (e.g. from switches to 8k cameras…)
I apologize that some of my questions are fairly basic, but I’m quite new to this world (but definitely not new to technology and systems). Appreciate your patience and willingness to explain!
Manufacturers of WiFi devices want to make them available to the widest possible market, and minimize their support overhead. So the manufacturers offer (usually, require) a “mother ship” server environment. Their devices “phone home” when first installed, and the configuration is taken out of the hands of the user. They offer an app and maybe a web site where you can control the device - through their server.
At some point, most manufacturers are going to move on to newer products, and either drop support for the old ones, start charging for the use of their servers, or simply go out of business.
Sometimes it’s possible to fight this and communicate locally with the device over your local network. This would require some sort of API or reverse-engineering, and someone would have to build an “integration” to bring it under HA’s local control. But you’re still at the mercy of the manufacturer, who may remove the API or otherwise change the way their devices work.
Another option is to re-flash the device with open-source firmware, like ESPHome or Tasmota. This may work with some devices, but you’d better be sure you buy a model which has been proven to work.
As for the Zigbee coordinator, I use a HUSBZB-1. I’m not even sure they still sell them, but it’s been working fine for me. Maybe someone else knows what’s the best one available today.
The one common piece of advice is to attach the coordinator with a short (maybe 1-2 meter) USB extension cable, to get its transmitter and receiver away from those in your host device.