My road trip from Fibaro to Home Assistant

I’m fairly new to this forum and I thought I’d tell you about why I started using Home Assistant.
For many years I have been using the Fibaro HC2 and for the last two years I have had a Fibaro HC3.
I bought the HC3 because Fibaro said that the hardware in their “Game changer” supported the Z-Wave, ZigBee, 433 MHz, 868 MHz, Bluetooth and WiFi protocols.

Now two years after the launch of the HC3 I can only use Z-Wave. 2022 they might open up the ZigBee protocol (beta version), but my 433 MHz devices e.g. weather station I will never be able to connect. Fibaro has only opened up for their own products of the brand NICE.
So I and many others who have bought an HC3, we therefore feel duped by Fibaro’s promises.

Then I saw an article about Home Assistant and that it could be installed on many different platforms.
I then pulled out my old HC2 that was sitting in the closet collecting dust. In it was an Intel motherboard that I now intended to use for Home Assistant.

The RAM was only 1 Gb so I upgraded it to 4 Gb and in an old junked computer I picked out a 180 Gb Intel SSD drive.
Via an USB dongle and BelenaEtcher I flashed the SSD with “Home Assistant Generic x86-64”.

The motherboard was mounted in a chassis that I had designed and printed in my 3D printer.
In addition to the motherboard, I reused the bare On/Off button (slightly modified)
A green LED on the front shows that the computer is turned on and a blue LED shows when the SSD is working.

A ZigBee USB stick was purchased, Z-Wave and an RFXCOM device (433 MHz) I already had and everything was now plugged in.
After a reset and some BIOS configuration, the HA initialization began.
It is important to enable “UEFI Boot” to “Enable” in the BIOS, otherwise the computer will not boot.

The initiation was completed in less than 4 minutes! I can mention that the initialization on a Raspberry Pi 3B that I first tested on took about 36 minutes!

This project has opened up my eyes to real home automation. The huge range of integrations that HA offers makes it very easy to integrate everything I could want (and more) with just a few keystrokes.

So now I have a home automation system with Z-Wave, ZigBee and 433 MHz protocols all in one box. Ironically, I’m using an old Fibaro HC2 for this, and I have what the Fibaro HC3, two years after its launch, still doesn’t have!
Guess I’m a happy Home Assistant user :slight_smile:


What a lovely project, I just stole your idea of the usb adapter.

Lovely indeed! HA install on a Fibaro HC2 hardware!

Looks like your HC2 motherboard is an Intel Desktop Board DN2800MT with Atom N2800
I am curious:
Do you plan to underclock the CPU so that it would run less hot? Or do you plan on some better heatsink?
Are those USB dongles for… Conbee 2 zigbee and Aoetec z-wave?
Does the HC2 comes with any z-wave hardware on the motherboard? I am guess you have tried driving the HC2 z-wave using the HAOS but wouldn’t work?
Is the z-wave antenna in that “unused parts” photo?
Where is the 433MHz hardware in the last photo?

Probably too many questions… I’m excited and couldn’t help it!

Hi k8gg
Yes this is a really fun project, especially since it is based on an old Fibaro HC2.
You can buy a used HC2 quite cheaply now that the HC3 has replaced it.
Fibaro didn’t use the potential of the hardware, instead they mounted their own little circuit board with Z-Wave and USB disk on the internal USB port and it wasn’t a good solution.
I like many others had major problems with the previous recovery stick and internal USB disk.

I removed all these components and now only use the motherboard (Intel DN2800MT) and HC2 On/Off button. The Fibaro Z-Wave device with antenna cannot be used so I replaced it with a USB Aeotec Z-stick Gen5.

With a USB ConBee II Conbee (ZigBee) I control IKEA Wireless, among other things.
For my 433 MHz devices, sensors and weather station I have a USB RFXCOM device (see link below)

It retrieves data from all my 433 MHz devices without any problems.

Intel motherboard together with an SSD disk will be a much more stable and above all faster solution than a Raspberry Pi 4. And I don’t have any heat problems either.
I have designed a new box with ventilation holes in the bottom and also in the lid over the heat sink. In the HC2 there were no ventilation holes at all, therfore so hot.

So if you have an old HC2, don’t throw it away, give it a new life with Home Assistant.
I’m now in the process of moving all the devices from my HC3 to this rebuilt HC2, and it’s guaranteed to be a much better solution. Fibaro with their poor software is stuck in the stone age and they will never ever be able to offer the same functionality and capabilities that Home Assistant has.

New box



This is so awesome, and I’m inspired to do the same with my HC2.
Would you mind sharing your case design?

Hi egiljae (Norwegian?)
You can download a zip file here that contains everything you need. I also attach a STEP file if you want to make your own adjustments.
I printed the box in PLA with my Prusa MK3.

I used to have a Fibaro HC3, but it is now dismantled because Fibaro’s software is so simple and poor.
Home Assistant has given me home automation for real and I will never go back to Fibaro again.
Hope you will also be happy with your rebuilt HC2 Game Changer.

I also used Fibaro, I suggested they open their software. For Fibaro, the solution is to update the software to HomeAssistant. :slight_smile: Currently, their HC is just good marketing. There is 0 quality in that! I do not recommend HC Fibaro to anyone.

Hi there. Do you still have the communication module of HC2 (the one attached to the antenna)? Mine is causing HC2 to reboot every few minutes…would you eventually sell it?

Hi @tdx79 , if I had still had these parts, you would have got them for free. But unfortunately I have discarded these parts.
But why don’t you re-tune your HC2 to HomeAssistant. Then you won’t have the problems with Fibaro’s boring interface and you will have a dynamic and fun home automation instead.

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Hi @RH_Dreambox, I think I will go that way. Fibaro support refused to solve a “starting services” issue…I’m tired of them. I have ssd, I have the ram, I just need the dongle (Amazon), and print the lovely case at work. I was already using Home Assistant, and I love it. I just hope I will be able to use all their accessories I bought, like the roller shutter etc with HA…did you have any of them, and eventually manage to properly configure them?

Hi @tdx79 , Yes, I’m glad I left Fibaro. I still visit their forums and I’m just more and more amazed that they accept Fibaro’s nonchalance and total lack of software development.
With HomeAssistant there are so many possibilities that I unfortunately don’t have time to test all the fun stuff :slight_smile:
As for the roller shutter, unfortunately it’s not something I use, but I’m sure there’s someone else here on the forum who can help you.

If those Fibaro devices being z-wave, chances are good that they are supported.
Maybe you can find the model number and start from searching that exact same model # here in this forum…? Just an idea.

I managed to use all the Fibaro accessories adding them via S0 secure connection to Aeotec Z-Stick 7. My HC2 was smashed to the wall and split in two pieces after spending money and money on usb keys, nand memories (perfectly soldered, but being ruined with bad blocks at every single hard reboot being caused by HC2 updates failing due to z-wave devices not removed from its memory).
I’m now very happy with my ESXI Home Assistant setup, which will eventually take months to be stable etc but I don’t care. I realized I spent almost 600€ for an 8 years old motherboard, and this makes me so nervous. The only thing that makes me more nervous is having to spend 60€ to ship an HC2 for a problem that is caused by a bad architecture (a system relying on a usb 2.0 key). I work on mines all around the world to earn that money, and I don’t accept wasting more money for a company that refuses to send a usb key.
Ahhh…now I feel better, @RH_Dreambox and @k8gg


Nice, you willing to share the STL of the case? I’ve just been given one of these devices to replace my RPI3 that’s not performing very well, so going to replicate this.

Hi @Jamie_Jones
Of course, you can have my files.
There will be a big performance boost when upgrading the hardware from an RPi3 to the motherboard from an HC2. Your HA will be more stable and will be significantly faster.
A reboot of the HA will not take many seconds.

Thanks man, it’s already more stable :smiley: my Pi was crashing daily. This is awesome.


Can someone help me with the pinout on the motherboard for power switch and light?


Found it.


with interest I read this topic.
I have a HC3L what I used as Z-wave device. The automations and UI control I used HA. This works fine.
Now I have also problems with Fibaro. My HC3L will not update anymore and fall back into recovery mode. Fibaro can not help me for now.

Now I also thinking to buy a Z-wave stick, and do all the Z-wave straight into HA.

But I have a few questions

  • Have anyone experience with Fibaro Z-wave devices connected to Z-wave stick into HA? and is it stable?
  • Can you set parameters to the Z-wave device?
  • Can you update the Z-wave devices from HA?

I have several Fibaro devices mixed with several other brands and it works flawlessly.
So to your questions I can only answer Yes, Yes and Yes.

Good for you that you were able to recover that hardware and steer away from such a company - like there are many with so called proprietary systems.

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