Starting out with Home Assistant - networking multiple instances - Plugwise / Zigbee

Hi folks,

I have found this github link to Plugwise USB-stick home Assistant Integration - But it says it’s deprecated.

Let me first introduce myself a bit: I’m not a programmer but I’m not afraid to dive into the shell or terminal on any operating system. I use a mix of macOS, windows and to a lesser degree linux (raspi, opensense, proxmox)
I love to play around with home automation and have some past experience with linuxmce, openhab and fhem. Ultimately I’d like to link as much as possible to / with KNX.

Now to my question:
I own a couple of Plugwise usb-sticks with a whole lot of Plugwise Plugs, and would like to find out if it is doable to create e.g. three raspi’s with Home Assistant, each of these would have it’s own Plugwise usb-stick and will create it’s own Plugwise / Zigbee network.

But would it then be possible to e.g. have a sensor on raspi-1 and connect that to a Plugwise Plug that is member of the raspi-2 zigbee network and in this way allow Home Assistant to control / switch on/off any of the connected Plugwise Plugs?

The idea being that we have quite some concrete in the house which apparently makes it difficult for the Plugwise Zigbee waves to pass through, if I could create these 3 raspi’s, each with their own Plugwise / Zigbee stick and interconnect them that would be awesome.

Thanks for helping out!

You should probably only run one instance of Home assistant on one of the raspis and then let the other two raspis just relay the signals from plugwise to the raspi with Home assistant.
There are a number of ways to do that, f.ex. MQTT.

The advantage here is that only the raspi with Home Assistant has to be powerful.
The relay raspis can be small. I use Raspberry zero W for a RF to MQTT relays.
Since your building is interfering with the zigbee signals, then wifi might not a good idea either, but there are other Raspberry Pis with LAN or you could get a USB HUB and connect a USB LAN adapter next to you plugwise adapter.

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Hi Wally,
Thanks for your suggestion. I have no practical experience with MQTT but have a “superficial” understanding.

As a standard I try to avoid all radio / wifi communication between devices (apart from Zigbee i.e), so preferably wired TCP/IP, or another “wired” bus.

If I understand you correctly, you are suggesting to use e.g. raspi-1 and raspi-2 & raspi-3 (maybe Pi Zero, but I have sufficient raspi v3 lying around to do the testing) then let the Plugwise part or daemon would run on the MQTT clients and signal through MQTT, which then as it were creates a kind of MQTT “cloud” where the raspi running Home Assistant is also the MQTT broker and the others are MQTT clients?

Do you have any pointer to where to find information on how to get the Plugwise / Zigbee part communicate with the MQTT client part?
Would something like this Zigbee2MQTT do the trick?

Yes that is perfect.

You install HA and MQTT Broker on a Raspi3, which will be the central raspi.
You can also install zigbee2MQTT on this too.

The other places you just install zigbee2MQTT for relay raspis
A Raspi 1 is more than enought to run relays.

Hi :wave:!
I don’t know much about ZigBee thus I’d be interested why repeaters aren’t an option?
This would eliminate the need to configure mqtt, possibility for protocol conversion problems and allow native discovery of zigbee devices in HA.

If walls, roof and floor is filled with iron bars, then it works as a Faraday cage.

It depends if it are the old Plugwise plugs, or the newer ones. The old are Zigbee, but a proprietary flavour that only works with their own hub.

At present the Stick is supported in GitHub - plugwise/plugwise-beta: Custom-component / development version of the Plugwise Home Assistant platform
See also here: Plugwise core and custom_component

A similar question was asked in the plugwise-beta github, see here [FEATURE] · Issue #197 · plugwise/plugwise-beta · GitHub

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