*Sticky?* Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 - Raspberry Pi4

Sticky Request Mods can I please ask this be made a sticky? I feel this is important information and should be easily accessible Sticky Request

In my journey of getting a good working Home Assistant setup I have hit some walls along the way and I’m going to discuss 1 of those now in the hopes this information is useful to someone.

If you are in the UK and need help with the hardware modification outlined below please contact me as I am considering a modification service for this

The problem:

The Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 is a well known and loved Z-Wave stick but unfortunately for some of us we have found that this stick no longer works on a Pi4. The reason for this is hardware. Technically the D+ is pulled up to 5V when plugged in and the Pi4 cannot handle this and rejects the stick. One method of fixing is to use a USB hub but this isn’t ideal and certainly not a good enough fix for me so please read on…

Can it be fixed? YES! Skip this technical section if you just want the fix below

So lets get technical!

The Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 is a confusing one, from my research and speaking to Aeotec directly there are actually 4 versions of this stick, YES 4! And they all get called exactly the same thing and look exactly the same!

So what are the differences and how do I tell which stick I have?

This isn’t easy either lol

The initial release of this stick runs Z-Wave library 3.95, SDK version V6.51.02 and firmware version V1.00 - Some of these units can be updated to the newer V1.01 firmware but not all of them. These sticks don’t work on a Pi4

The second one has a Z-Wave library of 4.54, SDK version V6.51.10 and firmware V1.01. These sticks don’t work on a Pi4

The third (typically called the “New Z-Stick Gen5”) also has a Z-Wave library of 4.54, SDK version V6.51.10 and firmware V1.01. These sticks DO WORK on a Pi4 - These already have the hardware modification I will explain below

The Fourth (typically called the “Z-Stick Gen5+”) has a newer Z-Wave library (not sure of the version if anyone can help?), SDK version V6.81.06 and firmware V1.02. Uses a newer 500 series chipset (supports “SmartStart” and prob more, S2?). These sticks DO WORK on a Pi4 - These are current not available as far as I am aware - at the time of writing Aeotec said these should be available from them directly on popp.to in about a month or so.

So now you know the difference how can you tell which one you have?

Well not easily…

Plug it into your Pi4, does the Pi4 see it straight away? If yes then you have the third revision as listed about. If it doesn’t then you have one of the first revisions. To find out which you need the “Z-Wave PC Controller 5” software, also known as “Zensys Tools”. This is available to download here: https://www.silabs.com/products/development-tools/software/z-wave
Scroll down to “PC Programmer” to download, you must register first to download.

Once installed plug in your Z-Stick then open the software. Click on “Network Management” and you will see the device firmware version similar to this picture which will tell you if you have the first or second revision as listed above:

Now all that’s out the way, how do we fix it??

Well its quite simple actually but its a delicate process. The process involves desoldering a tiny SMD resistor on the circuit board and rerouting it. What this does is stops the D+ being pulled up to 5v and instead pulls it up to 3.3v allowing the Pi4 to connect to it properly straight away. The resistor in particular is R33 (R33 is 1.5k Ω, SMD package size 0402, power 1/16W). So in 3 pictures this is how it’s done:
mod1
mod2

*As a note I can’t see it being a problem to solder the resistor directly to the VCC and solder the wire from the resistor on the VCC to the bottom solder pad of the original R33 location as this way you could keep the resistor flat and it should look a little “tidier” although I haven’t tried this yet I plan to and will update this post accordingly.

I hope this thread has been helpful and answers some questions for those thinking about this stick and a Pi4. I for one didn’t realise that this stick isn’t actually available with the 500 series chip in it yet! Only the 300 series, and as for the newer Z-Stick 7, although its rumoured to be available soon even if it does come out its very unlikely to be supported for a very very very long time. To quote Aeotec “unfortunately we’ve encountered an issue where Series 700 uses a different API (bridge z-wave library) which pretty much none of the softwares available support it. It is being considered to be released as an experimental device to help push development and testing for OZW community”

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Thought I would post some pics as I’ve completed this mod

It is possible to reinstall the resistor in the original location but on the bottom pad, flat, pointing towards the bottom of the board as you will see in the pics below

Also a pic of the casing, be careful when taking it apart and go slow, this isn’t an easy mod in the
slightest as the resistor is extremely tiny!


Hi Liam,

Thank you for this - I’ve been following it along as I’ve just recently picked up the Aeotec and RP4.

While I wait for my Pi to arrive I wanted to check if I had the right Aeotec version or not. I can’t find “Zensys Tools” anywhere.

I went to silabs to get the program to check, but it prevents me from downloading the “Z-Wave Programmer” under PC Programmer because it says I need the Controller SDK. I downloaded that, but it isn’t a program. I snagged the programmer and ran it, but it doesn’t look anything like your screenshot.

Could you clarify the steps around that for me? Thank you!

I used a Windows 10 PC and signed up and downloaded the SDK first (you don’t need it it just requires you to download it). Then the PC SW package which contains both a USB driver (you will need to manually install this via device manager as by default the stick shows up as a COM port) and the application. The app is very different but basically you can select the port as shown here and get the info from the stick to determine revision - from this I expect it’s a 3rd type for me. My PI4 arrives tomorrow.

Click the cog towards top right to display this dialog which shows the COM port for the stick

UZB is the name after installing the correct driver.

Hello everyone! I am a new Home Assistant user working on getting my HA setup and stumbled upon this thread that was very helpful and thought my contribution would be helpful in adding more light to the differences in the Z-Stick Gen5 versions.

I originally purchased the Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 from Amazon and then few days later, noticed there was a Z-Stick Gen5+ :open_mouth: which for similar price offered better features (although I know S2 isn’t supported in HA but might be a good way to future proof myself) so I ordered the Gen5+ as well even though it had no reviews.

When I arrived, I plugged it in and immediately noticed that both OpenZwave Admin software and HA was reporting the stick as “ZW090 Z-Stick Gen5 EU” (European model!? :face_with_monocle:) … which seemed odd because the physical stick on the back shows 908.42Mhz frequency which is US Z-Wave and also I was able to add my Z-Wave device successfully. I then started to wonder if perhaps this is a fake replica of Z-Stick given that Aeotec had no reference to this Gen5+ model on their site, and both the Gen5 and Gen5+ had the same model name ZW090-A and FCC Id printed on them, and I know Amazon is known to sell fake items from time to time. I then started to dig more into this and identified that the Gen5+ was at least running a newer device firmware, v6.07 suggesting it is a newer version at least. That led me to this forum thread that helped me confirm this Gen5+ is indeed a new model :smiley:

So here’s some screenshots of the difference between the two items:

Latest Z-Stick Gen5+ running firmware 6.07 -

Previous Z-Stick Gen5 running firmware 4.54 -

And Z-Stick Gen5+ firmware in OpenZwave Admin software …

Both Gen5 and Gen5+ sticks with same model name and FCC id printed on the back…

1 Like

Hej Liam,

just wanted to confirm your mod is working.

Although the original resistor now rests in peace somewhere in my carpet, I was able to replace it with with some good old resistors :slight_smile:

I combined a 1 kΩ and a 500 Ω resistor to replace the original resistor.

[email protected]:~# lsusb 
Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub
Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0658:0200 Sigma Designs, Inc. Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 (ZW090) - UZB
Bus 001 Device 002: ID 2109:3431 VIA Labs, Inc. Hub
Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

Cheers,
Bjoern

3 Likes

I broke the R33 and R35 resistors. In my opinion, the two resistors are in series. If so, can you tell me what value the R35 resistor has? THX

R35 = 22 ohm

Thanks! I just removed the SMD resistor entirely, then connected an axial 1.5k resistor as you directed in place of the wire. I plugged it in to the Pi4 and it was detected immediately.

I just bought a powered usb hub, with a via controller :frowning:
Same issue, i am hopping same cure.
I’ll try you fix thanks a lot for doing the recherche.

Wanted to thank you guys for this thread.
Upgrading to a pi4. Added a leaded 1.5k resistor (from my parts stash) to the zstick per the pics and instructions, plugged into the pi4 and it works fine.
Still need to migrate over, but at least I know my zstick works in the pi4.
Glad I accidentally found this thread

Randy

This thread is crazy.

I just ported my HA to Docker on RPi4 and encountered this problem. Thanks for all the hard work. I am trying the hub option first, then the resistor, and then will give up and buy a new stick.

I also want to thank everyone in this thread. I got a RPI4 to replace my old RPI2 and faced this same problem. Luckily I stumbled upon this thread before giving up and buying a new Z-Wave adapter.

After applying the mod, the stick was recognized and it’s working perfectly.

Thanks again!

Thank you very much for this very very usefull topic!

I resolved this problem thanks to you.

Unfortunatelly I couldn’t sold the CMS resistor so I used classic resistors I have (1k + 500 since I didn’t have one of 1,5k) :

Would this also work with 1k and 470Ω resistors in series? I have nothing else available atm…

Should be fine as it’s very close to the values required anyway

I ended up using a 1k, a 470Ω and a 47Ω… The stick still works, so all good :slight_smile:

Glad all is well :+1:t2:

Hi. Can anyody share this software PC Programmer because i can not found it… and download…