Zigbee and Zwave gateway, not using USB or internet


I’m looking for a way that my HA can talk to Zwave and Zigbee devices. The problem is that almost all of those seem to be using USB. I’m using a server with HA in a virtual machine and I would pefer to keep USB out of it.

I’m also not a fan of having smart things connecting to the internet, as one of the reasons of having Zigbee is replacing my Ikea hub, that requires an internet connection to function. I also want to use Zwave devices as I’m currently researching a radiator valve, but all seem to be using Zwave or their own internal app, which I don’t like.

A serial-over-ethernet gateway would be one way to skip USB. @tube0013 makes some devices like this, as well as Zigbee routers.

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A Tasmotized Sonoff Zigbee Bridge could solve half the problem. I experimented with one for a few weeks and it seemed to work well. It can be centrally located in your house

Or just grab a Pi0 or better for the USB-based dongle that communicates back to HA over the network. zwave_js can easily work this way.

I don’t know what device does zigbee and zwave to serial, but the only serial to ethernet interfaces I know and use are crazy expensive.

That one I assume? If so, that indeed solves half the problem. Thank you for that.

ser2tcp is the way…
(i am running HA with hyperv on a W10 machine myself and use a CC2531 usb device for my Zigbee :wink:)

So it is still a usb device, but not on the virtual side :thinking:

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That’s a fairly expensive solution.

I found two USB solutions:
Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5 which is around 50 euro’s
Z-wave .me Plus which is 35 euro’s but requires a 59 dollar license

That’s excluding a 20 euro Pi, power supply, SD card, etc etc. That’s probably a hundred euro’s (or way over with the second version) for getting a z-wave device working.

It’s probably possible to do that with KVM as well, but I want to avoid it. I would have to find out if it’s possible to add a USB PCI card to my server if I really wanted to go that route, but honestly, I’d like to avoid it if possible. My server is going to be placed in the attic soon which is the furthest away from the first zwave device I’m going to install and it has to go through quite a lot of reinforced concrete and brick to get there.

Fair enough…
2 more cents:

  • you can use a ‘dummy’ zigbee as transponder relay…
  • Ser2tcp would work from any machine (i use w10 myself, but i guess there are also ser2tcp solutions for linux), so maybe there is another machine you could use??

Fwiw, I’ve used zigbee2mqtt’s remote setup on a pi zero before that sent the serial data back to zigbee2mqtt running in a container (on a virtualized host). Nowadays it looks like ser2tcp is recommended instead.

It worked well enough and allowed me to have the Zigbee dongle centrally located (which my network cabinet definitely isn’t).

I don’t know how that first option would work. Although the other option with the sonoff bridge might be a better solution.

Ser2tcp requires another computer to stay online. When I leave my house, only my server is still online, no other computers. I’m trying to avoid that.

Requires another machine to run on. That would require a RPI which is another 100 bucks, on top of the dongle. And with the sonoff solution given earlier, if that works, I’m already set.

I think I’m going to forget the zwave as it seems like an impossible and extremely expensive task to set up. Going to see if I can get a wifi or zigbee radiator valve instead.

I wish I could put everything on wifi instead. It would make my life a lot easier.

And for something completely different…

An (active?) USB extension cable ??

That still doesn’t solve the no USB part. And I have no way of routing the cable.