Aeon USB vs Razberry GPIO

I’m new to the home automation arena. I have a razzpberry pi 3 with a touch screen i’m planning on using as a z-wave controller with the pi stuck in the wall and the touchscreen facing outward. My question is, which is considered better - the Aeon USB controller or the Razzberry GPIO card? I am planning on running Ubuntu on the Pi and writing my own software to control the network.

Thanks in advance!

Any reason why you wont be using OH/Habmin to control the network, particularly since you are posting on an OH forum?

Both are reported to work well. I think your biggest concern will be size and shape of the finished build given your goal of embedding this in a wall. From that perspective the board may be a bit more compact, though a really short USB extension cable could help you position the USB dongle as well.

I’m not sure what, if anything embedding the controller in a wall will do for your signal strength and range.

Thanks - guess I didn’t look to see what site this forum was for. It looks like pretty good software, so maybe I’ll give that a try before trying to reinvent the wheel.

It seems the USB controllers are cheaper than the daughter board. Is that b/c the hardware is lower quality, or because they achieve a higher volume due to the extensibility?

They are probably able to sell it more cheaply because of volume. The zwave protocol is proprietary and owned by Sigma Designs who charges for its use. I suspect the board is more expensive because they have to make up for that licensing cost through the sale of fewer devices than a company like Fibaro or Aeon does.

I’ve not heard any major complaints about the quality of the hardware for the USB dongles. I’ve an Aeon Gen 2 dongle and it has been working without a snag for over a year now. However, the dongle is about as long as the Pi itself and around half the width which can make it awkward to fit into a box in the wall so paying more for the board may be worth it.