Alternatives to expensive Raspberry installation?

Hello community,

since the prices for Raspberry Pis have gone through the roof, and it’s no more the “cheap 3rd world computer” as it was once started, I am wondering whether you guys have figured out alternatives to it? I have a total of 5 Raspberry Pis in my house that are spanning the OpenHAB network for me. 3 of them are there to provide proper Z-Wave in all floors of the house and 2 are connected via RS485 to electricity measures.

Now two of them have recently died and - after not having bought one for some longer time - I figured they have become unavailable or ridiculously expensive.

As I love OpenHABian I wonder now, whether there is any Raspberry Pi alternative that I could use and run as easy as with OpenHABian the Raspberrys do.

I would appreciate any recommendation and I hope that the prices will drop to normal again, soon (I’ve seen an RPi 4 for 250€ with case and power supply => could almost buy a cheap computer).

Thanks a lot for any suggestions.

P.S.: I’ve stumbled upon “Pine64” as alternative that when googling, but It seems a bit fiddly to find a OS and it also doesn’t have Wifi (at least that’s what the blog I found says).

I would look at the thin clients (more towards nucs)

Look at ebay Fujitsu Futro S920 you can get for around 30$

Hp t620 thin for around 30$

They perform better than an rpi4.

A single RPi is sufficient to power even large buildings, it is still the best bang for the buck and there’s no alternative if you want to stay with openHABian (appreciated by the way).
But you don’t need a RPi to power a zwave network for each floor as that’s what it is: a mesh network that allows for routing. This is where your potential for savings is: improve your architecture. A single ZWave controller and strategically placed repeater/ main powered nodes to forward messages across levels will do, freeing two of your Pis. Keep one as a spare and sell the other one :slight_smile:
Not sure what your RS485 connectors do but you don’t have to run OH instances there. For simple serial-to-TCP tunnelling of signals you can either use Pi Zeros or serial-to-Ethernet converters (~25€), freeing another 2 boxes.

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Hello and thank you for the advices.

Unfortunately a single RPi is not working for me at all - at least has never. We talk about a house from the 50ies (thick walls), 300 square meters on three floors, over 2000 square meters of total property and about 120 ZWave devices (mix ZWave/ZWave Plus, battery powered, mains powered, Sensors, Actors). With already about 20+ ZWave devices, there is a significant lag when turning stuff on/off and therefore it is necessary to use multiple RPi to have a reliably working smart home. I’ve tried it ever since starting with OpenHAB 2.0 and it never worked reliable. Regardless of having for example mains powered Fibaro FGS-222/223 nodes in between every 2-3 meters for routing or Aeotec Multisensor USB-powered. The routing never worked satisfying when coming to response times (having to wait for 30 seconds in the dark for a light to turn on when the motion sensor recognizes motion is not an option).

The RS485 connectors are for three phase ORNO OR-WE-517 energy meters (main and garden house / sauna). I have never heard/tried serial-to-TCP or serial-to-Ethernet (though for the second I have no ethernet cable available at the place where it sits). On that end I am unexperienced but sounds like a potential try.

serial-to-WiFi gateways exist too. If you can wire your meters to a common RS-485 bus, you only need one gateway. Or you can use multiple gateways on multiple buses.
If your meters are Modbus, choose a Modbus enabled gateway; they are not all alike.
I would recommend USR brand products, there are others.

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Well hard to tell why it didn’t work for you with a single controller, but there was flawed routing logic at (foul) play. It would have worked (and I believe better than your current setup does) if you had managed to sort out the routing by then. I understand it’s too hard to change now.
But note your controllers now share the frequency but do not know of each other so there’s a lot more ‘noise’ hence inefficiencies on the band than there would be with a single controller that is aware of all zwave communications.

I have never heard of serial-toWiFi or similar… I think the next week-end will involve some Googling :slight_smile: @rossko57 thank you a lot. If you have any further hints where and how to start I would very much appreciate. I have now wired the RS485 wires to a USB-stick that was recommended and use Modbus/RTU on OpenHAB to read the data.

@mstormi - well, I tried with Z-Wave much and much and reviewed the network in the graphical network view in HABmin, but as said - I never managed to get all devices work reliable and performant. After I had less devices per Raspi they responded (and still do) nearly instantaneously. But I must also say that I try to migrate whatever is possible away from Z-Wave as the whole thing has shown for me (and friends of mine) far less reliable and responsive than WiFi solutions based on Tasmota (like Sonoff relays) or the Shelly stuff.

To come back to the initial question, I draw the conclusion, there’s no alike alternative to Raspberry Pi :frowning: is there any idea when they could be available at reasonable prices again? What is actually the reason for them being so expensive? I thought Shanghai has reopened and supply should be getting back to normal!?

Well admitted it’s hard to get there. You should run the nightly reorg, but ultimately you need vendor or 3rd party tools such as z-way (there’s more, seach the forum) to identify dead nodes and to cleanup your devices’ routing tables, and a lot of repetition and patience.
What you might try is to move a controller over to a Raspi that already has one, then force a full reorg of your network. But be aware it’s a big risk and can result in a need to ex- and re-include many of your devices, wrecking your day (or rather full week).

For me the odroid c4 is a good alternative:

You can run it with armbian (debian based OS):

So I even use it with OpenHABian (not officially supported), but it works for my usecases (install mqtt broker, influxdb, etc…)

There is no bluetooth and no wlan on board. But this I don’t need. Anyway I would never run my openHAB
instance in a wireless network.

Edit: With armbian you also have install options like in to OpenHABian. See here:

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