I am looking at a number of opensource home automation systems and OpenHAB is looking like may be the one I will settle with. However I have a few questions. The main one I want to deal with here is how OpenHAB users go about backing up and restoring the ZWave network information from the USB controller chip in case of loss of that chip (eg. should the hardware fail). I feel this probably is fairly important to save on time on having to rebuild the network in such an event.
Looking around OpenHAB does not seem to have a backup/restore feature for the ZWave controller chip. In fact most of the opensource solutions seem to be lacking here (IE. Open-ZWave also is lacking backup/restore). So do people use other software, if so what, or do people just generally not backup their ZWave controller chip?
Now for a little bit of what I have found and the question of whether backup/restore could be added to the ZWave addon of OpenHAB.
The only opensource option I found which seems to contain backup/restore of the ZWave controller chip itself is fhem. If I understand the information in the fhem documentation about ZWDongle is correct, then it is just copying the NVRam into a file and restore would be copying it back. From what I know the bin file it creates will be specific to that model of chip, may be even the firmware version on the chip. So how good is this approach?
However I notice that Aeotec ZStick5 is listed as having backup/restore feature and they have a Windows only tool for doing this. I do have a ZStick5 and my guess is that it is doing something similar to fhem and just copying the NVRam to memory. Comparing the .bin files from the Aeotec tool and fhem suggest may be they are.
So why don’t I just use the Aeotec ZStick5 and use their software? In short it feels slightly wrong to have something so large plugged into a small single board computer and also having to disconnect it and connect to a Windows PC to perform a backup is not great. Well for one reason and another, when I found a ZWave .me UZB1 on sale at a very cheap price, I decided I would get one. I do prefer the smaller size and the lack of the button is not really a big problem. Also it looks like the UZB1 backup/restore may be a bit more sophisticated having the ZMERestore (0xf3) command. When using Z-Way to perform a backup the file created is a bunch of XML files and no binary image, so the restore feature must be setting the actual values. The only problem is that backup and restore through Z-Way is assuming that you use Z-Way for managing the network (IE. backup only saves devices showing in Z-Way) and that means buying a license. I guess in the event of replacing the ZWave controller chip it would mean a new Z-Way license would also need purchasing as the license is stored in the chip, so more expense. Also being closed source ensuring I have the correct libraries installed which it links to is a task I would prefer not to have (IE. they do not provide packages for my preferred Linux distribution). In short Z-Way is software I think I would prefer not to use.
Whilst this ZMERestore function is specific to ZWave .me products, my thought is that at least it should be more portable between different ZWave .me products and/or firmware versions. How might I go about finding out the serial API for this function so that may be I could look at developing a tool or addon to use it. A bit of searching the internet found the following document for the ZWave .me ZStickC https://z-wave.ru/podderzhka/skachat/category/85-z-waveme.html?download=309:zstickc-usermanual particularly look at annex A. Whilst not being the UZB1 possibly gives a hint as to the function and suggests my thought about setting the information rather than just creating an image is correct, the change frequency function is the same for the UZB1. Unfortunately the UZB1 manual does not contain such information.