Best protocol bridge?

Not sure the right place to submit the question, but I’m wondering if there is a “best” option for a device that acts as a Z-Wave bridge for OpenHAB.

In my setup, I have OpenHAB running in a virtualized container on a server in my basement. I have a separate instance of OpenHAB running on a Raspberry Pi with a Z-Wave stick that I put in a central location in my house. I send commands via MQTT from the OpenHAB instance in virtualized container to the OpenHAB on Raspberry Pi to control the Z-Wave devices in my house. I also have a broadlink hub that I used to control 433MHz devices via MQTT.

Now I’ve moved and I’m revisiting my configuration. I’d like to get rid of the Raspberry Pi and maybe use a third-party bridge to hit the Z-Wave devices in my home. I’d like to stick with MQTT as the protocol between OpenHAB and the Z-Wave bridge. Will any of the available hubs on the market (Wink, Smartthings, etc.) do anything like that?


The only thing I have to say about Wink is that it should be avoided. That company is not stable enough to trust that they’ll survive, and when they go down, so will your Wink hub.

As for Smartthings, if you connected your Z-Wave devices to it then there’s really no need to use MQTT. However, I also wouldn’t do this, because you’re forcing your traffic to go through the Smartthings cloud, which will introduce a delay and make you reliant upon an Internet connection.

I don’t know of any other hubs that you’d want to consider, and I struggle see the value of choosing anything that relies on a Cloud service. To be clear, I’ve nothing against cloud services, but it feels backward to go toward something that does rely on the cloud when you already have a pretty good solution that doesn’t.

On that note, are you aware that OH3 has a new Remote binding? It’s perfect for your needs, as it will enable you to keep your existing hardware and skip MQTT entirely for your Z-Wave devices.

Alternatively, if your new home enables you to locate your main server such that it can connect directly to your Broadlink hub, then you don’t need a bridge for your Z-Wave devices at all. Instead, you could install some AC-powered Z-Wave devices that can act as repeaters to broaden your footprint (unless your server won’t work with the Z-Wave stick for some reason or other).

Bottom line: I think what you’re already doing makes a lot of sense, and the Remote binding could make it even better.

That’s a fairly strange setup. Why do you run 2 OH instances in the first place ?
Just run a single one on the Pi with the Z stick in the central location. FWIW it does not have to be all too central, ZWave is a mesh network that’ll work with the controller anywhere.
If by all means you want to run it on your server you can as well use ser2net to “remote connect” the Z stick into your server. Or as @rpwong suggested use the OH remote binding.


I wasn’t aware of the Remote binding. I’m still using OH2, but will plan on upgrading to OH3 as part of this re-config. Thanks for the heads up.

My main server already connects directly with the broadlink hub for my 433MHz devices. The reason I went with a separate Raspberry Pi OH instance for Z-Wave was because my main OpenHAB setup is virtualized (LXC container) in a Proxmox cluster. I might be able to figure out how to pass USB through to the container, but I’d lose failover between nodes if the Z-Wave USB controller is only physically connected to a single host.

I like having the main OpenHAB instance on my cluster with all my other services. My only issue is with getting a Z-Wave controller into the container.

Oh man, ser2net. This sounds like exactly what I need. Thanks for the info!

The remoteopenhab binding can connect OH3 to a different OH server.

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