Choice of z-wave controller


Yet another beginners question - I scanned the forum but could not find a solution, at least not quickly…

I am setting up a machine to run OpenHAB and a few other things, it will be a Win10 mini PC (nothing fancy at all)…

I will be running, among other things, z-wave which is new to me and I wonder what controller is the best choice (if there is such a thing). I found this list, however I wonder if there is anything specific to think about before ordering one… For me it is relatively easy to order one of the following:
Aeon Labs USB Z-Stick Gen5 or ZME-UZB1

Should I prefer one before the other? Since I am 100% new to z-wave I have no devices that needs compatibility right now at least…

Thanks for all help!

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In general the binding will work fine with any controller since they all provide the same features (in general) and they all use the same chipset inside. The Aeon has the advantage that it has a battery so you can move it around to include devices.

Aeon also have utilities to backup the network ( may also have this).

Either of the two will work fine though…

Thank you for a quick and informative reply!

A follow-up: Since they both have the same chip-set does that automatically mean that they will support the same amount of devices in the same way? I ask this since I read on may sites that controller X is extremely good since it supports so many devices…

Sorry for the somewhat off-topic questions (z-wave and not OpenHAB) and for perhaps really stupid questions in your eyes…

Yes, all ZWave controllers support 232 devices - that’s what the standard defines. I’ve never tested this, but I see no reason why any controller shouldn’t support this.

Just a small additional note - they all have the same chipset - they can have different software inside to add specific functionality (such as the backup features). Thankfully no-one changes the basic serial API so they are all generally compatible.

Again, thanks for a quick reply.

I see that I formulated my questions in a bad way.

When I read about the “major controllers” such as Vera or Fibaro I see that different controllers seems to support different devices. Not the amount of devices, but for example:

Dimmer X is well controlled by Fibaro HC2, but in Vera Plus it does not work, or a sensor not giving reliable values to one controller but to the other…

But perhaps it is the job of OpenHAB to make sure that this works as expected…

Thanks a lot for helping out!

Well, we try to support all devices properly, but I’m sure that other implementations also say that ;). This however has nothing to do with the ‘controller’ (ie the stick) but is totally the way the software (ie the binding) is implemented.


And one last thing. I have been quite active in various open source projects in the past, mostly as a forum helper… But your help here was very very very nice, it is greatly apprechiated! I hope I can do the same for other users in the future!

Looking forward to trying OpenHAB in a week or so when all things are in place here :slight_smile:

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Anyone has tested the effective wifi range of different devices?
I guess that this could be a key factor when choosing a zwave usb stick that may be hidden in a remote rack

They all use the same chipset, so there won’t be a lot of difference unless you have an external antenna.

Hello thanks for the very helpful answers!
I have also some questions!
When we say that supports 232 devices what exactly this number means? If I have one light controller like Fibaro FGS211 is this 1 device? What about if I add a motion sensor to control a scene that turn this light on? Does this add another device, so I use the 2 of 232?

Yes, that would be two “devices”. Everything that gets its own NodeID counts as a device. (a Thing)

Any physically separate device would surely get its own NodeID. However, there are several devices that have multiple functions that temperature, humidity, light level that is one device or “thing”. All the sensor types are “items” on that one device. (example:

Thanks for quick response!
I think this is good news.
My only concern to start using z-wave is the total number of “devices”, especially the multi-sensors (this would be my next question) if they get 5 or 6 “NodeID’s”.
What about the Fibaro Double Switch 2 or similar? Is this get one NodeID and two “items” or two NodeID’s?

A multisensor is a single physical device - so only has 1 node ID. Likewise - a double switch is a single device with 2 relays so only has 1 node ID.

The current dev version of the Z-Wave binding supports multiple controllers to be connected to OH. I am using 3 Aeon-Z-Sticks simultanously with my OH installation. This would allow to include a maximum of 3 * 232 = 696 devices. So there is no real constraint concerning the total number of devices.

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