Contact sensors not appearing

I have a feeling I’m about to get berated by the “please search before asking” crowd but I assure you that I have and didn’t find anything. I’m (clearly) new to this and am having a real challenge. Its my understanding that Smartthings is Z-Wave but the hub and all of the contact sensors that are connected to the hub are not appearing via discovery. I thought all Z-Wave items were compatible and should work with All other devices (I believe) are showing without issue. I believe I have all the bindings installed but I cant find a way to make them appear. Raspberry Pi 3 and openHAB 2.

The ST hub has a few radios in it, so your devices could be Zwave, Zigbee, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. In OH, you will need the binding AND a controller, to talk to the devices. Zwave and Zigbee devices are configured for a specific network, and there is a process for migrating both network types to a new controller. Migrating Zigbee is easy, if you can get the network configuration out of ST. Zwave is a bit trickier, but possible. If you only have a few devices, it would be easier to reset the devices and start fresh.

You could also use a bridge to the ST hub, and use the controllers in it’s hub. IIRC, somebody setup a MQTT bridge for this.

Thank you very much for the explanation. When I searched for MQTT bridge it keeps taking me to Home Assistant. I was unable to find anything for openHAB. Dare I ask if this is the “same thing”?

That is all we ask. You don’t have to be successful but sometimes people ask questions without bothering to search.

Not the same thing at all.

You have two ways to get your devices controlled by OH.

  1. Interface OH with your ST Hub. The ST Hub will communicate with your devices and OH will have representatives of those devices (i.e. Items) and receives updates from and sends commands to the devices through the ST Hub. I know this is possible with other hubs (Vera, Wink) but I don’t know if it is possible with ST.

  2. Purchase one or more USB controllers that contain the wireless communcation electronics to talk to whatever special wireless technology your devices use (usually Zwave or Zigbee, Linear makes a USB controller that supports both). In this case, the ST Hub is completely cut out of the loop and OH completely replaces it.

MQTT is a messaging protocol that works over TCP/IP (i.e. standard networking). OH supports MQTT and I’m assuming your are referring to something like this. If so, then this would be a way to achieve 1 above which would use MQTT and this bridge software to provide communication between OH and the ST Hub.

Searching the forum for “SmartThings bridge” came up with a few posts about it. Specifically, this one…

Being a former ST convert a couple years ago, I can tell you that the freedom of OH is exactly what I was hoping for, but unable to get from ST. A bridge may be helpful to start migrating to OH, but I recommend controlling your devices directly in the long-term.

I have found these forums friendly and full of a LOT of very helpful people… so relax, setup a stable system that is capable of infinite tweaking, ask, learn, and SHARE!

Personally, although I got the bridge working between OH and ST, I couldn’t migrate everything fast enough to just openHAB. Once you’ve experienced the stability and speed of openHAB, it’s hard to settle with the delays and random failures of SmartThings. My advice is to get a USB z-wave stick. If you want to use device auto-discovery it’s the only way to go. I got this one:

Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5, Z-Wave Plus USB to create gateway

Thank you for your advice. I did order that exact stick but my only concern is what about Zigbee? I don’t believe this stick controls those devices. Also of concern is that since I’m a newbie to all this, that transitioning out of ST immediately, I would wreck my automation and it would be a while before its up and running again. Once I get the stick and install it and reset my network, where do I go from there?

There are some options for Zigbee, but they are far less mature than Z-wave at this time, and it does require more hardware. I personally only had a handful of Zigbee devices, and frankly two of them were ST branded motion sensors that gave me false positives periodically. I decided to move to Z-wave and gave away/sold all my Zigbee devices. I don’t know how many devices you have, so that’s something you’ll need to decide.

True, there will be some growing pains as you learn to set up openHAB the way you like it. Things like modes that don’t exist by default in openHAB, but the nice thing about it is that you can define them. I actually set my openHAB up in a similar fashion to my old SmartThings setup with a mode String item that can be set to home, away, or night.

I initially planned a gradual switch over to openHAB, doing one room at a time and creating rules that emulated my SmartThings routines. Once I got my Z-wave stick, however, I got so excited with the possibilities that I decided to completely switch everything over and gradually work up to a mature installation. One way I did that was with multiple sitemaps. I created a "guest’ sitemap that only did the basic necessary functions like the main light switches, without worrying about color temperature and other settings. That way other family members had access quickly while I built out the rest of the system.

Once you decide to move a device over from ST to OH, you’ll need to exclude it from ST before including it with your Z-stick. The Z-stick is nice because you can carry it around and bring it to hardwired devices if necessary. Pair them in the order you want them to show up in your interface; the stick assigns node numbers in order as you associate them.

Once you have them paired, plug it into your openHAB computer and I would restart.

From there, I’d read up on setting up the Z-wave stick. You’ll need to determine the port your serial stick is using and set it in PaperUI.

Good luck!

Thanks again. When it comes to ZigBee, will something with a ZM100 controller work?

You can also include the stick as a secondary on the ST hub, and control the devices through both OH and ST. No need to reinclude the devices. I did this when I migrated. I would build a rule in OH and then turn off the one in ST, until all of the automation was moved to OH. I then shifted the stick from secondary to primary and turned off the ST hub.

I now use one of these in OH. It is a combo zwave and zigbee (Ember) controller…

If you can find the zigbee network configuration in the ST hub (I don’t know if this is possible), then you can just configure it into OH and it will take over control of the zigbee network.

This is a pretty big thread, but there is a lot of info on the zigbee binding. @chris (the maintainer for both the zwave and zigbee bindings) would be the best person to ask about controller compatibility.

If you haven’t yet, definitely read through the tutorial and user manual…

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