Zoos appears to have released a 700-series in-wall z-wave relay for the US market (Zen51,Zen52). I think this makes them the first company to do so. I’ve been waiting a long time for this.
I really wish this offering had preserved the well-worn path of using screw-terminals for the leads, and and an external wire antenna. Opinions?
Fibaro, AeoTec, Qubino, Shelly and others have long since used screw terminals for their relay products. I think it’s because screw terminals allow for flexibility when installing these things into junction boxes. Leads can be attached/replaced/omitted (in the field by the installer/electrician) to fit the situation. I only use relays in special cases where smart switches can’t be used for design/style or other special reasons, so when a relay is used, flexibility is important. Maybe Zooz didn’t think this through because they don’t fully understand their users needs? Am I alone, or do others also prefer terminals/screws to a pigtail (soldered leads)?
It also appears that both new relays have no external antenna leads. This seems like a bad idea to me because it does NOT allow for flexible antenna placement. While an internal antenna may work well (or even better) on some Z-Wave devices, it seems like is a bad choice for an in-box relay. For example, when you’ve got metal junction boxes (required by code in many places, some with metal plate covers) the signal is almost totally blocked. Even with extra range afforded by the 700-series chip, I doubt the relay will work well inside of of a metal junction box. However, an antenna lead it can be made to work, even when using a metal box by careful placement (e.g. threading it outside of the box)
I really prefer the well-worn path of using screw-terminals (and external antennas) for this particular product category. Anybody feel the same way? Feel differently?