Multiple raspi - multiple openHAB installations - possible? - config HOWTO?

Hi openHAB’ers!

I will be running openHAB and to start out will be using primarily plenty of Plugwise circle devices (Zigbee). OpenHAB recognizes the Plugwise hardware without any problem so no issues there.

Our house has plenty of concrete floors, so we experience some dificulty for the zigbee devices to properly connect between floors (to create a single zigbee network).

My idea was to use e.g. a raspi with zigbee stick on the basement and a second raspi on the first floor, later on a third raspi back in the workshed in the garden.
Each of these two or three raspi’s would have it’s own zigbee (Plugwise) stick and control it’s own set of (Plugwise) circle’s, it’s own zigbee network as it were.
All raspi’s will be on the same (wired ethernet) network.

Idea would be to be able to e.g.

  • use a switch connected to raspi 1
  • that would e.g. switch device 3 on raspi 1’s zigbee network + device 7 on raspi 2’s zigbee network and so forth

I seem to have read that openHAB 3 has kind of master / slave principle built in.

  • Is this correct?
  • Where can I find configuration details to apply this in practice?

Thanks for helping out!

In the mean time I have found the information that I read:
It is in the 2020-12-21-openhab-3-0.release.html notes, and it indeed points to openHAb Remote Binding

Here, it mentions “distributed setups” see copy of the text below.
[ With the new openHAB Remote Binding (opens new window)it is now very easy to create distributed setups. While in the past many users set up an MQTT broker and integrated multiple openHAB instances using the MQTT binding, openHAB 3 is now capable of discovering other instances on the local network and automatically read its items and things through the REST API.

Such a setup then consists out of a central openHAB instance and several openHAB outposts. This makes sense, if certain devices need physical vicinity, e.g. because they are connected through a serial interface or because their wireless range is not sufficient to reach the central instance, as can be the case for Bluetooth and other short range sensors.

An additional use case (especially considering that some users might still rely on openHAB 1.x bindings that have no equivalent in openHAB 3) is to keep an openHAB 2 instance with the legacy bindings up and running, while migrating the rest of the installation to a new openHAB 3 instance.]

You’re looking for the Remote openHAB binding. Install it on your primary system and then you can control devices attached to other openHAB servers.

You’ll need to add your Zigbee devices to your secondary systems as things/items, use the binding to connect to those systems, and then once again add the devices as things/items. The secondary systems act as bridges, and you can control everything from your primary system.

Or…. Maybe i misunderstood something but, you could instead buy a a whole bunch of these guys…
One sec, grabbing link…

(I’ve looked at tuya but honestly the pricing isn’t much different)

And scatter them throughout your place? One per room to charge smartphones, or a gamepad or similar…. Or an argb strip hooked to an esp.
Place a few in your hallways and your done. Look, a pi costs an arm and a leg nowadays if you can find them in stock. You still them the zigbee stick. And an sd card. And to configure each and everyone of them.
Why not just extend the network, and control everything from just one pi? What am I missing?

1 Like

You could also install zigbee2mqtt on the local Pi’s and use your main Pi with OH and control everything from there. I guess that’s less work


How so?
How would installing even two pi’s be less work than just buying zigbee routers and scattering them throughout the house?

I feel like I’m missing something important in this entire conversation.
You’re saying that:
Getting a pi;
Flashing the sd card;
Installing openHAB
Installing zigbee2mqtt;
Installing the zigbee stick;

Is somehow easier /less work than buying a smartphone charger which acts as a zigbee router, add it to the network and stick it on a wall socket???

Edit: I’ll add more context about my setup just in case it helps op.
I live in Europe. All walls are brick and concrete. They are dense like mofos, even Wi-Fi doesn’t like it.
The layout of the place is a rectangle, and the office is in one corner, and the living room on the opposite side. Plus, I have two floors. Again, brick and concrete everywhere.
My zigbee stick barely had the range to reach the living room (on the opposite side of the apartment ) let alone the rooms above. Just not possible.
So I added another router in between (a xiaomi wall socket). It connects to the main zigbee stick, broadcasts a new network and routes all requests back to the main stick. Costs 14 euros. If I needed more, I’d just add more zigbee routers to increase the range. Not raspberry pi’s with zigbee sticks.
Here’s my basic zigbee map. Notice the button with low link quality? That’s the one at the second floor. That one is connected to the router (water heater plug), and the router connects to the coordinator (the star)

Please don’t. ZigBee is built to handle that scenario a lot better than any interconnected set of OH installations would be (they don’t have the routing redundancy built in that ZigBee provides).
Deploy ZigBee repeaters like the IKEA one or any mains connected ZigBee devices close to a location where the signal can cross floors such as in the stairway.

Liberal Pedro,

Thanks for replying;
I’m not sure the Plugwise circle, circle+ and stick will be “repeated” by the Tradfri signal repeater.
One of the main reasons why I’m starting out using openHAB is the fact that the Plugwise Binding exists.

I do have some Tradfri devices and lamps and a hub around. I’d like to first get to grips with building a UI. I guess it will take some more time playing around to understand how to set up the UI and Pages.

If there is any information available about how “universal” Zigbee is between Plugwise and Tradfri, please let me know!

Thanks for helping out!

Liberal Pedro :wink:

What app are you using on your phone? (the screenshot one)
Fyi, I don’t see the low link quality button.
I live in BE.

What Xiaomi wall socket do you use as a router?
I would require a wall socket compatible to this type.
I’ve looked at an store that sells Xiaomi but they don’t seem available.

Thanks for helping out!

I’m in a plane so my communication won’t be optimal. Once I’m out I’ll try to update.
Zigbee is cross compatible, you can usually ignore brands when it comes to zigbee.
The application is called zigbee2mqtt.
The xiaomi plug is called smart plug 2. It is standard EU so it is compatible with your Belgium ones.
Edit: this one → Xiaomi Mi Smart Plug (ZigBee) White (GMR4014GL): full specifications, photo |

If I forgot something please let me know and I’ll update.

About the repeaters, same thing. Compatibility is /should be expected.

The whole point of zigbee was to make it universal. Some brands, like Phillips with their hue lineup, kind of ruined that. If you go to the zigbee2mqtt website, you can check a full list of devices that have been confirmed as working. But yes you can assume that the ikea tradfi repeaters will work, at least they have been confirmed as working in xiaomi ecosystems, Phillips hue and sonoff. Not sure about tuya and lidl but I’m certain someone can pitch in and clarify.

About the app: not an app, it’s the zigbee2mqtt web ui. Similar to how you access openHAB.
About the low link quality, it’s not a button, it’s the numbers on the lines. Low number, low signal. 20 is low, but tbh the button has never failed once.

Hope to have answered all of the questions this time :slight_smile: