Razberry z-wave controller / any alternative?


I have a razberry board where I have extended the antenna to improve range. I can’t say that I had great results and from time-to-time I lose some packets and my sensors do not update (FGMS-001 motion). I look for a better controller so my question is whether someone has any experience with other hardware to stick it on my Odroid plarform. The optimum range that I wish is about 20 meters, it may not appear very large but I do have some concrete walls that make my life hard … I look also into extenders or use other active devices as repeaters but my concern is that on power blackouts I will lose connectivity so direct access would be the most optimum solution for me.

Thank you all

The Zwave.me USB Stick works fine on my RPi2, range (in my case) is about 13 meters through three concrete walls in one direction and 18 meters through one concrete wall in the other direction.
Maybe it even reaches 20 meters, but I didn’t test that …

So this range is usual I guess, I mean ~ 15 meters max when having walls. I will see if other users have better experience with other brands like Aeon.

Thank you very much ‘sihui’

Thank you Markus for this very informative post. My concern when having a power outage is that i will lose connection to distant devices that normally get accessed using intermediate mains powered points. An alarm system built on z-wave should be always available no matter what. While zwave has all functions to support that, range is so poor in most cases that make it almost useless.in such events.


I think the issue you raise is going to be common with pretty much any wireless system. Certainly it’s the case with ZigBee and ZWave - neither allows routing using battery devices…

In my house all the security related sensors can communicate back to the controller directly, and I have the controller on a UPS…

Thanx for your reply Chris. Do u mind sharing what controller you’re using and the average range of your devices ?


I have the Aeon Gen5 zstick. I’m not 100% sure of the ‘100% reliable’ range I’m getting - but my house is brick (including internal walls) and my controller is at one end of the house. My controller appears to be able to see most of the devices in the house, but not the garage - these are probably about 10m away… I suspect with better positioning of my controller, I could sort this out, but for me I’m not trying to run an alarm system so I’m not too bothered…

My personal philosophy with home automation is to use ‘proper’ systems to do the job they are designed, and then to use an HA system to oversea everything… By this, I mean I want all critical functions to work when the HA system isn’t working, so I have a standalone heating system, the lights all work when the HA system is down etc. This means that the whole house doesn’t stop working when openHAB stops, or when I want to upgrade something etc - this in turn means that my partner doesn’t give me grief :smile: OpenHAB provides me additional functionality that is not critical (although still very nice!) and I’d suggest that something like an alarm system probably should be a standalone system if you really want it to protect your house…

Just my thoughts :smile:

Chris is absolutely totally correct. Skimping on UPS/backups/source-control/et alia is electronic Russian roulette. You WILL lose, the question is HOW SOON ?

A UPS costs 2-3x a z-switch. Forgo your latest “bright idea”. Get the UPS.

Have you managed to get devices like an RPi and Aeon stick to act as an end device (ie so that it will act as a router)? Does this actually work - I would assume not as the Aeon at least is not a routing slave (at least not according to the information the node provides).

The Multisensor should work if configured correctly (ie as a mains powered device).


FYI - I have a couple of battery packs from LIzone that will charge while powering a USB device and have used them as you describe for a Pi 2.

Well, to overcome any wireless instability and/or software issues I’ve started extending my wired alarm system using z-wave binary switches from fibaro. By this way I will keep old system alive and at the same time I will be able to manage messages from traditional contacts (reed, PIR) into HA. Z-wave will provide me notifications on contact status and proceed with actions if necessary. If HA gets stuck or in case of power outage the old wired system will still be able to execute its work on batteries. The power supply for my binary sensor is coming from the alarm board so it will still work as well on outages. My HA is installed on an Odroid (very happy with that box …) which I will supply either with an external UPS or using Odroid’s solution which seems to be very slim (http://ameridroid.com/products/ups2-c1) and claims to last ~90 minutes (I assume no disks, adapters or other peripherals).

Someone might ask why not going with another alarm board having IP or z-wave connectivity. Simply because of cost … Binary sensor costs about 35 Euros and I need 4 of them for covering 8 zones. The only drawback for the binary sensor is that if it loses power it will leave contacts open even if they’re closed but that hopefully will not be the case when powered by the alarm board.

It’s still pity that I will not fully exploit my motion sensors for the alarm system … For the time being I collect temp, lum and trigger some lights when motion is not stuck …

Guys I would like to thank you all for sharing your experience with Z-wave !!!