RPi hardware GPIO limits and an Integral Home Automation

In order to enable lights´ control I started with a Rasbee II, a RPi zigbee bridge. After a while I want to extend a range of controlled things with z-wave and RaZberry 2.

I soon learned that a number of available RPi´s GPIOs are insufficient for an all-in-one RPi approach.

Quick look at what different communities mention, for an integral solution among others:

  • mqtt master/slave network RPi-s
  • EVE IoT all-in-one as a RPi HAT.

The objective is to be able controlling house things from one OpenHAB instance.

What hardware/network approach have you chosen to address covering automation for whole house?

I run in a VM on a host machine running ESXi.

Raw/DIY type stuff (e.g. RPi GPIO, ESPs, Arduinos) are integrated using MQTT and the MQTT Binding.

For Zwave/Zigbee I have a HUSZB1 which is a combo Zwave controller/Zigbee Coordinator. But if such a device didn’t exist I’d have two USB dongles, one for each technology. I use the openHAB Zwave and Zigbee bindings for these. Luckily my physical machine is on the top floor of the house in my office so coverage is not a problem.

I run lots and lots of other services as well so running OH on an RPi doesn’t really make anything simpler for me. If I were to use an RPi though, I’d almost certainly stick with USB dongles instead of HATs as dongles provide more flexibility.

Everything else uses WiFi HTTP or has it’s own API.

Thanks for your answer and interesting approach.

Comparison HAT vs. dongle vent in the HAT favour as I was looking for a neat solution that may be hidden in a distribution cabinet. Quite amazed by how tidy it looks with Revolution PI !

Revolution Pi — mini industrial PC, data acquisition platform, PLC, and an IoT gateway

On opposite dongles are more exposed to mechanical damage lowering reliability.

I use a distributed control system in my house to make it WIFE approved.

In essence I use Cheap ESP8266 controllers to do the automation. I try not have a single point of failure for the system and run as much of the control on the microcontroller.

Like my extraction fan in the bath room is automated and has no switch and I don’t want it to run forever without connection to openHAB. It is run using a humidity sensor to turn on an off and can be controlled by voice. If the mqtt broker is not reachable you can’t control it from openHAB however it will default turn off with humidity unless the sensor it broken or it runs for too long.

While it doesn’t support Rasbee, if you are looking for GPIO control over MQTT you use my MQTTany software. It’s not clear on how you use GPIOs beyond attaching your Rasbee, so this may not be what you’re looking for.

Raspbee uses serial port / 4 GPIOs while, remaining GPIOs are free. Can you explain how MQTTany functions and what hardware it requires? What about RPi 4?

So you address each particular use case (fan) with own dedicated ESP8266 controller and use some other kind of (humidity in your case) sensor to control the fan? Do you pair ESP8266s with their instance of arduino or even RPi? And OpenHAB is fully unaware of the fan?


On most devices I use TASMOTA it allows you to use rules on the device and handles the wifi and MQTT through a web interface.

There are a couple of different projects to run firmware on the 8266 to mqtt and each have there own uses with associated learning.

I don’t lock myself into just using TASMOTA and also use any firmware that works. WLED is good for controlling addressable leds. ESP easy is another one

It doesn’t require hardware per se, it will run on anything running Linux. It is designed to connect hardware on single board computers, like Raspberry PI’s, to MQTT. Currently it supports digital GPIO, MCP230xx chips via I2C, DS18B20 devices via wire1, WS2812 like LEDs (only on RPi), and streaming ACN (DMX via network).

I don’t have Raspberry Pi 4 support yet because information is a bit scarce still. I can add it very easily though, if you open a new issue to add board support there are a couple commands I need the output of.

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