What is your hardware setup ? I'd like to put together a couple of reference setups

I am adding home automation to my consulting skills and services.

What is your setup and what would you wish was proposed as reference when you started with openHAB ?

I’ d like to have a reference hardware setup to propose when needed, so I’ve been testing a few things. I’ d love to hear what your current setup is to install openHAB, as well as other hardware you’ve found best improves its coverage of other devices used in HA.

Here is my criteria:

For the hub + HA software:

  • Easy to buy and replace, off-the-shelf parts
  • Good resistance to high/low temperatures (I deal with customers in Canada and South-America)
  • Reasonable maintenance or full-replacement costs
  • Free open source, governance by a foundation, active community, Spanish and French language support or ability to contribute to it

For devices:

  • Minimal hardware tinkering or custom-firmware, ideally established providers with several years verifiable customer support / online presence
  • Responsive tech support communication, active in community channels and online
  • Must support Zigbee and Z-Wave, MQTT at the minimum
  • Common hardware that is well-supported in the community, regardless of project used

I realize not all the above can be achieved but so far I am happy with this " low-end" setup:

For the Hub:

  • rPi 3+ with with a case including a fan
  • SanDisk High Endurance 32GB card or similar

For extra accessories / hardware to improve control and support more devices:

  • Nortek HUSB-ZB1 USB radio for Zwave and Zigbee + cable extension
  • ZMote (similar to Broadlink Pro but open API, no special apps, cloud or registration needed, has 2 bindings in openHAB) for IR devices support (no RF though)
  • Konnected alarm panels for " legacy" wiring and sensors support
  • Tradfri / Philips Hue / vendor-specific hubs when needed. In general, try not to mix and match vendor products
  • No WiFi cloud-dependent, custom-app devices - Broadlink RM Pro+, Soundlink devices like AudioCast or Dayton, WiFi bulbs and switch are in this category.
  • Cameras with ONVIF and PoE when wired

I am still testing and researching proper power supply including possibly including UPS / power control in the same price range and compact design as the rPi.

Another different kind of device for the hub (but with the same accessories) would be a standard PC (Core i5 or better) with RAID-1 SSD and Proxmox virtualization, providing more reliability and flexibility, better performance. I am currently using this to test different HA software like openHAB, Home Assistant and Mozilla’s WebThings gateway.

What are you using now ? What do you wish would be better designed or commercially available and supported ?

That will only be a legal Z-Wave device for your North American customers. There are several country-specific Z-Wave regions in South America.



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Here’s part of the problem. Your criteria is going to be very different from my criteria or most user’s criteria. Some users the amount of power it consumes is of utmost importance. For others, it’s reliability. Still others that it fails gracefully and/or can be “repaired” by a non-technical person (e.g. a spouse).

So any responses you get here will be hard to compare because they are selected under vastly different requirements.

Probably don’t need the fan except in hot environments.

Better to choose an HDD or SDD.

In addition to the regional issues Bruce mentions, I don’t think Nortek makes these any longer so acquiring them may be a challenge in the long term. Finally, there is no way to update the firmware on these so as the Zigbee protocol continues to advance and improve this coordinator will be left behind.

Tradfri and Hue are supported by the Zigbee binding I believe so there is no need for those two hubs. For Xiaomi you are probably better off with their hub though.

openHAB is not a CCTV system. I don’t know if the IP Camera binding supports ONVIF or not, but IMHO you will always be better off running a dedicated CCTV software (Shinobi, Zoneminder, BlueIris) and integrating that with OH. If you have more than a couple cameras deployed, you will want to move the processing off of the RPi and onto a much more powerful machine.

UPS is very important for Linux as there is a high risk of file corruption when the machine loses power. And if you are using flash based memory, that corruption is not just to the files actively being written to but it can include system level files like parts of the kernel.

A desktop format server running ESXi. openHAB is running on an Ubuntu 18.4 VM in a Docker container. I use the HUSZB1 Zwave controller/Zigbee coordinator but I only have Zwave devices. Everything else is either MQTT DIY hardware or uses a cloud API to interact with the devices. The server is connected to an UPS and I use NUT to react when we lose power and the battery is almost out.

Since this is a hobby of mine I don’t really have anything.

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Thanks @Bruce_Osborne - Looking at those links I noticed Colombia is listed there as having the same frequencies officially supported (908.4MHz, 916MHz) as USA / Mexico. Other countries we’d be dealing with are not specifically listed there and my experience is most hardware would be imported from USA anyways.

I suppose this will be relevant for regulatory/certification purposes so its important to always double check. In other cases, for example when importing from Asia, Europe, etc. it could even mean hardware not connecting at all, I suppose.

The user needs a Z-Wave controller for the appropriate region too. That really complicates things if you are considering a worldwide market.
Perhaps you should consider starting in one region and then expanding.


Have a read of this thread, as it seems to be covering a lot of the topics you’re discussing.

As do LOTS of other threads.

This is an extremely subjective viewpoint, as is hinted at in all the threads that go down this rabbit hole.

For my money…

“If you wouldn’t be happy to use / eat / serve / support it / sleep on it / drive it / live with it yourself, you have no right to ask anyone else to”

I said to a ‘cook’ in a restaurant recently… “Would you eat this?”

They said yes, so I left without another word.

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