[WIN] Getting started with 433 / Z-wave

TL:DR. New to openhab, teach me stuff I should know about windows and openhab hardware + software

Hello friends, I am looking to getting started with OpenHab but not sure exactly what I should get and I’m looking for suggestions, particularly for the windows platform.

What should I use for integrating security devices, z-wave or 433mhz? Pros and Cons would be helpful.

Should I get an 433mhz transceiver or receiver? Which device do you recommend for windows?

In terms of panel integration and sensors, would most 433mhz devices work? For example things you can get from ebay or AliExpress like these LINK

I also would like to know people’s experiences and things they wish someone would have told them before they got started. Also as a note I am aware that a DIY home security system is not as secure as paid services in most cases but I want to do it anyways. I will be adding a UPS to my home server and networking, and I don’t plan to open the ports to the internet.

Thanks in advance for any wisdom you can give me.

zwave - Pros: reliable, excellent binding
- cons: expensive

443Mhz - Pros - Cheap
- Cons - Unreliable, prone to interference, unsecure, no dedicated binding

1 Like



Especially since you are just getting starts with OH I recommend Zwave to start. This stuff is complicated and there is a lot to learn. Make it just a little easier on yourself and eliminate some complexity by starting with Zwave.

For the most part I think most of us do one or more of the following:

  • no panel or UI at all, the home automation just does it’s thing with minimal manual interaction, and when manual interaction is needed we use physical buttons and switches
  • use an old or new tablet and one of the built in UIs to create a control panel
  • use Alexa or Google Home to control the home automation
  • use our phones with one of the built in UIs
  • integrate with a preexisting home alarm system panel, but typically that panel is not the main controller for the house but just one more device that is part of the OH home automation.

So the big questions back to you is what do you hope to achieve with one of these panels?

There are plenty of options for sensors in these two and many other technologies.

  • Start small and build the system gradually. I started with one Zwave outlet. I then added a DIY RPi based garage door controller and gradually grew from there.

  • Be aware that you will make bad choices because you don’t have the knowledge and experience yet to understand some of the compromises that come with decisions you make now. This is another good reason to go slowly so needing to backtrack and make other choices will not be that expensive in terms of cost and time.

  • Develop some guiding principles for yourself. For example, my guiding principles are below. Following these principles means that certain technologies are off limits (e.g. smart bulbs).

    • the home automation shall fail in a usable state; if OH is down I can still turn on/off the lights manually
    • the home automation shall be as easy and intuitive to use or even more easy and intuitive to use than the non-automated approach
    • the house shall be usable by guests and children without the need to install anything on their phone or bring up an app on a tablet or the like
    • the home automation shall not be intrusive.
  • Don’t waist time spinning your wheels on a problem. People are usually very quick to answer questions on this forum. There are not many problems that we haven’t seen.

  • Don’t be afraid of DIY. It really is easier than it looks and very satisfying. You don’t even need your own 3D printer to make nice custom cases. There are lots of services where you can submit your model and they will ship the 3D print.

1 Like

Really sorry for the long wait for the reply, thanks for answering in such a detailed manor. Somehow I am subbed to this thread but it never emailed me.

I was thinking about getting a sonoff 433 bridge and using it to add a panel like this LINK The one thing I was unsure about is exactly what I need to get that working, I assume since so many people are doing it, I would need to flash tasmota on the bridge and use MQTT. I would have multiple methods to interact with my alarm system but I really wanted a panel for my doors to swipe an NFC key or for those who don’t have one to interact with the alarm. I know 433 isnt super secure but if someone is smart enough and dedicated enough to break in by getting the data from the keypads, they won’t be stopped with a simple security system anyways.

Too late for that one lol. I have one room with smart bulbs with temp control so I can block out blue light and help with my sleeping habits, but the rest of the house will stay standard LEDs, but maybe in the future I will convert the switches themselves to a smart switch with manual switching.

I know I will make bad choices, but I’m trying to minimize as much as possible by doing research,

I might expand on what I’m doing now but my main purpose right now is to cut our current security service and the bill attached to it. My setup with be converting my house wired system to openhab with Konnected and using 443mhz devices as replacement security panels. I also think I might allow alexa to arm the system, but not disarm. Disarm will be through phone app and panels only. I was looking into some siren/strobe 433mhz devices that I can program to go off when the system is triggered.

It’s also not typically two way. Usually it’s fire and forget and if the message is lost it’s lost. There is no confirmation.

Zwwave nd Zigbee are much better in this regard. As long as everything communicates to OH then it doesn’t really matter what technology it is. OH will bridge between them through Items and Rules.

1 Like