ZWave setup with ophenhab Server in the basement? OpenHab Server cannot be the zwave Controller

I am running openhab on an ubuntu Server in my basement. Its running well since a couple of years already. But now I am in the need of attaching wireless window contacts.
I fgured, a good way to do so is using zwave. But I am struggling with the setup.
My understanding is, that I can buy a USB zwave controller, plug it into my server and connect this to my openhab . But the wireless contact will be on the 1st floor, no way they will connect to the usb dongle in my basement.

How can I solve this?
My prefered sollution would be to have some kind of controller attached to my existing wlan or hooked up to a lan port. So I could place this controller close to the wireless contacts.
Is there such thing?

What is the best practice to solve this problem?

Any help is greatly apreciated!


Either run openHAB with just zwave on a pi and use mqtt commands to push it to your server instance.

Or look at something like zwave2mqtt

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Nope, that’s bad advice for the OP’s situation.

ZWave is routed i.e. it has mesh capability.Any mains powered zwave device can forward messages. So if it doesn’t work right away, place a zwave plug socket or similar somewhere half way between server and destination sensors.

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ok, thats intressting, so instead of having seperated mesh repeater (like with my wlan) I place a couple of zwave devices and they span a mesh without seperated repeater?

Yes. But only mains powered nodes can do that.

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For what it’s worth, I have Z-Wave running on my basement server. I put my zwave USB stick on a USB extension cable so I can get it away from the server and rack. I have it tied to a cable bundle.

I have a similar set up. Server in a rack in the basement, with a long cable connecting the zwave USB dongle such that the dongle is near some open framing (it’s a wood frame house). I have zwave devices in the basement, first floor, second floor, third floor, and detached garage. Maybe I’m just lucky, but the only device where I have intermittent connectivity is the contact closure sensor inside a metal mailbox located outside the house. At some point I’ll probably move that sensor to the outside bottom of the mailbox.

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I had some intermittent issues in my first floor garage and in my front yard even though had a mins powered device on the front porch.

Running outdoor Christmas lights gets interesting. I ended up resorting to some mains powered timers this year again. Our lights are split into 3 different circuits.

Someone who has moderator privilege (hint @Bruce_Osborne) should probably tag this thread with zwave (or is it z-wave). :wink:

Sometimes running mains devices to build the mesh just doesn’t work. In this case, Ive also got a small OH2 server with MQTT running to link them, infact I’ve got 2 x ZWave networks linked with MQTT and its the most reliable the network has ever been. I battled for over 1.5 years previously with repeaters etc. Now its faultless using ethernet to link the two networks and MQTT over the top.

I just wish in 2.5 it was far easier to create a master/slave relationship like the Fibaro Home Centre - it really should be a point and click affair in openhab and not the convulted mess it is with rules etc in 2.5 onwards.

Even in 2.5, the number of lines of config with each item being duplicated is tedious.

I tagged it but I am far from a moderator. I think anybody can tag a thread.

The topic OP can, but Regulars and Mods can modify them too.

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I must be a nobody, then, because I don’t see how to tag it. LOL

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Thank you all for your replies.

I think I try the USB -> z-Wave Socket as “repeater” -> window contact variant first.
Also I have a USB extension at hand, might come in handy. :slight_smile:

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That sound like a good sullution as well, as soon as my hardware arrives I’ll give it a try.
Thnks a lot!

Click the pencil beside the post title.

Click the + sign

In the search box type z- then click z-wave

Click the + sign again and then click the check mark in the lower right of the images above.

Would love to but I don’t have one of those pencil things… :roll_eyes:

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Maybe some information here,


You’re forgiven. Keep hiding as long as you keep contributing :wink: