Raspberry Pi and RaZberry as Z-Wave controller

Today the first Raspberry Pi (RPi) arrived.  In size it equals an Arduino Mega, but the nice thing about the RPi is that it’s running Linux, which adds a whole new range of possibilities.

For example (and that’s what I’m going to do with it, for now) turn it into a Z-Wave controller with the use of a RaZberry.

RPi with Razberry on top

Powered by the adapter of my old smartphone, a standard 4GB SD card inserted to the left and a network cable to the right and the RaZberry connected to the GPIO. Power the thing up, wait about 30 seconds, start an ssh session to the RPi and you’re good to go!

Well, some preparations had to be done though, but those were all very easy and went very smooth.

First, make sure you have a SD card and a USB card reader. I didn’t, so I went to a local shop for those items after work. The image that has to be written to the SD card can be downloaded from here. Windows users will also need a tool to write the image to the SD card, for that I used Win32DiskImager. I inserted the SD card into the card holder of the RPi, connected the network cable and power adapter and saw the LEDs starting to blink. So far so good..

Next I used PuTTY to login. User pi, password raspberry. I followed the instructions on the screen (sudo raspi-config) to set the Time Zone and things like that and was done within half an hour or so, including preparing the SD card.

One of the first things I did was installing joe, my favorite editor on Linux (with Wordstar keystrokes, yeah!). That’s when you get reminded of the fact that the RPi is not your regular full-blown desktop PC – it took a bit longer to install than I was used to. I really don’t wanna know how long it would take to compile Apache from source… 😉 Well, never mind, that’s not what I’m going to use this RPi for anyway.

After shutting down the RPi I connected the RaZberry to the GPIO and booted again. The software for the RaZberry can be installed very easily:

wget -q -O – http://razberry.z-wave.me/install|sudo bash

After a 2nd reboot I could now surf to http://<rpi-ip-address>:8083/ and watch the demo User Interface of the RaZberry:

RaZberry demo UI


And after that… this exciting new adventure stopped, due to the lack of Z-Wave hardware. I can’t wait to find out if this combination of a RPi and the RaZberry add-on will enable me to use Z-Wave without too much hassle, cause that’s my ultimate goal – ‘talk’ to Z-Wave hardware through the RaZberry JSON API and not having to worry about every little detail – there are too much other things to explore, right??

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4 Responses to Raspberry Pi and RaZberry as Z-Wave controller

  1. Anton says:

    Interesting! Especially the RaZberry stuff.

    A while back you gave me some advice on how to hook up the OpenTherm gateway to a micro controller. Basically explaining to me what TTL is and where the signal lives in the OT circuit. In the end I didn’t follow up your advice completely, but found a USB->TTL converter which I plugged into the OT gateway. That works like a charm. The goal however was to make if wifi or LAN connected, which I did now, using a raspberry pi 🙂

    The OT gatweay is connected to the Pi using USB. Installing Ser2Net to enable a TCP connection to the OT gateweay. Again it seems to work like a charm. I think it’s even cheaper than using a MC., but more important : I get the use my favorite programming languages and get to have more fun with the Pi.

    Tought I’d share this with you. Thanks again 🙂

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  3. Wilco Pekkeriet says:

    Hello Robert,

    I have som questions about the Razberry board. I bought this board about two months ago but I am not able to get Z-way running on my Raspberry. I looked at the Razberry forum and even contact them by mail, but it seems like the forum is ‘dead’ ( no responses for the last months).Also no response to my mail. I hope I did not bought a discontinued product! I managed to control z-wave divices with other software, so the Razberry is not broken. But I would like to try z-way also.
    Further I was wondering if it would be possible to connect the Razberry to a windows pc for easy debugging when writing software?

    Thanks in advance and best regards,

    Wilco Pekkeriet

    • Hi Wilco,

      I see it now, the Razberry forum is full of spam! That’s not good.. I hadn’t noticed that yet. My Razberry hasn’t been used much since I bought it. The RazBerry is still for sale though, so it’s not discontinued (yet?). And it seems that the interface to the RazBerry changes a lot (see the remark here which is not good either. My plan was to use the JSON API but if specs change with every update I don’t like using that. Strange…

      Directly connecting the RazBerry to a Windows PC might not be that difficult (although I don’t know how myself), but developing software probably is, because you’ll have to communicate directly with the RazBerry. I have no idea how.

      By the time (if..) I’ll start using the RazBerry I may be able to tell you more, but for now that’s not on the short-list, so I don’t think I can help you with useful info right now. Maybe later…


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