Z-Wave hosting

Hi everyone,

I searched the forums but didn’t found the answer.

I preparing my future home with some automation. For now Zwave seems the right choice.

I can get a simple PC server to control my sensors, but I looking for a better solution. A NETMF board server.
But after some research, I’ve only found a open source project for Windows. For Arduino, there is a module but I think it can work with an official controller. The protocol is the problem.
A lot of reverse engineering I suppose…

So I would like to know if someone here already tried (and succeed) to use a MF board to control a zwave controler (usb or rs232) ?


Funny, just this morning I was briefly looking at this Z-wave module and considering the benefit of turning it into a Gadgeteer module.


I still need to explore it further before I decide what solution I’m going to use for the project but this looks like a good option.

I looked at doing none of these but I don’t think they come with a standard firmware. You need to build in what you need.

1.2 Overview
The ZM3102N Z-Wave Module is a fully integrated module containing all the HW and SW required to Z-Wave enable OEM products.[/em]

I’m curious to see what SW are included.

Even with Arduino I didn’t find a lot of informations…

I tried to contact Sigma Designs to get more informations, I hope they will answer me.

Let me know what you find out. I have a Christmas break project I might build with this.

To my knowledge, Z-Wave is much more widely used than Xbee. And they come in 900Mhz package , presumably consumes less power and are easier to communicate.

The down side is, you have to sign an NDA when you buy any module or development kit. Although Z-wave modules are much cheaper than xbee but their development kit are not cheap.

I use Zwave myself for home automation and would love to get my hands on and use modules but you need to sign the NDA and purchase the dev kit, which I see on the . This puts it well out of reach of the hobbiest. :frowning:

Xbee modules do cost more but they can be used by hobbiest. I use them here as interface modules to buttons and touch panels. They work very well.


there’s an open project (probably three) that has done a lot of work on z-wave. openzwave Redirecting to Google Groups that would avoid you needing NDA and devkit.

Could you comment on how much you like Z-wave over xbee? I have a system built upon xbee but I feel it might be worth migrating to Z-wave. I also spotted some stm32w base zigbee module from china which can even beat the price of z-wave no mention of xbee. But it is not as reliable as xbee so $1K went down the sink.

Hi Jerome,

All of my Zwave units are switch modules for switching lighting, fans, coffee machine etc. I also have number of plug in modules for lights made by Everspring which are good.

So far nothing with home built because of the development costs.

It has been reliable but occasionally I do have issues reaching 1 end device but then I do live in an apartment with reinforced concrete walls that makes a lovely Faraday cage. :slight_smile: As long as you have a routing device in the middle it does make it but adds a second or 2 to the switching time. :frowning:

Hi, Dave,

I didn’t realize it was you. I forgot that Z-Wave has a built in Triac controller. For turning lights on and off, Z-wave is the way to go. And also because it works around 900MHz, it should have much better penetration power and longer range than xbee that works at 2.4GHz. 900MHz xbee is much much more expensive, we are looking at $40+vs. $6.

The thing I am not sure about Z-Wave is its payload. because I mainly use it as wireless connectivity. From the datasheet that is openly available, the latest module is almost comparable to xbee, 250kbps. Unfortunately there is no further information on addressing, rf communication etc. Without knowing all this, it is kind of risky to invest $2700 into a development kit.

Hi Zhiyong, :slight_smile:

Have you considered emailing Zwave for the the technical answers or even asking on the Open Zwave group if they have the information you need?

I don’t use any modules with TRIAC control as all my lights are LED and don’t like using that type of control. I use only relay based devices. I don’t need any dimming although I do still have a couple of older HomePro light controllers.

One thing I discovered over the years though, is that you should make sure the device you have plugged in it fused with the right size fuse, especially with dimmable devices as when the lamp bulb blows, it tends to destroy the controller. This has happened twice to me now so all devices have the plugs replace with a fused UK style (they have these horrible 2 pin Euro style plugs here that wobble around in the sockets and I hate them. I tend to replace them all with the proper 2 pin with earth plugs instead)

If I could get a Zwave module that was already certified and all we have to do is use it on our own boards, like Xbee, I think this would be the way to go.

Well still no answers from Sigma Designs. I’ll try again.

If I read good, the SDK provided by SD is only to developp from Linux/Mac/Windows systems.
You got nothing for NETMF or even Arduino.

I’m curious about what SW is provided when you buy at digikey.com

The only infos I found is from 2006. ControlThink released a SDK for .NETMF. But it seems that the company is dead (no more SDK, no more support, no answers in theirs forums)

You’d need to be making a lot of home automation projects or creation sales to make the dev kit’s $1500 worth it.

Xbee still works out cheaper for home use compared to this cost :slight_smile:

Yeah I thought the dev kit was 300$… It’s 1.500. And at this price you have only CD…

I will try to convert what I need using the open project and the UZB key

The only thing we need from SD is addressing, network formation etc, basically their wireless communication protocol which is what they are trying to charge big money for. This type of information should not be specific to any platform, be it Linux arduino or ntmf. And probably the protocol doesn’t change much from 2006.

Is the price of dev kit $1500? I was looking at $2700 plus tax at digikey yesterday. The price difference between xbee and z-wave is about $6-8/module. The dev kit plus at least two iterations of PCB, I will be looking at a bill of $5K, that means I need a sales volume of at least 1K units to break even. The math doesn’t work in favor of z-wave.


@ Jerome

Take a look solutions based on TI 2530 line. Dev kit you can buy for about 50$.
In most cases RF4CE stack is more then enough to send the data from devices to the controller.
Other option is STM32W108 line. It’s really cool and cheap solution with embedded Cortex-M3 MCU. But in their RF4CE stack limited for 5 devices in pairing table.
Let me know if you are interested, and i can point you out to documentation, code examples and some not expensive SOMs.