Easiest way to ZIGBEE!

I am on latest openhab3.1 using openhabian on a Rpi4.I am looking the easiest way to incorporate zigbee in to my system so i can use sonoff ,aqara and ikea zigbee devices.I made i short research,there is a zigbee binding but i saw some coordinator needs flashing and too much work for my time right now.So is there a plugnplay way to have zigbee right now?Install a dongle and discover coordinator and then devices from MainUI with the binding?And if yes what coordinator dongle should i need to purchase?

As per the zigbee docs, it is best to get a dongle that is ember chipset based, larger ram and hardware flow control.

I went with the Elelabs one and it came with old firmware that did not work right for zigbee 3, so I had to firmware update it. An hour maximum it was updated by doing what is outlined here.

I have a few sticks and they all come with old firmware and some with none.

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If you have a HUSZBZ-1 or Telegenisis Ember based controller (perhaps others) you can upgrade it using a different tool. See HUSBZB-1 (Combo Zigbee and ZWave stick) Should I bother flashing its firmware to latest?.

I just upgraded my HUSZBZ-1 and it worked great. Took all of ten minutes with another 20 minutes spent submitting a PR to add instructions to the binding README.

But back to the main topic at hand, unless it is otherwise noted in the Zigbee binding’s readme, flashing or even upgrading the coordinator is not required to work with the binding. But if upgrades are available and supported it is highly encouraged.

I dont have any controller right now ,just asking which to buy so i dont have to mess with firmware flashing and staff.Thinking to get a rpi shield controler like Elelabs Zigbee Raspberry Pi Shield ,what do you think?Will i have problems with signal range?Is it better to get a usb dongle?

Personally I think a USB dongle is more flexible. A shield will be forever tied to a Raspberry Pi. A dongle will work with an RPi or any other computer.

As Rich says a dongle is more flexible plus you can add a USB extender cable if needed for range’s sake. Elelabs have a USB version, too.

thnx,i just ordered this one for 40 euros, it is the only one i found available in europe so i hope it is the right one :slight_smile:

I am using a Conbee II zigbee stick by Dresden Electronic which I really like. Comes with its own linux daemon helping you to set everything up and creating basic functionality such as coupling motion sensors with lights and has a dedicated OH binding. I have it running for over half a year now and it is solid as a rock.

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I own one, too, and yes they’re very good especially when it comes to support of cheapish, maybe-not-so-100%-compliant devices like the Aqara line.
Be aware though please that with the Conbee you need to use the deCONZ binding while all of the other sticks are operated through the Zigbee binding, so it’s not as easy as and does not allow for interchangeable hardware as the ZigBee binding supports it with the Elelabs, TI, iTead and others.


guys i finnaly got the POPP ZB-Stick and i have 2 questions.

Should i update to v8 following this guide?

At coordinator settings should i choose flow control to “none” ,“Hardware (CTS/RTS)” or “Software (XOn/XOff” ?

I have paired 2 sonoff motion sensors successfully ,one 2 meters away from usb stick and the other is 4 meters away and 2 walls in-between from usb stick.The one who is closer is working fine ,the away one is working nice for several hours and then nothing even that its showing as “online” as a thing.Any idea?Is it a range problem?

Your stick I’m pretty sure it is the same as the Elelabs just with a different brand on the website u purchased from.

If you want to use zigbee 3 devices without issue you need to update the firmware. You will want hardware flow control if your stick supports it which the Elelabs one does.

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Both the Popp and the Elelabs use the same software to flash the stick. Use the firmware from Popp to be safe.
You may need a routing zigbee device to get the far away sensor working, Test the sensor close to the stick
Battery driven devices do not route.

Thanx,i updated my usb stick easy without issues.

1 meter closer to stick (from the position i want it to be) it works just fine…so there is a range issue!What do u mean by saying zigbee routing device?Can you give an example plz?

any mains powered device, smart plug, light bulb…

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oh ok…i have a aqara smart plug zigbee.I disconnected it from aqara hub and pair it to my zigbee net.Works just fine and says works as a Router…

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hey zigbee friends i have a question? I have set up my zigbee network ,Ember EM35x Coordinator(flashed with the newer firmware) aqara wall switches and plugs and several sonoff motion sensors and window contacts.I have some (i think) range problems.For example a far window contact is going offline frequently.Is there a way to know my zigbee network structure?What is connected to what?So i can add a router device where it is needed…

Not 100% sure so you will need to do some searches but the aqara stuff does not follow the zigbee standards 100% so you need to be careful what devices you use as routers if you want a stable mesh. The sensors you can do work arounds on to some extent, but if a router is breaking standards and not passing data on you can not work around that. As mentioned do some reading on what routers people find work well and build up a mesh to devices that are known to work well.

EDIT: @Constantinos_Contis I stumbled back onto some info on this which lists some routers that work with aqara. If you have a CC2531 stick you can program these to be cheap repeaters/routers.

Xiaomi & Aqara Devices - Pairing & Keeping them connected - Get Help / Devices - Hubitat


edit: nevermind :slight_smile: i had some coffee and now i get it ,thnx

No, not what I meant. If you purchased a cheap co-ordinator based on the cc2530 or 2531 you can reprogram them with different firmware’s to turn them into routers. Then just plug them into any USB power supply instead of doing what this guide shows with mains AC.

How to create a CC2530 router | zigbee2mqtt.io

If your having range problems and only need 1m further, then there are other things to look at whilst you wait for parts to come in.

  1. Your wifi or your neighbor’s is not on the same wifi channel as your zigbee. Your wifi router may have a ‘site survey’ feature that lists what channels are in use.
  2. If your using multiple radios in close proximity to your coordinator it can raise the noise floor. ie your PIx has bluetooth and wifi blasting out on the 2.4ghz frequencies.
  3. Your using USB3 devices which are not correctly sheilded in metal enclosures. A plastic cased SSD for example. USB3 devices can create 2.4ghz noise which reduces the range of your zigbee. Intel published a white paper on this if anyone wants to know more.

In the case of 2 and 3 above, use a USB extension cable to move the zigbee dongle further away from these sources of noise but you should always look to fix the root cause instead of just moving the radio away.

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Nice to know but for the price and effort it’s probably better to simply install a (standards compliant) mains powered zigbee device which will act as a router, too. A plug socket, eventually.
[btw any recommendations, anyone ?]