Which Zigbee Dongle to use?

  • Platform information: Raspberry Pi Model B+ with Openhabian 2.5
  • Location: Germany

Dear all,

after several not really successful as absolute beginner on openhab attempts using 2.4 stable with RaspBee Premium from Amazon I want to go a different approach using an USB dongle.
What do I want to achieve:

  • integration of Aquara sensors
  • integration of LEDVANCE Smart+ Plugs

After some searching in the board I fould What shoud I use for a Zigbee hub and there the CC2531 ZigBee USB-Sick is recommended.

Question would be if this is still the recommended - and easiest - way. Btw: I am fully setting up the entire openhab(ian) anew then using the 2.5 release (stable).

Thanks and sorry for the noob question…

I highly recommend it BUT it is probably not the easiest.
The stick needed to be flashed with special firmware
It’s not hard but a bit daunting if you’ve never done that sort of things
The tutorial is well written and detailed
You’ll need a couple of bits of extra hardware in order to flash the stick

Hi Vzorglub,

they state that they have pre-flashed CC2531ZNP-Prod.hex(19.06.2019). So this one is not up-to-date enough?

This is not a stick I would recommend. It’s now very old, and TI do not support the firmware on this any more and will not fix bugs or make improvements that are required. They are still popular due to their cost, but may not support the latest devices.

Personally I would recommend a dongle with the Silabs Ember chipset.

Who is they?

This firmware is afaik modified for zigbee2mqtt. So, if you intend to use zigbee2mqtt you are fine. If you want to use the zigbee binding you should look at a different zigbee dongle.

I think I’ve seen people using the MQTT version with the ZigBee binding. Fundamentally it’s still the same firmware, but with a few settings changed - it’s not completely different firmware.

use the Qivicon. You can get them for 10 Euros on ebay or kleinanzeigen. I did the same

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like this one? LINK

I can’t recommend, but can share my personal experience.
I’m using the Nortek HUSBZB-1on a Raspi 3, which provides Zigbee & ZWave in one stick. Works perfectly for me. For Zigbee it has an Ember EM35x Coordinator inside.

Yes. Just one point about these devices - they do not use standard VID/PID codes in the USB chip. What this means is that you may have problems getting a driver on a Mac or Windows. It will be fine under Linux and I think there are instructions in the binding doc on how to make it work in Linux, but it’s more problematic on Windows and Mac as the drivers are signed.

Generally, this is a good option, used by a lot of people here. The only problem I know of is that it doesn’t have any way to upgrade the firmware, and as it’s quite old it could have issues in future with new devices. I think the firmware included should support ZB3.0 devices, but I’m not 100% sure off the top of my head.

ZB3.0 works fine on the Nortek

@chris: Thx! Would want to run it under Openhabian on the Raspi.

I’m not 100% sure - if I remember correctly, the Nortek uses NCP version 5.8 and there were some issues with R21 compliance around this version that could be an issue. Like most of these sort of bugs, it probably won’t impact most people, but I guess my point is that it’s now quite old firmware and there’s no way to update it.

Yes, I think it should be fine.

Yes like the one you linked. I have it running on a RP3b and it was plug and play :slight_smile:

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Thanks to all for the super fast response! Will report if it works :wink:

any idea if this would work with both zwave2mqtt or zigbee2mqtt?

wondering if i could get just 1 module for both formats and have it work with both zigbee2mqtt as well as zwave2mqtt or if it would only work with one or the other.

ZWave and Zigbee operate on different radio frequencies. You will need 2 dongles.

There are devices that have both Z-Wave and Zigbee, such as the Nortek HUSBZB-1 (US only).

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It will not work with ZigBee2Mqtt since that doesn’t support Silabs dongles (at this point anyway).

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