Zigbee from a Windows box?

Pardon me for this rank noob question.

If I wanted to run openHAB on a spare XP box I have lying around, and I wanted to control some cheap Cree Zigbee bulbs, what hardware do I need for the PC to talk to to get on the Zigbee radio circuit? I see a selection of Z-Wave USB sticks. But, it’s unclear if the uncovered Zigbee sticks I see are the Zigbee equivalent.

It feels like I’m missing something obvious in the architecture.

Having typed that, the similar topics box suggests that openHAB cannot control Zigbee devices out-of-the-box?

Drake Christensen

Zigbee is not supported on OH1. It is planned for OH2 but I don’t know the status but I think it isn’t done yet. It isn’t a matter of hardware as even when OH 2 does support Zigbee it will require one of those Zigbee dongles you see, it is a matter of software to control those dongles which is in work for OH 2 now.

When it is supported it should work just fine from Windows or any other supported platform. Though I would highly recommend you either isolate your XP box from the Internet or install a recent Linux on it or something.

How low level does openHAB have to get to support Zigbee? Is the issue simply that nobody has yet written a high level binding to any Zigbee interface device?

I’m aware of the security issues with XP. The machine will be dedicated to this task.

Does anyone here have a Linux recommendation for circa 2005 hardware?

If Zigbee works anything like zwave it isn’t a matter of getting low level but a matter of implementing every message that every device can send and receive plus maintaining a database that tells OH what devices support which messages. For zwave this took a monunental effort and updating the database is a constant activity.

Pretty much any linux distro will run on that machine. I recommend one of the Debian based distros so you can use apt-get to install OH. I use Ubuntu. If you want a more Windows like desktop Mint might be more up your alley.

Thanks for the short description. That makes a lot of sense to me.

And thanks for the recommendation. I’ve noodled with Linux a few times over the years, but haven’t kept up with it, at all.

I don’t know my way around here. Is there a thread or discussion area that’s handling the Zigbee stuff? I’d like to get advice on hardware from there, if I could. And, I’d be willing to contribute some time to beta the software.


As stated, Zigbee will be supported in OH2 - the binding needs a bit of work due to all the recent changes in ESH, but it will be supported there using the TI dongle.

What’s the TI dongle?

Anything I can do to help with the work on the binding?

Any kind of rough estimate of when it might be available?

http://www.ti.com/tool/cc2531emk - there are a load of clones also available - anything that uses the TI 2531.

Updating the Zigbee binding is on my todo list right after the Bluetooth binding is sorted - hopefully in a few weeks (but lets see!)…

Is this 5PE CC2531 USB to Wireless Dongle an example that would work with your binding?

Is there any way I could get a copy of the work in progress? Is it on GIthub? I’m just looking for basic functionality. A few light bulbs, a few wireless switches, an appliance module and possibly some lamp modules.

I appreciate your time in answering my questions.

Yes - that looks like it should be ok - assuming it has the correct firmware installed which I’m not sure about…

The source is here - note though that it is due for a major overhaul (as above)…