Zigbee HUSBZB-1 poor range can´t control devices

  • Platform information:
    • Hardware: Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Rev 1.2
    • OS: Raspbian GNU/Linux 10 (buster)_
    • Java Runtime Environment: openjdk version “1.8.0_252”
      OpenJDK Runtime Environment (Zulu (build 1.8.0_252-b225) / OpenJDK Client VM (Zulu (build 25.252-b225, mixed mode, Evaluation)
    • openHAB version: openHAB 2.5.5-1 (Release Build)

I have the HUSBZB-1 Northk dongle. I am running a new installation of Openhabian (openHAB 2.5.5-1 (Release Build)). Zwave works perfectly, but to be able to command my ZIGBEE Osram A-19 lights I must be no more than 3.5 meters (12 feet) away without blockages (Walls). When I get further away, the lights no longer respond. I tested the dongle on my laptop in a virtual machine with Home Assistant and it works fine. I guess it is not a dongle hardware issue. I have also tested different zigbee channels.
I am also seeing this error on the logs only when the dongle can not communicate:

2020-05-21 15:41:51.076 [DEBUG] [zigbee.dongle.ember.ZigBeeDongleEzsp] - RX EZSP: EzspIncomingRouteErrorHandler [networkId=0, status=EMBER_SOURCE_ROUTE_FAILURE, target=36B7]

Note that’s also a different power supply for the dongle.

Yes it is, but the difference is too big and I believe 2A is enough current to run my Raspi 3 with the dongle. I noticed this error on the log only when the dongle can not communicate:

2020-05-21 15:41:51.076 [DEBUG] [zigbee.dongle.ember.ZigBeeDongleEzsp] - RX EZSP: EzspIncomingRouteErrorHandler [networkId=0, status=EMBER_SOURCE_ROUTE_FAILURE, target=36B7]

The other major change is the RF environment. Different PC will mean different noise levels etc.

Yes, but I can’t get further than 11 feet without any obstacle after that my device does not response. That can not be normal.

If the environment is back then that could very well be normal - yes.

Well, I like to test devices and software. My Hubitat Hub does not have that problem and tested devices are in the exact same spot. Also my laptop running HA,with the same dongle and same spots does not show that problem I tought that the log that I posted shoing a EMBER_SOURCE_ROUTE_FAILURE might mean something related with the issue.

And you have it plugged in to the RPi? Sorry - I’m just trying to offer a suggestion - it might be wrong, but you are plugging a stick into a different computer which has different WiFi/BLE/CPU/etc - this makes it a different environment.

There’s very little information to go on though, so I’m just throwing suggestions out to try and help - I’m not saying it’s the only possibility.

Well, it means that the device can’t be contacted. This could be related to the RF environment - either way, communications is not good - but you knew that already as you have poor range :wink:

No, I mean that when I test the Hubitat I place the hubitat in the same place of my house where my Raspi3 starts to have communication issues in order to know if the Hubitat is able to communicate with the devices. Thanks Chris for your time and help.

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The Hubitat is a different radio with, perhaps, a different chipset. Too many differences to properly compare & troubleshoot.

Ok. I also test the same dongle using my laptop with Home Assistant and it worked good. They suggested that it might be a RF issue or a power supply issue from my Raspi3. The main problem is that the range is extreamly poor. I am trying to find a workaround. Maybe buy another dongle.

When I used a dongle with my Pi I had it on a USB extension to get the stick up higher away from any metal.

You mentioned above using a 2amp supply. It’s recommended to use 2.5 amp.


I have done new tests. I tested the HUSBZB-1 dongle again using a 3A power source using a new Openhab installation. I have the same results; a range of no more than 11 feets with no obstacles.

Using the exact same Hardware (Raspi3 + Dongle HUSBZB) but with Home Assistant the results are much better, I can go as far as 32 feets with an obstacle.

@chris from what I could observe, it is not a problem of power or radio frequency environment. Tests were done over the same scenario.

Ok. Sorry, that was all I could think of.

I have the exact same device. But I do not have the same issue with openhab. I initially had issues with poor range with battery powered devices that were about 20ft away but solved it with a simple outlet in the middle. The dongle is on top of a metal server cabinet in vertical orientation. Horizontal orientation gave me issues with both zigbee and zwave.

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I actually have my stick zip tied to some cables coming into the rack vertically.

I have the same dongle. It is sticking out of the front of the server (in a horizontal position, maybe two feet off the floor). I have several nodes that are at least 30 feet away, all battery powered, no repeaters or line powered devices. One node has two walls in between. Another is down at the bottom of a flight of stair one story down from the controller.