Advice cc2531 USB dongle

Hello everyone,

There are 3th party hardware option to use as a hub by Home assistant. Conbee 2 and CC2531. Conbee cost to much for me and CC2531 is in the price very cool.

I found this one: https://nl.aliexpress.com/item/4000310666663.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.3d902234zGsyNt&algo_pvid=0112b266-9ce6-4877-b121-3564baa3b3f0&algo_expid=0112b266-9ce6-4877-b121-3564baa3b3f0-6&btsid=e857619e-2b43-4416-8770-5198f60ecbf1&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_7,searchweb201603_55

But my questions are;

  1. How stable is CC2531 compared with Conbee 2
  2. Which one is easy to configure, add devices etc…
  3. On my link you see a bundle with some cables to flash the CC2531 i think. Do i really need to flash CC2531 and what are the best steps to do that. I think the Conbee is not needed to flash or something like that, plug in and go… right?
  4. Are there also different versions of CC2531 with antenna which i can attend before i order?

I currently use a CC2531 with the antenna mod, with Zigbee2MQTT and find it works reliably.

I do find that motion, temp and humidity sensors ( I have Xiaomi) work very well, as do Xiaomi buttons. I find sometimes that Lights (Osram Lighify) do not always respond first time.

Generally, I think for the cost it is a good solution.

  1. Depends on the quality of manufacturing. There are a lot of “not-so-good” out there.
  2. That’s depending on your software (not firmware for the stick). Hass.io and zigbee2mqtt-addon work very well together.
  3. You can buy an already flashed stick, but then you have to use that firmware. I’d flash my own firmware. The cables and the CC debugger are needed to flash. Another possibility is to flash directly from the GPIO pins from a Rasbpi to the GPIO pins from the stick. For either way there are good tutorials and videos around.
  4. Not that I know of, but that doesn’t mean anything. :slight_smile:

If you want / need an antenna, I’d look for the module from Conbee / DresdenEletronik to put directly on the GPIO pins at the Rasbpi. Seems easier to solder an antenna to this module.

Or you could use a CC2530 :

Still needs to be flashed.

Wow never saw that one before!

The cc2530 can also be used with a baseboard and antenna. This combo. https://www.waveshare.com/cc2530-eval-kit2.htm

@Himdola I got 2 of those (aliexpress) sticks with the antena. Only the sticks.
One for coordinator, one for router.
I flashed them with a raspberry pi (only) following this video:

They work perfect. Range is great.

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Thank you for all of your helps. Just ordered cc2531 with antenna USB and the cc debugger. I want to install HASS on a separate PC and maybe on a laptop but a laptop use many powers than PI but is more stable than a PI i think. Any idea someone what power use a normal laptop yearly 24 hours? Is that more than a NUC PC?

A NUC uses less energy than a Laptop. But a Pi is normally enough for most people. If more is needed, a NUC does the job very well.

I would only use a Laptop, if I didn’t want to buy new hardware. My guess, depending on the energy prices in your country, you can buy at least one Pi for the money you save in one year using the Pi instead of the Laptop.

My suggestion was because PI not so stable is and the SD card get corrupted. I think i Laptop uses yearly approximately 65 euro.

Don’t use an sd card then. But yeah if you want more speed the benefit of a laptop is an inbuilt battery so if power goes down, HA still works. This assumes the battery is any good.