Advice on Zigbee range extending

I have a Conbee II USB stick running my Zigbee network along with several Aqara (Xiaomi ) door sensors. Most of these are running fine, but I have two in the external garage that drop off the network and become unresponsive. I’ve read around (not been overly familiar with Zigbee) and it sounds like I may need to have repeater or booster to get those devices connected.

Can anyone suggest an option here?

Any non battery powered device will act a a mesh repeater. I have read that Ikea sockets work well in this regard and do repeat Xiaomi zigbee.

Same here. I have added Xiaomi Zigbee Powerplugs that also work as repeaters.

Ikea plug ordered to test it out.

Hi. I am using a few IKEA on/of plugs for this exact reason. And they seem to be working, as I am able to reach some “far-away” Aqara sensors that I did not reach before.

IKEA also sells an inexpensive purpose specific Zigbee range extender (i.e. Zigbee router) that is called “IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater E1746”. It double as a USB-charger and supposedly has much better range extender functionality than the standard power-plug from IKEA.

Tip on a popular inexpensive DIY option for making a very good Zigbee router is to buy cheap CC2530 module or CC2531 Zigbee USB sniffers (be sure to get a model with an external antenna) and then flash them with the custom Z-Stack router firmware from Koenkk of Zigbee2mqtt fame:

Other general tips for improving the range and communication within a Zigbee mesh network

Add more routers between the problem devices and the next nearest router. In a Zigbee mesh network, each router will extend the range of the mesh network. As a rule of thumb, almost all permanently powered devices will serve as a router (however many Zigbee light bulbs are commonly excepted from that rule).

Adding a USB extension cable will move your USB stick away from the computer you’ve connected it to. . A USB extension cable of 1-meter and placing it away from any other radios/antennas can often reduce interference, and thus improve your range.

Add an external antenna to your coordinator, and position the antenna away from the computer. Next level of this is to add an antenna extension cable but be warned here that you should not use too long antenna extension cables as each meter added to decrease the signal strength.

Try different orientation of your Zigbee antenna (or your whole Zigbee adapter if it has an internal antenna). This is because the connection between the Zigbee radio of your “coordinator” and your other devices depends on the way the antenna oriented in space.

Ensure that any WiFi router/access point, WiFi USB stick, Z-Wave stick, or RF433 stick are as far away as you can get them (preferably at least one meter if you can). This will also reduce interference.

Check the WiFi channels in use, to see if your router/access point is now talking over your Zigbee mesh. If so change the channel of the WiFi access point and lock it. If you have to change the channel of your Zigbee mesh then you’ll have to re-pair your devices.

Buy more powerful Zigbee radio hardware with better radio range, preferably with an external antenna.

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Good summary @Hedda :+1:

Does anybody know of a small Zigbee extender that can function as a night light and that is placed against the wall in a power plug without a cord?

We currently have 2 Xiaomi gateways that turn on at night when a door of our kids’ rooms open to have a little bit of light, but nothing to bright.

You use zigbee2mqtt?
Did you integrate them or You only plug them and all is made automatically?

How much light do you want? The IKEA Tradfri HS110s have a “power on” indicator light which is pretty bright. It would probably make a decent night light in a really dark room.

Plugged them in, allowed join and paired and they can be managed. It’s like any other zigbee device.

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So an update to my post and the responses given. I added an Ikea Tradfri plug (which had to be added as a light in Deconz) and placed it between the main raspberry Pi hosting the Conbee stick and the sensors that were not working. After needing to reset one of the sensors both have been working perfectly.

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Further update - the garage sensors have dropped off again!

@ajcooper72 that IKEA Wireless Control Outlet is infamously known for being a poor router/repeater.

The general recommendation is to instead get “IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater E1746” range extender:

I can’t find a model “HS110s” or “HS110” from IKEA so wondering if you really mean Trådfri series?

TP-Link Kasa series has a Wi-Fi smart plug with model “HS110” but that does not support Zigbee.

The original question was about a Zigbee based night light and this forum section is about Zigbee.

Duh, my mistake. Sorry! Too many integrations and devices, I guess I was having trouble keeping them all straight. Yes, WiFi from TP-Link, not Zigbee from IKEA.

Good catch. Thanks for keeping me honest!

Thanks for that. The outlet seems to be working but it has a tendency to become ‘unavailable’ from time to time

That IKEA outlet is known for being unreliable as a Zigbee Router, so get their Signal Repeater instead.

here I have a hue light (front) that has turn into a router

Can the Signal Repeater be paired with the Conbee II USB stick? My door open sensor is now not working at all so clearly the IKEA plug is not doing its job.

Yes it can. It can be paied with any Zigbee Coordinator supported by ZHA, Zigbee2mqtt, or DeCONZ