Anything more reliable than ZHA?

Good evening :wink:

Moved back from openHAB to HA for integrating homematic onto same system.

Now tried ZHA with ConBee II and switched to the Sonoff USB stick for better device support. Interesting that ZHA shows for a Tuya device the CO entity only on RPi and not on amd64 platform.

But constantly two to three Philips Hue motion sensors are gone the next day and have to reconnect again…not fun doing that three times a day…

So is there any reliable ZigBee solution for HA?

How about the SkyConnect HA stick which should support Thread one day as well?
Or are just the Hue motion sensors rubbish? Well some Hue lamp get unresponsive from time to time as well.

At least RaspberryMatic works fine now and I could dump a dedicated RPi :wink:

What Machine are you using?
Is your Conbee stick directly connected to the machine or do you use an extension-cable? I read somewhere that USB3 generate issues with the stick.

I can say that everything works like expected with either ZHA and Skyconnect and ZHA and ConbeeStick on my AMD64 Machines (NUC), using them with an extension cable.
Im using the Hue Motion (newer and older gen) and they work fine as hell.


Yes, using an extension cable for both Sonoff and Homematic USB stick…connected to a newer Intel NUC machine with 16GB RAM.

SkyConnect stick is ordered…hopefully arriving tomorrow…

Sometimes after a reboot I have to re-plug the Sonoff stick as otherwise ZHA wouldn’t start…

Everything else is just smooth as it could be…just those motion sensors start to blink the red LED…is there a specific ZHA log file I could dig into?

Zigbee2MQTT is (IMHO) a perfect solution for Zigbee with very active development going on.

I will second the vote for Zigbee2MQTT, I think you will find more success with this system. I run two instances of Zigbee2MQTT in two separate docker containers (I know another level of complexity in your life probably, but worth learning for many aspects of home automation). I do testing of devices with one of the Zigbee2MQTT instances before I add the device to Home Assistant via MQTT, this allows me to learn the details of devices without the additional layer of HA’s sensors and such (and you can futz around without rebooting your HA instance, big plus IMHO). All that said, I still have a ZHA as well attached to my Home Assistant and it has been working fine for almost two years. Though I am slowly migrating the devices on ZHA over to Zigbee2MQTT.

All the above said, your issue could be one at the level of the zigbee coordinator device (and therefore possibly at the zigbee network level), so moving from ZHA to Zigbee2MQTT may not fix that issue. I am not familiar with the latest Intel NUC’s, however, a number of the past models have has some serious electronic noise issues with their USB 3 ports. They even admitted to such in their documentation. If you have a USB 2 port on the unit do try it, even then, maybe putting a USB 2 hub between the zigbee dongle and the NUC might help. Good hunting!

I’ve found that both ZHA+ConBee II and Deconz+ConBee II (and both at the same time with two ConBee IIs) works quite reliably. So that suggests that it isn’t anything inherent about ZHA, but might have to do with our particular devices.

Mine is very reliable after finding the best location for my extension cable. Before optimization of the location I would lose a sensor almost everyday. I don’t remember the last time I lost a device.

Lots of articles about noise issues due to USB3 switching and the frequency it uses

Well I had the issue that ZHA on RPi4 with the Sonoff showed the CO entity from a Tuya sensor, though not on the Intel NUC. Think I have a cheapo USB2 hub spare somewhere…

As I have several RPi4 spare I will install HA there and try zigbee2mqtt and see how it behaves and what it recognizes. The Tuya carbon monoxide is a must for me as it would also control my esphome ventilation device in my workshop when doing hobbyist welding (o;

Just went offline again…and takes ages when trying to reconnect after device delete…
Seems only the same two hue motion sensors are affected.

Routing issues, meaning too many hops in between?

Tried to add an Aqara motion sensor instead…wasn’t seen at all…

BEWARE SkyConnect. I had a ConBee II and it was SUPER Reliable. Switched to SkyConnect and initially was awful, slowly (months) got a little better as I replaced the most recalcitrant devices. But now it’s flaky again. Things (especially Aqara motion and door sensors) working intermittently or on the 2nd try. I am thinking about going to something else as I’m really frustrated with SkyConnect, and I haven’t even enabled Thread on it yet as I’m afraid Zigbee will get even worse.

Well my idea was to switch one day to thread with the skyconnect stick…but then again since thread and zigbee are both 802.15.4 any stick or device could be updated…

Not sure what the issue with less supporting devices was on openHAB, either the ConBee II with last firmware being old or the deConz daemon…

But why is the SkyConnect branded as HA stick when it is that rubbish?
OTOH I never liked the SiLabs IDE to develop software…forces you to buy either expensive kits or license…

But in the end I will have the Sonoff, ConBee II and SkyConnect stick to try :wink:

Really odd…

Tried to add the Aqara motion sensor on the first floor, where also my HA machine is….was recognized and added instantly…

On ground floor absolutely not….but all Hue lamps are running fine there. So I suspect some routing issue for battery powered devices.

Hi Richard, I strongly advise you to have a look at: Guide for Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization

Other than using a powered USB 2.0 hub (with its own power-supply) and a long USB extension cable I strongly suggest that you add a few dedicated Zigbee Router devices (a.k.a. Zigbee Signal Repeater).

As mentioned in my Guide for Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization

  • Add more and decrease the distance between Zigbee devices in Zigbee network mesh to get better range and coverage:
    • Zigbee uses mesh networking and depends on having many “Zigbee Router” devices to extend range and coverage:
      • Recommendation is to add additional mains-powered Zigbee devices known to be good Zigbee Router devices.
        • Add more Zigbee Router devices and reduce their distances to extend network mesh coverage and range.
          • Note that not all mains-powered devices have firmware that makes them act as a Zigbee Router device.
          • Some brands/models of Zigbee Router devices are known to only work well with the same brand of devices.
      • Buy a few known good dedicated Zigbee Router products and place them strategically as Zigbee repeaters. Personally, I suggest buying and adding at least three such devices.
        • For example, the “IKEA Tradfri Signal Repeater” and “Aeotec Range Extender Zi” are products that work very well out-of-the-box, while a more powerful alternative is to make yourself some semi-DIY variant by flashing the correct Zigbee Router firmware to Zigbee Coordinator USB dongles and then using them as stand-alone Zigbee Signal Repeater devices in USB-chargers for power, like, for example, either the Sonoff ZBDongle-E (EFR32MG21 based) or the Sonoff ZBDongle-P (CC2652P) work great as dedicated stand-alone Zigbee Signal Repeaters with recommended firmware.
          • Search community forums for more “Zigbee signal repeater” or “Zigbee range extender” Zigbee Router tips.
      • Buy a few additional new Zigbee USB adapters to use after re-flashing them with Zigbee Router firmware.
        • Reflash/reuse modern Zigbee USB adapters to act as Zigbee Router devices by changing Zigbee firmware.

You have to understand and remember that each Zigbee device by itself has a very limited coverage, short range and their weak signals have poor wall penetration, so to workaround this a Zigbee network relies on mesh networking (a type of network topology/technology/architecture), which means that a Zigbee network heavily depends on having a swarm of mains-powered devices are a “Zigbee Router” that are always-on so they can act as a signal repeater and range extended by transmitting data over long distances by passing data messages through the Zigbee network mesh of intermediate devices to reach more distant Zigbee devices.

Thus the key to a great and healthy Zigbee network is to add/have many “Zigbee Router” devices relatively close to each other (and always powered on) in order for the Zigbee network as a whole to get good coverage and range. So often you more or less just need to add/have several mains-powered Zigbee devices in the network that act as “Zigbee Router” devices to achieve a stable Zigbee network.

My ZHA environment has been very stable for over three years now. It’s about the only part of HA that I’m not always tweaking, updating, worrying about breaking changes for or diagnosing problems with. I’m running an old HUSBZB USB stick (with a USB extension cable) on a RPi 3B+.

I’ve heard that Z2M offers more device support. But for me, it would be just one more component to manage and maintain. I stick with ZHA because it does everything I’ve ever asked it to, with almost zero effort on my part.

I chose HA because it has such an active development community. But that also means frequent changes. Changes often make more work for the maintainer (me.) So I’ve learned to keep my environment as simple as possible. I force myself to prioritize the things I need HA to do, and try to avoid adding things just because they sound like fun.