Aqara door and window sensors

Good day!

I have HAOS installed on VirtualBox running on a Windows 11 PC with a Nortek HUSBZB-1 Coordinator.
I successfully added my old zigbee door and window sensor (a super old model PGC313 from the first generation of SmartThings devices) and got it to send me notifications when its opened and I’m not home. Golden.

I thought to expand this capability and bought 5 more sensors to add the setup. The updated version which seemed to work well with HA per the reviews, was the Aqara Door and Window Sensor. I bought 5 of them, and was able to add them all to the system, albeit after a few attempts on each. Then I copied the same Automation from my working sensor, only renaming some custom wording in the text notification message, to be specific to the sensor.
For some reason though, none of these sensors reliably send me a notification when I manually open them.
Sometimes I do get a push, but moretimes I dont.

My method for testing is to move that blue geographic circle in the Zones section of HA to a place far away to simulate my presense being away, as well as taking my phone off WiFi in case theres any way it can determine location from that as well.

I can get reliable notifications from my 10 year old front door sensor, but not these newer ones.
For reference, they are all sitting on my table with direct line of sight to the coordinator. My (preexisting) front door sensor is mounted but also has direct LOS to the antenna.

Would anyone happen to know why the old sensor works and the new ones seem to flaky?

Are you using ZHA or Zigbee2mqtt or something else to get Zigbee into HA ?

Can you see the sensors changing state in whatever integration you are using ?

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That is relatively older and thus ships with very old firmware, so regardless of which Zigbee solution you are using be sure to upgrade Zigbee Coordinator firmware, (you might even consider buying a adapter with newer radio SoC as that no longer get firmware updates), see → GitHub - walthowd/husbzb-firmware: Nortek GoControl HUSBZB-1 / EM3581 Firmware update image

Zigbee radios are also extremely sensitive to interference regardless of which Zigbee solution using, be sure to try to follow the best practice tips here (especially using a long USB extension cable to a USB 2.0 port or via a USB 2.0 hub and not direct in a USB 3.0 port or close to active USB 3.0 devices/cables) → Zigbee networks: how to guide for avoiding interference and optimize for getting better range + coverage

I have a bunch of aqara contact sensors, all work fine using ZHA.

Your method of testing is interesting… moving the zone.

To check if your sensors are accurately reporting their on an off (open and closed) states, just go the device page and check its state:


if that seems to change as you expect it to then the problem may lie in your automation.

If they don’t reliably change, then it could be down to the older coordinator, or perhaps signal strength of the device. (What is the LQI of the device ?) You can reveal this as one of the hidden entities, or use the ZHA network card here

I am using the ZHA integration for this. I can see the sensors updating from closed to open as I change them, they update nearly instantly in the system. I suspect the issue is with the notification automation. But I’m not sure what happened if I coped the automations from a working one.

To clarify, I have gotten a notification to send to me only once when I was repeatedly testing (not in between any config changes). So I know it’s capable of working at least. Though I have not been able to replicate that with the same sensor, or any of the other newly added sensors since.

I am currently running the HUSBZB-1 off an older USB 1.1 hub that is extended a foot or two away from the PC. I know its older but the speed limitation of 1.5MB/s should be sufficient for low speed communications such as this. The existing door sensor that I already had set up continues to operate normally even after adding these extra new sensors. The hub itself is plugged into a USB 2.0 port.

I have also tried using the HUSBZB on a regular USB extension cable, I still dont get the notifications.

My method for moving the location to test is so I can organically trigger the notification to be sent, rather than manually triggering the automation. This way, the sensor itself is also tested.

I also checked the logs under System>Logs while I was opening/closing the sensors, and didnt see any new events being logged.