While wating for the SkyConnect to arrive from pre-order I’m asking myself - which is the best overall plug-n-play Zigbee stick which offers the widest variety of Entities, Stabilty and Future-Proofness. So here are the criteria - Plug-n-play with HA - Zigbee2MQTT ready (if possbile without dancing around fireplace to flash it. I’m very experienced user, but the moment I saw a need for a docker to flash my stick…I din’t even go for that) - Most devices supported - Most entities provided - Best stability with proven track record
I raised this topic, because I accidentially went with Conbee II stick, which is crap in terms of stability and functionality. Wish I have ordered somethign else.
I agree on that. Used a Conbee II for only a few days before giving it away for free
As far as my personal experience goes:
Slaesh’s CC2652RB Zigbee USB stick
Pros: Works out-of-the-box with Z2M, all my devices were supported and all entities were provided.
Cons: Close to zero customer support and trying to communicate with the dev sucks.
ZigStar Stick v4
Pros: Works out-of-the-box with Z2M, all my devices were supported, all entities were provided, quite powerful signal strength. The dev is very helpful/supportive in case you run into problems.
Cons: I experienced difficulties when uprading the Firmware.
Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus (SoC CC2652P)
Pros: Works out-of-the-box with Z2M, all my devices are supported, all entities are provided, quite powerful signal strength, widely used by many Smart Home enthusiasts.
Cons: None found until today.
I had a Conbee II and got rid of it after a few network meltdowns that I was told would happen occasionally. No thanks… I am now happy with a Sonoff coordinator with the TI CC2652P chip (there are 2 versions)
similar experience. I have Conbee2 for 2 years using it with Zigbee2Mqtt. And never had single problem with it. At time of buying it was advised as the best non-DIY option. Recently I noticed a few people describing it as a crap.
on a side note, the personal experience differs a lot for the same products probably because of environmental factors. So, there are some good and bad products but it is hard to find the best for everyone
You mean the firmware it is coming with? Mine came preflashed with Konekk’s latest coordinator firmware. I stopped Z2M, pulled the old stick and inserted the new one, set the new port on Z2M and was good to go. Very painless.
I think you don’t need to flash it (at least mine came with the latest firmware, bought in some local vendor shop as a brand new).
As much as I like the Sonoff dongle, it has issues - some devices (e.g. IKEA battery switches) got battery drain (<1 day, for example) etc. You can find it on github Z2M (happens on ZHA as well apparently).
I have huge issues with Conbee 2 and deConz. Devices keep falling out of the network, even a repeater disappeared , can’t see a device I add. Trying to troubleshoot this in another thread.
People in HA Discord are particularly anti-Conbee. They trash it every time and recommend using other sticks
The general recommendation today is to buy a Zigbee Coordinator USB radio adapter based on the Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 SoC if you use Home Assistant’s own ZHA integration or instead buy a Zigbee Coordinator USB radio adapter based on the Texas Instruments CC2652P SoC if you use Zigbee2MQTT, (and if you use deCONZ/Phoscon then buy a ConBee II adapter). See example:
Zigbee also uses mesh networking topology, which means that most mains-powered devices are a “Zigbee Router” that 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 to have a healthy Zigbee network, you need many Zigbee Router devices relatively close to each other in order to achieve good coverage and range.
Any battery-powered device will be a “Zigbee End Device” which means that they do not route/repeat messages and thus does not contribute to routing to help extend the range of the Zigbee network mesh.
If using Zigbee2MQTT is a requirement now then today you really want CC2652P based USB adapter: