Experience Sharing: Best Zigbee Adaptor

It took me over a year, and I have tested 4 different adaptors before I found the best one for me. So, I’d like to share my experience, hoping that you won’t need to follow my path.

I have around 35 zigbee devices, mostly from Xiaomi including wall switches, motion sensors, HT sensors, wireless buttons, etc. At first, I used xiaomi gateway to connect to hass. It worked but occasionally, devices became unavailable after around 72 hours. I tried different network settings and finally avoided it from happening again by using Pfsense + WiFi AP. I needed two xiaomi gateways to cover all devices because of some thick walls.

I wanted to use zigbee devices other than xiaomi’s, and so I started to use zigbee2mqtt. Like most of you, I tried a cheap one, CC2531 USB stick, one as the coordinator and one as a router. I worked, but the reception was really bad. Many devices disconnected after a while, especially those battery-powered.

Then I use CC2530 + CC2591 with a default firmware, connected through ESP8266 with ESPEasy firmware. The situation improved but still some devices disconnected from time to time, especially when I tried to add new devices.

I found a Russian website talking about flashing a custom new firmware to the xiaomi gateway to turn it into a zigbee2mqtt. It worked. I further added two Tuya USB zigbee repeaters to improve the range. However, device disconnections still happened all the time. Tuya USB repeaters are far better than the DIY CC2531, both in terms of outlook and reception.

Next, I tried flashing the “Source Routing” firmware back to CC2530+CC2591 which is designed for a large zigbee together with one or more zigbee routers. It improved the situation a lot. However, the device disconnections still happened, again especially the battery-powered devices. I need to schedule a daily restart of the zigbee router and the zigbee2mqtt add-on to make it stable.

My recent and last try was Texas Instruments LAUNCHXL-CC26X2R1. It’s far better than all previous hardware and the network has been very stable. Network scan is fast and no device disconnection happens anymore. It’s a little pricy but well worth it.


I see it’s a development board, you just connect it directly to your HA hardware by USB?

Yes, my HA is installed in Proxmox and the board is connected through direct USB passthrough.

Check! I will look into this… i have a lot of trouble with my devices getting disconnected all the time :frowning:

Why don’t you go with commercial products like Dresden Conbee II ?

It’s like 40% more expensive in my region.

It’s great for smaller meshes. Once you start getting above 30 routing devices, the conbee introduces more issues than it solves (tiny CPU and RAM). It can’t handle more than 20-30 source routes at a time and anything more than that, it will start dropping messages.


I have ordered the Texas Instruments, how did you setup in HA?

I use zigbee2mqtt add-on. Connect the board to the HA machine using a USB cable. Set the port as “/dev/ttyACM0”. Of course, you need to flash the firmware first.

Which firmware? :slight_smile:

Thanks for the info :slight_smile:

I did try… I had 1 temp/hum sensor in the living room… with Conbee 2 stick I have

LQI of 232, with the Texas Instruments, I did not came above 30 for some reason! The quality of the Texas Instruments is 10 times worse then the Conbee 2…

But that is odd, reviewing your review (and okay, not every house is the same), but I would have expected an improvement Instead of degrade of my network.

What I am planning to do, is the Texas Instruments act as a Router instead of Coordinator.

Any other thoughts about my setup?

From my experience, there was no significant difference in the LQI of different adapters. Their network stability really make a big difference. For my current set up, most devices are connected via routers. A few devices directly link to the CC26X2R1 board. Those within eyesight are usually with LQI around 100 or more. One motion sensor is connected via 2 walls, and the LQI drops to below 30, but still workable.

I can’t really comment your set up and why there’s such a huge difference in LQI.

Different manufacturers calculate LQI differently and honestly, it’s not a reliable metric in any sense. If the device is working, then it’s working. If it isn’t, or you notice it dropping off the mesh or missing messages, then you need to look at getting a router into your mesh closer to the device.

I’m running a CC2562p2 router, with 70 devices. My highest LQI is 126. My lowest is 10. BUT… all my devices work and work fast.

I had connectivity issues with the TI, more then with the Conbee… but I am not going to throw it away :slight_smile:
Maybe I will use the TI as a router or something… or maybe place the TI with a raspberry as remote Coordinator somewhere else in my home, so not sure…

The interface of TI is better then the conbee I think…

Thanks for the info :slight_smile: