HA Integration problems

Hello All. I hope everyone is doing well.
Happy Father’s day in advance to all of the Dads out there.

I’m a newbie to Home Assistant. I ran a proof of concept using HA on Vmware for a couple of weeks to get my feet wet and get a better understanding before I invested in the Raspberry Pi method.

I made the transition last week (06/09/23) to Raspberry Pi 4 with an add-on SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus Gateway to the USB 3 port.

I’ve tried researching some issues I’m having, but have not found any solutions that work. So I’m reaching out here in the hopes that someone may have fixes or can guide me in the right direction.

Full disclosure, I have been doing everything through the GUI options as I am not familiar (or comfortable yet) with Yaml. Just trying to take this 1 step at a time.

That being said, here are my problems:

  1. I am not able to add any devices to Zigbee using Zigbee Home Automation integration. I was running test to add devices using my existing Zigbee Philips Hub and Sengled - Smart A19 LED 60W Bulb Bluetooth Mesh. I Never gets past “starting interview” displayed on the screen. The devices are never added in Zigbee.
  2. I cannot program RF codes into my Broadlink RMA Pro in HA. I was able to program them directly into the Broadlink app and it does control my Harbor Breeze Triton Ceiling fan model192909. I followed instructions from a Youtube video on adding commands to the device in HA, but it is not working. Developer Tools > Services: “remote:Learn Command” function.
  3. How to set up presence sensing in Home Assistant so I can migrate my “Leaving Home” routine from Google Home to HA. Leaving home automation is basic routines like setting the Nest thermostat to eco, turning off lights, locking the door, etc.
  4. Is there a working integration for Nest x Yale Lock-1.1?
  5. Is there a way to integrate Nest Temperature sensors 1.0
  6. Are there any enhancements that I can do for the Govee Integration? I’ve found that it is very unstable. Every other day the integration is offline. Even after reloading configuration, it remains offline.
  7. Are there any enhancements that I can do for the Xiaomi Integration? I’ve found that it is also very unstable. Every other day the integration is offline. Same after reloading config.
  8. Is there an integration to arm ADT Pulse?
  9. Is there an integration for WANSVIEW GALAYOU 360 Light Bulb Security Camera?

Also I’m a Linux/Unix administrator (mostly Red Hat) and have not been able to find a way to shutdown Home Assistant core from Putty ssh command line. Anyone able to do that in Linux and add to crontab?

Below I’ve listed my Hardware and software stats. Please let me know if I need to provide more info for anything.

Best regards,

Mark

HA Info:
CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 8GB Extreme Kit - 128GB Edition (8GB RAM)
SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus Gateway
Xiaomi Integration - philips.light.moonlight by Xiaomi
Govee Custom Integration from HACS. Depends on the cloud.

Welcome!

We’ll let’s start with. That’s a lot. First suggestion. Bite sized chunks. Both with your problem list and with posts to the forum. Next time smaller targeted posts (pretty much each bullet point above) are better than long monolithic posts.

That said. Start by prioritizing. What problem is most important to solve. Kill it then move on to the next one.

How is your stick attached to your Pi?

Look up the Homeassistant Companion app - its the official Homeassistant mobile app. It has your presence sensors but that also means you need to expose your installation to the internet safely. (remember problem priority above?)

Also insert integration here
Not really. Some are better than others. Troubleshoot your issues as they arise and be selective about what devices you choose for your system in the future. Model number matters…

Thanks for the reply Nathan. You’re right, I probably shouldn’t have combined them all in one post :grimacing: As far as priority -

  1. Broadlink RMA Pro codes for the fan. Once fixed, I think I’ll have a better understanding of how this setup works and have code to look at in Yaml.
  2. Zigbee Home Automation and getting the RF codes into HA. This one will determine going forward if I should consider replacing some of my older lights with Zigbee in order to keep things local to my intranet and get out of the cloud where possible.

Thanks again.
Mark

Ok so how is your stick connected to HA?

Reason I ask - rf interference is a real problem if you’re not using at least a short extension cord.

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Hi Nathan. The Sonoff is connected directly to USB 3.0 port.

ttyUSB0
/dev/serial/by-id/usb-ITead_Sonoff_Zigbee_3.0_USB_Dongle_Plus_2cfd4b6ec8e7ec118cf67e60e89bdf6f-if00-port0

That’s your problem. USB3 creates interference in the 2.4 Ghz band. And will completely drown the signal form the coordinator. It’s epicly bad on Rpi

Demo video:

At a MINIMUM put the stick on a short (. 5 m) usb extension. Mine is on a powered USB2 hub.

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Nathan, Thanks for the advice.
I plugged the zigbee stick into a usb extension, about 1 1/2 inches in length.
Still only get “Starting Interview”.

Not sure if that will help any, but I’ve attached the log from that session.
Thanks again for taking the time to assist.
Mark

Received a packet: ZigbeePacket(src=AddrModeAddress(addr_mode=<AddrMode.NWK: 2>, address=0x0000), src_ep=0, dst=AddrModeAddress(addr_mode=<AddrMode.NWK: 2>, address=0x0000), dst_ep=0, source_route=None, extended_timeout=False, tsn=15, profile_id=0, cluster_id=32822, data=Serialized[b’\x0f\x00’], tx_options=<TransmitOptions.NONE: 0>, radius=0, non_member_radius=0, lqi=None, rssi=None)
[0x0000:zdo] ZDO request ZDOCmd.Mgmt_Permit_Joining_rsp: [<Status.SUCCESS: 0>]
[0x0000:zdo] No handler for ZDO request:ZDOCmd.Mgmt_Permit_Joining_rsp([<Status.SUCCESS: 0>])
Device 0x772b (04:21:4c:00:00:00:17:3a) joined the network
[0x772b] Scheduling initialization
[0x772b] Canceling old initialize call
Tries remaining: 3
[0x772b] Requesting ‘Node Descriptor’
Tries remaining: 2
[0x772b] Extending timeout for 0x4a request
Device 0x772b (04:21:4c:00:00:00:17:3a) joined the network
[0x772b] Scheduling initialization
[0x772b] Canceling old initialize call
Tries remaining: 3
[0x772b] Requesting ‘Node Descriptor’
Tries remaining: 2
[0x772b] Extending timeout for 0x4b request
Device 0x772b (04:21:4c:00:00:00:17:3a) joined the network
[0x772b] Scheduling initialization
[0x772b] Canceling old initialize call
Tries remaining: 3
[0x772b] Requesting ‘Node Descriptor’
Tries remaining: 2
[0x772b] Extending timeout for 0x4c request
Device 0x772b (04:21:4c:00:00:00:17:3a) joined the network
[0x772b] Scheduling initialization
[0x772b] Canceling old initialize call
Tries remaining: 3
[0x772b] Requesting ‘Node Descriptor’
Tries remaining: 2
[0x772b] Extending timeout for 0x4d request
Device 0x772b (04:21:4c:00:00:00:17:3a) joined the network
[0x772b] Scheduling initialization
[0x772b] Canceling old initialize call
Tries remaining: 3
[0x772b] Requesting ‘Node Descriptor’
Tries remaining: 2
[0x772b] Extending timeout for 0x4e request
Device 0x772b (04:21:4c:00:00:00:17:3a) joined the network
[0x772b] Scheduling initialization
[0x772b] Canceling old initialize call
Tries remaining: 3
[0x772b] Requesting ‘Node Descriptor’
Tries remaining: 2
[0x772b] Extending timeout for 0x4f request
Device 0x772b (04:21:4c:00:00:00:17:3a) joined the network
[0x772b] Scheduling initialization
[0x772b] Canceling old initialize call
Tries remaining: 3
[0x772b] Requesting ‘Node Descriptor’
Tries remaining: 2
[0x772b] Extending timeout for 0x50 request

Inches? You need half a meter at LEAST

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And try to use the USB2 ports instead.

Also look at the logs to see if there is any errors.
Post the text from the logs if you can not interpret them yourself (please copy the text where possible instead of posting a picture).

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Good morning Nathan & Wally. I moved the Sonoff to a USB2 port and put it on a 4 foot usb extension. Same results.

The HA testing that I did on VMWare didn’t incorporate the Zigbee or the Broadlink hardware.
After doing more research, I’m becoming very much aware that I was very naive going into this project. On the VM, 95% of my smart devices worked with native integration or with HACS in the testing.

What I’m finding now, especially with Zigbee, is that the Sonoff 3.0 dongle appears to have issues for us novice HA users and may require flashing firmware and possibly other caveats.

If I return the Sonoff to Amazon, what (if any) hardware can you recommend that will integrate out of the box with HA?

Again, my main goal with trying to include a Zigbee network in HA is to try and get as many of my devices from cloud dependencies so my automatons (currently in Google and Alexa) will work all the time and more efficiently. At least every other month, routines I have setup that utilize Wyze and/or Feit devices fail because their respective clouds cannot be reached. As I replace infrastructure, I wanted to get devices that work directly through HA. Such as Zigbee devices.

I’ve probably watched too much Star Trek and my expectations are to high :crazy_face:

There are other things to try before you switch.

Because rf interference is a problem with ALL zigbee coordinators not just sonoff. You need to rule it out before you call the stick.

Wire is only one possibility (but keep the extension I guarantee you’ll have problems without)

You need to rule out ALL of the following

USB3 interference:
Extension cord
Do not use USB3 port
Stay away from any USB3 HDD/SSDs

Bluetooth interference (less likely but possible)
Bluetooth adapters within a few feet.

WiFi 2.4 ghz
Understand what channel you’re currently using on your 2.4 Ghz wifi and if it’s overlapping with your Zigbee mesh channels (imagine standing next to a cruise ship yelling on a bullhorn. You’re fine until the ship hits the horn. You literally can’t yell loud enough to overcome it. That’s wifi v. Zigbee)

Here’s a nice infographic to help with understanding the WiFi vs ZigBee overlap.

Have you tried pairing one of the bulbs right by the dongle?

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Did you factory reset your devices before trying to join them with your new usb stick?

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Hi, just wanted to let you know that you’ve been nominated for the Most Vague Topic of 2023 award, congratulations!

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At least it was limited to integrations. :grinning::grinning:

2 Likes

Hey Nathan, Wally, Ryan.

I think I just may have a bad Zigbee dongle. I tried flashing C2652P firmware multiple times with the dongle in bootloader mode. It fails on my Windows 11 PC and Windows 10 Laptop with the same error of “unknown record type”. I’ve initiated a return with Amazon.
Regards
Mark

2 Likes

Unknown error means the developer have not seen something like this before or he was too lazy to react it, often because too few users would be affected.

This could very well be something like a faulty board, because the outcome of such an error would be impossible to predict.

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Sorry for being MIA for a week. Lot going on. I returned the Sonoff and got the Home Assistant Skyconnect.
This works perfectly. I was able to configure it with ZHA and add two IKEA devices. Thanks again for all of your help and suggestions.

Regards
Mark

1 Like