Help with finding simplest zigbee dongle and repeaters to configure aqara motion sensors with 5 second sleep time (giving up on aqara and additional zigbee hubs I bought)

I was able to install aqara M1S hub and sensors through the xiaomi Milio integration (aqara xiaomi does not work because mi app no longer enable developer mode and local access). I am new to Home Assistant and not very technical at all btw.

However, since my goal with a aqara sensors (currently RTCGQ11LM), is to use each pair as occupancy sensors (as motion sensors all PIR sensors are problematic when someone is not moving around a lot), the idea is the place pairs on each side of a doorway and count this way. This requires reducing the “sleep time” to 5 seconds, and I don’t think it’s possible with the hubs but I have. I also tried the hardware hack, and destroyed two of them.

Therefore I would like to purchase the easiest in simplest to configure zigbee dongle, and whatever necessary repeaters, before I buy a whole lot more of these or other recommended sensors at a budget.

on several posts, I read that with sonoff hardware, and ZHA integration, it’s not necessary to perform the hardware hack, or make changes in the platform, just create automations.

That would probably be the ideal solution but I wanna verify what exactly I need to buy and what kind of repeaters for a fairly large space (around 150 sqm- although aqara hub placed in the center covers all over them just fine).

Any advice on what to purchase and how to make this work with his little need for my two left hands and poor technical skills, would be extremely appreciate.

Thank you in advance.

The hardware hack exists for the older Aqara sensor because the sensor doesn’t natively support changing the timeout.

I’ve seen other reports the hack not working on newer RTCGQ11LM units.

Any software/automation work around is inviting headache and inconsistent behavior.

Get a sensor that supports setting the timeout. I like the Hue motion sensors, but their minimum is 10 seconds.

The Aqara P1 sensor supports setting the timeout, but I don’t recall the minimum.

As for coordinator, my preference is zigbee2mqtt with a cc2652 based stick like the Sonoff ZBDongle-P.

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Thanks a lot for responding. This is confusing because according to what I read, the model I mentioned with automation support this.

The problem is that I am not located in the US or the EU I’m in Israel and for some reason, Amazon won’t ship the aqara P1 here and it’s also not available in AliExpress as well as the Hue. I assume there’s someone selling these models here for an exorbitant price and I need about 15 after wrecking two. Also I would really like the shortest interval possible, since I plan to use pairs of these as occupancy sensors.

I would like to ask you, since I already bought two hubs, aqara MS1 and Tuya, , for the P1, do I still need to get a dongle or do those settings enable me to use them with aqara? I guess if the configuration is available in the aqara app Or xiaomi app then I wouldn’t need an extra half would I?

I did read the model of which I have the last two left after wrecking the two trying to perform this hack, do work with automation but you’re right that it would be best to get something out of the box. It’s just that I’m trying to figure out what would work in the most simple way and what exactly I need for that.

There is an option for me to order to a freight forwarder service out of the country if that’s the simplest option, what will be best place to order them from and what is the approximate price of these things?

Thanks a lot again

If the HW hack worked, I think it could. But without the working hack, if you clear the device via automation, it won’t report again in a reliable fashion.

I would expect it to work natively with the Aqara hub, but can’t speak authoritatively since I’ve never used the P1 or an Aqara Hub.

Sounds sort of like your trying to emulate a beam sensor? If so, I can’t imagine reliable results even with a short keep time.

Maybe an mmwave sensor would be better?

Thanks for the response again. Are you saying that I don’t need the USB stick and that p1 sensors will work out of the box with a short delay?

What I am trying to do is by putting one sensor on top of each side of a doorway, and limiting it’s range to the side by blocking interview, I can create an automation which is triggered when motion is detected by the sensor in the room you were entering sensing movement while there is motion in the sensor on the side from it you are coming. If such a thing happens then I add occupancy to the zone you enter in drop occupancy by one with a global variable in the zone that you exit. If it is in fact five seconds, then as long is no more than one person changes spaces within five seconds, I get an accurate occupancy measure. I also have a Fibaro sensors for all the spaces when actual motion is detected and the idea is to have that as a audit system so that if for example two people changed location from one space to another within five seconds and let’s say one went back within that timeframe And it was not picked up and updated in the occupancy variable, then motion in the space would raise occupancy by one in that space automatically in case my occupancy “algorithm “doesn’t pick up accurate information. And then I would only drop occupancy again if the pair of sensors indicated motion from that space to the previous space again. This would raise significantly the chances that if I’m sitting down watching TV or eating, the lights won’t turn off because there’s no motion and would be a much closer way to gauge occupancy which is more important than motion for the purpose of these automations what do you think?

Also I was able to find P1 sensors to purchase but I am not sure where I get the information about the exact in terms of sleep. Do you know where I can find that or did you find some information about it? For my scenario the difference between five seconds in 10 seconds could be significant. Thank you very much again

Hi, you might also have a look at Guide for Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization

FYI if such attributes are configurable might be a limitation of that specific Aqara device firmware so just be aware that is might be a limitation of the device and not a limitation of the Zigbee gateway. Read → Xiaomi & Aqara Devices - Pairing & Keeping them connected - Devices - Hubitat

Suggest buying ITead’s “Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus” (model “ZBDongle-P”) as a Zigbee Coordinator for use with HA’s built-in ZHA integration → Zigbee Home Automation - Home Assistant

If get the “ZBDongle-P” (and not the "ZBDongle-E”) then it is CC2652 based so you have the alternative to later migrate to Zigbee2MQTT (a.k.a. Z2M) if want more advanced Zigbee gateway solution.

If you will mostly have wireless Zigbee sensors then they will not work as Zigbee routers so recommend buying at least three “known good” dedicated Zigbee Router devices → Zigbee networks: how to guide for avoiding interference and optimize for getting better range + coverage

Optimizing your setup and having many Zigbee Router devices isvery important for the battery life.