Home Assistant SkyConnect - official radio USB dongle will be compatible with both Zigbee and OpenThread (including Matter/CHIP over Thread)

Same here… Ordered in september (i think).
Shipping to Norway

AmeriDroid (US) has an update on their website indicating that the first batch should arrive in their warehouse the week of Dec. 18 and then will start shipping out after that.

Received mine from Raspberrypi.dk yesterday.

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I also ordered my SkyConnect from raspberrypi.dk and received an email that shipping has started.

mine’s just arrived from raspberrypi.dk

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What I don’t get is that many usb-dongle producers, make the dongles too wide, just a little too wide, so you can’t use two dongles beside each other?

You should probably use the extension cord anyway, which isn’t wide.

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That was my first thought way back when we saw the first prototype. Thought a little less wide would be best if they could get usable real estate adding lenghh, but hard to tell from photos sometimes. Sure they had reasons.

There’s a length vs girth joke in there somewhere.

Swapped from my Conbee II to the skyconnect (conbee was on an extension card as well), connection is quite a bit better if the visualisation tab is to be believed and it does feel like events like pressing on a zigbee remote to open/close a zigbee cover are triggered faster.

Migrating via the ZHA “migrate radio” feature wasn’t as easy as advertised though, it wouldn’t change the controller name and I had to delete the ZHA integration, redo it with the skyconnect and import the radio backup. Which changed some device ids and made it so some other devices had to be relinked.

Indeed, a long USB extension cable is a really always a requirement for all Zigbee, Thread, and Bluetooth adapers in order to avoid interference → Generic best practice tips on improving Zigbee network range and general stability · zigpy/zigpy Wiki · GitHub

Those all use low-power, low-bandwidth, and low data rate technology so especially reception is very sensitive to all types of electromagnetic interference as unwanted noise from EMI/EMF/RMI causes packet loss → https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_interference

See this white-paper and article for details on how interfere with Zigbee:

https://www.usb.org/sites/default/files/327216.pdf

https://www.unit3compliance.co.uk/2-4ghz-intra-system-or-self-platform-interference-demonstration/

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@agners Do you know the path for enabling OpenThread RPC firmware on Home Assistant SkyConnect adapter in order to use Matter over Thread but user do not want to migrate your existing ZHA installation?

Use case is that I already have a good CC2652P based adapter working in ZHA as a Zigbee Coordinator USB adapter and I like to keep that CC2652P adapter as a dedicated Zigbee Coordinator for ZHA, so when I will receive my Home Assistant SkyConnect adapter I would only like to use that as an adapter for Matter over Thread, and not migrate my ZHA installation to the Home Assistant SkyConnect adapter.

That is, even though the Home Assistant SkyConnect adapter support multiprotocol I plan on just using it only as a dedicated Thread adapter for Matter even it uses OpenThread RPC firmware.

The problem I see is that your latest Home Assistant Yellow update on Nabu Casa’s Crowd Supply campaign mention that enabling multiprotocol support will automatically reconfigure and migrate your ZHA installation, and it does not say what options are given to those using ZHA with a other adapter.

Multiprotocol Support

We also have been busy working on the software support. The on-board IEEE 802.15.4 radio on Yellow is capable of running Zigbee and Thread. The Thread protocol is crucial for low power devices supporting the new smart-home standard Matter. Currently, all Yellows come with the Zigbee firmware pre-installed. In recent months, we have been working on the Multiprotocol firmware along with a Multiprotocol add-on. With this combination, Zigbee and Thread can be run at the same time. With Home Assistant Core 2022.12, it is now possible to enable Multiprotocol mode through the user interface.

Once multi-protocol is enabled, Home Assistant will automatically install the necessary add-on, update the radio firmware, and reconfigure the ZHA integration to run both Zigbee and Thread at the same time. All previously paired Zigbee devices will continue to work seamlessly.

That said, the feature is experimental right now! At this point, moving back to the Zigbee-only firmware requires manual steps. We do not recommend trying it out in your production environment just yet.

@agners Do you know the path for enabling OpenThread RPC firmware on Home Assistant SkyConnect adapter in order to use Matter over Thread but user do not want to migrate your existing ZHA installation?

I do have OpenThread RCP firmware builds locally, but they are a one way street: Once flashed, you can’t go back into bootloader mode, hence no more firmware updating possible :see_no_evil:

Someone already asked for the OT RCP firmware, there is also an issue open in the firmware repository: Thread only FW for SkyConnect · Issue #6 · NabuCasa/silabs-firmware · GitHub.

The problem I see is that your latest Home Assistant Yellow update on Nabu Casa’s Crowd Supply campaign mention that enabling multiprotocol support will automatically reconfigure and migrate your ZHA installation, and it does not say what options are given to those using ZHA with a other adapter

That is the automatic flow yes. You can also just install the add-on, enable the automatic firmware installation in the configuration and start the add-on manually. This way no ZHA migration will get triggered. You’ll be able to use the OpenThread part via Multi-PAN RCP firmware.

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OK, though hope the flow could be made easier in the future for those who do not want to migrate ZHA. Again, I really want to use the Home Assistant SkyConnect adapter as a dedicated Thread adapter.

I do not mind using RCP firmware on Home Assistant SkyConnect adapter for Thead to still have the possibility of using multiprotocol in the future if I ever change my mind, but at this time I want to keep using only my existing Texas Instruments CC2652P based adapter as a dedicated Zigbee Coordinator for my Home Assistant’s ZHA integration installation.

I think that would prefer if the config flow to automatically trigger ZHA migration just because the Home Assistant SkyConnect adapter can support simulations multiprotocol. That is, I at least wish that the ZHA migration was optional in the config flow, and written warnings about what the consequences are, etc.

@agners any chance Nabu Casa would be willing to try to contact and donate a couple of Home Assistant SkyConnect USB stick adapters to kirovilya who is the developer of the ezsp adapter for zigbee-herdsman library that is used in Zigbee2MQTT (and IoBroker) to support this Silicon Labs EmberZNet based Zigbee Coordinator? → [WIP]: EFR32 EZSP adapter implementation and test · Issue #319 · Koenkk/zigbee-herdsman · GitHub

kirovilya mentioned in that developer’s thread that he does not have access to Home Assistant SkyConnect USB stick, and also that he has not yet tested Zigbee2MQTT or zigbee-herdsman with Silicon Labs Zigbee Daemon (Zigbeed) with RPC firmware on any Silabs EmberZNet based adapters.

With kirovilya being Z2M’s only active ezsp developer it might also be a good idea if could offer to donate Home Assistant SkyConnect adapters to Koenkk as well as he is the lead developer of Zigbee2MQTT (and zigbee-herdman) though I believe that he himself has so far only focused on supporting Texas Instruments based adapters for Zigbee2MQTT.

By the way, noticed that Nabu Casa and resellers is currently marketing Home Assistant SkyConnect as “Works with Home Assistant and Zigbee2MQTT” which advice might not be such a good idea to do as of yet because EZSP support in zigbee-herdsman is still in relatively early “beta” stage for Zigbee2MQTT. I think that Nabu Casa and resellers marketing it as such can confuse some users who might get what they feel is a bad experience with this hardware today if they expect it to work as well as a Texas Instruments based adapter in Zigbee2MQTT:

https://www.home-assistant.io/skyconnect/

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Looks like it was shipped today (got tracking number) :sunglasses: :metal: :+1:
I plan to host a USB on the secondary device and access its serial ports over TCP.
Hopping it is supported by ZHA (like I have done now with sonoff bridge).

Just arrived, I’ll do some vs. ConBee II tests in the evening.

We will make this multi-protocol set-up first available for Home Assistant OS installations. We will be looking into making this available for Home Assistant Supervised and Home Assistant Container installations afterwards.

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Thank you for the update! Hoping container won’t be far behind.

it was a quote from the site :wink:

Ah, well… :smiley: