I am getting so sick of Zigbee. Random disconnections basically every time I reboot

I used to be in an apartment and everything was solid. I had a bunch of zigbee devices and for the most part it was very solid. I maybe had to re-pair a Xiami button once or twice in the year that I was there.

I moved into a 2,200 square foot house and it’s been a nightmare.

I mainly use Xiaomi devices for my sensors. I have motion sensors, door sensors, as well has their buttons. For all my light bulbs throughout the house I’m using EcoSmart zigbee bulbs. In total at the moment, it’s about 55 zigbee devices.

For the USB stick, I have mostly been using the Conbee 2 with Deconz. Since I’ve started having issues I’ve switched to a CC2531 zigbee stick using Home Assistant’s ZHA integration. I’m running into basically the same issues with the zigbee devices.

Once I have everything up and running, it’s going great. All the buttons work. Motion sensors are working fine. Door sensors are working and are awesome. When I need to reboot the Home Assistant instance though, some random zigbee device will become unavailable. I then have to go through the very annoying process of pairing it again.

I used to have the USB stick in the basement, but I have since extended that run with an USB to ethernet adapter to get the USB stick closer to the center of the house. Even after doing that, I’ve seen a motion sensor basically 15 feet from the USB stick become unavailable, so it doesn’t look to be a signal strength issue.

All of the light bulbs are zigbee as well (mostly those EcoSmart bulbs, but I do have a few Phillips Hue Bulbs as well as an Ikea Tradfri bulb), so those are all acting as repeaters too so signal strength should be solid throughout the house.

Does anyone have some tips on what I can do to solve these issues? It’s making my hobby of home automation very frustrating to deal with at the moment. Instead of trying to make my lovelace setup nicer, I have to keep dealing with these damn devices constantly.

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Get a better coordinator imho

As in the USB stick? The Conbee 2 USB stick I was first using is one of the more common zigbee USB sticks, is it not? I know the latest one I got is also starting to be a pretty common one.

The conbee is a better stick than the CC2531, and can be used with ZHA too. But since you have issues after a restart of HA, maybe switch to zigbee2mqtt, this scan keep running if HA needs to restart.

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I haven’t used zigbee2mqtt before. I’m guessing you run it outside of HA though it sounds like, since you say it keeps running when I would reboot HA.

If I have that right, wouldn’t my previous usage of Deconz be the same? I didn’t mention this, and I probably should have, but I did have Deconz running an a different device, so that Deconz instance was still running when I rebooted HA.

Deconz would be a good choice too to keep your ZigBee network running while HA restarts.

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If the thing that has changed is simply the size of your house, then you probably need bigger range. There are newer TI chipsets which have better range, see this thread "Zzh!" (short for "Zig-a-zig-ah!") open-source hardware licensed Zigbee USB-stick based on TI CC2652R (if you scroll down you’ll see another product by @slaesh too.

check the channels between your wifi and zigbee channel are not overlapping, if so move them

Move back to conbee II much more powefull than the cc2531. best thing to do with the cc2531 is to reflash as a router and use it to increase/stabilize mesh.

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I don’t use the MiHome app at all. How do I find the channel that my zigbee devices are using if I don’t use that app?

if using deconz or zha it will tell you the channel you are using for zigbee

deconz below

I’m looking around in the ZHA integration and am not finding a channel anywhere… Am I missing it?

I do remember stating it in Deconz back when I was using it, but I don’t remember what the channel was specifically while I was using that.

i cant tell you how to do it on the ZHA integration as i don’t use that one, maybe @dmulcahey may know?

One other thing, do you have the conbee II device on the end of a USB extender cable as this is recommended for most USB Zigbee coordinators

Yep, whenever I am using a zigbee USB device I always do have it plugged into a USB extension cable. Correct.

I use a CC2531 and the Zigbee2mqtt add-on with Xiaomi, Osram and Sonoff Zigbee devices, very solid, although, my house is not overly large - 2 story, 3 bedroom.

I did the antenna mod on the CC2531 to get better reception, it helped to improve range by about 10%-15%.

I think that there may be an attached hardware limit on each CC2531 of about 20 (could be wrong), so you can use one as a main connected to your PC, and others that have certain close items bound to them, acting as repeaters.

Checkout this thread with many general best-practice tips on improving and extending signal range:

You want to connect more mains-powered Zigbee router devices first to make a stable Zigbee mesh.

Always-on mains-powered Zigbee routers act as signal repeaters and range extenders.

Suggest buying “IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater” as dedicated routers that are less tempting to unplug.

Xiaomi devices are however infamous for not connecting to routers and only want to connect directly.

If using Xiaomi devices in a large home you need to also have mains-powered Xiaomi devices as well.

Best is to also have a better Zigbee coordinator like CC2652 with a great external antenna.

Combine CC2652, a great external antenna + mains-powered Xiaomi devices and you should be good.

Not sure this is correct, i have around 30 xiaomi/aqura sensors spread around the house without any xiaomi powered devices, they seem to work perfectly via a combination of Hue/3a/nue lights/switches a couple of cc2531, a CC2652R and a CC1352P-2 that have been flashed a routers

It may have something to do with this issue which is in fact a conbee issue I think…

I have to refresh my deconz after every reboot to get my entities to become available.

I did read somewhere xiaomi devices don’t work well with Hue devices which are working as repeaters. So while you might have multiple hue bulbs, they might not be helping your mesh.

Most of my devices are xiaomi but I have 5 or 6 ikea routers to make both the range and stability of the mesh better. I found this article very helpful: https://community.hubitat.com/t/xiaomi-aqara-devices-pairing-keeping-them-connected/623

Note I’m in a large 5 bed house, using conbee II with ZHA. The mesh is very very good, probably the most stable devices I have, I’m surprise just how solid zigbee is. On HA reboot they do randomly loose connection, however they always self-connect within 10 to 15 mins. This is for 45 different sensors.

Regarding working out what Channel you have your zigbee network running on you need to use deConz. To my knowledge ZHA does display this info, I noticed a request for this functionality just a few days ago. You can install DeConz, log in and work out the channel then shut it down again. Fairly sure you cannot run both DeConz and ZHA at the same time. You absolutely need to make sure it’s not running on a channel that conflicts with your wifi, I had this when I setup a new wifi mesh, within 30mins all zigbee devices went offline!

What is the difference between the two sticks linked in that thread? If able, should one go for the zzh! or the CC2652?

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