ITead’s “Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus V2” (model "ZBDongle-E") based on Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 +20dBm radio SoC/MCU

While the Zigbee specification supports changing channeI on an existing Zigbee network I do not think that ZHA support that feature yet? See →

The feature ability to change Zigbee channel without re-pairing devices is discussed with zigpy developers here → Is it (technically) possible to change ZigBee channel without having to re-pair every device? · Discussion #908 · zigpy/zigpy · GitHub

If zigpy config for ZHA in YAML is not working as it should to set prefered channel the report issue to HA core → Issues · home-assistant/core · GitHub

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And for reference, if using zigbee2mqtt instead of ZHA, there’s the GUI for you to change your channel:

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@Hedda @k8gg I am now on ch25 using the backup/restore method and everything appears to work way better! Sensors that just could not stay online now do… I’ll stick with ZBDongle-P for now at least… but I will monitor this thread in case there are new reasons to go with ZBDongle-E :wink:

I am looking new zigbee router for extending singal.
Right now I use Ikea Tradfri repeater. It is placed on top of the wardrobe. And sensor is outside, about 30m away, almost line of sight.

But I need move sensor a few meter, but then I cant reach with Ikea repeater.

Which model is better for extending signal farther?
As I understand Sonoff ZBDongle-E is a little bit powerful because it has default output gain 20dBm vs Sonoff ZBDongle-P default 5dBm, adjustable 20dBm

Or is there a better alterative router for get signal farther?

You need to confirm the router firmware for the “E” is 20db. If so, it might be the easier choice.

The “P” router firmware can be changed to 20db, but it may require re-compiling yourself, or maybe jus some google skills. I think someone else has posted a 20db build, but @Koenkk doesn’t post one on his github.

Remember those + numbers only relate to how loudly the router itself is transmitting. The router’s +5 or +20 rating won’t impact how loud the endpoint transmits. Neither router may be able to hear your endpoint.

With the current goal from Home Assistant’s founders/members of streamlining experiences, I am hopeful that we will also get more and more GUI setting/configuration options in ZHA’s UI/frontend now that Nabu Casa has hired @puddly (tip is to follow puddly on GitHub) who is one of the developers of ZHA and zigpy to work full time on improving the native Zigbee experience.

At least existing zha/zigpy YAML features for ZHA could probably be moved to UI without any issue(?).

I know puddly is currently working Zigbee network backup and restore features, inc. GUI options for it.

Personally, I would also love to see more ZHA UI functions for Zigbee OTA updates in UI to update device firmware via GUI prioritized if possible.

FYI, in related news to prioritization of Zigbee/ZHA in Home Assistant; the same type of Silabs EFR32MG21 SoC chip will also be used in the official “Home Assistant SkyConnect USB Stick”, see:

You can submit your interest in the official “Home Assistant SkyConnect USB Stick” here if want to get mailed updates:

The exact same Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 SoC is by the way also built-in to “Home Assistant Yellow” (formerly “Home Assistant Amber”):

Highly recommend you begin by reading and following these essential tips before buying anything:

Personally I normally just recommend that people new to Zigbee who have big houses and large areas or buildings with dense building materials make it easy for themselves and just buy a bunch of “IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater” devices from the start to get them a good mesh network backbone as a baseline. This is because while not as strong as these Zigbee USB dongles with an external antenna, the “IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater” comes with good firmware by default and are very inexpensive, so you can make up for them not having the highest performance by simply buying more of them, (and they are still more powerful than almost all other commercial Zigbee products that are not designed to be a dedicated Zigbee Router device).

Most importantly please understand that in a true mesh network topology like Zigbee uses it will always be much better to get many weaker Zigbee Router devices than it is to get only one or two very powerful/strong Zigbee Router devices. That way you can in practice get a redundant fully connected network (with the exception of the Zigbee Coordinator which in Zigbee 3.0 can only be one per Zigbee network). Otherwise, you will risk that powerful/strong Zigbee Router device becoming a single-point-of-failure so all devices that only connect to it will go down if it does.

You could always try replacing the antenna and test different placement/orientations of it, but simply adding more and more Zigbee Router devices is really the best way to extend range and coverage in a single Zigbee network. Zigbee Home Automation uses wireless mesh network and wireless private area network (WPAN / Wireless PAN) technologies and is really meant to be used in a smaller mesh network in a relatively small area (e.i. within a single house/building).

However, if your devices as really far away in secluded/isolated areas with no reception to a single network might not be a good option, instead you might be better of adding a second Zigbee Coordinator connected to a separate secondary Home Assistant ZHA or Zigbee2MQTT instance at that location and then share the device to your primary Home Assistant instance over a wired LAN (local area network) via either HomeKit or MQTT message protocols.

Alternatively, go for devices that use a different technology than Zigbee in that specific remote location, choosing a device protocol which can support multiple connections/routes via LAN, (such as example Wi-Fi, LoRa/LoRaWAN, or Thread, inc. the new/upcoming Matter/CHIP standard over Thread).

That is correct. Again, the Zigbee SoC/MCU chips used inside the ZBDongle-E and ZBDongle-P have very similar specifications on paper if you just look at their data sheet, meaning the real-world performance difference will probably come down to the circuit-board/antenna design implementation and the firmware configuration.

I do not know if the current Zigbee Router firmware image that ITead released for the ZBDongle-E is also configured to use 20 dBm RF transmit power by default or if that makes any difference, but the default Zigbee Router firmware image for the ZBDongle-P is set to only use 5 dBm RF transmit power and is not configurable, for more information see this related feature request →

ITead project manager can probably answer if the Zigbee Router firmware image for the ZBDongle-E is configured to use 20 dBm RF transmit power by default, however, the best way will be to do real-world testing of both with Zigbee Router device firmware in the different locations in your home for longer period of time and then switch places between them to be able to compare the results.

Absolutely correct, we normally say that it only shouts louder but it does not listen any better, but several different people still reported a better experience for them when using a Zigbee Router firmware image and/or Zigbee Coordinator firmware than have a higher than 5 dBm RF transmit power config.

FYI, looks like Home Assistant will soon support automatic USB discovery for the new ITead’s “Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus V2” model “ZBDongle-E” based on Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 if merge:


      "vid": "1A86",
      "pid": "55D4",
      "description": "*sonoff*plus*",
      "known_devices": ["sonoff zigbee dongle plus v2"]


        "domain": "zha",
        "vid": "1A86",
        "pid": "55D4",
        "description": "*sonoff*plus*"

The board of this new ZBDongle-E adapter uses a WCH CH9102F USB-to-UART/Serial converter chip (and CH9102/CH340 device drivers) which has VID (Vendor ID) “1A86 ” and PID (Product ID) 55D4 as well as the new USB product description identifier “sonoff zigbee dongle plus v2” on this variant.

I am trying to follow this tutorial.
But i don’t understand what settings do i need use here. Anybody can help?2022-08-26 10_27_16-Quick Connect

What exactly are you trying to do? If you are wanting to flash firmware the easiest way is to get access to the TI smartRF flash tool.

I want flash router firmware. I tried that but unfortunately TI smartRF 2 cant open router firmware .gbl file. And there is no target device for EFR32MG21.

What firmware has a gbl extension? gbls are gerber CAD files.

You need to be using CC2652p as the target device. You should probably re-read the flashing guide.

I follow this official guide.

It suggests download this and flash.Sonoff_Zigbee_Dongle_Firmware/Dongle-E/Router at master · itead/Sonoff_Zigbee_Dongle_Firmware · GitHub

If anyone knows some guide how to flash router firmware then please suggests.

Sorry my bad (misread the thread title and didn’t realise this is about the dongle-e version)

The guide for this device appears to indicate a baud rate of 115200. The port should be whatever shows up when you go to select it and the rest just leave as default. I assume you’re using the secureCRT software as suggested?

I use secureCrt and tried different setting but it wont flash firmware. Always ending Transferring , errors 1… Press Ctrl+C to cancel.

Are here anyone who flashed new Dongle-E with router firmware?

A couple of points otherwise someone else will need to chime in.

  1. you are using Xmodem(N) protocol?
  2. You need to disassemble the stick in order to access the boot button which is needed to access the bootloader. The button is actually on the circuit board itself

Yes i use Xmodem(N) protocol.
I disassembled stick and then holding boot button, inserting and keep holding 10 seconds and then releasing. I assume entering boatload mode is same like old Dongle-P.

Red light is turning on. How I can be sure that stick is in bootloader mode?

If you’ve done it properly you should get the bootloader message in the serial terminal in secureCRT (see point 2 of the instructions)

then select option 1 to upload the gbl file and then 2

Yes, but i follow step 1 then It start immediately uploading and then i got error for transfering.

Sorry can’t help further. You might want to contact Sonoff to see if they can help.

Also the first post has links to other flashing methods you can try, eg using