ITead's "Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus" (model "ZBDongle-P") based on Texas Instruments CC2652P +20dBm radio SoC/MCU

As mentions, any Zigbee device can only be connected to a single Zigbee Coordinator, so devices can never be connected to two Zigbee Coordinators (adapters/hubs/bridges/gateways) at the same time.

You might however be able to achieve some of what you want by combining different integrations, but not all as the official Philips Hue App only support connecting to the official Philips Hue Bridge so the compromise would have to be to not use the Philips Hue App for all other devices). Check out:

Huge thread, but I wish it were easier to find information. I’ve heard that the original firmware is stuck at 5dB of gain. So I flashed to 20211217 but do I get +20dB gain automatically? or is there a setting somewhere?

nevermind, found the setting here:


FYI, the newer firmware will set the transmission power to +9dBm by default, however, with that newer firmware you can configure transmission power up to +20dBm via ZHA/Zigbee2MQTT software config / settings, but you could consider before doing so as could get a worse result because it will only make the Zigbee Coordinator “shout louder”, not “listen better”, so reply signals from some devices with weaker radios might not be strong enough to send a clear signal back to the Zigbee Coordinator.

1 Like

I got my Sonoff Dongle last week, installed the latest firmware on it and honestly, I am really disappointed with the range of Zigbee. I have changed the wifi settings to free the channel, but with my smoke detector I do not get more then 120 LQI and with 2 meters away I am at around 40 LQI with ZHA. Tested Zigbee2MQTT and it looked better, but want to use ZHA because fo the better integration.

How and where is the transmission power configured with ZHA ?


Also, know that all Zigbee devices and especially Zigbee Coordinator adapters are known to be very susceptible to Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) / Electromagnetic interference (EMI) / Electromagnetic Fields (EMF) caused by different signal interfering sources, so all the tips to try to reduce interference are extremely important to follow even if they may sound silly.

It is really standard with any Zigbee Coordinator adapter today to need to follow all the best practice tips and tricks posted in PR as well as those here to workaround all different sources of signal interference.

Short summary:

  1. Upgrade to the latest firmware on the Zigbee Coordinator adapter (whichever adapter you have).
  2. Connect the Zigbee Coordinator adapter to a longer USB extension cable to get it a bit way, if possible use a very long and preferably thicker double or triple-shielded USB extension cable.
  3. Be sure that Zigbee Coordinator adapter is connected to USB 2.0 port (or via USB 2.0 hub).
  4. Shield any computers and USB 3.0 peripherals like hard drives by making sure to only use metal enclosures/chassis/chasings that have are properly grounded and/or electronically shielded.
  5. Make sure Zigbee Coordinator adapter and devices is not close to WiFi router or access-points.
  6. Zigbee devices do not have long-range (or good radio signal penetration) on their own so begin by successively adding more mains-powered Zigbee Router devices (a.k.a. Zigbee signal-repeaters/range-extenders) closer to the Zigbee Coordinator adapter and then in each room building outwards to form a stable Zigbee network mesh before adding devices further way.
  7. Afting adding mains-powered Zigbee Router devices pair all the other devices where you plan to have them permanently installed and do not move them around afterwards.
  8. If still have issues change Wi-Fi channel(s) on your WiFi router or access-points to do not conflict with Zigbee → ZigBee and Wi-Fi Coexistence | MetaGeek

Even shorter summery; just assume that all Zigbee adapters are extremely susceptible to interference!

PS: Appreciate if thumbs up this PR → Update zha.markdown with tips on improving Zigbee network range by Hedda · Pull Request #18864 · home-assistant/ · GitHub

1 Like

All of @Hedda’s advice is valid and should be taken to heart, but I would say don’t worry too much about the reported LQI unless you’re having real world, day to day operational issues.

120-130 seems to be about as good as it gets with the Sonoff. I personally believe their is something off in the way the firmware calculates the number. I’m not sure it matters as long as it is internally consistent.

I had great reported LQIs , well over 200+, with my fully updated Nortek sticks(SI Labs based). I also had weekly, if not daily issues. The Sonoffs have been 100% stable and operational for the past 60 days or so since I swapped my sticks out. Not a single (noticed) dropped event or device with the Sonoffs, I can’t say either for the Norteks.

All this is anecdotal of course, I would be curious for a comparison of cc2652 sticks to see if the LQI numbers are a hardware or firmware issue.

As to the ZHA vs Z2M issue, grab another stick and run both side by side for a while. I started with ZHA and was happy, but recently got a second stick to test Z2M with a device ZHA didn’t support. Somewhat surprisingly, I found I liked Z2M better. Pros and cons to both, but I had a couple devices that I had had to poke and google around to figure out appropriate zha service calls for device configuration options in ZHA, but in Z2M the configuration options were exposed as easy to set entities.

The Sonoff sticks aren’t very expensive, and once you’re sure between ZHA and Z2M, the extra stick can be repurposed as a router. Personally, I recently moved the last of my devices to Z2M, but will keep ZHA installed and active to test any future devices with, and to keep track of the inevitable changes and improvements. I’d be completely open to switch back if it makes since.


LQI numbers are a pure matematical value generated by the stick. It is not showing any actual link quality, just a representation of the signalstrength time something, hence the number is not comparable between coordinators. I have a similar story as jerrm. Early I was running a small conbeeII network with a few sensors and no mains. All devices was having 255 in LQI, however frequently missed actions like door open etc. After including a number of mains I got lower LQI, however solid and stable mesh (except for the know problem with conbee when changing a lot of devices at once, some misses). So, LQI numbers do not really tell anything, at least that is my conclusion.

Lately I have created a new zigbee mesh using a Sonoff 3.0 dongle and Zigbee2Mqtt. Like jerrm I created it for the fun and test, however I like the Zigbee2Mqtt implementation better. Yesterday I move the last few devices, so my ZHA network is empty.
My Sonoff network shows LQI in the range from 10-130, however being rock solid and faster than ZHA based on conbeeII (LQI, in range from 150-255).


Also know that LQI is not a universal standard with a unified scale. So different Zigbee stacks, different manufacturers, and even different Zigbee devices and firmware versions calculate LQI differently. See:


Hi Hedda, Fully agree, it was actually my point, you can NOT compare. Have to admit, re-reading my own post, it could be misunderstood. :slight_smile:

@Hedda @jerrm

Thanks for all the information.
I actually played around a little, placing the devices and following your advice.
I must say, I would have expected that Zigbee is a little bit more stable and not that fragile. I wonder how people can successfully cover a full house with just buying stuff from IKEA or Phillips but anyhow. My Basement is well build which makes it a perfect cage for any wireless signals. I struggled with WIFI already so I decided try placing my Sonoff stick in the first floor using a looooooong USB cable :slight_smile:
Did that with my Homematic stuff already, which works great.

Besides that, I found a position for a router in the first floor which reliably connects to the coordinator and therefor lets devices take part in the network. I start understanding things and also tested Zigbee2MQTT which for now I am not a fan off - too complicated right now :wink:


Well, while most Zigbee Coordinator adapters are relatively extremely sensitive to electromagnetic interference your Zigbee network mesh as a whole should still be generally stable as long as you have enough mains-powered Zigbee Router devices that have permanent power so are always available.

It is really a matter of combining quantity and quality. Most newer mains-powered devices from IKEA or Phillips usually work very good as Zigbee Router devices, (some others brands are unfortunately not). Try to spread out your known good Zigbee Router devices, and make sure to update their firmware too.

Personally, I generally recommend starting out a large Zigbee installation by installing at least one IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater on each floor as they are inexpensive and a very good Zigbee Router device.

Alternatively if you care more about function than esthetics then buy additional “Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus” adapters, reflash them with the latest Zigbee Router firmware and use with USB charger.

Tip is to hide your Zigbee Router devices regardless so no humans unplug or move them by accident.

Another general tip is to try to make sure that Zigbee Router devices as not accidentally turned OFF (which is a common human error when using Zigbee lightbulbs still connected to wall or cord switches).

PS: Remember that Zigbee is low-power (weak signals) and being on the 2.4GHz band its higher frequency does not have good penetration power through denser and dampening building materials:


I did some reading too in the last days / weeks :smiley: and came to the same conclusions :slight_smile:
I just wonder how “normal people” get there Zigbee networks working reliable in a crowded area like cities etc. But perhaps it is like you said, all that counts is the network itself which is stable and the proper grouping of devices. Which normally the coordinator takes good care of especially if you look at the user interface of Tradfri and Hue Gateways :wink: they just hide most of the things I see and start caring about.

Sometimes less is more :smiley:

Anyhow, thanks for the tips, I must get the Zigbee network up and running anyhow, because for the reason I starting this CO Sensor and Smoke Sensor, there are no good WIFI options, no homematic options for CO sensor and Z-Wave would be an option, but because HA started to integrate Zigbee into Amber and IKEA jumped onto Zigbee too, I thought this is the way to go :wink: and I found smoke and CO sensors for this purpose.

And the next use case, of having “switches” lie around for different purpose, this is also something a) where WIFI (shelly button) is not really responsive, they are too slow b) homematic is too expensive to lose them :wink: and c) zigbee is the only cheap option to have a couple of them for different purpose.

THANKS and hoping that the upcoming firmware for the sonoff is improving overall usage experience :smiley:

Personally, I currently use two CC2652 based USB adapters (one Sonoff Plus USB dongle and one ZZH USB dongle right now) to the same Home Assistant instance myself at home in order to utilize both the ZHA integration and Zigbee2MQTT for different Zigbee devices, (so one dedicated USB dongle per Zigbee platform, with both connected to the same computer with Home Assistant OS).

I primarily use the ZHA integration for the majority of my Zigbee devices because its component is natively integrated into Home Assistant (so do not have to deal with MQTT for it) and only use Zigbee2MQTT for a couple of newer non-standard devices that do not have full support in ZHA yet.

One of the main downsides with using both solutions at the same time is that I need to have a baseline of at least a few Zigbee Router devices in both of those totally separate Zigbee networks/meshes.

I think because Zigbee2MQTT still has a larger/broader community it does tend to get faster support for less common and odd niche Zigbee devices that deviate further from Zigbee standard specifications and therefore needing custom quirks/converter code for each individual device and function/attributes.

By the way, If you can code/script and prefer Python over JavaScript/TypeScript then suggest you use ZHA instead of Zigbee2MQTT, and vice versa, that way you can at least edit your own quirks/converters and contribute them back to the community, but if you can not code/script then suggest that you try out both, even at the same time (which again will require you to buy an additional Zigbee Coordinator adapter).

I actually started out my smart home journey with Z-Wave myself almost 10-years ago and today still have more “Z-Wave Plus” devices than Zigbee devices since most my Z-Wave devices still work great.

Z-Wave devices are relatively much more expensive however in my experience their build quality is generally great, and since Z-Wave specification has stricter certification standards their interoperability and compatibility is usually excellent, plus operating on the ISM radio band frequencies their lower frequency allow much better wall penetration and range, so it is easier to start out with a small setup.

What I like more about Zigbee is the very low price of most devices that enable a much wider adoption.

I personally believe that the new “Matter” (“Matter over Thread” and “Matter over WiFi”) standard is the future and my guess that given the time span of maybe 10 years from now it will eventually have out-competed all others existing standards as a choice when companies bring brand new products on the market as prices for those products drop because of competition, but think it will take many years before there is a large selection of devices at a similarly low price point available, so both Zigbee and Z-Wave still got quite a few more years before getting obsolete, (and your already bought devices will, of course, keep working in Home Assistant unless their hardware break).

Considering that being a brand new standard and Matter also requiring stricter certification to achieve better interoperability/compatibility (similar to Z-Wave Plus), I assume that most first-to-market “Matter over Thread” products will probably not be cheap as Zigbee devices, at least not the next few years.

Since Matter of Thread currently also only operate over the 2.4GHz band and not (yet) over lower frequencies like the ISM radio band it will also have the same wall penetration issues as Zigbee, but unlike Zigbee which is limited to only one Zigbee Coordinator I understand that with “Matter over Thread” will be possible to add more than one “Thread Border Router” devices and support fail-over by default to possibly remove that single-point-of-failure.

1 Like

I had the same Issue in the past with the Conbee 2 stick and deCONZ, the network was not reliable.

But after switching to Sonoff dongle (and Zigbee2MQTT), the devices just worked better. The signal strength appears to be increased and I am not having failures (for example not to be able to turn on the light).

The Zigbee network looks like this now.

I have the same amount of repeaters and the location of the dongle is more or less in the same place.

Anyone with experience on the new firmware released for 2022?

I have been running coordinator variant of the Z-Stack_3.x.0 20220219 version fine for two months now:

Very important is to also update firmware if using Zigbee Router firmware to use these as repeaters:

The latest upstream bug-fixes from Texas Instruments contain many important fixes for Z-Stack Router:

1 Like

I upgraded to zigbee2mqtt 1.25.0 and the 20220219 firmware in a Sonoff 3.0 dongle. I am seeing some of my devices on this network having trouble connecting and staying connected after the upgrade.

Am I correct that there have been no firmware changes for CC25xx devices, in terms of any TI zigbee stack functionality? I am not clear if the TI 5.30.xx SDK is used with the CC25xx devices. Either by Koenkk or PTVO.

The issues I am seeing since the upgrade :

  1. Sengled E11-N14A bulb would not connect to network until I did a reset of the bulb.

  2. based CC25xx (TI and eByte) no longer seem to be doing routing functions. I have not reset these devices as yet, they connect to coordinator, but do not seem to act as routers as they were before.

  3. without the CC25xx routing devices, the network pretty much collapses, as the various end devices struggle to direct connect to coordinator without intermediate routers. The zigbee end devices include : CC25xx (real and clone), Xiaomi, SmartThings, Tuya.

David, was experiencing something similar. I was upgrading the firmware to 20222919 during the weekend (did not change Z2M, was already on 1.25.0).
After the FW upgrade everything looked perfect. The devices were getting visible again as reporting. After 4 hours everything looked good and all devices was reporting “keep alive” and things was working (I belived).
The next day my kids were complaining that 2 specific switches was not working, one being a Tuya and one a Aqara mini.
First checked in Z2M, and both switches had reported battery state and “last seen” only a short time ago. However, even pressing the buttons, the “last seen” would not update. Tried to “re-pair” the switches, however did not make any difference.
Solution was to delete the device from Z2M, and then pair them as new devices in Z2M (easy as all automation will continue to work if you rename to the same device name). Then everything was back to normal. Might be worth a try on your devices.

Luckily this was only 2 switches, and not all my 70+ devices:-)

Thanks for sharing @khvej8 ! With your large network, good example of the challenge of change vs. happy where we are issues. I have down graded my firmware back to the 20211217 release. Have kept the zigbee2mqtt version at 1.25.0. Things are running ‘better’ but I think not as stable as when I was on 1.23 and 1.24. I had one crash of my zigbee2mqtt 1.25 with the 20220219 firmware after I posted. This was the driver to start the down grade path. The CC25xx routers seem to be continuing to work after about 8 hours with 1.25.0 and 20211217 firmware. I am going to let it run for a while more before considering posting a bug report.

To your recommendation. I did do some of what of subset of your recommendation with the Sengled bulbs. However, I did not delete and re-add my CC25xx PTVO routers. I did power cycle these devices and they were routing for about an hour or two before my zigbee2mqtt docker image crashed with the error below . I am pretty non-plused on the idea that I have to delete and re-add devices after a coordinator upgrade. I have been messing around with a number of zigbee systems for a pretty long while now. These latest issues with zigbee2mqtt and the coordinator firmwares, is rather concerning to me, far more issues with upgrades in last week vs. upgrades over many years of other systems (and older cc25xx based zigbee2mqtt system) :

Error: SREQ '--> ZDO - extRouteDisc - {"dstAddr":24409,"options":0,"radius":30}' failed with status '(0xc7: NWK_TABLE_FULL)' (expected '(0x00: SUCCESS)')
    at Object.func (/app/node_modules/zigbee-herdsman/src/adapter/z-stack/znp/znp.ts:322:27)
    at Queue.executeNext (/app/node_modules/zigbee-herdsman/src/utils/queue.ts:32:32)