I’m just starting out on my Zigbee journey. I bought a cheap USB stick, a couple of Osram bulbs and a few Aqara and Sonoff sensor and everything is working well, and I think I’m now ready to take the next steps and start swapping some fixed lighting from LightWaveRF (just one way control) to Zigbee.
Having a bare circuit board sticking out of my USB socket doesn’t seem like the most robust of solutions so I’m thinking a Tasmotised Sonoff Bridge would be better, especially as I can place it centrally in the house. Are there any drawbacks to this, such as does the inclusion of wifi lead to any latency issues?
[edited to move my other question to a separate topic under Zigbee area]
Basically the serial protocol API for EmberZNet Zigbee coordinator application running on the Silicon Labs SoC/MCU does not deal well with unexpected loss of communication caused by network drops. The reason Ember remote bridges over serial-to-IP proxy server is not recommended is that clients using the EZSP serial protocol requires a robust connection between the EmberZNet Zigbee stack running on EFR32 MCU and the serial port of the Zigbee radio. With solutions such as ITEAD Sonoff ZBBridge or a Ser2Net serial proxy connection over a WiFi network it is expected to see NCP entered failed state. Requesting APP controller restart in the logs. This is a normal part of the operation and indicates there was a drop in communication which caused packet loss to occurred between the zigpy radio library and the Zigbee radio. The use of serial network proxies/bridges/servers over WiFi is therefore not recommended when wanting a stable Zigbee environment with Silicon Labs Ember based Zigbee radios. The developers of the bellows radio library for the zigpy project has more information about this if needed.
The recommendation is to use a USB extension cable with any USB radio adapter (Zigbee, Bluetooth, other RF or WiFi) just in order to get them away a little from possible signal interference if nothing else.
I’m not a huge Zigbee user however, I’ve had a number of Aqara window sensors, Sengled bulbs and Ikea TRADFRI signal repeater running on the Sonoff Zigbee bridge with the ZHA integration for about 6 months now and have not had any significant issues with it.
It may not be the right choice for a hardcore Zigbee user but it works for 6 devices that I have.
Suggest that you checkout this project as it works the same but use wired Ethernet instead of WiFi. It doesn’t entirely solve the issues but using wired Ethernet instead of WiFi is a bit more robust solution:
You would also have to make sure to always shutdown ZHA / Home Assistant when you perform planned mainetence on your network/WiFi such AP/switches/router firmware upgrades or moving cables. Same goes with unplanned downtime like when you blow a fuse for AP/switches/router when your ZHA / Home Assistant is still online.
Again, unfortuantly this does by definition still not make for a very robust designed solution.
I tried several controllers, but the best one so far, at least with ZHA, has been the Sonoff with Tasmota. Rock-solid, pairing is very easy, it recognized all the devices immediately and also has a pretty good range, reaction times are good too, my wife and kids noticed that switches and buttons are working as they should now. A wonderful experience, and it only costs $20. I spent way more for the ConBeeII, which was rock-solid too, but I had some small issues with it pairing some devices.
My wifi is very stable (I have a mesh wifi net with mesh nodes spread all over the house) and signal is excellent, so far I never had a disconnection of the Sonoff.
I think all problems people are having with it are due to a bad wifi network, so the sonoff is just unveiling a problem, that should be addressed, it’s not the cause of the problem.