Please recommend a somewhat stable Zigbee dongle

What is a somewhat stable Zigbee dongle?

I am tired of fighting with the Skyconnect. Every time I reboot, it randomly looses devices. Re-pairning them can take multiple tries and sometimes I have to completely remove the device to re-pair it. In addition, I have quite a few lamps, that I have to remove the bulb, and get a step stool to put it in a socket that has a normal switch instead of the twist switches on the lamps, making it an even bigger pain.

I have tried all the suggestions, I could find. Different channels, including 11 which everyone seems to suggest, and 13, which looks like it has the least interference. I really don’t have much interference to begin with, as I have a pretty big lot, so my neighbors are not right on top of me. I have tried longer USB extension, I have even dangled it from the ceiling, so the nearest thing to it is the floor and ceiling are each 4ft away. My house is not that big, and even devices in the same room with it are dropping off.

I have a new install with only 19 devices, three Acara P1, 6 Sonoff Motion sensors, a Acara light strip (which is a hub as well), and the rest Sengled lights. I had some Hue lights but after two days, they will no longer pair at all.

I am not sure if I got a bad one, or there is some magical interference, but the thing just doesn’t work.

If someone would give me recommendations on a replacement, I would be extremely grateful.

EDIT: I am running on a pre-build Odroid-N2+ from Home-Assitant.


I have been using the “QuickStick Combo, HUSBZB-1, by Nortek”.
Last I checked was $44.95 on Amazon. It does Zigbee and Z-Wave in a single stick.
This one is for frequency in U.S./Canada/Mexico.

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Sounds like you could use more mains powered routers though.


Wow, that actually looks way better than the HUSBZB! I will have to get one of these.

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is the skyconnect itself not initializing in your Home Assistant setup or is it devices failing to register after a period of time based on where they are located in the home to where your skyconnect and Home Assistant host is setup at?

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Aqara P1 : end device
Sonoff Motion Sensors : end devices (and bad ones)
Sengled bulbs : end device

So you one have 1 router in your whole mesh !


Personally, I would go with an external coordinator either from @tube0013 or one of the Zigstar coordinators. Since they aren’t USB, you can put them central in your house as long as you have an Ethernet drop nearby. They are powerful and work much better (imho) than USB coordinators.


Hence the latter part of my question, it seems like they have a weak signal between the host and the endpoint devices leading to issues.


That list has 1 device that routes plus the skyconnect, and the rest are either battery or the singled which don’t route.
I don’t care what dongle you have, you need more things that route to make that mesh work…
Dongle won’t matter.

Change the bulbs to ones that are routers and add a couple of wall warts that route (if you use them as plugs or not). I’ve found the thirdreality plugs have pretty good routers in them.

Oops, just saw it. What Francis said…


Exactly. You’ll have the same problem with a new dongle. Get some more routers.


I didn’t think I had that many devices to warrant extra router. What is the recommended ratio? 5 to 1, 3 to 1, 1 to 1? One in every room?

Currently I am about 9 to 1. That just doesn’t seem like a whole lot. I didn’t realize how poor the signal was on these. I come from a network background, And would never have that you would need that many routers on a single small network.

What is the distance between your devices and the host, we need more info on your setup to provide proper advice.


Thanks for everyone’s input.

I have ordered a four pack of sonoff plugs, and a sonoff bridge.

That will put me at a 5 to 1 ratio, plus a bridge. I still can’t believe it requires that much for such a small deployment. I have twenty years as a network engineer, but only got serious with home automation since I retired a few months ago. I obviously still have a lot to learn about home automation. I had Alexa for years and just plugged it in and it worked.

That’s not really how a zigbee mesh works. Of the 4 extra plugs you bought, you might find that one is barely/not routing at all, while each of the other 3 is connected to your all other end devices.

It all depends on the distance from your nearest router to your end devices, though you’d also have to factor in walls, ceilings, etc. What you have going on right now is literally a case of the weakest link bringing down the rest of the mesh.

PS - coming from a network background is a bit of a disadvantage because you assume everything’s mostly a star topology. Zigbee topology is totally different, and you’ll need some time to adjust to that.


Zigbee signal is weak by design - that’s what makes it possible to have small, battery-powered sensors.

The coordinator is not supposed to connect directly with sensors - it connects with a router, which connects with a router, which connects with a router…

It can connect directly, but there is a limit to the number of connections it can maintain. Also, a direct connection will be vulnerable to interference etc. if there are no alternative paths for messages to take.

The connection is initiated by the sensor (another reason for the signal to be low-powered). Sensors normally have parent routers which buffer messages for them.

The number of routers you need to create a stable mesh will depend on the layout and structure of your home. Their range is short and the signal doesn’t pass through walls very well. So there isn’t a ratio - it’s the density of the mesh that matters, not the number of end devices. If it’s any help, I have three or four routers in each room - nine in one room. The ideal scenario is one where every lightbulb and every socket in the building is a router.

Hope you didn’t throw away those Hue bulbs… :grin:


I have 1.9 routers for each end-device. Rock solid mesh.


In my current setup I have that act as routers to my skyconnect:

3x philips hue bulbs
1x phillips hue led strip
5x zigbee based smart plugs

Not really any issues with overall stability in the overall setup since getting it setup.

I have a total of 18 zigbee based devices in the setup so far:

1x aqara leak sensor acting as my bed occupancy sensor through a pressure mat.
3x aeotec motion sensors
1x sonoff snzb-o2p temp/humidity sensor for the lounge room
4x smart switches

Even am using an aqara p2 door sensor and switchbot hub 2 with 2 bots through matter via the skyconnect multipan with no issues.

I own Sonoff-P, Sonoff-E and two SMLIGHT SLZB-06s. The SLBZ-06s are my most stable and favorite by far. They were recently added to my Z2M system and I have no regrets.

The devices you have matter more than the dongles in my opinion. For example Hue bulbs are routers, but Sengled bulbs are not. It’s much like electrical circuits. parallel vs series.

I am controlling 70+ Zigbee devices with one coordinator and two routers across 8000 sq ft

70+ battery powered devices? :astonished:

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I don’t plan that way.

Distance. Spec says you should get 100m.
Plants walls concrete dogs and glass are all things that absorb rf signals. So compensate by never doing max distance.

You could cut it by half but what I find is in practical terms effective range is already half so we don’t want that - therefore I use 20-25m as MAX distance between powered repeating devices. If I make if to 20 and dont have one nearby I start planning where the next repeater goes.

Yes you can see both my Zigbee and ZWave meshes from space. But stuff doesnt drop.

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