Problems using ZHA integration (with conbee2)

Hi there,
I’m facing some difficulties while using the ZHA integration and I’m wondering if anyone has any ideas or recommendations that could provide me. Thanks in advance!!

I have a conbee2 controller and more than 3 dozen zigbee devices around the house (probably about 10 router devices).

Previously I had the deConz integration configured, all zigbee devices configured thru the deconz integration and despite the outdated network visualization on phoscon :innocent:, it worked well, the network had many “hops” and all devices were connected.

Recently I decided to remove the deConz integration and use the new ZHA integration. From what I read online, it was a great capability that HA now had.
Discovery and pairing it great, but it came with some problems and “challenges” :frowning:

#1 - Integration fails after reboot >> (Solved :+1: - update bellow/here)
Every time I restart HA, the integration fails, and I haven’t found a common way to get it back to work. Sometimes the reconfiguration works at the first attend, sometimes it takes multiple tries.
image

#2 - Desperately slow
Lights, sensors and automations take ages to react. The automations sometime take 5-10 seconds from being triggered (by a sensor or a button press) to the lights to get the command.
Motion sensors activating lights around the house are useless now as they get ON when I’m not there anymore :confused:

#3 - Useless repeaters and routers
The repeaters don’t extend the zigbee mesh, and all devices are connected to the conbee main controller. I tried pairing the devices using those repeaters to scan for new devices (using the option available on those repeaters Device info page, they get discovered and paired, but in the end they connect directly to the controller.
Despite having multiple repeaters spread along the house, most of them in clear sight from each other and not more than half dozen meters apart, this results on many devices being offline as they’re 2 floors up from the controller or in some room in the opposite side of the house.

Any ideas? Any recommendations?

Thanks in advance
Best regards

It sounds like ZHA is not able to connect to your ConBeeII device reliably. I would try checking that the USB port info is correct. (I don’t know if you can still change that or it is automatic these days.) I’ve run both ZHA with a ConBeeII and Deconz with a ConBeeII and found them to be equally reliable, for what it’s worth. (Also, make sure your ConBee II has the latest firmware.)
-David

FYI, ConBee USB adapters are kind of infamous in the community for having issues connecting over serial after reboot. Not quite sure that the root issue is for that (perhaps buggy serial drivers for the Serial-to-USB stack that ConBee USB adapters use or bug in pyserial), so if still have issues after the firmware upgrade then recommend that you consider opening a new issue with ZHA debug logs to the Home Assistant core repository → Issues · home-assistant/core · GitHub (also see https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/zha#reporting-issues and https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/zha#debug-logging)

Other general suggestions that you should really do regardless for improved setup and environment:

  • Upgrade the firmware on the ConBee adapter.
  • Connect your Zigbee Coordinator USB via a powered USB 2.0 hub, and use a very long USB extension cable. Note “powered” and “USB 2.0” as the USB-hub having its own seperate power-supply will secure its power source and connecting or even being close to USB 3.0 ports and other devices/cables are well known to cause serious interference to Zigbee.
  • Add a few “known good” dedicated Zigbee Router devices (a.k.a. Zigbee Signal Repeater products).
  • Follow additional advice in Guide for Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization (which include recommendations of “known good” dedicated Zigbee Router devices).

Thanks @dbs and @Hedda for your feedback.
Hedda, your line “Update the firmware on the ConBee adapter” that got me into understanding what was wrong.
I could bet my left toe that I triple checked everything around my HA configuration, but I’m glad I’ll keep my toe.
I didn’t had the deConz integration (I did triple checked that) but I still had the deConz add-on installed and starting on boot. That was hijacking the access to conbee and making the ZHA integration to fail at reboot. Dumb end-users do dumb stuff :stuck_out_tongue:

Any of you have the ZHA integration? Do you also have delays and useless repeaters/routers?

I run both ZHA and Deconz via two ConBeeII adapters. They both perform about the same for me. The biggest factor are just that some devices are flaky, regardless of the network. Deconz is much more sophisticated (ability to view/access data through its VNC UI) but I can’t say the zigbee performance is much different.

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I have both ZHA and Zigbee2MQTT with different dongles, but I have no issues any longer as now following all of my own recommendations → Guide for Zigbee interference avoidance and network range/coverage optimization

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…and suddenly I got a new (zigbee) Bible!

Some things could be obvious to some, but not obvious to others. That guide is worth gold!
Many thanks @Hedda !

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