SDR 433 Dongle Kills my Zwave/Zigbee USB Network

Earlier in the Week I received my new SDR Dongle below

Nooelec RTL-SDR, FM+DAB, DVB-T USB Stick Set with RTL2832U & R820T.

I plugged it into my Powered USB Hub that also contains my Nortek Go control Zwave/Zigbee USB dongle. After playing around with the RTL433, I noticed my Zwave network was down, then my Zigbee. I was able to get my Zigbee functioning again, but I my Zwave I could get restored, but it would fail again a few hours later or within minutes. After posting about it in Zwave, we determined it was just my Nortek Zwave radio died, so I bought the Zooz 800 USB stick and I had it working great, no crashing. Well figured i give the SDR dongle a whirl again, plugged it in and within a couple minutes, I noticed my Zigbee and Zwave network crashed again.

**Edit: for additional information, after the Zwave/Zigbee crashed, I removed the SDR Dongle, yet the issue remained. That’s why I haven’t really considered EMI as an issue.

Any idea why this is happening?

I got my Zigbee network restored, but Zwave keeps crashing and I’m attempting to see what I can do to get it functioning again, since I firmly believe its not the Zwave USB stick/radio.

Below is the stuff I get in the Addon Log for Zwave

2024-05-25T02:08:12.347Z DRIVER   Serial port errored: The serial port closed unexpectedly! (ZW0100)
Error in driver ZWaveError: Serial port errored: The serial port closed unexpectedly! (ZW0100)
    at Driver.destroyWithMessage (/usr/src/node_modules/zwave-js/src/lib/driver/Driver.ts:2899:17)
    at ZWaveSerialPort.<anonymous> (/usr/src/node_modules/zwave-js/src/lib/driver/Driver.ts:1141:15)
    at ZWaveSerialPort.emit (node:events:517:28)
    at SerialPort.onClose (/usr/src/node_modules/@zwave-js/serial/src/ZWaveSerialPort.ts:36:14)
    at Object.onceWrapper (node:events:632:26)
    at SerialPort.emit (node:events:517:28)
    at port.close.then.closing (/usr/src/node_modules/@serialport/stream/dist/index.js:242:18) {
  code: 100,
  context: undefined,
  transactionSource: undefined
Shutting down
Closing server...
Client disconnected
Code 1000: 
Server closed
[02:08:12] WARNING: Halt add-on
s6-rc: info: service legacy-services: stopping
s6-rc: info: service legacy-services successfully stopped
s6-rc: info: service legacy-cont-init: stopping
s6-rc: info: service legacy-cont-init successfully stopped
s6-rc: info: service fix-attrs: stopping
s6-rc: info: service fix-attrs successfully stopped
s6-rc: info: service s6rc-oneshot-runner: stopping
s6-rc: info: service s6rc-oneshot-runner successfully stopped

What you’re likely experiencing is called EMI or RFI.

Your SDR dongle is radiating at the frequencies you’re using for Zigbee and Z-wave. Depending upon your local frequency allocations, these could be at 2.4 GHz for Zigbee and 800 or 900 MHz for Z-wave.

Things that might help include metal enclosures for the dongle, coax cabling with better isolation, common mode RF chokes (also called split-core toroids), and the least expensive of all, an increase in the distance between your SDR and your HA RF infrastructure.

I didn’t realize the SDR was radiating, I thought it was just designed to receive not transmit. I fortunately was able to to restore my Zigbee network by deleting the hub and rebuilding. For my Zwave, I had to reset the stick and start from scratch. I’ve gotten a few of my devices back up.

The part where I had to basically rebuild from scratch is what made me believe it wasn’t EMI, since eliminating the SDR didn’t restore anything and Zwave actually crashed. Based on my previous experience this week, every time I could get the Zwave restored but it would fail within a few hours even after the SDR was unplugged and powered off. 3 nights in row I would get Zwave back working and by morning when I woke it would be crashed again, so that’s when I purchased the Zooz Zwave stick and smooth sailing again until I tried the SDR. Hoping I tomorrow my Zwave still working then, I’ll probably wait a few days see everything functioning still.

My intent if all continues function is to buy USB extension cable and plug the SDR into that and plug that into my second HA Green USB port rather than the USB powered Hub that my Zwave and Zigbee dongle are on. If it then happens again, I’ll probably just give up on trying pick up 433 devices

There is at least one post where RTL433 is being run on a separate host in a weather resistant box outside.