we currently have 27 devices connected to our Sonoff zbdongle (E).
our zbdongle is connected to a windows-server (virtualbox, “inside” a Intel-N100 mini-pc with 16GB RAM - so, lots of processing & space headroom).
our server is RJ45-wired.
and our zbdongle is placed appr. 1 meter away from the PC, to minimize signal-interference.
and it is all placed high and centrally (to minimize signal-losses).
I cannot see, that there is anything, that could lead to “devices getting unavailable”:
which although nearly ideal conditions DO happen - actually we have only had it all up running fror appr. 1 week now! … and 2 times, I have had to reinitialize / power-down (remove batteries, ro get home-assistant to work together with some of the devices again (not the same devices, and batteries was fine, and their distance to the dongle was less than 10 metres).
Batteries: Are new and branded, and does NOT lack juice (I have tested this, on a separate unit!).
(I changed ALL batteries here in sept’2023, in all our Sonoff’s, with good ones from Varta & Energizer - because a test-sample bought in 4 months ago, already had the included “noname” battery nearly flat).
My own hope & solution - since nearly all units are Sonoff (their simple sensors & contacts):
is to get a Sonoff zigbee-bridge, and split the devices in 2 …
in order to have each brigde only having to handle 13-14 devices (with good headroom up to the official /appr. 32-device limit)!
and also having the 2 bridges /coordinators a bit away from each other (appr. 2 rooms apart).
But, will adding no. 2 bridge help?, or am I dealing with another problem-cause here?
27 devices being close to “Sonoff’s 32-device limit” is the only reason, I can think of - but I am rather inexperienced, and our “home-assistant smart-home solution” is only a few weeks old!
(PS: We have a Philips Hue also, and its deevices “just works” very stable! the Hue-bulbs has been rock-steady, ever since we installed them 3 years ago … which is IN DEEP CONTRAST TO the home-assistant run devices, connected through our “Sonoff zigbee zbdongle E”!
(even using our overly-strong PC-Server!!!)
(no these channel id’s don’t map to each other - different tech) but wifi can ABSOLUTELY interfere with zigbee.
I agree 10 feet is pretty short so you have either a signal interference issue or something going on.
The 32 endpoint limit is only ‘direct connected’ devices but zigbee is a mesh network. Powered nodes (not battery nodes) usually repeat for the network. The more you add the stronger it gets. So yeah you might be near that but if any of your nodes are repeaters… This is important because.
There can only be one coordinator per zigbee network. Your hue is also zigbee yes but it’s got it’s own network going on. If you wanted to add another coordinator you’d have yet another network. Nobody gets critical mass for the repeaters. And this would have nothing to do wit how ‘powerful’ your server is.
As to how ‘stable’ the Sonoff endpoints are I will leave that to someone with more experience with thier devices. But I see mixed comments about the devices themselves.
Get your channels as mentioned above to rule out rf interference and what does your log say?
Then it’s not a wifi channel interference issue either. (you’re correct I usually reccommend ‘all 11’ for that very reason and it’s easy for folks to remember) sounds like you’re in a good spot as far as the physical setup.
Id say at this point you’re probably looking at something unique with how those specific devices are communicating or specific settings. It’ll take logs. Unfortunately I don’t have any Sonoff to tell you about the specifics of those devices.
We live in a 1-level house, in the countryside - away from farms (i.e. we have no strong EMI/EMC-signals around us) - so we have little to no interference from neighbourgs etc…
So - my suspicion is:
either the Sonoff’s are purely unstable (the battery-compartment of the “window/door-detectors” are also not designed well! - which can lead to power-connection ripples/challanges, a mechanical issue, which I have “corrected”, in order to “force” a stable battery/power-connection) !!!
or the zigbee-dongle has got problems, and therefore renders random devices unavailable.
Or - we have a problem within our home-assistant… causing it to render devices unavailable.
(PS: I have tried reconfiguring the “unavailable” devices - to no avail!)
I am in doubt, if I am “just” struggling, because of an erratic firmware-version?
or, that our zigbee2mqtt xx will not start - well I don’t understand this, so I might be telling garbage, but (see picture)
I am not sure about how to interpret your map/example, exect that it looks cool! and with a lot of devices bought & connected…
but, a realistic solution for me, is to get a stand-alone bridge (from sonoff) … and, then just split the devices (removing some from the dongle, and adding these to the stand-alone bridge) - getting appr. 14 endpoint-devices connected directly to each.
We don’t have so much mony, to spend (due to homeschooling, and only 1 income) - so I cannot just go out and buy big.
(and the sonoff zigbee bridge is cheap… just as their end-devices are cheap)
thanks - I also “thought” so, but I wasn’t sure (actually I thought, tha the zongle by default just did “zigbee2mqtt” and that the error was due to an extra service, not wanting to “cooperate”.
but - I am a bit reluctant to switch the hue-bulbs from the super-stable hue-solution, and over to the erratic /work-in-progress dongle-solution…
But - in order to seek out the cause of the problem, I will probably have to do so …
the long-term solution to me, seems to be, to buy a stand-alone Sonoff zigbee bridge, and then split the sonoff end-devices between the usb-dongle & stand.alone-bridge… and have the hue’s work stable (with their stable hue-bridge)!
(because I don’t want the hue’s to become unstable, unavailable, etc - we need them every-day …)
Which just complicates the solution without any verification that your coordinator stick is at fault. I’m with Francis. Move a hue bulb or get some repeaters. If that doesn’t help take a good hard look at the sensors you chose.
That coordinator dongle is quite popular and many people use it with no issue.
And, a repeater is the thing, at least on paper …
I just thought, that why not separate things - and make sure the small dongle doesn’t have to do too many serial communication tasks … well then I could 100% separate the communication tasks…
thinking in the same way, as with for instance wifi-access.points - where I have 2 LAN-wired Mesh AP’s, with each one ONLY dealing with some units …
That works 100% …
Going “through” the dongle, after being repeated, just doesn’t seem to offload anything - to me, as a HW-technician, a repeater only re-outputs the signal, and probably in doing so, creates “an ecco” (leading to new signal interference problems)