SONOFF ZBMINI-L Zigbee 3.0 Smart Switch by ITead works without neutral wire?

ITead SONOFF ZBMINI-L Zigbee 3.0 Smart Switch without neutral wire is small to fit junction-boxes?

https://itead.cc/product/sonoff-zbmini-l-zigbee-smart-switch-no-neutral-wire-required/

It is meant to be fitted into a junction-box/back-box behind your existing wall switch and used to convert/transform any dumb wall switch into a smart wall switch which will work over Zigbee 3.0

https://sonoff.tech/product/diy-smart-switch/zbmini-l/

  • Supported rocker light switch and push-button wall switch.
  • Connectivity – Zigbee 3.0 via TI CC2652P, up to 50 meter range (line of sight)
  • Single live wire
    • Input – 100-240V 50/60Hz up to 6A
    • Output – 100-240V 50/60Hz up to 6A
  • Maximum Load and Minimum Load
    • Resistive – 1380W Max @ 230V, 720W Max @ 120V
    • LED – 300W Max @ 230V, 150W Max @ 120V
    • Mimimum Load 3W (so in theory will not work without any load?)
    • Featuring “anti-flickering module”
  • Dimensions – 54 x 45 x 24mm (supports 35mm DIN Rail mounting)
  • Enclosure material – PC V0
  • Temperature Range – -10°C to +40°C
  • Certifications – FCC, CE, SRRC, TÜV safety certification, Zigbee Alliance Zigbee 3.0 certification

https://www.cnx-software.com/2022/01/25/sonoff-zbmini-l-zigbee-3-0-smart-switch-works-without-neutral-wire/

It is based on same CC2652P chip as its Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus so wondering uf could also work as s a Zigbee Router?

Update! It has now been confirmed that the firmware on this device is configured as “Zigbee End Device” (ZED) so not a “Zigbee Router” (ZR), meaning that it will not route/repeat messages to work as a Zigbee signal repeater or mesh range extender, and being a “Zigbee End Device” (ZED) will also have a sleepy configuration which may affect its response times, e.g. more similar to other battery operated devices than to an always-on mains-powered device.

Warning! Another big downside to be aware of before buying that I can guess from the specifications is that with its dimension measurements being quite large it might be some work fitting it, the back parts of the wall switch, and all cables into a standard 60mm round junction boxes / back boxes used in most of the European Union.

PS: The reason why I thought it would “work good as a Zigbee Router” was that it can be fitted any junction box/back box in the house, so it will be inside the wall and not in the open. Even it will be surrounded by powered live wires and it only has a simple onboard PBC circuit board antenna. On the other hand, it will always be better to buy dedicated Zigbee Routers devices will be permanently installed and always in. Like example Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus flashed with Zigbee Router firmware, as it can in any USB charger and work without any load, thought it might be harder to hide.

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Are you sure it will work as a router ? Most switches without neutral wire I know of don’t work as a router.

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Do we know its parasitic power draw?

The only “no neutral” devices I have are ZigBee thermostats and they each draw >10W at idle. Which I didn’t expect when purchasing.

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Noob question: Where does the device gets the power from, if there is no ‘Neutral in’ and only a ‘Line in’ ?

Valid question. I assumed it was from parasitic power draw.

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Anyway, I do prefer these switch modules to convert existing switch over replacement “smart switches”.

Personally, I do however prefer to use a smart switch module that has the option to use a neutral wire.

Using a neutral wire should at least in thery mean that it will work with all types of low-power LED bulbs.

No, I am not sure. I actually just assumed since it is an always-on device that constantly draws power.

Hope that firmware is configured as “Zigbee Router” and not “End Device” as makes sense as a router.

Yes it is no-neutral only so always leaks some power through. It doesn’t look to have neutral as option.

I wonder why they did not even include neutral as an option as I think it should be used if it is available.

Indeed. Wonder how much power this new device draw when it is stand-by and idle so there is no load?

At least some older no-neutral devices will draw a lot of power on their own even when just in stand-by.

They constantly leaking some current through the load. I know this is known to slightly light up some low-power LED lamps in the dark even when turned off and therefore many only recommend using neutral with incandescent bulbs.

https://www.smarthome.com/pages/what-to-do-if-you-dont-have-a-neutral-wire

https://www.onehoursmarthome.com/blog/smart-switch-no-neutral

https://theiotpad.com/tips/smart-switches-no-neutral-wire

https://robotpoweredhome.com/smart-switch-no-neutral/

https://linkdhome.com/articles/best-no-neutral-switch

https://thesmartcave.com/smart-switch-with-no-neutral/

https://training.ti.com/no-neutral-wire-application-smart-buildings-and-home-automation

https://training.ti.com/no-neutral-wire-application-smart-buildings-and-home-automation?context=1134585-1139235-1134604

https://www.ti.com/lit/pdf/snoa968

https://e2e.ti.com/support/amplifiers-group/amplifiers/f/amplifiers-forum/895468/lpv821-current-sensing-in-no-neutral-light-switches

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@Hedda - thanks for confirming the no-load power draw. Interesting links.

Got mine today…!

Here’s a teardown and pics of the internals:








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Could you measure how much energy does it draw while idle?
@sultanhq

@wizu from some rubbish DMM measurements:
At Idle, (off with blinking link light (pairing mode)) draws 11-22ma (2.5 - 5w @ 230v)

I am very interested to know if the firmware ITead ships today is configured as a “Zigbee Router” or not?

If not then it would be interesting to know if and how it can be re-flashed with PTVO firmware instead?

https://ptvo.info/zigbee-configurable-firmware-features/

https://ptvo.info/cc2652r1-cc2652rb-cc2652p-cc1352p2-configurable-router-firmware-748/

Also if upgrading firmware can be done via OTA or if need a cJTAG compatible debug probe to flash?

Texas Instruments XDS110 JTAG debug probe is a bit expensive but cheap clones of it should work. PTVO also mention that J-Link V8 (JTAG) and J-Link V9 debugging probes should be compatible. Ex:

https://aliexpress.com/item/4000751867419.html

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32855779922.html

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005002266152514.html

The official TMDSEMU110-U XDS110 JTAG Debug Probe from TI also looks to be out-of-stock now too.

https://www.ti.com/tool/TMDSEMU110-U

I know that if you messed up the firmware then only way to unbrick the hardware is to flash with cJTAG:

https://electrolama.com/radio-docs/advanced/flash-jtag/

After a few mins, (and no longer flashing the pair light) it’s now only drawing 5ma (1.15w @ 230v)

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I’ve not paired mine into my network yet, but won’t be doing that for a while I’m afraid. Sorry.

1.15Wh should be acceptable. Thanks.

Can you give a gauge of the size, look kind of big. Thx.

Measurements are listed in original post as copied from cnx-software which in turn is taken from ITead:

  • Dimensions – 54 x 45 x 24mm (supports 35mm DIN Rail mounting)

FYI, seen many reporting now that Sonoff ZBMINI-L does not have Zigbee Router config in its firmware.

But, new Sonoff S26R2ZB is also based on CC2652 so might maybe it works as a good Zigbee Router?

https://itead.cc/product/sonoff-s26r2zb-zigbee-smart-plug-uk-de-fr/

https://sonoff.tech/product/smart-plug/s26r2zb/

It looks like yes, it works as router 06:00:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUKbi7isSbQ

Nope, I am afraid not, Mat like me just made the assumption that it did, but Mat updated his article now:

https://notenoughtech.com/featured/sonoff-zbmini-l/

Lastly, the ZigBee IC inside is CC2652 which is also present inside the Sonoff ZigBee dongle, which suggests that Sonoff ZBMINI-L will make for a fantastic router in your mesh . (apparently, power requirements in standby mode may prevent Sonoff ZBMINI-L from acting as a router, according to this conversation) There are no dev pads present, but that’s ok. I see no reason to flash these since they work with everything else as is.

There are some more discussions about it in YouTube video comments as well as in his reddit thread:

https://www.reddit.com/r/homeautomation/comments/skbvns/finally_a_sonoff_zb_mini_that_works_without/

He did however not update that video so it still wrongly says that it does works as a Zigbee Router too.

Hi All,

today I’ve got my ZBMINIs, not the ‘-L’ version but the normal one. Interestingly the internal chip is a TI CC2652, and on the board it states ZBMINI V2.0 (manuf date: 2021.04.28). On the ITEad sites it states, that the ZBMINI can act as a router. Did anyone check this?

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