"Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus" by ITead is based on Texas Instruments CC2652P can be pre-ordered for $10.99

FYI, ITead has about a week ago announced on Facebook that their CC2652P based “Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus” will be released soon and it sounds like a premium product at a low-cost price.

https://itead.cc/product/sonoff-zigbee-3-0-usb-dongle-plus/

https://sonoff.tech/product/diy-smart-switch/sonoff-dongle-plus/

Update! Initial batch(es) have already sold out, however, pre-ordering is available at Itead official store.

Note! It’s strongly recommended to use with long USB extension cable to avoid EMF interference!

https://sonoff.tech/product-review/zigbee-3-0-usb-dongle-plus/

https://sonoff.tech/new-product-coming-soon/?fbclid=IwAR2nyXNbxQ2K0-yIx7ccPtG6OAY_6hJkVG6xHwdnRfU23AYvfXFREDagCjQ

Most experienced Zigbee users in the community know that Texas Instruments CC2652P is together with the competing Silicon Labs EFRMG21 chips at this time the most capable and most powerful multi-protocol MCU with 2.4 GHz radios on the market. CC2652P radio chip is currently also the most popular as a Zigbee Coordinator and Zigbee Router in the DIY Zigbee userbase community because it is newer so the firmware is well maintained and is stable/mature in both Zigbee2MQTT and the built-in ZHA integration for Home Assistant. Just like Silabs EFRMG21, TI’s CC2652P feature an integrated Power Amplifier that is technically capable of +20 dBM amplification (though legally the firmware is probably not allowed to be configured to use more than +10 dBM amplification).

According to their marketing material, it will come pre-flashed with Texas Instruments Z-Stack 3.x.0 coordinator firmware and it should work out-of-the-box with either Home Assistant’s ZHA integration (which depends on zigpy so will probably work with Jeedom Zigbee plugin too) and Zigbee2MQTT (a.k.a. Z2M, which depends on zigbee-herdsman so will probably work with IoBroker Zigbee as well).

In addition, ITead specifically mentions that this TI dongle can alternatively function as a Zigbee router (presumably by flashing Zigbee router firmware instead and open access buttons as pressing a button to enable pairing/joining mode is usually required).

It is based on Texas Instruments CC2652P (CC2652 with integrated +20 dBm amplifier) Zigbee radio and features a metal casing + an SMA connector with an external antenna. It looks a little on the large side for USB 2.0 Type-A so could connect it directly if have no other USB devices but with this using 2.4 GHz frequency band like most other Zigbee adapters it is still recommended to always use a USB extension cable in order to get it away from the computer or any other electronic appliances (and their cables/wires) so it gets less radio frequency interference (RFI) and will thus achieve better signal reception.

https://www.facebook.com/SONOFF.official/posts/2867330886911891

https://www.facebook.com/iteadstudio/posts/4960944183932977

It is based on Texas Instruments CC2652P (CC2652 with integrated +20 dBm amplifier) Zigbee radio and features a metal casing + an SMA connector with an external antenna. It looks a little on the large side for USB 2.0 Type-A but still recommend using a USB extension cable.

Interestingly it uses a Silabs CP2102N UART-to-USB chip so wonder if it will have unique ITead VID and/or PID strings specific for this adapter so can be added to autoomatic USB discovery in Home Assistant?

PS: I understand ITead went with CC2652P instead of Silicon Labs EFR32MG21 for this “Plus” dongle version because of the current silicon chip shortage (which Silabs parts suffered for more than most).

Hopefully, we will also see ITead release a new fixed revision of their cheaper Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle with proper RF shielding and either corrected PCB antenna design or better yet a ceramic chip antenna.

https://community.home-assistant.io/t/itead-zigbee-3-0-usb-dongle-stick-only-cost-7-and-is-based-on-silicon-labs-efr32mg21/271144

As we know, ITead’s previous ‘non-Plus Zigbee 3.0 USB dongle’ is/was based on Silabs EFR32MG21 SoC which has just as powerful MCU and radio, but sadly was proven that implementation in ITead’s first Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle PCB board revision had a badly designed integrated PCB antenna with poor tuning and no electromagnetic shielding which caused huge issues in radio reception, and to this date, it has been listed as “out-of-stock” since after the initial batch was sold out. Again, very sad since that could also have been a great Zigbee Coordinator adapter if it had been properly engineered. Hopefully, they will decide to take another stab and redesign that as a new product after the chip shortages as it would be great if they could also offer a Silabs EFR32 based alternative for extended compatibility.

2 Likes

Wondering if this CC2652P serial port will have pins connected for RTS / CTS Hardware Flow Control?

Replying here to a related question in this other thread with topic “Best most powerful zigbee stick?

https://community.home-assistant.io/t/best-most-powerful-zigbee-stick/262095/

Yeah, black anodised aluminium heat sinks enclosures just look cool when sold in retail stores, haha :wink:

Seriously, if the right parts on PCB board itself has proper RF shielding (which I understand it does now) then that visable metal case is purly aesthetic choice making it easier to sell in brick and mortal stores.

However guess is a metal case probably adds unnessesary cost which is passed along to customers.

1 Like

They now posted some documentation which states that this hardware dongle does support “Hardware Flow Control” but default firmware that it is flashed does not (so default uses “Software Flow Contol”):

https://sonoff.tech/product-review/zigbee-3-0-usb-dongle-plus/

The dongle is pre-flashed with the official Zigbee 3.0 coordinator firmware, which does not support software flow control. The dongle supports hardware flow control, if you want to enable it, please set the dip switch to on, and generate the firmware that supports hardware flow control before running, see the following document for details on how to generate the corresponding firmware.

https://sonoff.tech/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/Zigbee-3.0-USB-dongle-plus-firmware-flashing-.docx

Enable hardware flow control and generate firmware (optional) If you need to enable the hardware flow control of the CC2652P USB Dongle, you need to use CCS to import the ZNP project to configure and compile the firmware that supports the hardware flow control.

These are available to purchase now.

Thanks. Ordered. I already have a tubezb ethernet coordinator, but I think they are great routers too.

Initial batch already sold out, however pre-orders for next batch is now available at Itead’s official store.

This would be a great device to use as a repeater! Is there a firmware load available that can have it act as a repeater and not a coordinator, so I can plug it into a USB power adapter and have it extend my zigbee network?

You can use the zigbee2mqtt repeater firmware.

Does that require the stick to be plugged into a computer running zigbee2mqtt? I would love the stick to be standalone, and just plugged into a power brick.

To flash : yes. Once flashed with the router software you can plug it in a phone charger or something similar

Excellent! Thank you…

This Dongle is now sold out, you can only pre order now

I suppose it might be too much to ask whether this has any regulatory certification, like FCC? :thinking: (I realize they are based outside the US, so either this or something similar in another country, or they have indeed sought this for products sold abroad—I just don’t see any filing for this one.)

Do you see filings for any of the other zigbee coordinators?

Yes, this is the norm for commercial offerings in the United States. (I would not expect this for a DIY solution like a TubeZB device, but this is not one of those. And anything that uses an internal antenna or product alrededy certified from another manufacturer may be covered by that–part of some Hoke Assistant Amber questions if you’ve followed thst–but this one is external and I’m not aware of any TI product sold like that.) Most coordinators are some sort of full hub/bridge/gateway rather than a “stick,” and I’m not aware such ones of any that aren’t filed. The only other offering I can think of in stick form is the Nortek/Linear, which is filed as expected: https://fccid.io/EF400131/Test-Report/Test-Report-15-249-2722755

FYI, Koenkk from Zigbee2MQTT got info from ITead/Sonoff that this dongle comes pre-flashed with older “CC1352P2_CC2652P_launchpad_coordinator_20210120” firmware from https://github.com/Koenkk/Z-Stack-firmware/tree/master/coordinator/Z-Stack_3.x.0/bin but specifications around 50 direct children, 100/200 routes, and a maximum of 200 Zigbee 3.0 devices that is listed here should still apply → https://github.com/Koenkk/Z-Stack-firmware/blob/d019739f4a8b7bd1dfb873a3493ac876fee43974/coordinator/README.md

While it should still work with Zigbee2MQTT and ZHA regardless if firmware is a little old or not, it is probably a good idea to to upgrade to latest firmware before starting a Zigbee network or migrating.

I know that ITead have certified quite a few Sonoff branded devices with FCC and CE before, but I believe that it will depend in how many they expect to sell of each specific product in that country/region.

See exampels of many other FCC cerified Sonoff branded devices here → https://fccid.io/2APN5

So maybe not too much to ask for this product, however do not expect FCC and CE certification will be a priority and instead expect that to follow later only if and when a product is proven popular or not.

Texas Instruments LPSTK-CC1352R Evaluation Board and Texas Instruments LAUNCHXL-CC1352P Development Board are based on a similar chips (CC1352R and CC1352P) are official reference hardware which both have an extenal antenna and I believe have already been tested for FCC and CE compliance by Texas Instruments.

https://www.ti.com/tool/LPSTK-CC1352R

Offers FCC, CE, and IC certified radio for multi band operation at 2.4GHz and Sub-1 GHz empowering the developer with simultaneous operation across multiple wireless stacks (Bluetooth® Low Energy, Bluetooth mesh, Sub-1 GHz, Thread, Zigbee®, and 802.15.4)

https://www.ti.com/tool/LAUNCHXL-CC1352P

But, it will also depend on firmware configuration when FCC test as it is usually technically possible to set an amplification in firmware that is higher then what it legally allowed in a country. So a firmware with very high amplification configuration that is legal in one country might not be legal to use in another country. However if ITead/Sonoff is set a lower than maximum then it should comply for certifications.

1 Like

I wonder what will be better and why - this dongle or Conbee II. What do you think? I don’t have Conbee II but it’s considered as very good from what I read. CC2652P apparently is good chip too.

Right now, the CC2652 is the king!

1 Like