Trouble connecting Nortek GoControl Zigbee dongle

I’m fairly new to HA, but I’ve been running Smartthings with a few different sylvania smart+ products for a few years. I’m slowly starting to move everything over to HA and I cannot get HA to recognize any of my zigbee devices. I got this dongle because there were a few guides that promoted it and it seemed reasonably cheap. I did not do extensive research on zigbee dongles as I figured zigbee is universal. I am running a pi 4b 8gb with the HA operating system.

HubZ and ZwaveJS were automatically added to HA when I plugged the dongle in but when I try add devices nothing appears. I’ve tried unpairing a few devices from Smartthings and factory resetting them but still nothing. I even went as far as moving one light directly next to the dongle and still nothing appears. I also temporarily unplugged my smartthings hub to see if it was interfering and that did not seem to do anything.

At this point I’m thinking I am missing a step somewhere or perhaps I need to do something else in smartthings to delete devices but the ST interface for zigbee devices doesn’t have alot of configuration options.

Any feedback would be appreciated, I’ve read a few different posts about Sylvania Smart+ devices and I’ve been unable to find similar issues.

Thanks for reading

This will ultimately bite you unfortunately that’s not a really good stick. And there’s a lot of nuance you have to pay attention to. Many vendors have ‘extended’ the spec to support thier own devices *cough Tuya *cough and it’s not as universal as you would like… It can be worked around just start investigating any device you want to add before you buy.

That said, How is it plugged in to your HA box?

What Zigbee integration are you using (ZHA, Zigbee2MQTT, something else?

What wifi 2.5 Ghz channels are you using around your home.

Do you have a USB3 device plugged into your HA box (like a SSD)?

Preferably best if read this first and remember to follow all of those recommendations in that Zigbee best practice guide to be able to avoid future headaches when you setup your Zigbee equipment → Zigbee networks: how to guide for avoiding interference and optimize for getting better range + coverage

You should probably do some more research regardless as FYI, Zigbee is not universal, not at all, but there are a few Zigbee implementations that do their best to make Zigbee as interoperable as possible.

At the very least read at least these:

That specific Nortek GoControl HUSBZB-1 Combo Stick is somewhat unique and perhaps a little confusing that it is really two dongles in one as it features one radio chip for Zigbee and a separate radio chip for Z-Wave, and as such you need to use different solutions/implementations for Zigbee and for Z-Wave as they have nothing in common with each other, (as you can obviously not add Zigbee devices to a Z-Wave solution/implementation like the Z-Wave JS integration is).

So, first need to install a Zigbee solution/implementation that supports the Silicon Labs EZSP protocol (which is for the Zigbee stack/firmware used on Silabs EM3581 chip inside the Nortek GoControl HUSBZB-1 dongle).

Your opinions there is Home Assistant’s own built-in ZHA (Zigbee Home Automation) integration or the third-party Zigbee2MQTT (a.k.a. Z2M) which is available as an external stand-alone or as an add-on and no matter what connects via MQTT. Those two have different pros and cons, but the biggest right now might be that the Silicon Labs EZSP protocol currently only has experimental and limited support in Zigbee2MQTT while support for the Silicon Labs EZSP protocol in ZHA is very mature/stable.

Also know that while it is not possible to migrate seamlessly between the ZHA integration and Zigbee2MQTT, if you deice on using the ZHA integration it is at least possible to get started with that Nortek GoControl HUSBZB-1 dongle and then at a later date seamlessly migrate to an other Zigbee Coordinator adapter/dongle of practically any brand and chip.

Yes, Zigbee devices can not be connected to two different Zigbee Coordinator adapters so you need to start from scratch so you should really both remove your Zigbee devices from your SmartThings Hub as well as then perform a manual factory reset on each and every Zigbee device before pairing/joining it a other Zigbee solution/implementation.

You need to look at at the manufacturer user-guide for each device to find out how to factory reset it (the process may also be called something else like restoring to default or something similar).

What NathanCu wrote it is correct as the chip inside it is old and obsolete, however if you want to do the best with that dongle then upgrade Zigbee EmberZNet NCP firmware on it + follow best practice tips:

Nortek GoControl HUSBZB-1 / EM3581 Firmware update image →

Regardless of adapter hardware follow these tips and best practices →

Including the mentioned need to try to select the best Zigbee channel for you when forming the Zigbee network →

Best practices to avoid pairing/connection difficulties →

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That said, How is it plugged in to your HA box?

I have a raspbi rack with a few different pi’s doing different things. The one next to the Zigbee Controller has an SSD attached. I isolated the pi running HA from the rest and it worked.

Thank you

Read and follow → Zigbee networks: how to guide for avoiding interference and optimize for getting better range + coverage