Understanding my ZHA Visualization

I recently added a few repeaters to my system in the form of Sonoff S31 Lite smart plugs, and also changed the ZigBee channel of my Conbee II to isolate it a bit more from my wifi. I also used this downtime to update the firmware on the Conbee II. Re-added all devices, and have given the network about 24hrs to work itself out.

The environment is admittedly a difficult one, as I live in a densely populated area, where there are a great deal of wireless networks:

Our apartment is only about 1000sqft, so the area these devices are communicating within isn’t particularly large at all.

I’m still dealing with some oddities, like Centralite motion sensors not connecting to the mesh at all, which are within ~3m of the Conbee, as well as about 1m from a repeater. The visualization shows the cluster of smart plugs all connecting to eachother, while a bunch of devices remain disconnected from everything.

For those who have gone through this: do I wait longer, to see if the network sorts itself out? Is it possible the repeaters are causing a problem, rather than creating a stronger mesh, as I’d hoped? Any other suggestions?

Appreciate y’all.

What channel did you use when you rebuilt your network?

I used ZigBee channel 25. I’d previously attempted building the network on 15, and also 26 (before I realized that some devices may not function on that channel).

Yeah, those higher channels are going to be the best you can do given that Wi-Fi spread. That said don’t worry about any you see with a strength under say -70 there. they likely won’t hurt you.

Also don’t worry about the map. Your indicator should be ‘does it work’ Yeah, I know you probably went looking a the map because of the centralites - but it sounds like you’re already doing what you can about signal and if everything else joined and setup successfully it’s likely not your issue.

(The devices on their own It could be just a bunch of edge devices, battery powered sensors or the like.) Your indication is ‘is it working’ I’d focus on seeing of those centralities need something specific or killing any other issues that come up. What’s the model # on the centralites?

Thank you, I appreciate your thoughts on this!

The motion sensors’ make/model is Centralite 3428-G.

As a quick test, I removed the smart-outlet that was particularly close to the problem sensor, then re-added the sensor I was having issues with. Almost immediately it began working correctly, and the map looks “better”.

I am noticing with the previous map, and the current one, that very few devices (if any) are connecting through the Sonoff outlets. Not going to dig deeper on this unless further issues arise.

I agree with you, working is certainly what’s most important.

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Still having issues - roughly 36hrs later, lights that were added seamlessly to zha now unresponsive, and the map still displays them without connections. Add to this that the Sonoff outlets are still, primarily, just connecting to eachother it seems.

Planning to disconnect said outlets tomorrow, and re-connect the bulbs that aren’t functioning. See if the Conbee can play nice as the only router.

As you seem to be aware, many Zigbee devices are not compatible with all Zigbee channels, but also know that some Zigbee router devices do not always support routing on all Zigbee channels either, that is one of the general recommendation is to not change Zigbee channel and instead only change WiFi:

https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/zha#defining-zigbee-channel-to-use

Note that the recommendation is, however, not to change the Zigbee channel from default as not all Zigbee devices support all channels. If you have issues with overlapping frequencies, then it will generally be a better idea to change Wi-Fi channels on your Wi-Fi-router or Wi-Fi Access Points.

Also recommend the follow general tips in https://github.com/home-assistant/home-assistant.io/pull/18864 and https://www.home-assistant.io/integrations/zha#best-practices-to-avoid-pairingconnection-difficulties to avoid other sources of interference.

This is interesting, and may require me to switch channels again. I would ask, some bulbs do work, and some motion sensors do work - I’m assuming that wouldn’t be the case if they weren’t compatible with the ZigBee channel being used? If my assumption is incorrect, I can go back to ZigBee 15, and wifi 11, which is where I started.

An aside, unrelated to your suggestion - it’s difficult when the ZigBee network breaks, as there are so many moving pieces. I haven’t even gotten to the point of downgrading to an older version of HA, which seems to be the solution for many. I do still have my old Hue and Smartthings hubs, and may honestly resort to those if my attempts at fixing the network this week don’t work.

Either they work or they don’t. If they work on a channel then they support it. But maybe not like routers.

I recommend using 3+ “IKEA Tradfri Signal Repeater” as routers in your Zigbee network “backbone” as they are cheap + got better than average reception and are compatible with most Zigbee device brands.

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These have been very reliable for me, with my ZHA integration.

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I removed the Sonoff plugs from ZHA and powered them down. I then re-added the lights and motion sensors that were giving me problems. The result is a very nice looking, and nicely acting, network.

I’m going to re-add the handful of Hue bulbs I have, and then once it’s looking good, attempt to add the Sonoff plugs. If they damage the network again, I’ll purchase some Ikea plugs and see how they fare.

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Just following up with this… I re-added my Hue bulbs, but they did seem to add some instability to the network. It wasn’t often, but occasionally lights wouldn’t fire when expected - and a map that was all green suddenly had red lines.

I’ve switched out the Hue bulbs with more from Sengled, and now things seem to function well, and the metwork map is clean. There are one or two nodes on the map disconnected, but those aren’t devices I use… I just haven’t disabled them yet.

I do still need some outlets, so I’m either going to try some from Ikea, or perhaps just use older wifi models that I have laying around.

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Yeah the IKEA repeaters are cheap. IMO, can’t go wrong with them.

Something else I have in my ZigBee setup are one of these. Getting 2 more USBs to add shortly as I plan on adding a lot more devices soon. Plus they play nice with all my devices.

Red on the map. The IKEA repeaters green.

So, what I think will be my final post of this thread… I believe I was running into two limitations at the same time, and that confused me in terms of solutions.

I was right up against the maximum number of end devices for my setup (zha, conbee2). I think this may have caused some of my confusion when re-pairing devices. This seems to be roughly 24 devices? Not sure if there’s an official number.

For whatever reason, the Sonoff S31 Lite just doesn’t work for my setup. It may be the zigbee channel I used, or the specific Conbee2 firmware, HA version, etc. I’m not sure. But, as soon as I added some Innr Smart Plugs, everything just worked.