Zigbee flaky, weird utilization


SSDs on USB3.1 are NIGHTMARES for coordinator sticks in general and Zigbee / Thread in particular. Guess what frequency USB3 runs on (about 3 Ghz)

Put it on a 2.0 port and/or get a 2.0 powered USB hub (use your existing extension)

There’s a SkyConnect vid out on YouTube that shows how heinous this can be - it’s like a light switch - poof no zigbee.

Do that and see if it comes back.

I have read that many times but I was getting by so I figured it wasn’t hard and fast.
The USB 2.0 port is on the front. Goodbye aesthetics.

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Nooo its very hard and very fast. It’s the first thing I check after channels.


You can put the HUB on one of the USB3 ports if your USB2 powered hub is far enough away. It filters out the noise :wink:

How any devices have you got, and how many are routers? I don’t think Sengled bulbs are, so you would need a few other things nearby to give a good spread of possible connections. Again, I think green lines and LQIs are snapshots - they change all the time.

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Sengleds ARE NOT routing devices. I use them SPECIFICALLY because they are not. I have at least one GE / Jasco Zigbee outlet (usually two) in each room and that forms the backbone of my mesh. On top of that a few sockets but mostly battery powered sensors beyond that. (I’m mostly Zwave - 84 devices on that mesh)

and I ignore the map in ZHA it’s notorious for being wrong. You dont even have basic connectivity lets get that first.

Agreed, sengleds don’t route that’s why they are close to the conbee.

How much distance does the 2.0 hub need? The 2.0 port is 4 unshielded inches away from the 3.0

I had similar issues back when I was on a rp3 but I will certainly try the 2.0 port tonight.

Thanks guys

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Just a few inches. You saw how drastic it was just moving the stick to the drive… I think that was about 6" maybe 10cm? It’s not much. Fortunately those hi frequencies fall off fast.

One last thing Does the z-wave (also on 3.0) cable radiate anything significant? I have it run next to the zigbee cable for a few feet.

Feature request: Some diagnostics we can hang our hats on :slight_smile:

Or fewer. :grin: Zigbee is such a black box that diagnostic tools sometimes make things more confusing.

No. I have my ZWave Coordinator plugged into the same usb hub right next to my zigbee coordinator. I put a Bluetooth stick on the side port to give a few inches of separation but I’m not using it anymore since I started moving to esp32 Bluetooth proxies so it’s probably going to get yoinked.

LQI was supposed to take noise into account. They tried.

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Famous last words…

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If you worked yourself of @Hedda’s tips & tricks from top to bottom already you might be out of luck and your neighbors WiFi are winning the (airtime) “battle” against your ZigBee.

For me, my neighbors (wifi) won and I replaced all my ZigBee gear with esphome WiFi ones. Since then everything works a treat and in case it would start to get flawky in the future I have powerful debugging options (unlilke it was the case with ZigBee for me…)

Made the swap, but no difference so far. Do I need to wait for an adjustment to the newfound spectrum clarity?

(hoping I’m not the aforementioned weak force)

what did you swap in this iteration?

Back to your original post, what defines ‘flaky’?

I would make sure you are not ‘barking up the wrong tree’ with the RF interference chase.

IMHO, two things I have found around RF interference and zigbee:

  1. I disagree with folks that say zigbee systems are not robust when it comes to RF interference. Yes, these are low power devices, so you have to understand how to architect a system with a mesh of various kinds of these devices (coordinator, router, end device, mains powered, battery powered, wake up design…) WiFi and Bluetooth are difference systems with difference constraints, trying to lump all together is not correct.

  2. The video demo of RF interference from USB 3 and other devices on a computer and zigbee devices shows that if you put the zigbee device and these ‘noisy’ components in very close proximity, the zigbee signal does not get transmitted or received PERIOD. That is not ‘flaky’, that is just BLOCKED. These are digital packets with CRC checking on each, not some ‘throw it over the fence’ system that has no checking.

Swapped from USB 3.1 to USB 2.0
I have 40 Zigbee, 12 Z-wave and @60 wi-fi devices

To my point on the USB 3.x interference, zigbee coordinator is most likely going to work or not right next to a setup as shown in the video. Is there a setup where you would be getting some packets to and from coordinator and some not with this type RF interference, maybe. However I am skeptical. And as you have done, it just a matter of 5 dollar USB 2 hub and 2 dollar 1 meter USB 2 cable to confirm.

I have a similar number of zigbee and wifi devices, ditched zwave a number of years ago, however that is a sub gigahertz system as I remember, and should be totally out of the equation (other than a noisy zwave dongle that might intro the type of issue shown in the above video.)

Again, what is the def of ‘flaky’ and a run down of specifics of the zigbee devices? When folks have issues with zigbee, IMHO first places to look are:

  1. check coordinator firmware and vendor.
  2. check zigbee router vendors and layout of physical router locations.
  3. understand zigbee end devices peculiarities
  4. move away from zha to zigbee2mqtt out side of your Home Assistant software, run zigbee2mqtt in a real docker container NOT inside Home Assistants virtual world.

I moved a couple of routing devices (maybe not really a factor) and changed the conbee to channel 25 and all is well except for a few sluggish lights directly above where I sit most of the time. I was avoiding the channel change because I read it would require manually re-pairing all the devices and that is a pain for me for a couple of reasons. Laziness should not be a factor in troubleshooting and it turned out to be totally automatic anyway.

Maybe all I need now is a tinfoil hat to protect those lights.

Thanks again to all.

EDIT: I couldn’t get those last fan lights to behave, so I decided to swap them around to see if one was the culprit. That not only fixed them, but the other lights were even more responsive. Also, the LQI for all lights but one is 255 while the visualization has a much red as green.

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