I have a couple of questions. My setup is a Sonoff Zigbee Dongle-P coordinator and I have various aqara sensors throughout my house. I followed @Hedda advice and bought a Sonoff Zigbee Dongle-E and got it flashed with the router firmware. Started working immediately and seemed to have great range. I did have problems with some of my sensors that were relying on the router for connection, IIRC they would go offline and then i discovered my dongle wasn’t working. I tried a couple of things and ended up using a different power brick as opposed to the usb hub with a usb extension cable. For whatever reason it started working again. Until a power cut recently which seemed to kill the Zigbee dongle - there was quite a big power surge for about 3 seconds before the power went out. I have a feeling a power cut may have also been responsible for the problems i had in the first instance.
I looked online extensively for a place I could get the Tradfri repeater from but no where ships to my country (NZ).
I ended up buying 2 of these instead as I seen some people review them saying they act as repeaters and work with HA. They do indeed appear in ZHA as a router, but they are not great. I got 2 in case they didn’t give enough range hoping I could daisy chain them. Up until right now I had the question can a router talk to another router then back to the coordinator and I’ve just checked the network map and can see that is how they are connected although the second (further) router also has a link to the coordinator which I find strange as I thought it was out of range. The closest router is around 13m from coordinator and farthest one is 16m, and around 6m between each, all going through walls. I’m finding the sensors in the far corner of the house another 10m or so away are dropping off every now and again which is frustrating. In comparison the Zigbee Dongle-E which was around 23m from the coordinator and between the 2 of them seemed to provide stable connection for all devices.
I’m at the point where I’m sick of spending money on cheap dongles and plugs from china and just want a reliable solution even if it means I have to spend a bit more. I just looked at the Aeotec repeater and seems Amazon.com reviews are good but not so good on Amazon.de, might have to do more research here.
I am curious about whether I could run an RP SMA extension cable into the ceiling and then use a tee joiner to add in another antenna every 10-15m or so instead of all these routers/repeaters that need mains power. This way everything talks to 1 device - the coordinator. Can anyone see any problems with this? My only other option is to move my HA set up to a more central location which should work better but then creates a problem moving my RF bridge too far from a sensor outside so then I have to try and extend the range on that somehow.