Everything Xbee


I assume that if you join it with "end device" rather than "router" settings (not sure if that's documented here on the ST forum threads on the same topic), it should do that. I haven't tried it, so I can't say for sure, but you should still be able to use it with XCTU to map your network.

I definitely don't mind having them as repeaters, however. They're pretty cheap (the Grove dev board I used during its setup wasn't, but I'm hoping this $6 USB board works for regular use after that) and even the PCB antennas non the non-Pro models seem to work quite well, plus they're one of few routing devices that play well with Xiaomi. All wins in my book (and aside from possibly Xiaomi--I'm not convinced they change routes easily if at all--even if you add the XBee as a router, most ZigBee devices should find another path back to the hub if they are otherwise in range of it or another repeater, so having it offline shouldn't cause problems).


Xbees tend to end up the main router for Zigbee meshes, correct? I'm reading a 2-mile radius. I'm also reading that normal Zigbee devices max out at 60 feet, so I'm not sure if it's a power limitation or a protocol limitation.


My XBee does seem to be a popular choice for ZigBee routing on my network, but I'm not sure if that's the case for everyone. My hub itself seems to be the last choice, with only Xiaomi devices I originally paired next to the hub still on it. I have an ST Outlet (I think a CentraLite 3-something?) that also routes and is the next less popular route. My "Environment Sensor" (created by a user in another thread) and XBee are about equally tied for the remaining routes, serving about 10 each. I'm about to add an IKEA Trådfri outlet and another XBee, so we'll see how that changes. :slight_smile:

I'm guessing XBees are indeed popular routes on most networks due to the fact that they're pretty much just an exposed circuit board (that you can cover up if you want to) but is otherwise a low-voltage device intended explicitly for communication and includes a well-designed antenna or the ability to connect your own (PCB works great for me, though). The Pro versions use higher power and should have greater range (may be illegal in some places), but both of mine are the "regular" versions and they work so well I don't think I'd get anything else. The 2-mile radius sounds maybe like a Pro thing if you have line of sight (and on a ZHA network you're likely to be dealing with battery powered devices that themselves won't be able to send that far regardless). An old Digi document lists the indoor range for one of the non-Pro S2C modules as about 100 ft indoors or 300 ft outdoors, which seems on par with the theoretical ZigBee device range.


Thank you. I just placed an order from Arrow since Digikey is out of stock again. They offer free next day shipping too.


You're fortunate to have the options. I had DigiKey and Mouser. No other options in Canada, and expensive vs US pricing for the USB adapter, which cost me more than the Xbee.


What would be the reason you wouldn't want to repeat the signal?


Any signal strength improved after you add Xbee? Besides HE zigbee log, any tool can be used to check real time signal strength? XCTU has this feature?


I just added my XBee last night, so I won't be able to comment on improvements, but many others here have said yes, there was an improvement in stability. I've had Trådfri outlets in place for a week or so, and they're handling the majority of the routing.

Since you'd be repeating with the XBee, you'd have to look at the signal quality from the repeater to the end device. XCTU can run a scan and you can see the updates. I'm not sure if there's a way to look at in a list, but I'm too green with XCTU to know at this point. You can see signal strength when you mouseover the line between the repeater and end device, or hub and the end device. Probably can watch it updating when you're looking at the network map in grid view. Other views move around too much for that. You have to pause scanning to look at their values.

For the most part, real-time seems to me like it would be unimportant. An occasional verification should suffice. That's probably were a list view would be ideal. I know you can click on the repeaters and they'll display a list of the devices they are routing, and the signal quality by color. There are lots of tools in there I have yet to discover.

Here's what it looks like when you mouse over. I've had mine less than 24 hours and I've already confirmed a bulb that I suspected had a faulty Zigbee radio since day one, indeed does have an issue. I've started the RMA process on it.


Thank you for showing the details. Seems I have to order Xbee to look after my Zigbee network. Even same as you , only could choose Digikey or Mouser, and both are out of stock now....


I ordered a Zigbee 3 XBee for future possibilities, and there was a manufacturing issue, plus a postal strike on my end, so mine took 5 months to get, but there are many Zigbee 2 versions available that will do the job too. References for them are throughout this thread.


My xiaomi leak sensors have been connected with no drops for about 12 days now since I added the xbee repeater. It was worth the experiment.


@SmartHomePrimer - You've inspired me to order an XBee module to map out my Zigbee mesh network. I ordered the parts from Mouser this afternoon and they are already showing as in their shipping department. I should have them in a few days via Fedex. Sorry it took yours so long to get to you! :wink:


Yeah, I think the wait for most is over. You've done so much for me, I'm glad I have something to offer you, even if just inspiration. :wink:


Haven't mapped my zigbee in a while. Have 56 xiaomi devices and 4 of the sylvania plugs routing flawlessly (no idea why one of the xiaomi devices is reporting as a router too). Also run a script that checks if any of the devices haven't checked in recently and notify's me, so I know if any of them drop off. Doesn't happen often but usually if it does I press the button a few times and its back on.

I had one device in my garage that kept dropping off but moved one of my routers closer and it has been stable since.

The Xbee is the router at the top left.


So what's the best stuff to get? There seems to be bits and bobs from the tread.


As @bertabcd1234 mentioned, you can set it as an end device and just use it to monitor. @SmartHomePrimer I have three Xbees. Two that only serve as repeaters, and one that is my mapping tool and toy. I don’t run an always on computer. I’m afraid that if my mapping Xbee is plugged in and not set as an end device, devices might jump ship to route through it, creating problems when I unplug it later.
I’m also holding on to the hope that some brilliant mind around here will be able to create a driver to turn an Xbee into an arrival sensor on steroids, that I can put in my vehicle. :wink:


Did you add the labels for the router and those end devices for illustration here, or do you know some way to add device labels in XCTU?

If not, that is a feature I would love. The software knows the network ID, so it just needs a way to reference against a user definable table of device names.


That was manually added since I only have a few. I agree that it would be a nice feature.


I ordered the parts from the first post. The XBee is XB3-24Z8ST-J and the USB board is 76000956.

I think these are the same parts that @SmartHomePrimer is using. I have antennas that I can use already. I chose the non pro version as I really only want it for displaying my Zigbee mesh.


Yep, except I ordered the one with J on the end. No clue what the J means. Couldn't find anything in their data sheets, other than it's not PRO, but Mouser and DigiKey both list a non-Pro version that has no J appended to the model number, but the identical specs. So I ordered the one that cost less :grin:


and I ordered this USB adapter that @NoWon said was the best one available.