How do we really test if a zigbee repeater is really working?

I've always tested if a repeater is actually extending my network by physically moving the sensors beyond hub range but within the repeaters range... but every so often the tests are just inconclusive..

This keeps giving me a headache.. Such as last week, I would test connectivity by triggering a door sensor or pushing a zigbee button, that's away from hub range, without a repeater in between, and then put repeater in between... I was using a couple of sonoff power plugs as repeaters.

With the repeater activated, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.. and yes I do turn off the hub for a few minutes when making changes so that the sensor re-aligns itself and finds the best mesh path to hub.

The worst is that when we test things, everything is great. We leave the site.. then days after we get report that the sensor isn't working and sure enough the sensor is out of range again, even when repeater is still deployed.. and we end up having to redo the process ..

Is there a more accurate and reliable way to check if a repeater is really working and repeating signals well?

While where at this topic, is there a way to test if a device is actually a repeater?

I know most powered devices are repeaters themselves...

Like I'm using this sonoff smart plug w/c is supposed to be a repeater


Now I'm having doubts if this model indeed acting as a repeater or not, or perhaps this unit is a dud and its repeating functions are not working (????)

Would love some advises. Thank you

Install this driver and it will tell you everything you need to know about your repeater.
Zigbee Monitor Driver

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FWIW I have found the Sonoff to have a poor signal compared to some others. You’ll find some comparisons in the second or third posting in that driver link.

This can show you also ..

OK, I'll bite. I installed the Zigbee Monitor Driver and the Zigbee Map a few weeks ago. Great apps. They both provide lots of information that I do not entirely understand. Addressing the OP here, how would I use this information in a basic way to evaluate one of my repeaters?

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I'm not the OP but I think the question was directed to me. Apologies if that is not the case.

Most important thing to know is the significance of the numbers in the device neighbors and device repeaters sections. They are on a scale from 0 - 255, with 255 being the best and 0 the worst.

This graphic indicates the ranges:

Now you know that, take a look at this Zigbee router.

Look at the device neighbors and you will see my connection to the hub is 98 (moderate). That might sound O.K. but I know that repeater is only about 15 feet away across an unobstructed basement.

It's hard to understand things in isolation so let's look at another one. This one is a similar distance away, but it has to go through some walls as well as a floor. It's connection to the Hub is 246 (Very strong).

This gives me a good picture of the relative quality of these two devices that are a similar distance from the Hub.

The other thing it is useful for is looking at which children are attached to which Zigbee router. Take this one for example.

It shows me that I have 6 children that are using this Zigbee router as the first hop when sending information to the hub, or the last hop when getting instructions from the hub.

If I was having issues with a device I would be interested in which zigbee router was it's parent device and what the signal strength is. Only you know the layout of your house, but intuitively you will have some idea of whether the device is on a preferred repeater.

One thing to know is that a child device (non-repeater) will hang onto it's parent connection for as long as possible. Only if the connection to the parent disappears altogether does it will look for a new parent.

I wrote this driver and I'm also the author of Tile Builder so I have a dashboard I can look at and get the status of my network. I can see where all of my child devices are connected and the strongest connections between my repeaters.

I think the main benefit of this tool is to identify the relative quality of the repeaters themselves. I tried to do that with the second post on the driver thread where I collected feedback but thus far the feedback has been spotty and incomplete.

The Zigbee graph tool is also excellent and gives you a great bird's eye view of the network, without installing any special drivers. But the Zigbee Monitor Driver let's you see the network from the POV of the repeaters themselves. Two very different viewpoints.

Good luck.


I am trying to generate a table like the one above. How do I list the children on separate lines as you have them?

It's easy when you know how. Simply put you use a Rule to replace the comma that separates the results with a horizontal line.

Setup your replacement values under the Highlights tab.

Apply the Rule to the received data.

Adding this to your Overrides turns the solid line into a dashed line as shown.


Advanced option, got it.