Simulating a bad Zigbee mesh

I'm looking for ideas on how to make my dev Zigbee mesh unstable. I've thought about making a selective jammer, one that overpowers the signal once the target address has been seen. This can be done rather easily:

The question is, would this really be a good way of simulating a bad mesh? Maybe it would be better to have some other random disturbance and not complete jamming? Any ideas on how that could be achieved in a reliable and consistent way?

Basically just looking for ways to understand why certain devices fall off and can't be recovered under certain circumstances, but come back from others? Yes, I'm talking about Xiaomi/Aqara devices. I don't have any issues with mine and if they would leave the mesh (I've not seen that happen for a very long time) they come back by themselves now. With that said, I know others still have issues and that means there are other issues that needs identifying.


Microwaves tend to be good at disturbing meshes, cordless telephones, some blenders....tin foil spread around to interfere, hanging water balloons or placing fish tanks or bowls of water in from of repeaters... put the repeaters in bad locations like behind furniture or close to high em devices.... get an old router, put dd-wrt on it and crank the transmit power, grab a bunch of cheap routers and saturate the area with signals, pretty much fill the room/house with items known to interfere with wireless transmissions.


Yes, I guess those things would work, but reproducing the same issue repeatedly might be hard. The dd-wrt router idea might be one of the more reproducible ideas, I do have a few of those I could use. Hopefully there are more reproducible ideas out there? Water is very efficient at blocking radio waves, I will see if I can come up with a way to use that to produce the same results over and over again reliably.

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Add peanut plugs and old Osram bulbs :joy:
You’ll see routes change so often it will make your head spin.
I’m guessing that Xiaomi/Aqara devices fall off like Hue dimmers and Lightify 4-button switches. Put the peanut plugs close to the hub, so they look good to the devices. They will route through them briefly and then they will be dropped.


Trying adding a gledopto lamp into the mix. I used to think that these were OK repeaters with Xiaomi but having removed them all now onto my Hue Hub I've seen an improvement in response and connection of the motion sensors. So maybe, after all, these lamps are good candidates to mess with the mesh like most lamps.

The thing I think is strange with Xiaomi is that I've really not had many issues with their buttons, cube or other sensors disconnecting, yet their motion sensors did disconnect regularly or sit there not firing. Not sure why that would be the case. Now that my Gledoptos are off the HE mesh, I'm also going to retry my Iris v2 motion sensors. They were shockingly poor with the Gledoptos being the culprit I think. Will have to press them back into service and see how they do. I've also ordered a few of the new Sonoff motion sensors and will see how it goes with them in my mesh.

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I have a dozen of these and have never seen one miss a motion event, or need rejoined. Only Samsung and GE for the repeaters on that hub btw.

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Yeah, nearly everyone speaks very highly of them but I had no end of issues with them. The Xiaomi's were more reliable! Will be retrying them again soon now that these wretched lamps are off the mesh :smile:

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I would if I could get them here in China... Have not seen any of the known bad repeaters here, except possibly Gledopto.

That is a good idea, I have a couple of Gledopto GU10 Zigbee spots. Got them since I'm considering to replace all my 29 spots with Zigbee spots and I'm trying them out. I did plan to put them on a separate hub, while I'm testing my options for the recessed lighting I will see if I can get these Gledoptos to cause problems in my dev mesh.

That only these would not fire is odd, usually the other sensors then also falls off. The only time I experience an issue with my Xiaomi Motion sensors not firing it turns out that it was Motion Lighting not processing the event. The event was there, just nothing executed by motion lighting, a reboot and all is well again for a few days. Most of my automations are run in custom apps which work, but some simple things do run in Motion Lighting.

Just borrow my network. Unless it's AlertMe / Iris V1 it's as unstable as you like! :sob:

I know, I've been reading your posts, frustrating when that is the case. What I'm looking for here is something reliably bad in a reproducible way that I can then setup identically on the Aqara gateway so as to see what it does to keep order in a bad mesh.

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I have such slow response on motion lighting using RM (even after removing the Gledoptos) that I'm off exploring NR like so many before me :wink:

I wish there was an easy way to see exactly what causes these slow downs. I have 15 or so ML rules and even in the downstairs half bathroom, I can’t hit the switch that’s right inside the door before the light comes on. I will say that I separated all of my zigbee end devices to their own hub (using HubConnect and proxy server) with 4 Samsung (2018) outlets that do most all of the repeating. The only other repeaters on that hub are 4 GE Zigbee in-wall dimmers and 2 Sylvania outlets. There are 76 actual zigbee devices on the hub. I used to have to reboot one or two times a day due to slowdowns before changing to this setup and now reboot weekly just to be safe. I also added all of the devices that I had been having trouble with first (9 Lightify 4-button switches), and waited a couple days before adding anything that would repeat. I then added the Samsung repeaters and waited to see if the button controllers had any issues before adding anything else. This was back in December and those hard to keep paired Lightify switches (as well as 5 Hue dimmers) haven’t had a single missed button press. I briefly paired a couple Peanut plugs when I was putting the new hub together and the switches started dropping, so they have found use on SmartThings for holiday decorations.

I stubbornly refuse to do that, so far. I really don't want more systems involved in my home automations. But if the flakiness of the Motion Lighting app doesn't go away soon, I will probably move on as well.

Mate, you should do it. I've just spent a couple of hours exploring it. It's freaking awesome. I can already start to see the power. In the hands of someone like you (who knows what he's doing :smile: ) it will be dynamite. Lets face it, there are various issues with RM for people that want to go beyond the simple (things like; can't share rules; slow to build & edit, difficult to visualize...). RM is amazing too, don't get me wrong. But I can already start to understand the power of NR and especially its wonderful UI.

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I know, it's more that I don't want to run anything in a VM or a Pi or anything like that for my Home Automation needs. I will probably resist as long as I can. For now reboots fixes my issues for several days. When I do give up I will just start a new container on my Proxmox server and I'm sure it will run very happily there. For now, I resist a bit longer, but it is getting hard to do.

That is for sure, though I don't use RM, Simple Motion and my own Apps is all I run.

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Sylvania Smart+ Plugs (model 72922-A) will give your xiaomi devices a fit, as well as the iris plugs.
You got me thinking... I wonder if your kickass drivers might be able to combat the negative effects those problematic repeaters produce, hmmmm.....
I think I shall sacrifice my mesh and pair an iris plug and see what happens. The last time I added an iris plug I had like 5 xiaomi devices drop off.

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To some extent, yes, but not 100%, with an already solid mesh it could go well, but I think there are still things missing.

I'll add it to the list of devices I should try to get here in China, there is not a lot of collective experience with many of the devices I can get here.

This is such a great topic @markus and will help us all going forward. Good effort. May your mesh be iffy only on demand.


I haven’t had any issues with the Sylvania plugs, but have stayed away from the Iris ones that everyone loves, opting for the much pricier Samsung (samjin) zigbee 3.0 outlets. They repeat so well that it’s possible they are the reason I haven’t had issues with my devices (no xiaomi).

Sorry I was thinking more along the lines of a mesh with xiaomi devices in it. Outside of the xiaomi devices, iris plugs are fine, but the peanuts have a bad rep around here. Same for Sylvania plugs, fine as repeaters, except for when xiaomi devices added to the mesh.

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