Repeater for ihost

I have bought this repeater and it works perfectly for our ihost, if you are interested I leave the link.

but why? every zigbee device works as a repeater for other zigbee devices by default

It is a signal repeater and has no other function. I have placed it in an area of the house where I have a zbmini L2 and it had a weak zigbee signal. I think it’s an interesting device in which you don’t have to configure anything, it’s plug&play. It is economical and works very well.

Not every. Only most of the permanently powered ones. No battery ones I’ve heard of do. It’s about price. Repeaters on sale are about as cheap as the cheapest Zigbee switches/bulbs and are usually powered by USB chargers, of which most people have spares. I know of 1 switch that Is cheaper but then you have to wire it and add a box/plug. Probably ends up costing the same and is more hassle.

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This is a USB that I put with an extra-flat charger, it takes up little space and is hidden. Its price is €7 for the repeater and €8 for the charger, the ZBMINI is €11 plus wiring and your time. I think the price is similar, the difference is that it is ergonomic and plug&play.

Zigbee routers are less than €5 on sale. For example this is €4.81
That price is before tax, so it’ll end up about €5.70.
Postage is free over €9.35 pre tax so someone would need to buy two.
That sale will probably end but in general you can just look at the sale items. I’ve never had to buy a USB charger for one as I have loads of ones from old phones in drawers. I don’t really care about being flat because I don’t move them around and I have replaced a couple of plug sockets with those that also have USB ports so you don’t even need a charger or lose a socket.
Two routers for just over €11 is pretty hard to beat. Sonoff Zigbee Basic are usually out of stock but I doubt you could get 2 for €11 delivered.

I would challenge anyone who thinks routers are a bad idea to try and get two other items for significantly less. I can think of cheap switches and bulbs that could be a little cheaper but by the time you’ve bought plugs, boxes or Edison to Bayonet adapters I doubt there is much saving, if any, left.

It works also with sonoff zigbee Bridge pro. It can also be used as a fake switch for automations

If you have plugs it couldn’t be better. And I had not thought of using it as a false switch, really in a device that for the price cannot be given more.

I bought one of those also in Aliexpress but I guess from another of the multiple resellers over there. Mine was supposed to be at €5.66, but in promotion at €0.63 including shipping, which already makes you wonder…

Anyway, it is recognized as a plug, (that is what the firmware reports through zigbee) and when switching on/off, the green switch turns on/off, as predictable.

The router function (present I guess in all devices with external power supply) doesn’t seem to be working on mine. I connected it easily to my NsPanelPro, and then I installed it in a place I had a Mini connected just so the thermometer in the bathroom behind that wall would be detected by the panel (a bathroom in the cellar, with a metal door since the heating system is also there). The Thermometer never come back online after exchanging the Mini for this USB.

It is worth to note that in the comments for that specific reseller, at least two people mentioned “it works, but took several hours to display the devices connected to it”. I don’t know which coordinator they use but with the NSPanelPro I think that there is no way of knowing if a device connects directly or through a repeater/router.

Since this device comes in a “generic” usb box (it has an opening on the other side, there is a pairing button beside the leds but there is no way to press it, etc.) I think this specific model might be for those devices which don’t pass quality checks in such a good way that they deserve adding the power and relay stages to make a plug or switch. So I would believe that any of this devices is a lottery, it might fulfill its “repeater” function, or it might not (in which case the user might even not notice, if the sub-devices are detected by other repeaters of the controller). I will not complain for a 0.63€ purchase, I might even open the box and solder a cable to control something in parallel to the LED…

They are ESP32, many people who have MQTT use them as repeaters, they are very similar to the Sonoff dongles and have a similar price.

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It might also be how the Zigbee network is displayed on the iHost. I’ve put repeaters in places and been very confused in the chain of connections, but in Zigbee to Home Assistant and Zigbee2MQTT the mesh is much more apparent and not just the fastest connection. Also when you pair in Zigbee2MQTT you can select which device to pair to. All end devices only seem to move very slowly between routers and controller. You can speed it up by repairing the device in place, but there is the danger it repairs to the iHost directly.

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right now I only have the NsPanel Pro which does not report the same as the iHost, so I cannot see the whole Zigbee network or which device is connected through which repeater, I will soon try with a usb coordinator. So far, I just did the test I mentioned, replaced a Mini used only for its repeater functionality for this repeater and the temperature sensor never came online (and I connected the dots to those comments from other users about it taking several hours to connect other devices).

Anyway, maybe I just was “unlucky” with my “very reduced price” item :wink: