ZBMicro - too chatty?

Hi,

The SONOFF Micro Zigbee USB Smart Adaptor is a device that was awaited for quite a long, closing a gap in the market - no similar USB Zigbee switch devices were known to exist, made by well known and reputable manufacturers. So, congrats to Sonoff for releasing this new device!

Unfortunately, it is too much chatty. As you can see from the WireShark screenshot below, in 15 seconds period the ZBMicro sends 10 Zigbee packets to the Sonoff Zigbee Pro hub, and the hub itself sends 7 other packets to the switch!

This is 17 (seventeen) packets exchanged every 15 seconds!. Is there any good reason that the ZBMicro sends one and the same Active Endpoints Request ZDO command to the Zigbee coordinator to receive one and the same answer all the time? Is there a need for the Sonoff hub to check the ZBMicro manufacturer name, model, and version every 15 seconds? etc, etc…

The problem is that if you have a dozen of these otherwise good ZBMmicro’s, this will negatively affect the throughput capacity of the Zigbee network, potentially adding delays in the other devices’ response times.

@Sonoff - if there is no good reason for such a big chattiness, can you consider changing this chatty behavior in a future firmware update?

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Hey

Thx for the feedback, I have forwarded your post to Sonoff’s dev

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Good to know, as I am currently waiting for my copy from the ITEAD shop. So far it has been stuck somewhere in China for a week :man_shrugging:
Your discovery only confirms that firmware testing is not Sonoff’s strong point. Another spectacular recent example is the SNZB-06P or iHost. One gets the impression that the firmware is being created in a big hurry by a group of amateurs. Sonoff and eWeLink go head to head in this respect. Unfortunately.

Hey,

The mechanism was designed to decode if the gateway is online more responsively.

The process of querying the device’s online status through a gateway is a dynamically extending procedure. Contrary to common expectations, the overall network query traffic does not increase in proportion to the increasing number of devices.

But the power drain is obviously larger. This can be lived with, but some optimisation will be more than welcome, right?

I understand that this mechanism is used for determining the online/offline state of the device (the green LED starts blinking quickly after 15 seconds of no response from the gateway_, but still - exchanging 17 Zigbee messages every 15 seconds is too much and unnecesery in my opinion.

Can this online/offline check period be changed to 15 minutes instead (or make it configurable)? I can’t think of a use case where15 seconds resposivity is important. No one will be looking at the green led or looking at the eWeLink app all the time, the online/offline status is important to be used in automations that run in background, and 15 minutes healthCheck time is more than enough in my opinion.

I don’t know how the above statement can be proved, but the common sense thinking is just the opposite. As more devices you have on your Zigbee network, as more careful you should be choosing the devices that you add. And seeing that one device sends 100 times more messages than a similar device from another brand, it is very difficult to recommend it to the others.

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Does anyone use this device as a router with ihost or nspanel pro? Is it worth buying or is it better to buy something cheaper from Aliexpress as a zigbee router?

Mine will arrive any soon. I’ll report.

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I have one with iHost, which works well with iHost. I use it to control an IKEA wall lamp via Matter platforms and increase coverage for sensors.

I also found it has a Turbo mode when paired with Z2M.

It is worth buying. Works as expected. Signal coverage similar to NSPanel Pro, although turbo mode needs further observation. Stable, with rather mature firmware.

Okay, that’s nice to hear. I will order it and see if it works better as a router than ZBMINI

It is really small in size. I plugged it into the USB socket on the speaker in the kitchen. It is practically invisible.
It is cheaper in the ITEAD shop than on Ali. Plus, you are assured of buying an original. It happens that the Chinese counterfeit Chinese and trade it on Ali.
As far as the configuration is concerned, there is nothing sexy.
image

I wonder what its power consumption is? I need to connect it to a power bank and test it in the garden

Probably not big, although I’m talking about the WiFi version. I remember that I once connected it to a Xiaomi power bank and it consumed so little that the power bank turned off after some time.