Zigbee router to extend network that doesn’t require mains power


I’m losing signal between my Zigbee Bridge Pro and some of my end devices such as a door sensor. I would like to purchase a router to extend the length of the network reach.

However I live in South Africa where we have power outages for 2 hours everyday. It is VERY important the security continues working during power outages.

The end devices have batteries so they continue working, and I power my Zigbee Bridge Pro with a mini UPS via a USB. The mini USB provides 5V for USB or 9V or 12V.

I need recommendations. What device would work as a router that does not require being wired into mains power? Something that runs off USB or a 9V or 12V transformer. Are there options other than the ZBMini? The ZBMini would stop working during loadshedding so really isn’t reliable.

If I could purchase a second Zigbee Bridge Pro and use that as a router that would work but I can’t see any topics about this. It seems the Bridge Pro is a coordinator and not a router.

So can the Zigbee Bridge act as a router or not?

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Hello, Actually I didn’t realise I must have asked my question in such a confusing way. It seems so easy to understand.

The issue is not a software issue or a problem with an existing device otherwise I would have contacted Sonoff. The question is aimed at users as free discussion.

In Zigbee the devices fall under one of three categories: Coordinator, Router, and End Device.

  1. You can only have one Coordinator in the system - Typically the Zigbee Bridge or the ZIGBEE 3.0 USB DONGLE PLUS.
  2. Routers are used to extend the reach of the Zigbee network - quite a common need I would have thought.
  3. End devices are things like door sensors, and cannot function as routers.

I’m just asking what devices other than ZBMINI or S26R2ZB function as router and hence able to extend the length of the network? Surely someone in the public has some ideas? And if there are no options I’m also wondering if purchasing a second Zigbee Bridge can function as a router maybe?

My problem is loadshedding in South Africa. Our electricity is turned off everyday for a few hours, so the ZBMINI and S26R2ZB basically stops working during this time, hence rendering the security system a bit useless when you are in the dark. This is really when one needs security most!

Did you unlist my question? I have a genuine need to find out more information about Zigbee network.

I have assign and reopen this topic to “free discussion”, unlist is a bulk action of all topics in “help” category.

Hi, you can use a Zigbee Smart Relay card that you can power over USB. The 1 and 2 gang versions works with ZB Bridge Pro, the 4 gang version only works with the normal ZB Bridge and does not work with the ZB Bridge Pro. All the models have ROUTER funcionality what is required to extend the Zigbee mesh network.

Hope this helps.

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This definitely helps!! Thank you!
I actually own two of these Zigbee inching relay modules sitting in my cupboard, but had no idea they could also be used for this purpose!

I have purchased sonoff ihost and wandering whether it is possible to add a router using SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus-E - SONOFF Official . Its says on the website that it can function as router but I am unable to add it in ihost

Hi, Dongle-E comes from factory flashed as Zigbee COORDINATOR. Have not tested with ihost yet but for have it working as a Zigbee ROUTER you need to upgrade the firmware. Here is the procedure for that from the ITEAD official page

Hope this helps

I have my wifi router and Raspberry Pi (home Assistant and Zigbee stick) attached to an on-line Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). Mine is too small to add 2 hours though even if I just had a USB/dongle. It is really just a big power bank though.

The impression I have is that the powered devices act as Zigbee routers but not the battery ones, like standard Zigbee.

You could just get a Zigbee mini and wire it into a UPS. Mine just have IEC connectors. Unfortunately every time I look at Zigbee Basics they are out of stock. I think the mini is the next cheapest, but you do need to include the cost of a box.

A USB power supply and a dongle-p/e with alternative firmware is another option to attach to a UPS but with a voltage transformation from 230V to 5V and then 3.3V for the PCB seem likely to me to be less efficient than a direct 230V to 3.3V.

Just thought; pretty sure I’ve seen low voltage UPS on Aliexpress or Alibaba.com. There might be 5V ones.

I have upgraded it as a router. It showed as a light device with router function. Tested the router function and it works fine. Maybe need to have a firmware that can make it as it should and remove tha light switch

Thanks for sharing. Same happens with ewelink using either ZB Bridge or ZB Bridge Pro, on Home Assistant and on Tuya / Smartlife. They all show as a ligth device, but performs the ROUTER function. Think that by doing that way they obtain full compatibility with all platforms. In addition that “light device” controls the LED on the dongle and guess that one of the GPIO exposed. If that is the case it could end beung useful as-is.