Sonoff ZBBridge gateway can be used as a Zigbee router/repeater

Sonoff ZBBridge WiFi to Zigbee gateway was introduced in April 2020, and a few months later got support for Tasmota ESP8266 firmware and Gecko firmware for either Home Assistant or Zigbee2MQTT support.

But there’s now a new Tasmota firmware that converts Sonoff ZBBridge into a Zigbee router (a.k.a. Zigbee Signal Repeater or Zigbee Range Expender) following a request on Tastoma Github’s issue tracker from last year.

Sonoff ZBBridge Zigbee router

The firmware, unofficial yet signed, was released a few days ago by xsp1989 Github’s user with a link to the firmware on Google Drive. Digiblur successfully tried it out on its own Sonoff Zigbee bridge and published the instructions. Assuming you already have Tasmota flashed to the device, switching to the router software is basically a firmware upgrade from the Tasmota web interface.

Once the update is complete, you’ll still need to access the console in Tasmota in order to run a command to enable support in the GUI, as well as configure the reset button for the pairing procedure.

And that’s basically it. Zigbee2MQTT (Z2M) users will have to download silabs.js file, add it to their Z2M config folder, and add the custom converter to the configuration, but this will not be necessary for too long since the device will probably be added to Z2M builds. Check out Digiblur instructions for the full details.

CNX Software have been told that while ITead Sonoff ZBBridge with Tasmota is relatively popular as a remote Zigbee Coordinator for Home Assistant’s ZHA and Zigbee2MQTT. it does have its issues with unstable WiFi in some cases, so it may be better to use it as a Zigbee Router, and rely on SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus as a Zigbee coordinator.

Thanks to Hedda for the tip.

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11 Replies to “Sonoff ZBBridge gateway can be used as a Zigbee router/repeater”

  1. Any idea how does it compare to other mains powered ZigBee services that also act as routers like ZigBee plug/sockets, on/off or dimmer switches?

    Like others (and as you’ve suggested) on Home Assistant I’ve moved away from ZHA and Sonoff ZBbridge to Z2M and Sonoff ZigBee 3.0 dongle, so I have a redundant Zbbridge and see low spots in the mesh.

    1. I do not know but it is based on EFR32MG21 which with new firmware is known not only having a powerful radio but having a firmware that is compatible with practically all other brands of Zigbee devices, including devices from manufacturers like Aqara/Xiaomi and Tuya which as both infamously known for not working well with any other brands than their own.

      Silicon Labs EFR32MG2x (Silabs EFR32 Mighty Gecko Series 2 like EFR32MG21 and EFR32MG22) which on paper is equal to Texas Instruments CC2652 series which is among the most popular high-performance Zigbee Router chips among enthusiasts in many home automation communities, including Zigbee2MQTT and Home Assistant’s ZHA integration.

      I think this EFR32MG21 devices is also interesting because there is not many EFR32MG21 or CC2652P Zigbee Router devices out there yet. More and more CC2652 based devices are however starting to appear as Texas Instruments does not seem to suffer as much from the current worldwide chip shortage as Silicon Labs has.

      Silicon Labs have however announced its next-generation EFR32MG24 but it will surely take a while before we will see any Zigbee devices available based on EFR32MG24.

      A common alternative today is to instead flash a Zigbee USB dongle/stick with Zigbee Router and then plug it into a USB charger which I do not find is a very practical option.

      Hopefully, IKEA will upgrade its popular IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater with a newer Silabs chip in the not too distant figure if the current worldwide chip shortage would be kinder to Silicon Labs. As it is not IKEA uses an older Silabs chip in its IKEA Trådfri Signal Repeater.

      1. Je veu de dire la contre chaud est la resestance de moudul GSM contré chaud du 380 voltage est un problème

  2. Other than it being based on the EFR32MG21 which have a powerful radio and have firmware that is known to have great compatibility with third-party devices, I think this device is interesting because it could make a Tasmota or ESPHome network-controlled Zigbee Router so resetting it on a schedule or automatically when have issues could be done via home automation software.

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