Expandable Zigbee Repeater Solution (With Temperature, Humidity, Pressure and Light sensors)

Update 05/22/2020: After a long development, I have finally manufacture the sensor by the professional in quantity. For convenience, I open a listing in Ebay for those who are more comfortable to go that route.

Update 12/2/2018, battery backup support. Here

Update 8/19/2018. It is expandable now. See it here.

Update 5/6/2018 here. This update incorporate temperature, humidity, pressure and light sensor. These sensors (Bosch BME280 and TEMT6000) are probably the most accurate sensor available.

Update 6/19/2018 Xiaomi devices compatibility here. I have chance to pair a Xiaomi Aqara Motion Sensor. So far, I do not see any drop out on the Xiaomi devices.

I need for a Zigbee repeater. I am aware of existing solution here. I thought that it would be a fun project to find another low cost solution which help your pockets.

I start to look at ebay and found a lot of TI CC2530 based module. These are very robust and mature modules. I made myself a board and ordered a few of them. Then, I made a router firmware and expose some diagnostic to display in SmartThings.

Here, they are. I had three different configuration. From left, the first module come with PCB antenna. Second module is 1 Km module with external antenna. The third module is the same as the first module with external antenna. I am told by the vendor that they are FCC approved. I am not requesting documentation from the vendor at this point. I only purchase a small quantity form them. I do not want to hassle them too much at this point.

Below is Smartthings DTH. Don’t worry about the TXRetry/Fail, these are taken for a long time. The over the air connection will always have interference/error. The packet error rate ( how fast the number increase) is the one that you have to be worry. I add switch function to turn on and off diagnostic data capture.

One of the PCB antenna module with apple charger.

I am pretty happy with the result. One of them had range extender. The vendor claims that it has 1 Km range. I am not sure that this range is make sense for Zigbee. I, personally, plan to use it on the area that is harder to cover. I really doubt that I will get 1 Km with the environment where I am and the antenna that I use.

I do have a few modules built. I will be happy to share them with a member here for free. I do want to get as much testing as possible. If you are interested to get one, please do help me with testing and give me feedback. Hopefully, one day I can “kickstarted” this project. Let me know if you are interested on testing them. You will need to provide your own 5v USB charger and antenna. Any 50 Ohm 2.4GHz antenna with ipx connection should work. You can try and play round with fancy high gain antenna or directional antenna.


The real question is whether they will repeat for the same profile which smartthings uses, which is the zigbee home automation 1.2 (ZHA 1.2) stack. There are a number of zigbee devices which can be joined to smartthings but then end up not being reliable repeaters, including Sylvania lightbulbs and Xiaomi pocket sockets.

What have you done to verify the repeating capabilities?

I ask in particular because there are indeed zigbee modules which can handle multi kilometer distances, but most of them are not using the ZHA profile, They are intended for outdoor sensornet operations Like weather stations, not home automation.

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@JDRoberts Thank you so much for the questions. Here is the limited test that I did.

I have done some test using the zigbee sniffer. I saw a lot of packet being routed through the module.

I also double check with Xbee map. I saw I had the same count of “3” endpoint device modules in Xbee map and the Smartthings DTH. (sorry for redacted 64 bit address, I just want to be careful).

I would be open to suggestion in term of further testing.


I would like to try one of your units with the external antenna. I am trying to get some coverage to my garage which is over 100ft from the house and I have not had much luck. If your extender works it would be a big help for me. I am kinda new with all this stuff so I would need some instructions to set it up. Let me know.

I would be interested in trying this. I have a 8000 square foot lot and often have connection drops.

My antenna has a coaxial connection…would this work?

You will need the following.

  • 5v USB phone charger (see one of my pictures).
  • Antenna like this one . You can go fancy and test out high gain 2.4GHz antenna as long as it si 50ohm antenna with ipx connector.

I will share a DTH in github. You just need to upload it on your smartthings account as device type handler and publish it.

Once you have done the above, the pairing will be the same as any other zigbee device.

I only have 4 repeater that has extended range. I let you decide whether you need one or two. If you can put the repeater in the middle between your device and hub (or closest router device), you can probably get by with one. Otherwise, you should try use two as kind of bridge (each repeater in range of the hub and device you try to connect to). This create some sort of bridge.

Please let me know best on your judgement, how many you need (PM me with your address). I would love to spread the module to as many people as possible. However, I want to have it the best chance to work as well.

I use Antenna like this. As long as it has the ipx connector, you should be able to use them. I am hoping that you can try to find different type of antenna to test as so that I can get more data. They just need 2.4Ghz 50 Ohms antenna. Many antenna with this spec may compatible with 5Ghz, it may also work. 2.4GHz/5GHz antenna is more common as they are used for wifi as well. I personally looked for 2.4GHz antenna for my test.

Please PM me if you are interested. Please see the my other reply. Let me know the quantity that you may need. Would you be looking an idea to bridge locations. The long range module only help on the transmitting part. Your end device need to have enough power to get to the repeater as well.

Just an update, I only have the following quantity of module.

  • 4 Extended Range module with external antenna. They potentially are gone based on the first two request.
  • 3 module with external antenna still available.

I will have more made with additional sensors for a few more weeks. Again, they will be in small quantity. I can not get huge quantity and give them for free.

I do apologize that I can only share them for those member with USA address only. Shipping to another country could be prohibitively expensive.

I have plenty of iPhone chargers laying around. 1 ? what will I have to do to mount the antenna and how does it attach to the card and will I have to solder it to the board. I guess that is 3 ?'s.

There is no soldering. The board and the correct antenna would connect like below. You need to plug them together gently.


I’m interested (from anyone in the know) whether these would work in the UK. I’m having range issues to the back of my garage and i’m looking for anything workable.
If so, i’d happily cover postage

They will work in the UK, but they will probably be illegal if you don’t get an individual license as they will exceed the transmission power standard there for unlicensed devices. They might be seized at customs for that reason.

It’s not a prebuilt solution, but there are community members who have been doing something very similar to this for several years. You can see that discussion in the following FAQ:

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I’d be interested in one have a bulb that goes in and out of connection constantly my farthest one from hub of course.

(personally identifying information removed)

I am interested. I have a very big house and have yet been not able to get zigbee seen everywhere even with with 2 keen bridges.

Let.me know. I will pm address if I am able to help.

Who is the vendor?

Chin Lee

Very interesting. Right now, I have an Iris Zigbee/Z-Wave repeater/outlet installed in an outside outlet box that uses one connection but the size takes up the entire outlet. Wish that this had both Z-Wave and Zigbee repeating in it because I think we all have been asking for a dual repeater but no manufacturer has ever come up with one. I could attach another outside box with something like this and swap out the outlet with a duplex outlet with USB in it and run the USB line into that other box.

If there was a way to make this and another one in Z-Wave, I would buy it.

@Derrek113116,@cchilds1976,@trirocketman, I am sending the modules today. Here is the github link for the device type handler. You have to add the dth in your smartthings account. Once you do that, the rest of the process will be the same as like adding other zigbee devices. I believe that have posted a link to antenna that I use. Please try out other antenna as well. I will be interested on how they perform.

@kamran, are you still interested on testing the module? If not, I will pass it on to someone else.

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Thanks for doing that.

Thank you!!

Is there still room for one more? I’ll like to try.

@cslee, I have one non extended module left. You do have the option to play around with the antenna. There are some high gain antenna that you can use. PM me if you are interested.