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

I am considering placing a contact sensor on my mailbox…about 150 feet away (next to neighbors house). Would this repeater work? If so, will the antenna I have be suffice or will I need something else?

Could you post links for us who might want to order these components and try to build it ourselves.
I see you are using a CC2530 chip, would CC2531 also work ?

Would this one work ? https://www.aliexpress.com/item/CC2531-USB-Dongle-ZigBee-packet-sniffer-protocol-analyzer-packet-sniffer/32819276370.html

I believe you are getting the extended range version. With high gain and a bit more directional antenna, the extender should reach 150 feet. However, can the end device transmit packet back at that range.

I am not sure about your mailbox. Mine is made of steel. This can be an issue if I were to install the sensor in the mailbox.

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Any in Ebay cc2530 may work. However, I did add on my own board. It may look the same as cc2531. However, I am not using the USB for data. The USB is used for power only.

Mine is metal…so I guess it probably won’t work. Unless my neighbor lets me place a repeater on their property.

My other project using this module has graduated. I thought I consolidate it here since it is pass prototype stage. In the past few weeks, I added a few sensors to the router/repeater. Some of you may have seen my video here (please turn off your audio, I use hair dryer to demo the responsiveness of the sensor) and here about the sensors.

Most zigbee solution that I can buy uses battery. They are not able to push information very quickly without draining their battery. I want a solution where I can monitor what is going on in my room all the time without ever change battery once every few weeks. At the same time, I am building a dense Zigbee mesh in my house. See them below in actions. It is time to have my son write Smartapp to do something with all those sensors. I told him to track sun movement from the house perspective. That would be a fun project for him.

Like last time, I would be happy to share the modules for all of us to test. I have 6 unused boards that I do not use.

I can populate them and give it to anyone who are interested. However, I am hopping that if you interested please share the cost of the sensor and radio modules. For those who are interested, I hope that I can get $15 donation per module. I can start ship them in 2 weeks time. If you are interested, lets leave notes on private message for details.

The current price of Temperature, Humidity, Pressure sensor in the BOSCH BME280 is $7 at digikey. The Zigbee radio is about $6. The Light Sensor is $0.70. In addition, there are cost of PCB board, passive component and voltage regulator, shipping and handling, etc etc. I want to give you guys an idea about the cost. It is a lot more than $15 than what I ask. It get expensive if I have to buy the materials and give them out for free.

Please give me some time later to explain what is the advantage/disadvantage of each type radio module in the context of having all the sensor on the board. This information will come.

Any feedback will always be appreciated (a simple interested or not interested). Who knows, perhaps with enough interest I can find a manufacturer who can build them at quantity. Feedback like adding any additional sensor would be useful as well.

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I just want to give some insight on Zigbee Radio selection since we have sensors added to the board. This has some impact.

If you look up on the original posting, we have 3 Zigbee Radio. One come with PCB antenna. Another radio come with external antenna. The last one is a radio with extended range power amplifier and external antenna.

The PCB antenna has convenience as advantage. You do not need to purchase separate antenna. It is already on the board.

The radio with external antenna is more flexible in term of antenna selection. There are wide selection out there. You can play around with yours and perhaps find a golden match where you can maximize the connection quality.

In term of sensor impact, The above radios have minimal heat dissipation. The current temperature reading should be quite accurate. If the sensor reading is important for you, these are the radios I would choose. I personally use the PCB radio since it is really convenient. I also think that with enough of the sensors in the house, it really does not matter any more whether a sensor coverage is long enough to cover the whole house. These radios are a good choice for all of us who want to build dense zigbee network. The choice between the two is just antenna flexibility. For some of us here may be an expert on antenna, I would like to give flexibility for us to match our own antenna. Antenna is a complex things. There is gain to be considered. There matching impedance. There is radiation pattern etc, etc. I will be interested with what you guys can come up with.

The Extended Range Radio radiate enough heat to impact the sensor reading. This heat is nothing like your CPU. GPU or Fireplace. They are not dynamically change from what I have observed. They are reasonably constant. It has constant offset generate of about 5 degree Fahrenheit from room temperature from my observation. The use case of this radio is more for those of us who need distance island kind of setting. If you have a detached garage where you need to cover, this is a radio that can help. You do not have any other option and sacrifice a bit on the temperature/environment reading.

I also will be providing DTH. The DTH will have offset setting to further calibrate your sensor for your room. The sensor temperature reading may be 1 to 2 degree off from temperature of an area in the room where you are most interested in (if you have air flow, etc etc). You may not have access to power the sensor on that area. This is why I provide offset in DTH. You can install the sensor somewhere else in the room and use offset to get representative temperature on the remote area.

The DTH will come in groovy code. You can do your own adjustment if you like. I will be curious to what kind of algorithm you guys can come up with. I personally use constant offset and quite happy with it.

@TN_Oldman, @TonyFleisher, @SpruceCurrent, @Mavrrick58. Please let me know what is your radio selection. Please stated PCB, External, Extended Range.

I would be interested in the extended range as I will be testing it to replace my current working Xbee repeater in my shed. I should be able to use the antenna I purchased for those Xbee radios.

If I end up with 2 then one extended and one PCB. Then I would test \ experiment with one in the house also.

Eventually it would be neat if I could build a solar power supply for it. I had started down this path with my Xbee radio I assembled. Just haven’t gotten back to it.

I will test or do whatever you need. I’m just happy to help.

Thanks again for including me.

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No problem. Thanks for helping with the test. Your request is noted.

For me the PCB antenna would be the best.

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Thanks. I’ll do that for you.

The PCB antenna will be fine for me.

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Thanks. I will send you one.

@SpruceCurrent and @east, please let me know your radio selection ASAP.

I have ordered all the components. I should have them early next week. I am looking next week to ship the modules.


@TN_Oldman, @TonyFleisher, @east, @Mavrrick58

I got all the parts this afternoon. I had chance to assembled them. They were already went through reflow oven.


I have smoke test them.

I will be testing them a bit more over the weekend. I do not expect any issue. I just want to make sure that they work as expected.

I can ship them out Monday morning if everything is good.


I am just curious whether anyone with Xiaomi devices would be willing to test them with this extender.

Xiaomi devices may send “End Device Timeout Request”. Some of older router may not understand this request. I did a bit checking on the stack the TI provided. It may have some support for this command. Therefore, there is a chance that it may help for those who had issue with xiaomi. I am not 100% sure since I do not have xiaomi device.

Are they all gone or can I still buy some?

I have a Xiaomi Aqara Temp & humidity sensor.
I’d be happy to test.
I can use either a 868/915Mhz (1st choice) or 433 Mhz.

The module I have support only 2.4 GHz.

I do not think it will work at the freq you specify.

I will start sending out the module tomorrow.

Here is the DTH for the module. You will need the DTH for the module to be discovered by Smartthings.
Please feel free to make changes. Here it is.

Here some of the thing that worth mentioning in the code.

  1. In the code you will find “zigbee.configureReporting(ILLUMINANCE_CLUSTER_ID(), SENSOR_VALUE_ATTRIBUTE(), DataType.UINT16, 30, 300, 500)”. This is good enough for me. For developer, if you would like to lower the minimum setting to 0 second and add some filtering, you may be able to detect shadow. This could in turn become a secondary motion detector under light. All cool stuff can happen. However, the zigbee traffic may increase tremendously. I cannot imagine what the impact on smartthing cloud. I am ordering my hubitat and see what I can explore given this capability.

  2. I have very simple adjustment for Temperature and Humidity offset. I do not have time to make what people call “2 point adjustment”. If any one has time, you should modify them to get better reading using “2 point adjustment” . This is not very difficult to do. I just do not have time to do it. https://learn.adafruit.com/calibrating-sensors/two-point-calibration

have fun playing with the sensor.

Here is my recommendation for mounting position to get the best setup. You do not need to follow it. However, by reading some of the datasheet on the sensors, here what I think the best setup.

Notice that the BME280 sensor is at the bottom. It is also perpendicular to the area it try to sense.

New photo by Iman Haryadi

Not doing the above is not a big deal. You may see slight temperature offset. This can easily adjusted in DTH. I personally am interested on the optimal position for my own study.

If your charger does not allow such position, you can use this and this

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