Is a ZigBee Id needed for a ZigBee device to work properly with SmartThings?

When a “Works with SmartThings” ZigBee device is added to SmartThings, two unique identifiers are assigned to it during the pairing / joining process, which you can view in the list of Devices on your hub’s IDE webpage:

  1. Zigbee Id - a 16 hexidecimal digit (8 byte) string that is unique only to that ZigBee device, assigned by its manufacturer

  2. Device Network Id - a 4 hexidecimal digit (2 byte) string that uniquely identifies the ZigBee device on your hub’s network that is assigned by your SmartThings hub

Although the Zigbee Id seems similar to the unique 6 byte MAC address assigned to every device by its manufacturer and used to identify it on IEEE 802 ethernet / wifi networks, on a SmartThings hub it is possible to manually add a ZigBee device to your hub’s device list without entering in a Zigbee Id, as long as you know and can enter the device’s Device Network Id that it was assigned during pairing.

Here in the SmartThings community, users of some ZigBee devices have explained how to do this using the “catchall” method. This involves pairing the device and then looking at the Hub Events page in the IDE for your hub for an entry with “catchall:” followed by a bunch of hexidecimal digits.

Two of those hexadecimal digits in a certain position of the catchall string are the Device Network Id for that ZigBee device, and with that ID, in the My Devices page of the IDE, you can manually add a new device, entering the required information, including the Device Network Id and importantly a Device Type (often a commmunity user-written Device Handler for “unsupported” ZigBee devices.)

So what I’d like to know and haven’t been able to confirm or deny: Is a ZigBee Id needed for a ZigBee device to work properly with SmartThings?

If not, then for what purpose does the ZigBee Id serve a SmartThings hub?

Tagging @tpmanley

Bump, I need help in that to

Wow, I totally forgot I asked this last year, because I never got a reply.

So, I’ll answer my own question here, at least partly.

If a ZigBee device is manually added to your SmartThings hub without its Zigbee Id, then I believe it makes it impossible for the device to rejoin when it has dropped its connection to the hub’s ZigBee mesh network.

This can be tested by removing the Zigbee Id string for any device already paired to your SmartThings hub, and then forcing the device off the network by putting it into pairing mode.

Normally, a user can have a device rejoin and retain its entry in the SmartThings Hub’s device list but putting the Hub in “Add a device” mode and putting the device into pairing mode. The hub would use the Zigbee Id string from its device list to correctly match it up with the device the user is trying to rejoin.

Without that Zigbee Id, what happens is the device is added as another new device.

I would have to guess not having the Zigbee Id would also interfere with “behind the scenes” rejoins of devices that fall off the network for other reasons, such as network interference, weak signal strength, not checking in with the hub within its end-device check-in timeout period, etc.

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HI @veeceeoh well I am new to these Aqara devices and so far had a great experience up to today when all mine dropped off still trying to track down the root cause, I had to stop using my osram and official smart things plugs as bad repeaters now using ikea tradfi plugs and bulbs. anyway.

Now on to your point so 'i have a mix of these water sensors & temp sensors & motion sensor today they all dropped off the zigbee network for about 6 hours I checked the “un-secure” option was enabled which it was I power cycled all my repeaters and hub still no luck left for an hour. when I checked all my xiaomi aqara devices with the IDE not all of them had the zigbee ID populated as used the Catchall method (to add orginally) the moment i dropped the hub into “look for new devices” and reset one of my motion sensors all my devices started to recover including the ones which did not have the zigbee id populated only the network id… so I guess the response is you don’t need it ?

I know you posted this some time back but thought I would share this :smiley:

There was a platform issue today that affected many sensors that report temperature. It should be fixed now.

Just lost control for all custom DTH (UK, 12 Dec 2019)

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Thanks for sharing this. Was concerned I was having zigbee network issues.

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