This USB turns your Raspberry Pi into a Zigbee switchboard

Sonoff’s new Zigbee 3.0 gateway

We recently talked to you about Home Assistant Amber, a home automation control unit based on Raspberry Pi and created by Nabu Casa that already had basically everything you needed to control the different connected devices that you could have in your home. All this without depending on third-party bridges and even internet connections, because the management was carried out locally.

Well, although that would be the ideal option for most, it is true that right now it may not be the one that many can acquire. So one option to enjoy all those Home Assistant benefits is to install the system on a Raspberry Pi.

By installing Home Assistant on a Raspberry Pi 4 you can enjoy everything, although you will need some extras and one of them is a Zigbee gateway or bridge. Because it is the most popular standard among the majority of connected devices, in addition to one of the ones that also offers the most advantages over other competitors such as Z-Wave or the control options via WiFi or Bluetooth.

Sonoff has launched a new USB adapter that supports Zigbee 3.0. Thanks to it, you can enjoy everything that the latest version offers for a very low price. Because this little dongle costs only 9 euros. In addition, it incorporates some other additions to make it as efficient as expected.

The main features of the Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 adapter are:

  • Z-Stack Firmware 3.x.0
  • Support for ZHA and Zigbee2mqtt
  • Antenna for greater coverage (gain + 20dBm)
  • USB extension cable included

As you can see, an interesting and attractive solution for economic reasons for everything related to home automation and maker issues, in which you build everything you need to not depend on more limited hardware solutions. Of course, to take advantage of it, although it is not very complex with the number of guides that are published on the internet, you will have to investigate a little how other users have been using previous versions.

Converting the Raspberry Pi into a Zigbee Bridge

As we have mentioned before, thanks to this USB adapter or other similar ones that already existed, it is easy turn a Raspberry Pi into a Zigbe-compatible bridge or HUB such as those that manufacturers such as Aqara, Philips Hue, Ikea, etc. can sell.

The advantage of creating it on your own using a Raspberry Pi is that you will be able to customize it much more, squeeze it much more. Yes it is true that it is not that easy, there is no development team behind that simplifies each step and makes you only worry about creating a user account, entering the data and little else.

Still, they are worth keeping in mind. Because only sometimes is it how you can even create home automation solutions that would otherwise be much more complex and even expensive. And if you combine all that with the rest of Sonoff products, such as smart switches, etc., you can have a more efficient smart home.

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