RaspBee II test: the ZigBee gateway for Raspberry Pi

RaspBee II installation with deCONZ on Home Assistant

Phoscon Raspbee II

Phoscon RaspBee II

Price as of: August 10, 2022 11 h 50 min

If you have followed our many Home Assistant tutorials, you have necessarily asked yourself the question of integrating a ZigBee gateway. Various solutions exist, including the famous Zigate, but also the equally effective deCONZ plugin. It is on the latter that we are going to focus today using the lowercase RaspBee II from Phoscon, a ZigBee home automation gateway dedicated to the Raspberry Pi. For around 40 €, it will allow us to control most of our ZigBee home automation devices from Home Assistant OS, but you can also use it with Jeedom, Domoticz ...

RaspBee II: when compactness rhymes with efficiency

Unboxing

It is in a tiny box that the RaspBee II. A more than minimalist packaging since, in addition to a small drawing, only the name of the product appears on the front face. Nothing else is provided, not even a manual or technical specifications, it's rare! In short, no unnecessary paperwork, just two QR Codes to scan to find out more.

Normal, you will tell us, it is a simple chip to insert into a Raspberry Pi. A small circuit, more precisely, which measures 30 18 mm × mm × mm 10 and includes in particular a ARM® Cortex®- M0 + microcontroller - ATSAMR21B18, a flash memory of 256 kb, one tiny battery RTC 337 / SR416SW (note, there are versions without, hence the + RTC on the packaging), and obviously a GPIO port intended to position this ZigBee gateway directly on the circuit of an RPi.

As its name suggests, it is with a Raspberry that we are going to use it. She will come to connect to GPIO ports of our nano computer. Be careful with the connections, you risk damaging it if you do not connect it to the first 12 pins (or last depending on how you look at your Rpi). In order not to be mistaken, take the photo below as an example or go to the manufacturer installation page.

This being done, we are going to launch our Raspberry Pi 3 B + and start Home Assistant OS. In the meantime, you can take a look at the technical characteristics of the beast ...

Information

  • Brand: Phoscon
  • product: RaspBee II
  • Type: ZigBee gateway
  • Microcontroller: ATSAMR21B18 ARM® Cortex®-M0+
  • Nominal voltage : DC 5.0 V
  • Max transmission power : 10 mW
  • Signal range: 200 m in line of sight
  • Radio frequency : 2,4 GHz
  • Radio standard: IEEE 820.15.4 / Zigbee
  • Flash memory : I 256
  • Drums : PSTN 337 / SR416SW
  • Operating systems : Raspbian, Docker
  • Dimensions: 30 18 mm × mm × mm 10

RaspBee II: install a ZigBee gateway on Home Assistant

We will use theofficial CONZ add-on on Home Assistant, but be aware that this gateway is also quite functional with Zigbee2MQTT which we will talk about very soon (in the meantime, you can refer to the official documentation).

TO READ :
Home Assistant installation tutorial on Raspberry Pi

Prerequisites

Before starting to install deCONZ, you need to add a line in the config.txt file located at the root of your Home Assistant installation.

Locate the line " #uncomment to enable primary UART console ” then just paste these two lines at the end of the file:

enable_uart = 1 dtoverlay = pi3-miniuart-bt

Installation of deCONZ

  1. Launch Home Assistant OS
  2. See you in Supervisor ,
  3. In the add-on store, or "Add-ons store" in French, search for CONZ,
  4. Click on "Install" and wait a few moments.

It's very fast, but we haven't finished….

  • Then go to "Configuration",
  • Set the location to / dev / ttyACM0,
  • Restart deCONZ.

Hold on, we're almost there:

  • Come back to the Info page,
  • Click on 'Open web user interface' ou "Open Web UI" in the language of Shakespeare,
  • Click on the "Phoscon" button,
  • Miracle, your ZigBee RaspBee II gateway is là!

All you have to do is:

  • Choose the name of your gateway,
  • Define a mot de passe,
  • Click on Next.
Well done ! Your Gateway RaspBee II is now functional, you just have to associate it with connected objects, ZigBee compatible that goes without saying.

Add equipment to Home Assistant with deCONZ

After you log in, Phoscon offers you to create a group and y connect lights. As far as we are concerned, we preferred to go for a Xiaomi light detector.

  • Select or create a group,
  • Choose the manufacturer from your device (here, it's Others),
  • Wait a few seconds to minutes.
  • confirm, It's ready !

Unlock your deCONZ gateway to register with Home Assistant.

  1. Access the advanced settings of the deCONZ system in Gateway> Advanced
  2. Click on "Authenticate the application"
  3. Go to integrations, choose deCONZ,
  4. Click on "Unlock the gateway"
  5. Go to Integrations> deCONZ
  6. It's over !
Within minutes, our sensor is available in Home Assistant OS.

Compatible brands

Well, that's all well and good, but which brands are compatible with Conbee II and Raspbee II? here is a non-exhaustive list, Phoscon providing you with the (almost) complete detail on its website.

Note that coordinators such as RaspBee II and Conbee II can support up to 32 “end devices” (many more if you add routers).
  • Aqara (and even the Aqara | Oppo switches)
  • Busch-Jaeger
  • Climax
  • Dresden Electronik (one would have suspected it),
  • TOUR
  • heiman
  • IKEA TRÅDFRI
  • Innr
  • JUNG
  • LEDVANCE SMART+
  • Müller Licht held out
  • Niko
  • NodOn
  • OSRAM SMART+
  • Paulmann
  • Philips Hue
  • Phoscon (surprising, right?)
  • VIMAR
  • Xiaomi Mi

Our opinion

The RaspBee II from Phoscon is a practical little home automation gateway. We appreciated his ease of installation, just like its ease of use with deCONZ on Home Assistant. The possibility ofinstall directly on a Raspberry Pi is interesting, making it much more discreet than its big sister, but keep in mind that this may pose some interference concerns.

We have indeed sometimes met some difficulties to install devices. It is true that our lab is rich in disruptors of all kinds, but it is also the case for many connected homes. That said, by changing the ZigBee channel, we have not especially encountered one afterwards. In the end, the system turned out to be rather stable et rather sober in resources. However, if you have a lot of equipment and a large living space, we can only recommend that you turn to a Conbee II, or other even more powerful gateways.

Available for less than 40 € at Domadoo, this is an interesting option for Home Assistant or Jeedom users on Raspberry Pi wanting a discreet and compact home automation box.
Note that, if you have several Raspberry Pi on hand, you can also install your RaspBee II and deCONZ apart, which will allow you to create an independent ZigBee gateway of your Home Assistant installation. This can be particularly interesting in the event of a system crash ...
37,99€
Domadoo.fr
40,28€
In stock
2 new from € 40,28
August 10, 2022 11:50 a.m.
Amazon. Fr
Fascinated by Alexa since the day I received it in beta test, I gradually became passionate about the subject, before deciding to go further by creating a site with Jean-Christophe. An activity that allows me to quench my thirst for new technologies and share my discoveries about the nicest of communities: Les Alexiens.