Sonoff BASICZBR3 and ZBBridge, new ZigBee module and bridge for DIY home automation

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Itead Sonoff offers us a new 220V relay module called BASICZBR3 which allows to control an electrical device via Amazon Alexa, a Samsung SmartThings hub or a Zigbee2MQTT bridge. The Zigbee arrives in DIY home automation! The module can also be controlled via the Zigbee ZBBridge bridge. Four Zigbee sensors will soon be marketed.

 

Itead Sonoff has forged a real reputation in the world of DIY home automation by offering home automation modules based on ESP8266 (or ESP8285) quite easy to hack. Until now, we had to be content with Wi-Fi, with these new products, Itead Sonoff is expanding its offer and is gradually catching up against Xiomi Aqara.

New Sonoff BASICZBR3, home automation relay 220V 10A compatible with Amazon Alexa

The SONOFF BASICZBR3 is the first relay from the manufacturer Itead to offer the ZigBee communication protocol. In the absence of detailed technical specifications (no WiKi page is available at the moment), we will have to rely only on the information available on the official store. Fortunately, Jonathan Oxer from Superhouse.tv took the module apart to study its architecture.

In fact the ZBR3 is built around a ZigBee CC2530 module from Texas Instrument. We already know this module which is also used by the Tasmota project.

It therefore has no WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity, you will have to go through the Zigbee bridge (presented in the second part of this article) to be able to control the module from the official eWeLink application on iOS or Android.

To control this module, you must therefore go through a compatible connected speaker or a Zig.Bee bridge. The firmware developed is compatible with several models of Amazon Echo connected speakers, the Samsung SmartThings Hub and the Zigbee2MQTT bridge, which is very good news for makers!

The ZBR3 is compatible with Amazon Echo Plus 2nd generation (L9D29R) and 3rd generation (ZE39KL) smart speakers, the Echo Studio high fidelity smart speaker from the first generation and the Echo Show from the 2nd generation (DW84JL)

The ZRB3 can be controlled via the app and a Samsung SmartThings. A priori, there is no generation restriction but not having enough to test it, I cannot be sure. Please feel free to use the comments to report a compatibility issue to me.

Itead has always taken care to pamper the Makers. If you already have a Zigbee2MQTT bridge built using a CC2531 sniffer, you will be able to drive the ZBR3 relay. Small info by the way, Itead sells its own Zigbee dongle.

sonoff basiczbr3 cc3531 zignee2mqtt dongle compatible

In terms of restrictions, the module is not compatible with Amazon Dot connected speakers. Without Wi-Fi connectivity, it is also impossible to control your devices via a Google Home speaker, the official eWeLink application or Siri from iOS. We can get around the problem via a Zigbee2MQTT bridge.

Sonoff ZBR3 technical specifications

  • Manufacturer no .: IM190611001
  • SoC: CC2530 Texas Instrument
  • Max output current AC 100-240V 50 / 60Hz @ 10A
  • Max supply voltage : AC 100-240V 50 / 60Hz 10A
  • Number of output: x1
  • Connectivity:
    • Zig.bee 3 (IEEE 802.15.4 @ 2.4GHz standard)
    • WiFi: no connectivity
  • Case materials: flame retardant PC V0
  • Dimensions: 91 x 43 x 25 (mm)
  • Weight: 70g
  • Various
    • 1 pairing / reset button
    • 2 information lights. Red LED (power on). Green LED (communication)
  • Certification: CE (Europe) and FCC (USA)
  • Compatibility
    • eWeLink, official application available on iOS and Android (official page)
    • Amazon Alexa via a 2nd generation (L9D29R) or 3rd generation (ZE39KL)
    • Echo speaker. Echo Studio from the first generation. Echo Show from 2nd generation (DW84JL)
    • ZigBee DIY Zigbee2MQTT bridge via CC2531 sniffer (USB version)

Online resources 

Schéma de câblage électrique

The Sonoff Basic ZBR3 is available on the official store for € 9.46 (on offer at € 7.31, excluding shipping costs) as well as from regular online merchants.

Zigbee SONOFF ZBBridge

The SONOFF ZBBridge is a home automation bridge that has Wi-Fi and ZigBee 3 connectivity. It allows you to control ZigBee home automation modules via the official eWeLink application, an Amazon Alexa connected speaker (certain models only)

sonoff pont zigbee bridge zbbridge

We can control the official Itead home automation modules, the Basic ZBR3 or the S31 ZB Lite smart plug (intended for the US market). Several sensors (running on 3V CR2450 or CR2032 battery) are in preparation at Itead. 

  • SNZB-01, a wireless switch (CR2450)
  • SNZB-02, a temperature probe is humidity (CR2450)
  • SNZB-03, motion detection (CR2450)
  • SNZB-04, one CR2032 door / window switch)

In total, the ZBBridge can connect up to 32 home automation accessories.

sonoff zigbee devices motion door compatibility

The eWeLink app adds compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart speakers. However, no compatibility with Siri Kit has been announced. For iOS, it will therefore be necessary to use Siri shortcuts (Siri Shortcut) to be able to control your accessories by voice with Siri.

Technical specifications of the Sonoff ZBBridge

  • Power supply: 5V@1A
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11 b / g / n @ 2.4GHZ standard) + Zigbee 3.0
  • Case materials: flame retardant PC V0
  • Dimensions: 62 x 62 x 20 (mm)

As for the BASICZBR3, Itead has not yet published other technical specifications for its WiKi. Fortunately the NoteEnoughTech site published a test at the beginning of April which allows you to learn a little more about the bridge (be careful, these are information to be taken with a grain of salt, the bridge is still in pre-order. ..). We can see on the photograph of the PCB an ESP8266 module. Zigbee 3.0 (and bluetooth) is supported by the EFR32MG21 SoC from Silicon Lab. It is therefore impossible for the moment to hack Sonoff’s Zigbee bridge with an alternative firmware such as Tasmota designed for the CC2530: cry:. Fingers crossed that things move quickly given the number of requests left on GitHub for Espurna and Tasmota.

In any case, as we can see on the back side of the PCB, the pin identification is already ready!

Sonoff Zigbee rfBridge top vueSonoff Zigbee rfBridge bottom vue

Credits: notenoughtech.com

The Sonoff ZBBridge is available on the official store – only – for a shipment scheduled from May 15 (in theory at least!). The ZBBridge is marketed at a price of € 14.54 (+ shipping costs).

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