This is the brand new Home Assistant
SkyConnect! With this device, you can connect all your Zigbee devices AND Matter devices
to Home Assistant. Let’s see what this can do! This little device is the new Zigbee and
Thread coordinator which is developed by Nabu Casa. I got the limited black
edition, but the common version is blue. Nabu Casa also delivers a USB extension cable with
the package because connecting a Zigbee dongle to your Home Assistant server works best if you use
an extension cable because of interference issues. Before we start, please subscribe to my
channel and hit the thumbs-up button for this video. This way, you make sure that
I can keep creating these videos for you! So, what can this thing do? This device
makes it possible to connect all your Zigbee and Matter devices regardless of
what brand they are to Home Assistant. So, you do not need to use a bridge or hub for the
different brands that you have in your home. You can just use this dongle and all your Zigbee and
Matter devices in your house will connect to it. It’s compatible with ZHA and should be compatible
with Zigbee2MQTT in Home Assistant.
I have to note that it still relies on the experimental
EmberZNet support for Zigbee2MQTT, so results may vary at the moment. I tried to install it
using Zigbee2MQTT, but I couldn’t pair a test IKEA lightbulb yet, so I think it’s too early
to say that it works well with Zigbee2MQTT. It runs on a frequency of 2,4 GHz and has a
reliable range of up to 20dBm.
At the time of this video, it supports 64 devices to connect directly
to the dongle, but because of the fact that you build a mesh network, it can support far more than
this number of devices to connect simultaneously. Silicon Labs tested their stack with 1000 and
more devices, but in practice things are more complicated. Usually things start to get unstable
at one point, probably due to non-conformant routers etcetera.
The great thing about this stick
is that it supports support Zigbee and Thread simultaneously so that you only need one stick
to control all your Zigbee and Matter devices. Now, it’s still a Matter of time until Matter
devices will be available so that you can use these devices too. The stick can
be updated using Home Assistant, so you will always be able to run the
latest firmware on this stick easily. Let’s do a quick installation on
ZHA. Installing the SkyConnect in Home Assistant for Zigbee is straightforward. Just plug the SkyConnect using the extension
cable into your Home Assistant server. Now go to Settings > Devices and Services.
Click Add Integration. Search for ZHA. Click Zigbee Home Automation. Select the SkyConnect
at the Serial Device Path and click Submit.
Now you can choose to either restore a backup or
start from scratch. I will cover the procedure to restore a backup in another video. For
now, we’re going to set up a new network. Click on Erase network
settings and form a new network Now you will already see some devices
that you can add to an area if you like. If you go to the ZHA integration, you can view
the settings of the SkyConnect and start adding devices. Click on Add Device and put one of your
devices in pairing mode. If everything goes well, your device will be found and you can add it
to an area. Your device is now added to Home Assistant. To view the device, go to Settings,
Devices and Services and search for your device. Click on the device name and you will see
the controls and sensors of your device. This is how you can install the SkyConnect using
ZHA. I tried to get it to work with Zigbee2MQTT as well, but I ran into problems. I also tried
the edge version of Zigbee2MQTT, which works a bit better, but it’s also not reliable.
are a daredevil, you can install it in exactly the same way as how I explain it in this video
over here, so check out that video to see how you can install the SkyConnect in Zigbee2MQTT.
The only difference is that you should point to the SkyConnect device instead of the Sonoff
device. But, it’s very experimental and I wouldn’t recommend doing this in your live environment
yet. I will be experimenting with the SkyConnect over the next couple of weeks and will update you
with my findings with posts on this channel.
So, subscribe to my channel and tick the notification
bell to get notifications about these updates. You can also join my Discord
server to discuss the SkyConnect. I’ve tested the SkyConnect for only a couple of
days now, and so far it works okay using ZHA, but I didn’t switch over to it completely.
The SkyConnect is promising and I am excited to see it grow to a full functional
stick in the next couple of weeks, but I will migrate my house slowly to
the SkyConnect and in the meantime use my Sonoff Dongle with Zigbee2MQTT at the same
time to make sure that my wife stays happy… So, this was my short review of the Home
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