Home Assistant SkyConnect. The future is NOW! Or not?

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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.

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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.

If you 
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 
Assistant SkyConnect.

I am able to create   these videos thanks to these awesome people 
over here who are my supporters. You can also   support me through Patreon, Ko-Fi, or 
by joining my channel. See the links in   the description below. And don’t forget to give 
this video a thumbs up, subscribe to my channel,   and hit the notification bell. 
I will see you soon! Bye bye!.

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