New firmware for C2652/CC1352 Zigbee routers adds an important feature

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If you use a Zigbee router powered by the Texas Instruments CC2652R or CC1352R chip, you might want to consider updating its Z-Stack firmware. The list of devices making use of the aforementioned chip include many niche products such as the Electrolama zig-a-zig-ah! (zzh!), Slaesh's CC2652RB stick, and Tube's CC2652P2 USB Coordinator. It is also found in the more recognizable SONOFF's Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus (ZBDongle-P), which many use, due to its broad availability and low price.

What is a Zigbee router?

Before proceeding, I would like to point out that this update only applies to routers and not coordinators. Routers are used to improve the range of a Zigbee mesh network and are frequently also found in mains-connected devices, such as light bulbs and smart plugs. The coordinator is the actual brains behind the Zigbee network. All your devices are bound to the coordinator, and flashing it with the wrong firmware will make your Zigbee network go up in smoke. You have been warned.

Additionally, you must verify that you are running at least Zigbee2MQTT 1.28.3. While your router will still function under an older version, you will not have access to the settings mentioned in this article. To find out which version you are using, you can either check your container or add-on, or navigate to the About section of the settings found in the Zigbee2MQTT Dashboard.

Why should I flash the new Z-Stack firmware?

The most pertinent addition to the 20221102 release of the Z-Stack 3.x.0 Router Firmware, is the ability to adjust the transmit power. Certain routers, such as the SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus mentioned above, are capable of more than what you might be experiencing. It has a default output power of 5 dBm, even though it is capable of 20 dBm. Increasing the output power will obviously also increase the device's overall power consumption. Despite that, it might be worth checking the settings in your Zigbee2MQTT Dashboard if you have been experiencing a weak signal strength.

The Zigbee2MQTT Dashboard, showing the settings of a SONOFF Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus, which is configured as a Zigbee Router. The screenshot shows the 'Exposes' tab, in which the transmission power can be adjusted.

Updating the firmware of a Zigbee2MQTT router

Updating the firmware of your Zigbee router does require you to attach it to a PC, as OTA is not supported. While there are tools that supposedly help you enter the bootloader mode, I have found that the following steps lead to the highest success rate, when attempting to flash such a device:

Is it worth updating a Zigbee router's firmware?

If your Zigbee mesh is working fine as it is, there is no feasible reason to risk disrupting anything or bricking your router altogether. This update is recommended for those who might be struggling with link quality issues and don't know whether they are getting the most out of what they have.

A portrait photo oif Liam Alexander Colman, the author, creator, and owner of Home Assistant Guide wearing a suit.

About Liam Alexander Colman

is an experienced Home Assistant user who has been utilizing the platform for a variety of projects over an extended period. His journey began with a Raspberry Pi, which quickly grew to three Raspberry Pis and eventually a full-fledged server. Liam's current operating system of choice is Unraid, with Home Assistant comfortably running in a Docker container.
With a deep understanding of the intricacies of Home Assistant, Liam has an impressive setup, consisting of various Zigbee devices, and seamless integrations with existing products such as his Android TV box. For those interested in learning more about Liam's experience with Home Assistant, he shares his insights on how he first started using the platform and his subsequent journey.


    • Hi John. My apologies, I was performing countless changes on the site – it’s there again 🚀


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