• 06
    Apr - 2019

    Home Automation, Raspberry Pi
    6 min | 18140

    #Zigbee: Xiaomi Sensors using Raspberry Pi (without Gateway!)

    Home Automation, Raspberry Pi | 6 min | 18140


    aqara
    door sensor
    home assistant
    home automation
    mqtt
    pir
    raspberry pi
    xiaomi gateway
    xiaomi sensors
    zigbee

    This tutorial allows you to connect Xiaomi (or Aqara) sensors (e.g. door, pir, temperature, water, switch) to a Raspberry Pi or similar system without using any Xiaomi Gateway.

    This is what I will try to accomplish in this tutorial:

    1. Flash the USB-Zigbee Dongle with the correct FW
    2. Install a broker to connect to the sensors
    3. Configure the sensors using the broker

    Hardware

    Xiaomi sensors use Zigbee for the connection which means we need some extra components to connect to them. This is the list of needed hardware:

    Wireless Zigbee CC2531 x1
    SmartRF04EB (**) x1
    Debugger Cable (**) x1


    (**) Note: There is an alternative way to flash the Wireless Zigbee CC2531 using jumpers and a Raspberry Pi. This is explained in this tutorial: #Zigbee: Flashing a CC2531 using a Raspberry Pi (without CC Debugger). In that case, you don't need to buy the SmartRF04EB and the debugger cables. If you choose the option without CC-Debugger, you can skip the section "Flashing the Zigbee Dongle" of this article.

    Software

    We need to flash the CC2531 of the Wireless Zigbee USB-Dongle. That's why we need the SmartRF04EB or a TI CC-Debugger and the debugger cable. You need the last two components only one time in order to flash the Zigbee dongle.

    To flash the Wireless Zigbee CC2531 you need the following software and drivers:

    Cebal drivers (swrc212a) x1
    SmartRF Flash Programmer -not v2.0 x1
    Zigbee Stack Firmware x1

    To download the SmartRF Flash Programmer, you need to register to Texas Instrument. It's free and it's very simple. If you don't want to register, you can surely find the tool on the Internet, but be aware of virus or/and malware.

    **Note**: When you try to download the file from Texas Instruments and if you don't get it, please check the pop-up blocker (right side on the URL input line). Texas Instrument tries to download the file opening a pop-up using JavaScript and Chrome usually blocks it.

    Flashing the Zigbee Dongle

    1. Connect the SmartRF04EB to the Zigbee dongle as described in Fig. 1. Check that the cable is not twisted. On debugger side, the nose of the connector should be pointing out of the debugger. On the dongle side, the nose should be pointing to the inside of the debugger.
    2. Connect only the debugger to your PC (you do not need to connect the Zigbee dongle) and open the (SmartRF) Flash Programmer.
    3. You should see something like Fig. 2: On the System-on-Chip, the SmartRF04EB should be listed.
    4. If the SmartRF04EB is not listed:
      • Try to reset the SmartRF04EB by pressing its reset button.
      • Or, check under Device Manager (Windows + Pause > Device Manager) if the SmartRF04EB is correctly install. It should look like Fig. 3.
        • If you see a ? mark over the device, you should decompress the downloaded Cebal driver file, and let Windows search for the drivers under the win_64bit_x64 folder. After that, open the (SmartRF) Flash Programmer again and reset the SmartRF04EB using its reset button.
    5. If the SmartRF04EB is listed, the image that you need to flash is located inside the downloaded Z-Stack-firmware-master.zip file inside the ZIP file under coordinator/Z-Stack_Home_1.2/bin/default/CC2531_DEFAULT_yyyymmdd.zip.
      • Extract the CC2531ZNP-Prod.hex file.
      • Use the Flash image: locator of the (SmartRF) Flash Programmer to select that extracted file.
      • Press the Perform actions button and wait until you get CC2531 - ID0050: Erase, program and verify OK.

    After flashing the Dongle, you are ready to connect the Zigbee sensors to your Raspberry Pi. Then, connect the Zigbee dongle to the Raspberry Pi, and follow the next steps.

    Note: I used the default version of the Z-Stack coordinator. But:
    • a. If you have a network of 1 - 30 devices, the Z-Stack_Home_1.2 /bin/default firmware is recommended.
    • b. If you have a network of 30+ devices, the Z-Stack_Home_1.2 /bin/source_routing firmware is recommended.
    This changes the folder and file in step 3. More info available here.


    Zigbee Connector
    Fig. 1: SmartRF04EB adapter board connected to the Zigbee dongle.


    Zigbee Flashing Dongle
    Fig. 2: Flashing the Zigbee dongle using (SmartRF) Flash Programmer.


    Zigbee Device Manager
    Fig. 3: Device Manager - SmartRF04EB correctly installed.

    Zigbee & Raspberry Pi

    I found at least two ways to integrate the Zigbee sensors to the Raspberry Pi.

    ioBroker

    (GitHub)

    This runs on Node.js v8.x, then you need to install it first. If you've already installed another version you can remove it using the following:

    sudo apt-get --purge remove node
    sudo apt-get --purge remove nodejs

    and then, install it with this:

    curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_8.x | sudo -E bash -
    sudo apt-get install -y build-essential libavahi-compat-libdnssd-dev libudev-dev libpam0g-dev nodejs
    sudo reboot

    Then, install ioBroker typing the following:

    curl -sL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ioBroker/ioBroker/stable-installer/installer.sh | sudo bash -

    After installing it, you can access its interface using a browser and pointing to http://<<ip-raspberry-pi>>:8081. It also uses the port 9000 for internal communication, which should not be used, otherwise it is not going to run.

    **Note**: npm reports several vulnerabilities of the required libraries installed. For more information you can type `npm audit` to see these with more detail.

    After installing ioBroker, you need to configure the interface to add the ZigBee adapter.

    1. Go to http://<<ip-raspberry-pi>>:8081.
    2. Go to Adapters (on the left side) and search for the Zigbee adapter plugin and install it (see Fig. 4).
    3. After installing it, go to Instances (on the left side) and you should have something like Fig. 5. The Zigbee adapter is installed, but it is not running yet (circle yellow).
    4. Go to a terminal and type the following ls -la /dev/serial/by-id/ you are going to get something like this
      pi@raspberrypi:~ $ ls -l /dev/serial/by-id
      total 0
      lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 13 Dec 16 23:17 usb-Texas_Instruments_TI_CC2531_USB_CDC___0X00124B0018E1A598-if00 -> ../../ttyACM0
    5. Click on zigbee.0 and go to the Settings Tab, and on the COM port name field, type the following: /dev/serial/by-id/usb-Texas_Instruments_TI_CC2531_USB_CDC___0X00124B0018E1A598-if00 (check Fig. 6).
    6. Click on Save and Close, and the circle should be now green.
    7. Now, you can pair your devices. To do that, click again on zigbee.0 and then on the green on the right side. A windows with a countdown should open.
    8. Press the reset button of your Zigbee device with a 2 seconds tact. The pairing should be announced on the opened window.
    9. More info about ioBroker can be found on its documentation.
    Zigbee Adapter Installing
    Fig. 4: Zigbee adapter installation.


    Zigbee Adapter Installing
    Fig. 5: ioBroker running instances.


    Zigbee Adapter Installing
    Fig. 6: Zigbee adapter settings.
    Zigbee Adapter Installing
    Fig. 7: Zigbee paring devices.

    Zigbee2mqtt

    (GitHub) This tool connects to the Zigbee Dongle to pair with the Xiaomi sensors. Every time a sensor sends a signal, this tool publishes a MQTT topic to the broker. You can combine this tool with Home-Assistant or Domoticz. The documentation helps you to configure this feature.

    If you want to integrate the Xiaomi sensors to Home Assistant, check this article: #Raspberry Pi: Xiaomi Sensors & Home Assistant (Hass.io)
    1. To install the tool, simple clone the repository and install it using npm typing the following

      # Setup Node.js repository
      sudo curl -sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_10.x | sudo -E bash -
      
      # Install Node.js
      sudo apt-get install -y nodejs git make g++ gcc
      
      # Verify that the correct nodejs and npm (automatically installed with nodejs)
      # version has been installed
      node --version  # Should output v10.X
      npm --version  # Should output 6.X
      
      # Clone zigbee2mqtt repository
      sudo git clone https://github.com/Koenkk/zigbee2mqtt.git /opt/zigbee2mqtt
      sudo chown -R pi:pi /opt/zigbee2mqtt
      
      # Install dependencies
      cd /opt/zigbee2mqtt
      npm install
    2. Now that you have setup everything correctly you can start zigbee2mqtt.
      cd /opt/zigbee2mqtt
      npm start
    3. To run zigbee2mqtt as daemon and start it automatically on boot we will run Zigbee2mqtt with systemctl.

      # Create a systemctl configuration file for zigbee2mqtt
      sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/zigbee2mqtt.service

      Add the following to this file:

      [Unit]
      Description=zigbee2mqtt
      After=network.target
      
      [Service]
      ExecStart=/usr/bin/npm start
      WorkingDirectory=/opt/zigbee2mqtt
      StandardOutput=inherit
      StandardError=inherit
      Restart=always
      User=pi
      
      [Install]
      WantedBy=multi-user.target

      Save the file and exit. Verify that the configuration works:

      # Start zigbee2mqtt
      sudo systemctl start zigbee2mqtt
      
      # Show status
      systemctl status zigbee2mqtt.service

      Enable the service typing:

      sudo systemctl enable zigbee2mqtt.service
    4. Do not forget that zigbee2mqtt requires a MQTT Broker!
    5. For pairing devices follow this link.

    Conclusion

    This post allows you to connect Xiaomi sensors to a Raspberry Pi running Raspbian. To do that, you need to flash first a Zigbee dongle using a CC Debugger and the Texas Instrument software. The connected sensors can be added to Home-Assistant or Domoticz in order to control and monitor your home. This option works without any need of installing or configuring the Xiaomi cloud, nor the Xiaomi application on the smartphone.


    Comments

    Roger Hooker 04.07.2019

    The Xiaomi devices do not seem to be available for U.S. power.