XBee HA & joined device limit


ref: http://www.digi.com/support/forum/53635/xbee-pro-support-the-ha-profile & http://www.digi.com/support/forum/41740/how-can-i-configure-home-automation-profile-in-xbee-pro

I’ve been trying to research this but having a hard time understanding – could anyone please explain what it means for the xbee to be HA ready? My simplistic understanding is that should be possible to implement the HA protocol on the microcontroller talking to the xbee? What does the S2C add that gives it the ability to forward (seemingly unprocessed, judging by the comment in the post linked aboved) HA frames to the UART? (I’d understand better if the xbee was providing a higher-level API to operate with HA devices but that doesn’t sound like the case?).

I mistakenly bought a S2B module as I did not realize that it didn’t support HA (my fault for reading the docs and not the forums!). I’m still a bit surprised that this doesn’t appear in the “What’s New” list on http://www.digi.com/pdf/XBee%20ZigBee%20Migration%20Guide.pdf

Similarly - reading the manual for the S2B device – http://ftp1.digi.com/support/documentation/90000976.pdf – makes many mentions to Home Automation.

But before I go and buy an S2C, another thing that caught me by surprise (and particularly relevant to HA projects) is the 10 joined device limit on a coordinator. Any chance the S2C improves on this? I’d like to use the xbee as the coordinator on a network with ~40 (sleepy) end devices. Adding four routers to makes this work seems excessive…


Simply put, there are functions that the Home Automation profile requires that the radio performs such as Binding and Multi-casting that is only supported on the S2C hardware and related firmware.

Yes, when using the API with ZDO messages, you will received the HA specific ZDO commands. To be more specific, the functions that your application must support outside of the radio.

While there is a limit of the total number of end devices supported (Due to memory), the total number of sleeping end device children on the S2C is 14.

Thank you!

For my own education - to try and clarify this further, is the issue that both the S2B and S2C “support” Zigbee Pro 2007, but the S2B’s support is lacking in features required for HA?

  • Should I still be able to make a HA device (e.g. bulb or switch) join the network on my S2B coordinator? Or will the lack of HA support prevent that also? (While I wait for the S2C to arrive, I’m curious as to whether this is even the issue I’m currently seeing).

  • Is the only difference between XBee and XBee-Pro the range? i.e. should I be able to use XBee (not XBee-Pro) devices for this application (coordinator for a bunch of HA devices). Furthermore, can an Xbee talk to an XBee-Pro?

  • Once I set up my S2C as a coordinator, will I be able to reflash my S2B as a router or end device and have it join the network (not as an HA device, but still as a useful thing to use maybe as a DIY sensor). There’s a lot of mis-information floating around out there about compatibility between different modules.

  • After asking my question last night I found this comment in the S2C manual “The initial release of software on this platform supports up to 20 end devices when configured as a coordinator or
    a router.”. That’s promising…!

Thanks again

That is correct. The ZB S2 and S2B modules do support the Zigbee PRO feature set for the public profile but do not have the memory to support the additional features required for the HA profile. However, the S2C ZB modules do have the additional memory needed to support some of the required functions of the HA profile and as such had been added in.

If you do not require the Light Link functions or any other special HA function then yes you could get it to work. Just note that some manufactures of HA devices still require these functions even though they do not use them.

For the most part, yes, the main difference between the PRO and standard modules is the range and the amount of channels they support.

Sure, Any Zigbee device from Digi can join any other Digi Zigbee device. That is to say, I can mix XBee ZB S2, PRO S2B and S2C modules all in the same network with any one of them being configured as a coordinator and the reset as End devices or routers.

Thanks again mvut,

I got an S2C module…

Firstly - you were correct, the limit is 14. So the manual is misleading there.

So I’ve set it up with the ZHA encryption key, etc. I’m still unable to get my light bulbs to join the coordinator though. I was actually able to get a ZBWS3B 3-button switch to join (verified by the “remaining children” dropping to 13). But shortly after it seems to forget about it and it goes back to 14.

Do you have any hints on how to go about debugging the bulbs joining? They’re Osram Lightify. Definitely ZHA because they work on the Smartthings hub with a profile of 0104.

I’m aware of the AI command, but that only seems useful to debug an XBee device not joining.

I’ll try and contact Osram - do you have any examples of the sort of functions that a manufacturer might (unnecessarily) require?

Thanks for your help

They probably require specific ZDO commands to be issued to keep them from disassociating. All of which you would need to issue via the API on the XBee. You are going to need to check with the Vendor or manufacture of the 3rd party devices to know what specific functions are needed to Join and remain associated.