Itead.cc, the Chinese company known for the array of electronics products like the SONOFF smart switch and other makers related hardware, has released a USB Zigbee CC2531 Dongle. The dongle can be used in connection with a PC or single-board computer to build your customized home automation gateway.
Zigbee is widely used for various IoT projects and has heavily found adoption in the home automation industry thanks to the availability of low-cost Zigbee devices, but in most cases, consumers and makers and limited to the use Gateway devices like Smarthings Hub or others. Itead who has released Zigbee based home automation devices like the Sonoff S31 Lite, Sonoff BASICZBR3 smart switch, and others but haven’t been able to release their own low-cost gateway to work with these devices. With the release of the Zigbee CC2531 USB Dongle, this is going to change.
The Zigbee CC2531 USB Dongle from Itead isn’t a gateway entirely, but when combined with a computing device can turn to a Zigbee gateway thanks to the support of Zigbee2MQTT. The USB dongle comes with a CC2531ZNP-Prod firmware that can be plugged directly into a PC/Raspberry or any Linux compatible USB host and be used as a Zigbee packet sniffer.
Zigbee2MQTT allows using of Zigbee devices without the vendor’s bridge or gateway. It bridges events and will enable you to control your Zigbee devices via MQTT. In this way, you can integrate your Zigbee devices with whatever smart home infrastructure you are using, including Home Assistant and Domoticz or even OpenHAB. Using Zigbee2MQTT usually requires flashing the firmware with a CC debugger on a CC2531 USB Dongle (also available on Aliexpress), before full usage. Itead has simplified this process by pre-flashing their dongle with the needed firmware for you to get started quickly.
Features of Itead Zigbee CC2531 USB Dongle:
- Texas Instruments CC2531F256 Zigbee and IEEE 802.15.4 wireless MCU with 8kB RAM, 256kB Flash
Flashed with CC2531ZNP-Prod firmware for zigbee2mqtt application
- Host Interface with USB 2.0 Male port.
Lead-out 8 IO connectors
- Integrated antenna
Dimensions – 5.6 x 1.6 x 0.7cm
- Extras – Two buttons and two LEDs for user interaction