HomeHome AutomationNo Tasmota needed - Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee

No Tasmota needed – Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee

This Sonoff has no need for Tasmota

I don’t own a single Sonoff device that isn’t running tasmota. Why? Benefits are plenty, but only one drawback – no smart assistant integrations without using a 3rd party workarounds like Alexa for NodeRED or gBridge for Google Assistant. Why is it different with Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee?

Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee is… Zigbee

After my Sonoff Basic R3 teardown, comments poured to test Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee with NodeRED and Tasmota. Since the device survived the teardown (all 3 actually did despite my crude and cruel approach), I thought I will show you how to make it work with NodeRED anyway.

There are not many changes hardware-wise, it’s the same 10A relay board as Sonoff Basic R3 although the shell itself has been redesigned internally and it won’t fit other Sonoff Basic R3 series despite the almost identical look.

Buy Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee

Buy it using these links to support NotEnoughTech.

Say “no” to Tasmota

Let’s answer this question first. Latest Tasmota update brings support for cc2530 Zigbee microcontrollers. Since Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee is based around cc2530 you would be quick to assume “I’ll just flash tasmota on it like with other Sonoff devices!”.

But why?

At the present state, there is no benefit for doing so. Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee is a simple Zigbee relay, a similar to the IKEA Smart Plug. Sonoff doesn’t use a router to communicate with the Internet, it is all Zigbee mesh based. Since there is no risk of the device leaking data (unless your Zigbee hub does it) then there is little reason to flash the Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee with Tasmota.

You could argue that I2C interface is neat to have, but unless you want to connect an external sensor to exposed GPIO (RST, Vcc, GND, Data, Clock), I wouldn’t bother. See the R3 Teardown.

Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee in NodeRed

The pairing is simple, reset the device (hold the button until it starts clicking), keep close to your cc2531 and you will see it in the device list. Rename it if you wish and you are ready to use it. (a proper guide linked soon)

Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee works like any other Zigbee device, there are 2 topics you should concern yourself with and that’s all. The updates are sent as JSON file so if you need help with it – check this guide to JSON.

Update

To receive information about signal strength and state (there are no other metrics available) simply use an MQTT in node with the topic: zigbee2mqtt/sonoff_name.

Control

To send the on|off commands, submit a JSON formatted payload via MQTT out node to the topic zigbee2mqtt/sonoff_name/set and you will be able to toggle the device:

{"state":"OFF"} or  {"state":"ON"}  

There is only one relay that can be controlled, so sending messages to Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee is easy.

Buy Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee

Buy it using these links to support NotEnoughTech.

Conclusion

Looks like Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee is a perfect add on to your home automation system if you already running Zigbee! It’s simple, easy to use and takes seconds to set up. The best part is, you don’t really need to flash it with Tasmota to make it yours! It’s your out of the box. Let me know what do you think about Sonoff Basic R3 Zigbee in this Reddit thread.

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