Homelab, Linux, JS & ABAP (~˘▾˘)~

[Home Assistant] Offline detection for Zigbee2MQTT devices using the last_seen attribute

Activate the last_seen attribute via the Zigbee2MQTT interface. Go to Settings → Advanced → Last seen → Choose ISO_8601

Per default, the last seen sensor is disabled for all Home Assistant entities. To enable the last_seen attribute for all devices, add the following lines via VS Code in homeassistant → zigbee2mqtt → configuration.yaml

  legacy: false
        enabled_by_default: true

Now you must either restart Home Assistant or activate the entity manually: Go to Settings → Devices & services → Entities and adjust your Filter like this:

  • Integrations: Select “MQTT”
  • Status: Select “Disabled”

Then search for last seen, click on select all (right next to the filter button) and choose Enable selected in the context menu when clicking on the three dots in the top right corner.

Now the last_seen entity values should be visible, and you can use this new entity to detect an offline device. For example, by using this blueprint or by creating a template sensor like it is described here (related YT video). The template sensor can be put somewhere on your dashboard or used in an automation. Following the automation I’m using:

alias: Notify when zigbee device goes offline using last_seen
description: ""
  - platform: state
      - sensor.z2m_offline_devices
    from: null
    to: null
      hours: 0
      minutes: 10
      seconds: 0
condition: []
  - service: notify.mobile_app_mi_8
    metadata: {}
      title: |-
        {% if not states('sensor.offline_zigbee_devices') %}
          All Zigbee Devices Online!
        {% else %}
          The following Zigbee Devices are offline:
        {% endif %}
      message: "{{ states('sensor.z2m_offline_devices') }}"
mode: single

I also recommend excluding the last_seen sensors from the Logbook, because else the Logbook is flooded with changes. To do this, simply add the following lines in your configuration.yaml file:

      - sensor.*_last_seen

[Home Assistant] Get friendly name of the triggering device in an automation

In an automation, you can retrieve the friendly_name of the triggering device using:

{{ trigger.to_state.attributes.friendly_name }}

Helpful if an automation can be triggered by different devices (e.g. garage door 1 or garage door 2) and you want to send a notification that explicitly names the triggering device:

  - service: notify.ALL_DEVICES
      title: Garage open!
      message: >-
        {{ trigger.to_state.attributes.friendly_name }} is open

[Home Assistant] Zigbee2MQTT device_class motion is now occupancy

After the last Zigbee2MQTT update to version 1.39.0, suddenly the motion sensors were missing in my auto-entities cards, which I use to display all motions sensors for specific areas.

type: vertical-stack
title: Bewegungsmelder
  - type: custom:auto-entities
      show_header_toggle: false
      title: null
      type: entities
      state_color: true
        - attributes:
            device_class: motion
            secondary_info: last-changed
          area: cellar
      method: last_changed
      reverse: true

When checking the changes included in the new Zigbee2MQTT version, I found the reason: https://github.com/Koenkk/zigbee2mqtt/pull/22896
With this pull request, the device_class is motion is replaced with occupancy. After changing the device_class in the auto_entities config, the motions sensors are displayed again.

Alternatively, you can switch the device_class back to motion, like it is described here. This would also bring back the old icon mdi:motion-sensor instead of mdi:home-outline.

[Home Assistant] Send notification only when you are home or when you come home

If you have a notification, which is only relevant for you when you are at home, it does not make sense to send it, if you are away. Instead, it would make sense to receive it the moment you get home.

To do this, simply add an Wait for a template action before sending the notification, with the following content. This can be done via YAML configuration

  - wait_template: "{{ is_state('person.nico', 'home') }}"
    continue_on_timeout: true

or via the web interface

If you are currently at home, means the entity status is already in the state home, it will be resolved immediately, otherwise it will wait until your status changes to home.

[Home Assistant] Zigbee2MQTT – ‘MAC channel access failure’ (225)

Suddenly, some weeks ago, devices in my Zigbee network started to become sometimes unavailable and did not respond. This occurred at random times and on random devices. When checking the Zigbee2MQTT logs, it was flooded with MAC channel access failure error messages.

When searching for this error message, this GitHub issue pointed me to the potential issue: Network Interferences (probably Wi-Fi). See also the official docs here.

I have two ZigBee networks in parallel. One using ZHA and the Conbee II stick running on channel 20. And one using Zigbee2MQTT using a Sonoff ZBDongle-P (CC2652P) running on channel 11, which had the network issues. Without further investigation, I thought, let’s check what channel my own Wi-Fi is using and if it is on channel 11, simply change it to something else (which turned out to be a completely wrong approach). In my FritzBox router, the channel selection was configured as “auto”. So no specific channel set. That made sense to me, as the ZigBee issues randomly appeared, so perhaps only when the Wi-Fi switched to a channel, ZigBee was already using.

Without further investigation, I simply set the Wi-Fi channel to 1, so that it does not interact with Zigbee channel 11 (just to mention it here again: this is completely incorrect!). But things got worse, instead of better.

After reading this great blog post about building a stable Zigbee network and seeing the graph from Metageek about Wi-Fi and Zigbee channels, I noticed my issue…

Wi-Fi Channel 11 <> Zigbee Channel 11

By simply looking at the Metageethek graph, I understood why I made things even worse. My newly selected Wi-Fi channel 1 interfered directly with Zigbee2MQTT channel 11.
SmartHomeScene is recommending the following channel settings in their blog post:

  • Zigbee channel 11, Wi-Fi channel 6 or 11
  • Zigbee channel 15, Wi-Fi channel 11
  • Zigbee channel 20, Wi-Fi channel 1
  • Zigbee channel 25, Wi-Fi channel 1 or 6

So I tried switching my WI-FI to channel to 11, which should not interference with ZigBee channel 11. And yes, Zigbee2MQTT was now running fine, but suddenly the MAC channel access failure error messages appeared on ZHA. Seems like the ZHA ZigBee channel 20 was sill too close to WI-FI channel 11. So I thought, why not using a WI-FI channel, which is completely out of the ZigBee range. I switched my Wi-Fi from channel 11 to channel 13, and everything runs smooth since then. Finally, my ZigBee network is “rock solid”! 🙂

Update 19.04.2024: The Zigbee network was now working without issues for a few days, but suddenly my ESP Devices started to drop off the WI-FI network… When searching, I found this blog post, where it’s recommended to avoid channel 12-14 when using ESP devices. As I didn’t want to get into conflict with the Zigbee network again, I changed the channel from 13 to 12 as a test. And after a few days, I can now say that Zigbee and ESP devices are running smoothly. Finally!

[Home Assistant] Update firmware on Sonoff Zigbee USB Dongle-P

First, confirm that you have a Sonoff Zigbee 3.0 USB Dongle Plus. Go to Settings → Hardware → All Hardware → Search for Zigbee

Check your current firmware version:

Important: Stop Zigbee2Mqtt before flashing, as described in the docs!

Now let’s add the ZigStar repository: Settings → Add-ons → Add-on Store → Three dots → Repositories → Add https://github.com/mercenaruss/zigstar_addons

After that, install the Add-on for Texas Instruments CC2652P7 based radios.

Copy the firmware link from here: https://www.zigbee2mqtt.io/guide/adapters/

Got to the Configuration of the installed ZigStar Add-on and paste the firmware link and select the two radio buttons like bellow.

If you receive an error when saving the configuration, simply add as Network Device and save again.

If the Configuration is successfully saved, start the Add-on and flashing will start immediately.

Switch to the Log tab and hit refresh until you see the “successfully stopped” message.

Now you can stop the ZigStar Add-on and start Zigbee2Mqtt again and check your new installed version.


[Home Assistant] Mushroom Template card – Badge Icon

Somehow, I’ve only just realized that a badge icon can be used to display another entity status on a template card, even though it’s written in the documentation. I now use it to display the status of presence or motion sensors in the respective rooms.

badge_icon: >-
  {{ "mdi:motion-sensor" if states("binary_sensor.0xb4e3f9fffeb689d4_occupancy")  == "on" }}
badge_color: >- 
  {{ "green" if states("binary_sensor.0xb4e3f9fffeb689d4_occupancy") == "on" }}

[Home Assistant] Confirmation dialog

Just noticed that you can add a confirmation dialog on a tab action.



Very helpful to prevent things from being activated by mistake.

type: entity
entity: input_boolean.sleep_status
  action: toggle
    text: Activate sleep mode?
icon: mdi:sleep
icon_color: indigo