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I have a CC2531 connected via USB to my server to read/control some Zigbee devices. I use the version with external antenna.

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I found that the location of the server is not optimal and I would like to move the sniffer to another place (near the wifi router), where I don't have a USB connection to the server available. The router cannot run OpenWRT so I cannot connect the CC2531 to the router and expect it to work.

Adding a ES8266 to obtain a TCP-serial port would be a good solution, such as described in Zigbee2MQTT bridge however those instructions expect a CC2530, identical to CC2531 except for the lacking USB interface.

How to connect ESP8266 directly to CC2531 via serial?

  • I found an almost similar issue here: github.com/Koenkk/zigbee2mqtt/issues/442. Also If you have a NodeMCU then it will make your work a lot easier it is cheaper and an ESP8266 based board. – Lucifer Mar 6 at 5:44
  • They ask about cc2531 but then the reply talks about cc2530. I guess that what I wanted is not possible. I can either buy a cc2530 or buy a raspberry pi zero as already suggested. – FarO Mar 6 at 6:19
  • If I had an openwrt router I could use ser2net and the cc2531 on it, but I don't have one where I need it. – FarO Mar 6 at 6:22
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I was able to connect to CC2531 via serial by treating it as a CC2530 and ignoring its USB: I flashed CC2530 firmware to it, then connected the serial lines as you would to a CC2530 -- to the P0.2 and P0.3 pins, and powered it via the Vcc/GND pins.

Tested by running Tasmota 8.2.0 against it and pairing one endpoint. Everything worked as expected.

As I'm writing this, the Tasmota Zigbee docs are still saying a CC2531 cannot be used, I'll get that fixed :-)

All of this was with a CC2531 made by Ebyte (model E18-2G4U04B) and the CC2530_DEFAULT_20190608 Z-Stack 1.2 coordinator firmware by Koenkk. The dongle made by TI should probably work too, though I don't have one to confirm this.

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The pin out for the debug connector (https://lemariva.com/blog/2019/07/zigbee-flashing-cc2531-using-raspberry-pi-without-cc-debugger) looks to be SPI not serial so unless the board exposes the raw Serial pins I doubt this will be possible.

But could you not just use a Raspberry Pi (even a Pi Zero W) and run the code on that?

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  • A raspberry pi uses more power and costs much more: 30+ vs 1.5 euro/dollars. In the photo you can see a row of unpopulated contacts. Maybe one of those is the clean serial signal? I'm checking with the developer providing the firmware. – FarO Mar 5 at 11:25
  • A PI Zero W is less than $/€10 and if you were planning on running the code on the router it's probably already available for the Pi as well. – hardillb Mar 5 at 11:40
  • If it's the only option I will do it, but a ESP8266 module I already have at home, powered by the USB port of a router, costs less and is smaller than a Pi-zero plus SD card and wall power supply. – FarO Mar 5 at 15:09

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