Battey and stability issues with z2m

I’m hearing that some of you are experiencing battery life and mesh stability issues with z2m. The first thing I want to make clear is that this is NOT a problem with CORE. While I initially had these issues with z2m on CORE nothing has improved since I moved z2m to one of my servers.

Battery life: Most notably affecting Iris v2 motion sensors, but ST water sensors are also suffering to a much lesser degree. I’ve had a handful of the Iris sensors in my mesh for over 3 years, first on HE, then moved to CORE. The original batteries that came with the sensors I got through eBay had never been replaced until sometime after moving the mesh off of HE. At first I figured they were just old and would have needed replacing anyway so I didn’t think much of it until the new batteries (out-of-the-box open-circuit voltage around 3.25) dropped to 2.7V in less than 3 weeks. They are very close to being useless at that voltage. I tried another round…then another, with the same results. A few weeks ago, after working with the z2m dev for some months (see below), I gave up and moved all of my Iris back to HE where they have been solid, with no drop in battery%, ever since. At the dev’s request, after he made some promising changes, I added a spare Iris to the z2m mesh again and the battery life indeed was some 30% better…meaning it lasted 4 weeks instead of 3. :roll_eyes: I expect few will read the mangled issue cited below so I’ll summarize: I ran numerous zigbee packet captures over a few weeks, both on the z2m mesh and the HE mesh, and compared them (controller/system startup, device pairing, cycles of operations from steady-state and alarm/clear), looking for whatever HE is doing differently in the hopes of identifying what could be done with z2m to remedy the problems. The z2m dev taught me a lot about how the communications are supposed to work and he spent a good deal of time analyzing the packet captures I posted. While some incremental improvements were made they did not have a substantial impact on the cited problems

Stability: Again affecting the Iris most notably but also the ST, I had devices going mute, where they’d still show in the z2m map but hadn’t “been seen” for days/weeks. Oddly, the ST water sensors would still report when wet but remained unseen and no temperature or battery info would be sent. :man_shrugging: The Iris were completely mute. With both devices, they sometimes could be un-zombied simply by pulling the battery and re-inserting it without delay. Other times they needed to be reset, and sometimes they had to be force-removed from the z2m mesh then reset and re-joined to get them to behave. I never did discern a pattern that indicated which of the remedies needed to be employed. Again, no such problems once they were moved back to HE.

It gives me no joy, although a good deal of peace of mind, to have HE be the best option at this time. As we all know, there are other shortcomings of the HE zigbee environment but stability and battery life trump all other issues IMO.

I filed an issue with the z2m dev and we tried several remedies. Unfortunately, and completely my fault, the issue became muddled with unfocused posts but the gist is as I’ve summarized above.

At one point Koen found a misbehaving repeater (ST plug-in switch) and it was removed temporarily from my mesh. Then, for good measure, I temporarily removed the rest of my ST plug-in switches leaving only a dozen of Iman’s Multi-sensors as repeaters and the mesh was in great shape without the ST repeaters. Then I added the ST plug-ins back to the mesh and was a bit surprised that not a single end device chose to connect through any of them, preferring to stay with Iman’s Multi-sensors even through various events like power outages. In my experience Iman’s Multi-sensors are the best repeaters with the caveat that I’ve tried very few others not mentioned above. YMMV and standby for someone to say they are crap and must be disposed of for a healthy mesh in 3…2…1…

I’m still moving zigbee devices back to HE but I had complete stability with great battery life when everything was in the HE mesh before and I expect it will be the same in the near future.


My main issue right now. Fortunately I have only 3 sensors affected.

I can report similar issues with Iris v.2 sensors. Sometimes they would not report temp, but would report motion. It seems to be OK recently, but they dont like it when I power down zigbee2mqtt for even a reboot/update.

This is worrying to me because those little Iris Gen 2 sensors are the backbone of my smart home. I have not had the time recently to fully dive into CORE, at least at the hardware level, but I am worried about converting over at all now if I am going to have to replace the batteries to my 20 sensors every month.

I think I have a couple extra lying around so I might just pair those and see how they fare. I hope the Z2M guys can figure out what is going on and why this isn’t an issue with HE.

I’m not experiencing dead batteries on my iris sensors. And I have a fair amount. I see battery levels reporting at 8% for months on end with no issues. I do know that you need to wake them up and change reporting on them as they report every 10 seconds by default. But I’ve not had any drop off for months. There are a lot of contributing factors that could lead to poor battery life. Repeaters, construction, interference. All can play a factor. Different types of repeaters can make a huge difference. A combination of devices can definitely play a factor in things.

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I guess all I really can do is dive in then, because it sounds like I need the full mesh to be present to really get a good idea if things are working as intended.

Do you know if the stick’s firmware would have any impact on this type of thing? I got one from you guys but have not had the chance yet to update it to the latest version. I know Markus was working on some sort of firmware updater for both Z sticks, but has that been released yet or is it still being developed/tested?

I believe that there are some people who have not experienced the issues I, and several others, have and I ask that you speak up if you are among them. The reason being that there is a chance, however slim, that we, as a group, can figure out what is the difference between our setups and help Koen fix this. I prefer we limit this investigation to the Iris V2 motion sensors since they have been the main focus so far but y’all may have a different need/agenda.

My Iris have completely stopped working, not even a blink when it should see motion, at anything below 27%. I have never seen a percentage reported below that as they have “died” before reporting anything lower. But % is not the best measure, voltage is and 2.7 is the lowest I’ve seen in z2m with a functioning Iris V2.

HE does not report voltage, which is unfortunate in this case, and their range of % is much more optimistic, meaning that I expect to see these sensors still reporting something like 50% when it quits working. However, I’ve yet to see the Iris quit working with HE so this is only a guess.

I forgot to mention that I had a friend use 2 of my Iris V2 motion sensors in his mesh which is run by ZHA, a popular setup with Home Assistant. They ran perfectly on “old” batteries (2.9V) for a couple weeks and the voltage did not drop at all. Side note… ZHA is WAY optimistic. He put in a battery at 2.7V and it registered 92%! and the sensor quit working within hours. :flushed: :laughing:

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Like April,I’m not seeing any battery issues with my Iris v2 sensors either and I have 25 of them. I’ve been on z2m now for over a year after moving from HE and most of my sensors are still on the original batteries which are 3 plus years old. I have a couple in my freezer and those batteries have not been replaced since moving to z2m. I’m not running CORE, just using a Sonoff 3.0 dongle on a linux server.

I will probably end up doing this next week and over the Thanksgiving weekend, wish me luck. I hope that a mesh of Iris 3210-L/L2’s and Inovelli Blue’s will be stable enough.

If it doesn’t end well, hopefully I will generate enough data to help Koen fix the problem.

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I have created a topic to focus on the issues with Iris and z2m. Please join me there.