Phoscon ZigBee Gateway AKA – ConBee or RaspBee Part 3: Connecting a Device to the ZigBee Network

Paul Taylor from the Smarter Home Club returns for part three of his series on the Raspbee/Conbee. In this part, he covers connecting a device to the Zigbee network!

Welcome to the 3rd part of a series on the Phoscon ZigBee Gateway.

The first part introducing the hardware is available HERE 

The second part on hardware and software installation is available HERE

At the conclusion of this part you should have a functional ZigBee network. I.e. Buttons, sensors or timers that can control ZigBee endpoints like lights, switches or plugs.

This installment will be very picture heavy as we navigate the WebApp GUI

The Phoscon WebApp

Open the Phoscon WebApp

If you don’t remember the address you can use the discovery tool to find it  –

If you are prompted to create a group click the X in the corner as well will complete this step later

Click the hamburger menu in the top left and a new menu will slide out.
The devices section is where we will add lights, switches and sensors.
Switches in this instance are not physical wall switches that are ZigBee controllable but rather refers to devices with buttons like remotes or keypads

We will now go through adding a light – In this instance a ZigBee wall dimmer
Choose lights under the devices menu and a screen showing any lights you have already added plus an Add new light button at the bottom.
Click Add new light to continue

The gateway will begin searching for lights.
Put your light in pairing mode. (This procedure varies between manufacturers)
When a new device is found it will show on the list.
When all lights have been found you can click the X in the bottom right-hand corner

Repeat the device adding procedure for any switches or sensors you intend to use
Lights and other devices can be renamed to something more useful by clicking on the devices name in the device list
Then click the Pencil icon to enter a new name

Once complete click the Arrow in the top left of the screen. You should be re-prompted to add your first group.
Click Create first group
If not simply click the Add group button

Name your group and click Create

You will be presented with an empty group click the Gear Icon labelled Edit

Initially only the Manage lights option is available so choose it

The Available lights screen will come up

If you didn’t previously rename your lights and unsure which is which. Click the name and the light will begin to pulse. And the Identify light window will appear.
You can rename the light here if you’d like
Click Ok when done

You will return to the list of lights click the + next to any lights you wish to add to this group. Then click Save

Choose the Arrow in the top left to return to the Group Editor. You will see that we now have more options available. Depending on if you added Switches or Sensor one or both will be available. I’m going to add a switch so will click Switch editor

As there are no switches currently assigned I will click the Link Switch button

Click the desired Switch then click Next

Click the desired Switch then click Next

Choose an Action for the button. In this instance, I’m choosing an On/off action that performs a toggle. Then click Apply

When returned to the Key assignment screen you can click + to assign actions to additional buttons.

At this point, you should have a working control system for your ZigBee endpoints.
You can configure schedules, scenes, motion controls, etc. in much the same way as button controls
This effectively replicates the basic functions of any other available hub devices

What’s Next?

If all you are attempting to achieve is the steps we have done so far, you may be better served by a ready to go unit like SmartThings, Wink, Echo Plus or similar.

The real power of this system comes with external integrations. Part 4 of this series will move all inter-device connections and automation external to Node-Red taking advantage of the provided Rest API. is the website for our Facebook community, The Smarter Home Club – which is an umbrella for all kinds of smart home technologies – home automation, security, custom electronics, weather stations, alternative energy, you name it. DIY focused.

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