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Hardware

This is the list of the hardware that is present in my smart home.

Home Server

The heart of my smart home is a home server based on Raspberry Pi 4 Model B with 4GB of RAM onboard. It's a small, affordable, but nonetheless a very capable device. It's held within an aluminum alloy case I bought on AliExpress. The aluminum case itself helps to disperse heat. Additionally, it came with a heat sink set and a tiny cooling fan.

As storage, I use a SanDisk Extreme Pro MicroSD A2 V30 64GB. This card is fast and reliable in handling small I/O operations.

Info

Home Assistant team recommands to use Application Class 2 as they handle small I/O much more consistently than cards not optimized to host applications. A 32 GB or bigger card is recommended.

I use official Raspberry Pi 15.3W USB-C Power Supply for powering my smart home server. It is important to get enough power for Raspberry Pi to work properly. Home Assistant requires at least 3A power and this power supply cable handles it just right.

Here's a photo of my home server hardware, right after I received it:

My home server hardware

A photo of the aluminum case when I was assembling it:

An aluminum case for my Raspberry Pi

Here's a whole kit assembled and connected to power:

A whole kit assembled and connected to power

WiFi Network

You're going to have a lot of devices in your network when you have a smart home. It's critical to choose a good router to handle multiple devices and heavy traffic.

Wireless Router

The second most important thing in my smart home is a WiFi router.

I've spent a lot of time choosing the right router. My main requirements for the router were:

  • Dual-band: 2.4GHz and 5GHz — Primarily, I use two networks in my home: 2.4GHz for smart devices and 5GHz for personal devices like phones and laptops. 5GHz uses shorter radio waves, and that provides faster speeds.
  • MU-MIMO — This is a technology that enables simultaneous communication to multiple devices, improving overall speed and enabling network multitasking. It is critical when you have lots of connected devices and want each of them to work with the highest speed.
  • 802.11ac — this is a so-called WiFi5 standard. It allows increased speeds and improved scalability. I have a gigabyte connection at my home and wanted to benefit from it.

I chose ASUS RT-AC1750U router for my home. It matches every condition above and has nice additional features. Also, I've noticed that routers by ASUS are quite respected among other smart-home enthusiasts.

I'm happy with my decision so far. This router gives the constant 600-900 Mbit/s speed, which is enough to download a 10GB file in less than 2 minutes.

Previously, I've also tried Xiaomi Router and wasn't happy about it. Xiaomi Router has UI in Chines and worked unreliably overall.

Here are my current ASUS and former Xiaomi routers:

My current ASUS and former Xiaomi routers

Devices

Below you will find a list of my devices connected to the local network. Most of them, except for Apple TV, have static IP addresses.

Device IP HA Integration
Apple TV 4K 192.168.50.x* Apple TV
Koogeek P1EU Smart Plug 192.168.50.9 HomeKit Controller
Koogeek P1EU Smart Plug 192.168.50.10 HomeKit Controller
Koogeek P1EU Smart Plug 192.168.50.11 HomeKit Controller
Samsung 55" Q67R 4K Smart QLED TV 192.168.50.93 ha-samsungtv-tizen**
Raspberry Pi 192.168.50.113*
Yeelight LED Bulb 1S (Color) 192.168.50.128 Yeelight
Yeelight LED Bulb 1S (Color) 192.168.50.129 Yeelight
Xiaomi Bulb White and Color 192.168.50.130 Yeelight
Xiaomi Desk Lamp Pro 192.168.50.131 Yeelight
PlayStation 4 Pro 192.168.50.185* Sony PlayStation 4
Roborock S5 Max 192.168.50.186 Xiaomi Miio
Deerma Humidifier (mjjsq) 192.168.50.187 xiaomi_airpurifier**
Xiaomi Air Purifier 3H 192.168.50.188 Xiaomi Miio
Google Home Mini 192.168.50.220 Google Cast
Google Nest Mini 192.168.50.221 Google Cast

* — means the device is connected via Ethernet instead of WiFi to ensure a more reliable connection.

** — means the device is integrated via custom integration.

Zigbee Network

My Zigbee devices are connected to Home Assistant via CC2531 Sniffer Board as a coordinator. Devices are controlled by Home Assistant via: zigbee2mqtt + Mosquitto + MQTT Integration.

Tip

I connected my coordinator to the Raspberry Pi through a USB extension cable to avoid interference and improve the connection. This approach is suggested by zigbee2mqtt documentation.

I used to use Aqara Hub, but it switched to the current approach because of its compatibility. The current approach allows binding together nearly every possible Zigbee device.

Devices

Device Quantity Notes
Aqara Smart LED Bulb 9W 5 Ceiling and Main lights
Aqara Motion Sensor 2 Detecting motions in both rooms
Aqara Magic Cube Controller 1 Controlling lights, scenes and modes
Aqara Conditions Sensor 1 Internal temperature, humidity and pressure data
Aqara Contact Sensor 1 Detection front door opening
MiJia Conditions Sensor 1 Internal temperature and humidity data

Media Volume

Transcend volume connected to my Raspberry Pi

I've got a Transcend StoreJet 25M3 2TB hard drive from my dad as my birthday present in 2020.

I have this HDD connected to my Raspberry Pi. It is used as a storage for my media files (primarly movies and TV-series). USB 3.0 interface on Raspberry allows high speed reading, so I can easily stream my media using Plex.

Media is downloaded directly to my HDD using Transmission container.

Other Devices

Another important device is a smart car alarm. I used StarLine AS96 BT GSM GPS which is easily integrated with Home Assistant via built-in StarLine integration.

This alarm allows to start/stop the engine, arm/disarm the alarm, trigger horn remotely via Home Assistant. Primarily, I use this for tracking down my car and checking interior temperature right from Home Assistant.