Home Assistant Yellow: the open-source home automation box!

The home automation sector is definitely in full swing this coming back to school. After Homey Bridge last week and Jeedom atlas wednesday, here comes Home Assistant Yellow, previously named Amber! Nabu Casa, the company behind the software, is launching a crowdfunding campaign with the aim of providing a ready-to-use box. Based on the Raspberry Pi CM4 module, this gateway aims to democratize the free and open source home automation system.

Jeedom Atlas: a concentrate of technology for your home automation

Home Assistant Yellow: a plug & play box?

Last year, Nabu Casa launched Home Assistant Blue, a limited edition box based on the Odroid N2 + nano-computer and intended to offer more powerful hardware than the traditional Raspberry Pi to users of open-source home automation software. Now abandoned, the project has changed from blue to yellow with the idea of ​​designing a system perfectly optimized for Home Assistant OS from scratch… And a Raspberry Pi!

It is indeed a Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4) which will constitute the heart of the machine which will also integrate the very last Zigbee 3.0 module Mighty Gecko MGM210P from Silicon Labs currently supporting Openthread and very soon the news Matter home automation specification.

Home Assistant Yellow will also offer a Gigabit Ethernet port with PoE to power it, a M.2 port intended to receive an SSD in NVMe format or the Google Coral AI platform, 2 USB 2.0 type-A ports et 1 USB 2.0 type-C port (usable in UART mode for serial console access or in USB mode for recovery).

Everything will be housed in a plastic case rather compact translucent polycarbonate from 123 x 123 x 36 mm very aesthetic DIY, but the objective is above all to provide an efficient, scalable and totally open system ...

The Home Assistant Yellow home automation box is offered in crowdfunding priced at $ 149, or about 126 euros. The objective of $ 140 to start production should quickly be reached since 000% of the project is already funded thanks to the first 44 contributors. You have until 27 October 2021 to participate.

More open source than ever!

Home Assistant Yellow is open-source from A to Z, giving you full and unrestricted control of your home automation system. Operating locally, this home automation box does not depend on the Internet or a cloud, all your data being stored warm at home. Nabu Casa specifies that all the design resources will become available as the project progresses and that Home Assistant Yellow can very well be used with other software such as Jeedom or Raspberry Pi OS for example.

Home Assistant tutorial: installation on Raspberry Pi (2021)

Over a thousand devices and integrations are compatible with Home Assistant OS, many of which are not supported by other popular platforms like Apple HomeKit, Samsung SmartThings or even Amazon Alexa and Google Home. You will find the complete list of devices on the Home Assistant official website.

Risk of shortage

Due to the global component shortage, Nabu Casa warns that Home Assistant Yellow is not immune to supply difficulties. Indeed, only 500 complete units and 2000 units of each variant of the Yellow kit could be ordered.

« The Raspberry Pi 4 compute module has been particularly difficult to find in bulk, although many CM4 variants are available in low quantities from various vendors. »Explains the company which invites the most impatient to order a variant without the module and to acquire it separately.

Technical characteristics of Home Assistant Yellow

Here are the technical specifications of Home Assistant Yellow provided by Nabu Casa:

  • Carrier board for Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4 (CM4)
    • CM4 board to board connector
    • Supports direct boot from NVMe devices (e.g. for CM4 Lite)
    • 12cmx12cm
    • Compatible with all 32 variants of CM4
      • Quad-core Cortex-A72 (ARMv8) 64-bit / 1,5 GHz
      • Up to 8 GB of RAM
      • eMMC up to 32 GB
      • Regulatory approval does not cover wireless variants
  • Smart-home wireless integratedSilicon Labs MGM210P Mighty Gecko Module )
    • Supports Zigbee 3.0, OpenThread and Matter
    • 2,4 GHz radio with TX power up to +20 dBm
    • 1024 KB flash program memory, 96 KB RAM data memory
    • Pre-installed with Zigbee 3.0 firmware (EZSP), can be upgraded
  • Expansion slot
    • For NVMe SSDs or Google Coral AI Accelerator (M-Key)
    • M.2 M-Key socket
    • Supports 2230, 2242, 2260 and 2280 modules
    • PCIe x1
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 2 x USB 2.0 Type-A host port
  • 1 x USB-C 2.0 device portSilicon Labs CP2102N USBXpress USB bridge )
    • UART mode (default): debug the USB-to-serial adapter
    • USB mode: CM4 USB 2.0 interface for USB recovery
  • High quality stereo audio DAC
    • 2 V RMS line output on 3,5 mm audio jack
    • SNR 106dB
  • 2 x push button
    • Red: factory reset
    • Blue: to be determined
  • RTC supported by CR2032 battery
  • Status LEDs (may be off during normal operation)
    • Green energy
    • Red: disk usage
    • Yellow: Home Assistant system status
  • Consumption
    • 12V / 2A Barrel DC Power Socket (5,5mm x 2,1mm)
    • Ethernet: PoE + IEEE 802.3at-2009 Class 3 or 4 (selectable via jumper)
    • Typical energy consumption
      • Idling ~ 1,5 W
      • Idling with NVMe ~ 2,5 W
      • Load ~ 5-9 W
  • Controller
    • 123 mm x 123 mm x 36 mm
    • Injection molded translucent polycarbonate plastic
    • Tool-free assembly
    • Fits custom heat sink (included)
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