Occurred to me might be worth mentioning: added this battery pack
for all the core electronics stuff (RPIs, router, etc) and am NOT using 12V bucks for things plugged into this. Works great for giving a little buffer to me shutting something off when I shouldn't. I use the bucks for RPIs, but not for 12VDC stuff.
FTR, 12VDC input I'm using is coming from the Victron IP20
since our house is 24VDC. So we've already got the right range for the 12VDC side. I suspect this thing would be fine with 14.5VDC input
Regarding Raspberry Pi, I couldn't believe how expensive/unavailable the units are. Although I fully admit I'm a novice with this stuff. I ended up purchasing an ODROID-N2+
, which was used in the Home Assistant Blue device. Seems to be much more powerful than RPi, relatively inexpensive, and actually available. Bonus is that it is powered at 12V (7.5-18V)! Have received it but haven't set up yet.
I've got a few Odroids as well. One of them I'm using in the van is the HC2 - super cool little device and they work great. I'm not sure I could stomach the prices they're getting for the RPI4 at this point (or even the RPI3) but I have a few of them laying around, so... I like them.
The biggest advantage to the RPIs is the case options - I've got cases with DACs built in, UPS units and others with 2.5 SSDs and even one setup with dual SSDs (but none with SSDs /and/ UPS, unfortunately). In theory, the cases are similar enough for some of the Odroids, but in practice that isn't always the case. As a base for the Home Assistant, I suspect the Odroid will be excellent. You might have to do your own build - versus just an image - but that's the only challenge. I can't recall if HASS has a compatible image. I'd say at least consider HASS in a container as another option.
It's a shame they don't still make the Odroid HC1/HC2 - such a cool setup for a simple storage server. Pop a hard-drive in and it's a full Linux NAS. Run OMV and it's capable of all sorts of stuff on top of NAS while being easy to manage.
I'm running HASS on an RPI4 with a 4TB SSD - running Open Media Vault as the base OS with a handful of containers. That doesn't go as well on the HC2 because I don't want to spin up the HDD, so it's just idle unless watching a movie. The Geekworm NASPi case works great for the main system: very low power draw, automatic fan control, and SSD all nicely contained.
I'm running HASS in a container because it really didn't respond well to non-graceful shut-downs, which I seem to cause every now and then. In the container, it's easy to back up and restore (versus making SD or USB backups for native) and seems to run just as well. And, for reasons I don't understand, it hasn't puked even with a non-graceful in the container setup; I suspect there's some /reason/ for that... but I don't know what it is.
Another thing I'm doing is running ZeroTier
on everything, so (with full-time internet in the van), I can access the OMV systems directly as if they're here. This also allows the Plex systems to do some sync as they can talk directly to the NAS / Plex at the house over ZT.
For those not familiar, here's the OMV Dashboard. Everything is very easy to use web-driven stuff.
Inside that GUI, you can click a few buttons and have Docker up and going as well as Portainer (and Yacht). I like Portainer, so I use that to manage the containers.
Then HASS is that middle container.
With ZeroTier, each device is an IP address you choose and encrypted from endpoint to endpoint. Then just different ports for each application running inside the containers. Some are "native" or host network, others are NAT'd, but they all come out the same: go to 32400 and you've got Plex; go to 8123 for HASS; 9000 for Portainer, etc. If you're semi-familiar with this stuff (I'm pretty sure @NealCarney
is, but for other's sake), it all seems simple. If not familiar, it's probably a bit of a learning curve but pretty cool once it's all working.