Help to understand the "Big Picture"

Hi, I am new to Home assistant, I got a raspberripi 4 4gb, download latest yesterday version and install ok no problem it’s up and running.
I have only a chrome cast audio, and I can cast some text to speech to it ;-))

But I need some directions on the “big picture”.

I don’t want to go too fancy, just few on/off some disable light, Shutters, radio, some private voice assistant later (now Snips belong to Sonos that path is now uncertain, and Almond look very young). Broadcom RM mini 3 RF bridge (TV remote), maybe I could move CCTV from NAS depending on drive storage …

Hardware : does anybody boot Home Assistant on their Pi from usb 3 drive, or is it still in waiting ?

Network : What is the best practices, do you reserve some manual IPs in your router for your devices (sonof, shelly, etc …) and start DHCP over that first range ?
I have 2 routers at each end of the house, one is the main one, the other is in repeater mode with WDS so only one network. do you use a specific. Vlan for your devices to split the traffic ? How badly do you need SSL , DNS for basic home use ? (Which unmissable add-on do you recommend)

Firmware : I think I would go for some Shelly 2.5 for the widows shutters and maybe a couple of dimmer. I already have with me 2 Sonof basic original in their box (no tasmota yet). Should I go for Tasmota on Shelly 2.5 too? Tasmota for Shelly dimmer ? Do you mix shelly and tasmota firmware ?

Terminal into hassio? I can’t find a way to type a command line directly into hassio, where is it hidden. (I need to change IP address). No ssh neither. If I put a screen on the raspi, I don’t have a usual prompt ???

Node red : after install, I got 502: Bad Gateway, I need to sort that out, not sure about secret credential and SSL … I would feel more confortable if I could sort out the all network options related first

Cast : I would love to be able to listen to some web radios cast directly from Home assistant (one screen for all, no more apps) , What the best way to do that ? some sort of Lovelace radio ** ? After my text to speech positive expérience, How to set audio source to a cast destination ?

** I have heard Sonos buy Snips because 90% of voice assistant is for audio purpose, if that is true then a Lovelace/almond radio could also make sense.

Thanks for your help !


you need to install SSH server add-on

There aren’t really any established “best practices” for Home Automation networking.

I have all “iot” devices in a separate subnet to keep that traffic firewalled.

SSL is really only useful if you open up your HA to the internet. For internal use only, assuming you trust your local network, you don’t need it at all. DNS is always handy to run in your home, but if you don’t care about DNS names…not a big deal.

SSH add-on, and if you want access to the host OS (hint: it runs HassOS, not Raspbian), you need to add that capability following the documentation on debugging hassio.

Because you aren’t running Raspbian. You are using an appliance.

Did you read the documentation on how to do that?

In your NODE RED config, turn off the SSL requirements.

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thank you both, node red and manual ip sorted.

Still need more understanding on device firmwares, webradio & cast, raspi boot and usb drive.

Don’t worry about device firmwares - I have several SONOFF Basic with Tasmota, but some people say it’s getting worse in the las versions (I haven’t updated mine for a while).
My Wemod D1 mini works with ESPHome in native mode and I like it, would recommend to learn more about it - it’s a very flexible and evolving firmware that is natively supported by HA.
Speaking about RPi - some people successfully run them with SSD hooked via USB and you can find topics about it here. I’m thinking of moving to a Ubuntu laptop running HA in a docker container or vent, but not ready to do that just yet. Your SD card will fail anyway (when you want it the least) and even SSD will limit you, let alone resource-hungry things like cameras/face recognition etc. My point is that RPi is a first step and then you will fill its limitations so maybe it’s worth to consider non-rbi options that will bring very different questions.

For firmware I can second the suggestion “esphome”. It’s just amazing! You manage all your firmwares from one central location across all types of devices (sonoff, Shelly, tuya, etc.), as long as they are esp* based. And they all integrate effortlessly into HA.

For radio you I have a list of stream-urls in an input_select, and an automation that passes these urls to the Chromecast.

thank you seanomat,

I also find out the cast button in node red, where you can specify the web radio url.

You can’t mix firmware. Firmware is firmware. When you flash a firmware on a device it overwrites the old firmware. It can’t append or mix firmware.

I did understand it right, by mixing firmwares, I mean on different devices with possible consequence on the HA server (slow, heavy, ???).

The Shelly firmware is good, open source, and allows you to turn all cloud communication off.
I use Tasmota on most of my devices, use ESPHome on some, and leave most of my Shellies with their default firmware.

Specifically, if you are using shelly 2.5 for roller shutters, you will have a lot less configuration keeping the stock Shelly firmware than using Tasmota or another custom firmware, as you will need to set up timers etc to be able to easily control the shutter opening level. Shelly has all you need to configure the 2.5 as a roller shutter with it’s own calibration that is able to see when the shutter is open, closed, half way etc.

My take is that shellies should be left with shelly firmware - unless there is of course a compelling reason to use a custom firmware.

Thank you for your answer, from my readings Shelly has the best option for roller shutter.
Your experience comfort me in the possibility to mix devices with different firmware.

Today I install esptool on my Mac, with a lot of pain (original python 2.7 will be gone by next month, and some repo anticipate, was hard to move to python 3, but finally was able to install successfully esptool.pi, but look like it can’t talk to the fdti, with message “not configurated”, I am stuck there, no way to install tasmota on sonoff basic. Need to try from the Pi.
I will order early next month the Shelly,…