Home Assistant Amber

To celebrate our 8th birthday we’re launching a crowdfunding campaign for Home Assistant Amber. We designed Home Assistant Amber from scratch for both beginners and home automation enthusiasts to be the easiest way to run Home Assistant.

We will be hosting a Home Assistant Amber live stream today at 12.00 PDT / 21.00 CEST. We will talk about how Home Assistant Amber came to be and answer any questions you might have!

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.home-assistant.io/blog/2021/09/13/home-assistant-amber/

I’m in! Glad to support this, even if I stick with my current system.

Great work.

Very interesting, I was looking at a similar Waveshare POE board plus a Nordic dev kit for OpenThread/Matter purposes, this is ready to go.

I can for sure seeing someone making a custom case cover with a display to show system load statistics and connecting to the UART header.

I noticed in the presentation that if the M2 was used for SSD, you can plug an AI accelerator like Coral into USB, but that needs a USB3 port to run at full speed… and it looks like this only has USB2 ports. Is that a CM4 limitation?

Very nice box, congrats!

Would the zigbee module be compatible with zigbee2mqtt? :smiley:

That would be awesome!

CM4 only has a single PCIe lane, and that is used for the M.2 slot. On a normal Raspberry Pi, USB 3 utilizes that single PCIe lane.

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This is fabulous, would love to purchase. Is it possible to save on shipping somehow… the assembled unit is $20 shipping, but purchasing the component items separately in order to access POE more than doubles shipping costs…

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What’s the possibility of adding zwave module to it ?

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It has a USB port, so in the usual way :slight_smile:

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This question, and many more, are answered in today’s live streaming event from the HA team.

Where does this leave the status of the Blue?

They touched on this in the video too, but it was an experiment and, as described on the Home Assistant Blue webpage, intended to be a limited run. The only thing that’s really special about Blue is the case; you can otherwise buy an Odroid N2+ with whatever case you do (or don’t; it’s technically optional) you want, and you’d end up with the same hardware. They have said they are committed to all currently supported platforms going forward, so you shouldn’t have to worry about that for the foreseeable future. I’d say Amber is its successor in spirit — and it has a few neat features comparatively, like built-in Zigbee.


It would have been nice to have an internal facing USB 2 port such that a Z-Wave dongle could be mounted inside the case rather than as a protruding device.

Putting such devices on the end of a long cable and away from your mainboard is recommended anyway. In fact, has the interference issue been addressed for the zigbee device? (I don’t have an hour right now to look at the video).


They said most issues requiring extension cables were due to USB 3 interference and hence devices operate happily plugged in directly to the board using USB 2. There is no USB 3 interface implemented so interference source avoided. They kind of said it seemed worse on the 2.4Ghz band i.e. ZigBee.


OK I didn’t know it was limited to USB3. Thanks.

As mentioned above, the biggest issue with Zigbee in the past that I know of would have been interference on 2.4 GHz (Zigbee frequency) with USB 3.0 ports. This one is built-in to the Amber board and not connected via USB at all; they said they are using UART and the hardware control pins on the CM4 module. They also said they did testing of signal strength and it appears to be good, even with the internal/ceramic antenna, with no significant difference between the external antenna they also tested.

That being said, if your computer is in a “bad” spot and it would be helpful to move the radio/antenna away from the box, I assume you’d still be able to do that by connecting an external one (there are two USB 2.0 ports) and just ignoring the built-in module. You’ll also have to do that if you want Z-Wave. If you’re using Zigbee2MQTT, you might need to do that for Zigbee too anyway unless (the currently alpha-level) support for the new SiLabs modules improves before then; ZHA should be fine.

But in that case, I suppose you might just want to look at bringing your own hardware. :smiley:


A little unconvinced re the case, I like the transparent choice but feel that a hybrid of metal/plastic exterior attaching to the internal heat sink would have worked better. Maybe metal base or finned on one external side. They say that there is a dissipative transfer of heat through plastic which has proved adequate … but plastic is a good insulator.

Having some internal moulding to mount LED’s - just a hole on each side or corner might be funky as they had to remove the internal RGB intent due to component availability issues. Maybe an aftermarket option for a different top/side with ePaper display mounting option.

Have ordered of course…

I wonder if the HM-MOD-RPI-PCB for controlling HomeMatic with Jens RaspberryMatic is possible?! What do you think are the leftover connectors making this possible?

I read :

RTC backed by CR2032 battery

Does that mean HA OS will finally get support for a RTC-clock on a Raspberry Pi ?

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