Home Assistant - The Easy Way

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Hi HA Community,

For some time now, we have worked on this project, that we call HassBox. The reason we have decided to make the HassBox, is that HA (especially Hassio) has become way more user friendly over time, however we have a feeling that the setup process for Home Assistant, like not only buying a Raspberry Pi and flashing a SD card, but also figuring out and deciding what Zigbee and/or Z-Wave solution to go with, might make some people shy away from using this great software. Therefore we wanted to make an option for the new guy, who is willing to pay a little extra hardware wise, in order to avoid the confusion and hassle of getting started with HA, plus getting it all in a neat case.

What does a HassBox contain?

HassBox can currently only be found in two models.

Model 1 contains pre-installed:

  • Hassio
  • Zigbee (more specifically a cc2530 running zigbee2mqtt, made possible by Koenkk and danielwelch)
  • 32GB USB flash drive (which is what HA is booted from, main reasons being faster read/write speed and avoiding corrupted SD cards)
  • Raspberry Pi 3B+
  • Nice looking case

Model 2 contains pre-installed:

  • Hassio
  • Zigbee (more specifically a cc2530 running zigbee2mqtt, made possible by Koenkk and danielwelch)
  • Z-Wave (more specifically a ZWaveme UZB1 stick)
  • 32GB USB flash drive (which is what HA is booted from, main reasons being faster read/write speed and avoiding corrupted SD cards)
  • Raspberry Pi 3B+
  • Nice looking case

The two other models on the website, based on a Raspberry Pi 4B (with and without SSD), will hopefully become a reality, when HA can be booted from the USB-port.

Website:
https://hassbox.com

Lastly we just want to point out, that even though our website says 4-7 days delivery, it will more likely be closer to 3 weeks at this moment in time, since we haven’t got everything we need yet.

Questions, suggestions or critique is much appreciated.

(PS. on the website we obviously recommend buying Home Assistant Cloud)

If this is not allowed, feel free deleting this post.

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Do you have prices established, yet? Don’t appear to be listed on the website…

Hi @kylerw

If you click “read more” on our website, you can see our prices.

I see a 2 year hardware warranty, but nothing about support. Do you have support policies? What turnaround time if someone emails you with a configuration problem? Where is your forum? Do you have a discord channel?

Given that it’s dependant on ha and I assume you are planning to make a profit …

Are you planning to donate a percentage of that profit to support ha development?

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Hi @nickrout

Correct, we just launched our webshop, so it definitely still need improvements.
We most likely won’t create a forum on our website, since we see it as an unnecessary split, keeping question and answers on one site, makes it easier for everyone, that being said, we will probably be making another topic on this site for any configuration questions. (if the admins are okay with that)
Before making the Discord channel, we wanted to see the community response and also make a sale :blush:

About the turnaround question, if you mean how fast we will respond, it’s within 24 hours, as it can be seen under https://hassbox.com/contact/ but most likely much faster than that.
We will also be making a guide for starting out, with the exact setup you get in the HassBox.

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So in reality you want the volunteers on this forum to support your commercial venture?

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My fear exactly in the original thread.

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Hi @eggman

We are very much dependent on HA, and also plan on making some sort donation to the team on every sale we make, that being said, we decided to push the price low and hope to make a bigger profit later, by buying in bulk, therefore it probably won’t be a large donation in the beginning. On the website we recommend buying Home Assistant Cloud, and if one of the guys most responsible for HA would contact us, we could talk about the donation, since we haven’t been able to find a place to donate. But we still haven’t made a sale :blush:.

@nickrout

We plan on making donations, and see the customers we might get, as very likely to buy Home Assistant Cloud, since they went for the easy version with us, they most likely will do the same for getting access outside the house.
So yeah, you are helping us, but you are also supporting the community in general, not only financially, but also other people who got HA the traditional way, who runs into many of the same problems as those who buy the HassBox.

I like it…this will hopefully open/invite more novice users to start experience HA. Couple suggestions:

  1. Do you ship international? state so either way. Sorry if I missed it.
  2. Include at least some get started guide and how to pair, etc.
  3. Do state what kind of sdcard is provided as some are known to failure after few months/close to first year.

Good luck! I will ask my friends who are still on the bench w HA to check it out!

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Hi @quattr0

Thank you :blush:

  1. Yes we do ship internationally, but not every country. We are located in Denmark, which means that shipping in EU is the cheapest, but we are also shipping to USA, Canada and a few more outside EU, this however costs a little bit more for both us and the customer. Price outside EU excl. VAT is located under view product on the products site.
  2. Will do, definitely next on the to-do list
  3. We won’t be selling the HassBox with a SD card, since we have had similar problems to what many others have experienced.
    Therefore it will be booted from a Samsung fit+ 32gb USB, which we have had nice results with.
    This is also the main reason we don’t want to sell the HassBox with a Raspberry Pi 4B yet.

I’m mistaken the above with sdcard. Good stuff!

What operating system are you running? Is it hassos, or something else like debian with hassio on top?

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I’m curious about this HassBox. Are there any USB ports available? How do you setup Wi-Fi out of the box without a USB port and flash drive? In my opinion, I wouldn’t buy this unless I saw some examples of your support documentation since that would be only value I from buying a HassBox. Any documentation you can contribute will help both Home Assistant and Hassbox.

Why is there an embedded Youtube video about the Raspberry Pi 4 when you are selling a Raspberry Pi 3B+? Seems misleading to me.

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@nickrout

It’s running Hass.io, since that’s the most approachable to newcomers and Hass.io runs on Raspbian.

I’m not sure about everyone else here but I really feel strongly that you should NOT use the community forum here to get free customer support for your own business.

Starting a business means providing customer service. If you can’t provide that customer service on your own then maybe you should think twice about starting the business.

I’m sure there are costs involved in hosting this website and the devs of HA and this forum shouldn’t be providing you free web space.

And I, as a member who willingly spends a lot of time here freely helping others who are doing this as enthusiasts, will not be used for free to help you make a profit in your business.

I’m sorry but that’s a pretty bold expectation on your part.

I really hope the admins draw the line here.

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Hi @dwinnn

At the moment, only two ports will be available from outside the HassBox, and that is the power supply port, and the ethernet port, but since one of the 4 USB-ports on the Raspberry Pi is still free, we will look into making that available with the box closed.
For now the only way of setting up WiFi is by SSH-ing and changing it through a pretty easy interface on Raspbian, but we have not found a perfect solution for the WiFi problem yet. LAN will probably be what the customer who is afraid of SSH, will be using.
We will definitely be making some support documents soon.
The Raspberry Pi 4 video is a mistake from when we initially setup the website, and through we could make a HassBox with Raspberry Pi 4 from start, thank you for pointing it out.

I have been involved with Kodi for years and I am a (pretty inactive) team member.

Kodi (and under its previous name XBMC) suffered a plague of people putting out cheap chinese android boxes, with illegal and unsupported (by Team Kodi) addons that gave access to piracy sites etc. People would buy these things, and then come to the Kodi forums seeking help. They wouldn’t be given help for such installations, except to clean it out and install standard Kodi. Even that imposed a considerable burden on the forums and the moderators. I wouldn’t want to see such a burden imposed by a similar situation with this forum supporting non standard ha installations.

However as this project is running hassio on raspbian, I suspect that the support burden will be exactly the same as for any other new user.

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I understand that but still the burden shouldn’t fall on the members of this forum to give out FREE customer support while the business owners make the profits.

If you can’t provide your own customer support then don’t sell the product.

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