If Home Assistant had hardware developers, what should they make that doesn't already exist?

This probably won’t go anywhere… I’m curious what things people want to do, but the hardware isn’t really available to put together to solve the problem.

I’m thinking this could be an idea depot - an open-ended, possibly never-ending, discussion. Every now and then, someone does a custom board for themselves. Perhaps it’s a shield, or perhaps it’s a complete ESP or Pi based design. What if, with minor modifications, they could also solve someone else’s missing hardware issue also - either by adding just one more footprint on the PCB for a small device, or another connector, or ???

Or maybe at some point, someone takes a number of the ideas ideas and builds one board to solve them all.

And for anyone thinking of doing a hardware design, I’m an electrical engineer and happy to help review design ideas, identify parts, review schematics and layout, etc (in its own thread please. Let’s keep this one for higher level discussions).

To put some bounds on this, I think it’d be best to mostly exclude ideas that are already possible with separate devices/boards and a few jumper wires, unless it just becomes unwieldy. There are just too many possibilities.

And before anyone mentions them, yes, it’d be nice to have Home Assistant light bulbs, doorbells, switches, etc. But seems to me that most of those would be better served by working with an existing manufacturer and customizing it (OEM / ODM model).

A motor for existing blinds. I know there’s some DIY ones and a (very expensive!) zigbee one, but a simple clip on device that pulls strings shouldn’t be as hard to source at a reasonable price as it currently is.

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Cooker Hoods (no not the whole thing)

Okay, So I just changed my cooker hood, the old one was ‘okay’ but just a little dinged and dirty (with grease) in the cracks and crevices and when you took it apart to clean I found even more.
I thought ‘great I can replace it and get a smart hood’ (the wife is always leaving the light on and pretty much the same with the fan, but it would also be useful to turn the fan on if the kitchen needed extra ventilating).
So I bought a light dimmer and a switch and I experimented on the old hood.
I fitted the dimmer so that the ‘hood switch’ fed a relay which provided volt free contacts to the dimmer.
the fan had various speeds (4 speed varient for mine) these operated by feeding mains voltage to different windings on the motor providing the different speeds. So each speed output fed a diode which then all fed into the switch (mains voltage this time so no relay required on the input) and the input worked okay on half-wave rectified input.Because of the diodes the live on one does not backfeed (up one diode and down the others, its a bridge/block) then the individual feeds (before the diodes) were fed into a 4 pole relay, out the other side and into the motor as before.
Okay so when the fan was turned off by HA, you’d have to turn the switch off manually, then back on again (and HA would then reset the switch, but I could live with that)
Everything worked great, I was chuffed …

Then the new hood arrived, I went to fit the same mod’s to find : -

  1. The lights operated on a 6v dc circuit (worse, they were 3v bulbs in series)
  2. The motor feed is a single cable (multi-core) but double sheathed with an additional heat protection sleeve and built into a small channel that I couldn’t get at.

I was gutted !

So I think “a smart kit for cooker hoods” coming in Z-Wave / Zigbee or ESPhome (etc. depending on market demand) flavours and the hoods could then be marked “Compatible With” Or like TV controls we just have a website noting compatible models. The manufacturers would soon get the hint.

(I’m now just waiting for the bulbs to go so I can gut it and rebuild)

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Toilet!

“Hey Google, wipe my…”. Ok, that needs a google integration too.
But you could use the slider in lovelace to control the arm, or just build an automation.

While a complete packaged product isn’t out of bounds to list here, I was really more thinking this could be a repo for smaller things that DIY’ers need to finish out a project.

That was purely a joke :slight_smile:

When I started I looked for generic I/O boards with Ethernet, a processor I could flash (Atmega), opto-isolated inputs and generic outputs. Didn’t find anything. Ended up making my own.

Two versions so far:


Trying to gauge interest on the 2nd version to determine whether it is worth producing for sale.

Few people seem to care much about Ethernet though, most just use WiFi (and experience the associated problems :wink: )

I’ve actually been eyeballing a few ESP devices with Ethernet (mainly for easy of use to use ESPHome), but it seems like you either get a tiny board with few spare leftover I/O’s, or you have to get an overly big expensive one. So I’ve kinda backed away from that on my wishlist.