Macbook Pro with Home Assistant

Sitting here yesterday, looking at my Macbook Pro with a cracked screen I figured I might as well try something useful.

  • 2015 Macbook Pro
  • 16gb RAM
  • Quad i7 2.2Ghz CPU

What I’ve done:

  • Installed VirtualBox
  • Installed HA
  • Installed InsomniaX
  • Added a powered USB hub
  • Turned off as much power management stuff as I can find
  • Added CC2652R
  • MQTT and Zigbee2MQTT

I’ve added a Zigbee plug I had lying around and it all seems to work very nicely apart from one thing.

If I leave things alone, the plug becomes unavailable after around 8 minutes. If I restart the Zigbee2MQTT addon it says in the log that /dev/ttyUSB0 doesn’t exist.

The only way I’ve found to fix this is to restart the VM in VirtualBox.

I think I’ve found a workaround which is to add a “poll state” node in Node-RED that just gets the link quality entity for the plug every 60 seconds. Last night I shut the lid on the laptop, went to bed and it was still working this morning.

Couple of questions really.

  1. This Mac was just dumped in a corner. I don’t want to spend £££ getting the screen fixed. Is it realistic to just leave this sitting there as my HA server?

  2. Am I missing something on the power saving thing, or is the Node-RED polling fix “fine”?

I have a Pi 4 with a Conbee II and deCONZ running all my HA stuff at the moment, probably with 50 or 60 devices. I don’t want to go to the hassle of re-pairing everything on the Mac if it’s not a long term solution.

Yes, I know it’s probably overkill. But I don’t have any other use for the Macbook so it may as well do something useful if it can.