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A reliable Raspberry Pi 4B setup with UPS (power bank) and SSD

 After more than 4 years spent in home automation, the thing that bothered me the most was the regular failure of my Pi SD cards.

These failures were the consequences of power supply issues and too much IO on the SD card. I could have tried to reduce the IO or to buy a better model of SD card.

With a home automation system, you need something that is available when you need it. Not something that stops in the middle of your holidays.

So here are the results of my recommendations:

  • For the storage, it is now well known that the SD Card on the PI is subject to corruption, to avoid that you can put your system in read-only mode, try to reduce the writing, or install an SSD. The raspberry pi 4b can now also boot from the SSD. I choose this solution as I wanted to keep the DB on the Pi.
  • For the UPS, I had the occasion to test several Power Bank without satisfaction. Indeed if the power bank you are using doesn't have a pass-through mode, you have a risk that the bank will stop at an unexpected moment, due to the low consumption of the Pi.
After some research I selected the following components (Amazon affiliated links):
The Voltaic Systems V25 is configured by default in Always On mode, so nothing to do especially except connect it to a good power supply.

On this Pi, I have installed Home Assistant on top of Debian by following this tutorial.
It explains to you how to migrate to the SSD and get rid of your SD card :-))

Note that this type of installation is unfortunately not officially supported by Home Assistant :-(

Here are some photos of this setup.






The Pi 4B is on the first layer with the SSD fixed below the top layer. The power bank is on the second one.
The power bank power the Pi 4b and the Olimex ESP32 gateway.

I'm very satisfied with this system. It is stable, the power bank is working perfectly even if it is rated for 2A (Raspberry PI 4 advise a 3A power supply).

The cherry on the cake, I have the space to put the Olimex ESP32 gateway + OpenMQTTGateway so as to have a great BLE coverage.

You can see also another Raspberry PI on the third layer, this one is used for tests only.

I hope this is useful and will give you some ideas. I wasted so much times due to SD Cards corruption. If I can avoid you this, it will always be winning!


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