Unofficial Homey MODS (that can brick your Homey and can/will void your Warranty!)

Here a new topic for anybody that would like to talk/discuss about hardware mods or unofficial software/jailbreak mods. Please be aware that everything in this topic is at your own risk!

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Here some info about swapping my CM4 module in Homey 2023 pro.

The best/official -unofficial way is to open Homey, desolder the (5) connections from the antennaboard to the carrier board and replace the CM4 module. The problem is that this needs solder and desolder work.

In this picture you see the 5 connections on the left of the text ‘Antenna’ that have to be desoldered and desoldered:


I replaced my CM4 module without soldering on the following way (sorry for my poor English).
Everything is at your own risk, etc. Etc… :wink:

  1. I used a CM4108032 (CM4 module with WiFi, 8GB RAM and 32 GB storage.
  2. Buy a mini wrench set. You need a set with very small size. (Very cheap set on Amazon size 3-5.5) and a flat nose pliers (translated )
  3. Make a full backup over USB with your computer/Mac
  4. Open Homey by opening the bottom with the 4 screws.
  5. Now you can unscrew the 4 nuts that holds the heatsink. (I’ve removed 2 fins to get access to the nuts).
  6. Carefully remove the heatsink and 4 spacers.
  7. Remove the CM4. It is in the carrier board.
  8. Place the new CM4. I don’t know if more storage is available (by firmware) in the feature. So for now you need a CM4 module with WiFi and more than the ‘stock’ 2 GB RAM.
  9. Push it until it is in the carrier board.
  10. Use the same or place better theatraal layer on the same spot on the heatsink (where the old one was). You need 2 sizes. I only replaced the CPU layer.
  11. Replace the spacers and the heatsink.
  12. Screw the nuts back.My advice is to screw 2 nuts back first (crossed).
  13. Blow out any ‘metal dust’ from your work.
  14. Restore firmware and test if everything is working. You need to accept a lot of safety warnings (in my case on my Mac). It is an ‘unknown usb device.
  15. If everything is working, place the other 2 nuts back, blow out again any metal dust and close the cover.
  16. Everything is working instantly here

At the moment I’m working on a better cooling solution (bigger heatsink with same mounting for a lower CPU temp) and with help of @spkesDE finding a way to make the user partition bigger. (All credits for spkesDE for this :+1:)

Related Slack discussion: Slack

Updates:

2023-04-23:
Just making my first backup over usb with the CM4108032. It is taking at least four times the time as with the old CM4 board (ca. 30 minutes for 98% complete). So it looks like it is making a backup of the complete (32GB) CM4 flash, and not only the 8GB that it is using (partition size). The file size of the backup is nearly the same Als the ‘old’ backups. But… backup process freeze at ca. 98%. After that, file size is not changing and ‘loading bar’ is not moving. Work for next week.

2023-04-29:
See a later post about replacing the heatsink for a ‘bigger’ one for more passive cooling. Temp reduction is about 10c and you can use the original case. no fan, holes or new cover are needed.

2023-04-29:
It looks like that an USB backup from a CM4 module with 32 GB will always fail. I’ve tested 2 of them and heard the same experience from someone of the community. When making the backup and comparing the ‘incompleted’ swap file with a ‘successful’ backup, then I see 6 files. 5 partitions and the 6th is in the original setting (with CM4 8 GB ~4MB) and in case of an CM4 with 32 GB very big (>20GB). Probably this is ‘empty space’ because is is possible to compress this file 6 in to some MB’s. My hope was that is it easy to just copy file 1-5 from this swap file to an older backup and use this as backup ‘workaround’ but I did not have found an app that can edit these files. Maybe that just ‘restoring’ the same file (that is renamed to a homey backup extension’ is also enough. Probably the restore will ‘fail’ on the ‘empty space’ part. I will test this when I have my dev homey hopefully next month!

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I am looking for a cm4 module like you for over a month, where did you buy it?

I found a lot of them on AliExpress. They are delivered in just 7 days. But… the price is high at the moment…

For the info, you need a module with WiFi. As far as I can see now, it is not needed to buy a module with more than 4GB RAM. For the storage, at this moment it is not clear if it is easy to get access to more user storage and still be able to update Homey (OTA) without issues.

What CPU temperature do you have in the old and new specs?

In the old spec, I’ve got a staple temperature of ~68c (but under high load higher). After replacing the thermal layer, I’m now at 63-64c. Now waiting for arrival of a bigger heatsink. (I don’t like fans in devices like this). Hoping to get it stable around 60c.

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Could you please make some (more) detailed pictures of (all the places of) the screws you need to unscrew etc. Really for the n00b amongst us PLEASE. Thank You.

Also some pictures of the case (parts) open & inside.

How about replacing or modifying the case for some “better” airflow ? Like my still working/ current Homey Pro 2019.


Just some liitle hole’s drilled into the case and my cPU temperature was 6 degrees lower since then.

Printing a top cover that looks like a really big fan with airflow gaps shouldn’t be ghat a problem? OR :person_shrugging:t2:

Just press the bottom rubber with fingers and find 4 holes, where the screws are located.

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Yes, that’s how to open homey.

Inside, you have to make a choice:

  1. Desoldering the carrierboard
  2. Removing the 4 nuts on the heatsink.

I’m expecting the last parts for the cooling upgrade next week. After that, I make a post with more (detailed) pictures.

For now, please note the last update in my post about making backups over USB-C if you have a CM4 module with more than 8GB flash!

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Fan mod in the German forum

Ou, thank you for this note, didn’t realize you have updated it.
And what about cloud backups, they continue to work, or ? Because those are “data” related backups not partition wise…

Btw, my CM4 just crossed boarders still I hope that Athom will fix OOM issues and this will be not really required…

I’m waiting for my second (dev) homey 2023.

As far as I can see, cloud backup (making) is working fine. The question is, how is restoring a backup. For now, I’m working on fixing the last technical issues (temp and flash storage). When I receive my second homey, I hope to test cloud restore on/from a different CM4 module and changing partition size of user partition.

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Nice holes in your old homey :+1:

Building a fan in homey is not that difficult. But is not the way I like ( check also slack, there is a smaller top cover with STL file).

  1. I don’t want to put ‘more stress’ on the voltage that will be available for homey itself. (With the power adapter issues). So a fan needs a second power adapter.
  2. I think that a domotica system needs to be silent (no fan) and I don’t want to open it every 2-4 months for dust cleaning.
  3. It is not a problem for a CM4 module to be ‘warm’ but 70c is ‘too hot’ for me. For now, I’ve my focus/hope on a bigger heatsink. There is no airflow and it is a close ‘container’ so I’m expecting just some degrees lower temp. But that is enough for me in combination with the better temp layer. (Target ~60c)

Your Homey system modification could also been seen as similar as a “Hackintosh”.
Using the OS/Software on s system that is not meant to be used by the software developer. :sunglasses:

So my suggestion to name it a “Hackathom” or “Hackomey”. :wink:

And the german Fan mod is very interesting and should have been standard done by Athom also with the Future/Summer Temperatures ahead.
They should have at least connected the system heatsink with a heat pipe to the top lid/cover of it like in some notebooks the plate under the keyboard.

Took some digging around for a in stock and for a “resonable” price tag. I see @Ranney what you mean about hard to get hold of :wink: most sellers dont get new stocks untill beggining of next year.

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Haha, yes. It is not easy to get one of them at the moment. I’m very lucky I’ve found 2 (1 spare) to ‘play’ with. Only place where I stil see them is on Ebay. You can find other versions on Aliexpress. For example, it is not very likely that you use more than 4GB of ram and/or that you can/are going to use the extra flash that is available on the CM4108032. So you can also search for an version with less flash and/or less RAM?

…waiting for delivery of CM41004032 from Ali, I can then share link if it was scam or not :wink:

For the German fan mod

This is a completely crazy idea for a stepless fan control.
Take an 80 mm 12 volt fan, a 12 volt power supply and connect a Shelly RGBW in between. With the dimmer, it should be possible to control the speed continuously by reducing the voltage. In principle, it’s just like dimming a lamp. Homey could adjust the fan speed depending on the temperature, e.g. in 10% steps. I have found a 12 volt fan that starts up at 4.5 volts.
Am I completely wrong with this idea :man_shrugging:?
The big advantage would of course be that apart from removing the top cover, no further modifications would be necessary.

Nice! If you have checked the reviews and pays by creditcard, then te risk is not very high. Hopefully you bought the CM4104032? (One zero less)

I think that this will work. And if the fan-system/flow is failing, than the heatsink itself is still there. Only the IR will be (partly) blocked!