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Broadlink RM2

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Offline Maff

Broadlink RM2
« on: September 16, 2016, 07:41:03 am »
If anyone else has one of these (like a no frills Harmony Hub, except can send RF commands too), and if you have an android device, there is a RM Tasker plugin which can automate commands to all sorts of devices, which are not meant to be smart devices, but can be used as such (LED Candles, cheap Remote controlled LED Coloured bulbs, or almost anything with an RF remote).

Its less polished than Harmony, but can control a whole lot more gadgets... and the best bit, is the fantastic unofficial developer who created the tasker plugin, has just added an Alexa bridge to the app too!

So now, ANY device you want to control, (anything with an inrfrared remote, or RF remote along the 300mhz or 400mhz range which is most devices),  shows up in the Alexa app as a Wemo device (on/off type control), and can be controlled by a command.

There are a few bugs, which are often being fixed the next day after being found. The developer is really on the ball.
I have it working, and now even my cheap 10 RF remote control plug sockets are working as promptly as a wemo device via command. Far cry from using IFTTT or Pushbullet to send commands to the Broadlink unit which I did before.

The Unit (Broadlink RM2) is about $33/25 on ebay, so is a really low cost device, which will turn a bunch of stuff you probably already own into Echo compatible devices (and an android device lying around &some tech smarts do help!).

You would need the tasker app, and the RM LInk Tasker plugin both for android.


Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2016, 12:28:28 am »
Thanks for this post. It is very intriguing. Is there any site or location with step by step instructions on how to setup up control of cheap RF controlled devices with Echo.

Offline Maff

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2016, 06:49:17 pm »
It's pretty easy to get the codes learnt through either the official broadlink app, or within the rm tasker plugin. You just create a device, learn (single), swap frequency (then press the remote button & it figures out the frequency, it then says its ready) then you give your remote button another press. You give it a name.. Done! You can subsequently create a tasker task with that button as an action.  They world is your oyster after that. You do need to import your configured codes into the tasker plugin. It's really simple to do that too, you just share from the official app, and suddenly all your codes are in the plugin.

The Alexa Bridge is working fine. Once you have created your codes, you enable the alexa bridge, create a 'device' and define what virtual button press you want to action when the 'device' is triggered (you define what button you want to send when you command it to on/off). Once you have your devices all set, you do a discover devices on your echo, and your device appears on your alexa app. (they appear as wemo devices as far as alexa is concerned). You can command them on or off subsequently, and the RM2 will dutifully turn on or off any infrared or rf device you have configured.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2016, 07:01:10 pm by Maff »

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #3 on: September 19, 2016, 09:10:06 pm »
It's pretty easy to get the codes learnt through either the official broadlink app, or within the rm tasker plugin. You just create a device, learn (single), swap frequency (then press the remote button & it figures out the frequency, it then says its ready) then you give your remote button another press. You give it a name.. Done! You can subsequently create a tasker task with that button as an action.  They world is your oyster after that. You do need to import your configured codes into the tasker plugin. It's really simple to do that too, you just share from the official app, and suddenly all your codes are in the plugin.

The Alexa Bridge is working fine. Once you have created your codes, you enable the alexa bridge, create a 'device' and define what virtual button press you want to action when the 'device' is triggered (you define what button you want to send when you command it to on/off). Once you have your devices all set, you do a discover devices on your echo, and your device appears on your alexa app. (they appear as wemo devices as far as alexa is concerned). You can command them on or off subsequently, and the RM2 will dutifully turn on or off any infrared or rf device you have configured.
So that Alexa Bridge is in their App? Cos I looked on the website and see zero reference to Alexa..

And links?

Cheers,
Alex


Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2016, 12:22:26 am »
It's pretty easy to get the codes learnt through either the official broadlink app, or within the rm tasker plugin. You just create a device, learn (single), swap frequency (then press the remote button & it figures out the frequency, it then says its ready) then you give your remote button another press. You give it a name.. Done! You can subsequently create a tasker task with that button as an action.  They world is your oyster after that. You do need to import your configured codes into the tasker plugin. It's really simple to do that too, you just share from the official app, and suddenly all your codes are in the plugin.

The Alexa Bridge is working fine. Once you have created your codes, you enable the alexa bridge, create a 'device' and define what virtual button press you want to action when the 'device' is triggered (you define what button you want to send when you command it to on/off). Once you have your devices all set, you do a discover devices on your echo, and your device appears on your alexa app. (they appear as wemo devices as far as alexa is concerned). You can command them on or off subsequently, and the RM2 will dutifully turn on or off any infrared or rf device you have configured.

Thanks. If it is not too much to ask, could you please walk us through a step by step process to setup this device to control with Echo? I have familiarity with Alexa setup to control wemo devices. However, I am not aware of tasker etc.? Do I need a separate dedicated android device (other than my cell phone) to set this up? Are the tasker app and plugin two different apps which need to be purchased in play store? Do I need to use the broadlink app in addition to the tasker apps?
Thanks again for this solution for controlling standard RF and IR equipment.
« Last Edit: September 20, 2016, 12:28:52 am by bubagump »

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2016, 09:53:21 pm »
Items needed:
-Broadlink RM Device
-Broadlink e-Control app (free - Google Play Store)
-Broadlink RM Tasker Plugin ($5.49 - Google Play store) or the Trial version (to test it out)

Follow these instructions until you get to "Set up your Android Bridge":  https://goo.gl/Z4IBA6
The reason why you stop at "Set up your Android Bridge" is because these instructions were created before an Alexa Bridge was added to the RM Tasker Plugin.

Start RM Tasker Plugin & click on "Import new data from eControl app" and follow the instructions to import the codes from the eControl app into the RM Tasker Plugin.

Once you have imported all of your codes into Tasker, enable "Alexa Bridge" and follow Maff's instructions.



Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2016, 09:59:21 pm »
Thanks, inconnu_homme.
So, it appears that I would need to install the e-control app and tasker plugin on a dedicated android device at home and not on my cell phone if others in my family want to control devices using broadlink while I am not at home. Correct?

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2016, 10:05:02 pm »
Yes. RM Tasker is the important one because it needs to be running in the background on a dedicated Android device connected to your network.  Initially you need eControl just learn all of the remote codes.

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2016, 10:07:24 pm »
Yes. RM Tasker is the important one because it needs to be running in the background on a dedicated Android device connected to your network.  Initially you need eControl just learn all of the remote codes.

Excellent. Appreciate the feedback. Already ordered the broadlink and bunch of etekcity combo packs. Look forward to setting it up.

Offline Maff

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2016, 01:34:05 pm »
Items needed:
-Broadlink RM Device
-Broadlink e-Control app (free - Google Play Store)
-Broadlink RM Tasker Plugin ($5.49 - Google Play store) or the Trial version (to test it out)

Follow these instructions until you get to "Set up your Android Bridge":  https://goo.gl/Z4IBA6
The reason why you stop at "Set up your Android Bridge" is because these instructions were created before an Alexa Bridge was added to the RM Tasker Plugin.

Start RM Tasker Plugin & click on "Import new data from eControl app" and follow the instructions to import the codes from the eControl app into the RM Tasker Plugin.

Once you have imported all of your codes into Tasker, enable "Alexa Bridge" and follow Maff's instructions.

Thanks for this. Haven't checked back in a few days. I will say now I am a week in to having the setup, things to watch out for are:

A dedicated android device is needed to at home in order for it to work all the time, and also because the alexa bridge does drain the battery quicker, so better to be able to charge twice a day or keep it plugged in more of the time.

You will also need a fixed IP Address on the Android device.  This can be done on Android settings, however if it is a mobile device which potentially will be taken elsewhere, I prefer to instead set a permanent ip on the DHCP server on my home router. This means you can still have your mobile device happily work with other WiFi setups without issues, but at home your router will always give out the same ip address to your Android device.

Another thing I have experienced is that the alexa bridge seems to become unresponsive after a few hours (alexa can't find the devices). This is solved by briefly loading the app,and it comes back to life.  If it isn't something peculiar to my setup, I  imagine the developer will sort this soon. As a temporary work around I have set a tasker task to wake up the screen and load the app on an hourly basis.

Will be interesting to hear others experiences.

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2016, 02:21:52 am »

Another thing I have experienced is that the alexa bridge seems to become unresponsive after a few hours (alexa can't find the devices). This is solved by briefly loading the app,and it comes back to life.  If it isn't something peculiar to my setup, I  imagine the developer will sort this soon. As a temporary work around I have set a tasker task to wake up the screen and load the app on an hourly basis.




What version of Android are you running?  If Marshmallow....maybe your phone is Dozing. 
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 03:38:04 pm by inconnu_homme »

Offline Maff

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2016, 04:42:46 pm »
Yeah, that was the first thing I thought as I have a bunch of stuff I use on my marshmallow devices which need background services and I'm used to configuring it all. The devices I have had the bridge on are both lollipop so Doze not applicable. One device had Samsung smart manager which I made sure was not touching tasker or the plugin /bridge etc. Now I have the tasker scheduled wake up of the app it has worked flawlessly for a couple days now. Fine for the moment, but if I get to the bottom of it I'll report it here. 

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2016, 05:24:40 pm »
Yeah, that was the first thing I thought as I have a bunch of stuff I use on my marshmallow devices which need background services and I'm used to configuring it all. The devices I have had the bridge on are both lollipop so Doze not applicable. One device had Samsung smart manager which I made sure was not touching tasker or the plugin /bridge etc. Now I have the tasker scheduled wake up of the app it has worked flawlessly for a couple days now. Fine for the moment, but if I get to the bottom of it I'll report it here. 

Thanks.  I'm not very familiar with Tasker.  When you say "wake up the app," I'm assuming the RM Tasker Plugin...correct?  So, I would create a Task to run the plugin, and then create a profile to run it every hour.  Am I doing this right?

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #13 on: September 27, 2016, 09:45:55 am »

Yeah, that was the first thing I thought as I have a bunch of stuff I use on my marshmallow devices which need background services and I'm used to configuring it all. The devices I have had the bridge on are both lollipop so Doze not applicable. One device had Samsung smart manager which I made sure was not touching tasker or the plugin /bridge etc. Now I have the tasker scheduled wake up of the app it has worked flawlessly for a couple days now. Fine for the moment, but if I get to the bottom of it I'll report it here. 

So I got everything working well with my Alexa, new RM2, a samsung galaxy S3 and a few etekcity modules. However, I am experiencing the same thing as above where after being dormant for the night, Alexa says 'device is not responding' when I try to use it it in the morning. Everything works again when I 'wake' up the Samsung galaxy S3.
Could you please outline the steps for creating the tasker scheduled wake up of the bridge app as you have described above?
Thanks
« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 09:49:02 am by bubagump »

Re: Broadlink RM2
« Reply #14 on: September 27, 2016, 11:54:18 am »
So I got everything working well with my Alexa, new RM2, a samsung galaxy S3 and a few etekcity modules. However, I am experiencing the same thing as above where after being dormant for the night, Alexa says 'device is not responding' when I try to use it it in the morning. Everything works again when I 'wake' up the Samsung galaxy S3.
Could you please outline the steps for creating the tasker scheduled wake up of the bridge app as you have described above?
Thanks

Does it start working again by just waking up your Galaxy S3?  If so, then you just need to run a Tasker profile to wake your phone at a certain interval.
 
You will need Tasker and Secure Settings Plugin (by intagibleObject).

- Start Tasker > TASKS tab  > click on the "+" at the bottom.
- Give your new task a name > for example "Wake Device" and click on the check mark.
- Click on the "+" on the bottom of the screen to add an action.
- Select Plugin  >  Secure Settings
- Click on the pencil icon next to Configuration.
- Click on Actions and select Wake Device.
- Choose Wake Type - Screen& Keyboard Lights On and Duration - 1 Second.
- Click on the floppy icon to save.
- Exit back out to the main screen and click on the PROFILES tab.
- Click in the "+" and select Time.
- Uncheck From and To, and check Repeat.
- Enter your desired interval you want to wake your device.  I would enter 2 min so you can test if your Tasker profile works.
- Exit out of this screen by clicking the top left-hand corner.
- Select Wake Device from the popup window.

Your profile has now been created. Turn it on and it should wake your device every 2 min.  If your Tasker profile is working correctly, edit your Tasker Profile by long pressing on the clock icon.  Then you can enter a new time interval.

Note:  Your notification bar will say "No active profiles."  That is because your created profile is only active for 1 sec, every 2 min.

Hope this helps.





« Last Edit: September 27, 2016, 03:37:32 pm by inconnu_homme »