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Author Topic: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub  (Read 6986 times)

juanka

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X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« on: July 03, 2017, 06:44:50 PM »

I tried a lot of methods before, but nothing worked.  This one is easy, no programming skills needed, just a bit of patience.

The new Broadlink RM Pro hub works with X10 and Alexa. 
This little hub is very powerful, also blasts IR signals, so it will control a lot of devices nearby (line of sight for IR)
The Hub learns RF codes.  Once you go trough the process of creating all your codes (A1_ON, A1_Off, and so on) using BroadLink "e-connect app" (iOs and Android but no windows) then install "RM Plugin" app (Android only, paid app) RM will translate the commands as a Philips Hue that can talk to Alexa.
All set up is done using apps (no computer interface) and codes, scenes and macros are cloud storage.
I am very happy, finally all the X10 switches and plugs are working with Alexa.

What you need:

1) Your X10 gear (X10 HR12A PalmPad Remote Control to teach RF codes back to the RM Pro) about $14.

2) Broadlink RM Pro (The pro is the one with RF capabilities) about $37 on Amazon. Update to latest firmware.

3) Broadlink "e-Control" App (free, for your smartphone)

4) "RM Plugin" app, $2.49 annual subscription.  RM plugin ideally installed in a stand alone power plugged android tablet or phone, since it needs to be running all the time (I used an old tablet, but a cheap android prepaid phone will work)

5) Alexa Device. (Echo, Dot, etc.) Dot is about $50.


Youtube tutorial. Search for "Control practically anything with Alexa" by Paul Hibbert
« Last Edit: July 03, 2017, 06:52:44 PM by juanka »
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dhouston

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2017, 07:05:29 AM »

1) Your X10 gear (X10 HR12A PalmPad Remote Control to teach RF codes back to the RM Pro) about $14.
Broadlink says 433MHz/315MHz for their RM Pro...
http://www.ibroadlink.com/rm/
but you are implying it can learn and playback 310MHz. Have you done any RF range testing? 

If it can learn/playback 310MHz then it might be possible to use it with Tasker & Broadlink RM Plugin Lite (a Tasker Plugin) without needing Broadlink's cloudy codebase or proprietary software.
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=net.dinglisch.android.taskerm
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=us.originally.rm_trial

And if it can learn other RF frequencies, it might be useful with other RF controlled devices like garage door openers.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 11:00:34 AM by dhouston »
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2017, 01:48:19 PM »

I do remember reading the broadlink was to be adding X10 support.
However as dhouston pointed out their site says 433 and 315 MHz supported RF.
Maybe they have added 310 MHZ and not updated their web page ::) :'
I do have a broadlink RF Pro in the city but never attempted to learn a X10 remote.
juanka, Are you in North America?
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dhouston

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2017, 02:25:40 PM »

I suspect that they have a software based tuning capacity bridging ~300-450MHz but only publish the default frequencies. If so, this could be a really powerful HA hub.

I've tried their support people a couple of times but fear they're actually the old X10 programmers who have found new employment.  ;) :o :(

Of course, 433MHz will support the Itead devices.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2017, 02:33:05 PM by dhouston »
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HA Dave

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2017, 02:39:30 PM »

Looks like another work around has been found.
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dhouston

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2017, 11:30:02 AM »

I do have a broadlink RF Pro in the city but never attempted to learn a X10 remote.
juanka, Are you in North America?
I've added a Broadlink RM Pro to my Amazon cart but am waiting for confirmation that it can learn/playback 310MHz to actually order it.
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2017, 11:38:15 AM »

My Wife is bringing my Broadlink RF to the cottage today (hopefully). ::) :'
So I may have confirmation in a day or two, depending on what's on the honey do list! rofl
I had done a firmware update to it in order to get the RM bridge app to work. getting that firmware update was a challenge as broadlink didn't wish to send me a link until I explained My unit needed the update.
If there has been a new update since I hope the app will now allow it to update without a special download request.
Perhaps juanka can post what firmware version he is running! ;)
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juanka

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #7 on: July 05, 2017, 11:55:17 AM »

I am in USA.  RM Pro US version comes with proper plug adapter.
The device must be updated with latest firmware via the e-control app.

How to update firmware:
go to your control page in the app,
Click "+" sign on upper right corner
Click "Device List"
Click "eRemote"  (his is the hub)
next screen cick on the upper right gear symbol
Click on "device Info"
Click on "firmware update"  and precede.  Last Firmware version is v20025

The learning process took a while, some worked immediately, other I had to try several times, but finally got all the codes.  Only did it for house code "A" 1 to 16.
It is painful that they don't have a web interface to do it on a computer, doing all the learning and labeling in the phone takes some time.  (I suppose with some kind of phone mirroring app, then on a desktop computer could be faster to manipulate the app.)
I shared my settings, so you don't need to do the learning deal, it is under "x10Broadlink x10 Juan"
Importing setting from their cloud from other members is extremely easy. After downloading each label will have to be renamed for your specific use.  (Like, A5 is my Ikea lamp)
Once all set, it works pretty fast, I even used remotely outside my wifi via 4G and the response was quick.  (I monitored via webcam to make sure)
Give it a try, under $40 is a lot cheaper than many other options in my opinion.
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dhouston

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2017, 12:01:07 PM »

If it will work with 310MHz it would be ideal as a hub for the Dick Tracy wristwatch smartphone for the handicapped. As an example, I could control X10, the Itead lamp holder, as well as two window A/C units and my SmarTV without ever leaving my recliner and without fumbling with multiple remotes. As I no longer drive I've no need to use it with a garage door opener but others might want to try this. I suspect it can learn a fairly wide range of frequencies.

@juanka, Thanks for alerting us to this. I think many will find it helpful. I'll be clicking the Amazon Buy link.

@Tuicemen, Could you check whether Bluestacks might act as the phone needed for setup? 
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 12:16:56 PM by dhouston »
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juanka

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2017, 12:16:22 PM »

Make sure you get the 2017 version of the RM Pro (Amazon has it)
Serial number begins with RM03....

See images in this link:
w w w .dhgate.com/store/product/2017-new-version-broadlink-rm-pro-rm2-smart/397377925. h t m l
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dhouston

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2017, 12:23:42 PM »

Interestingly, the Amazon description says
Quote
The RM-Pro will control all RF devices/appliances working on the 433MHz - 315 Mhz frequencies throughout your home.

That might mean it can handle a wide frequency range.

How is the RF range compared to your Palmpad?
« Last Edit: July 05, 2017, 12:26:26 PM by dhouston »
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2017, 01:18:16 PM »

@dhouston I don't have bluestacks here but will have to get it and test it here in the city I used a android TV box.
I used the RM bridge learning web page for learning IR devices (never  tried RF but it is suppose to work for them too) you can use a PC If I remember right with it.
@juanka thanks for sharing the code it will make setup for house code A much easier for others.
If I can get my broadlink setup here I'll work at another house code. Most likely L as that's what most things here are set for.
Hope I can use the cm15 to learn the codes as I don't have a palm pad here (might have a universal remote x10 some where though) ::) :'
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dhouston

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2017, 01:33:33 PM »

I think I'll wait awhile. User reviews on Amazon are mixed and one user says he has trouble controlling an RF device at 10 feet.
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2017, 01:38:40 PM »

I'll test the RF range when/if I get things setup.
I downloaded the RM Bridge, econtrol and Bluestacks so I'm ready once the broadlink gets here. ;)
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10 with Alexa using the "Broadlink RM Pro" hub
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2017, 02:33:45 PM »

If I remember learning from the econtrol app was painful.
Using the RM bridge and the web interface http://rm-bridge.fun2code.de was much easier.( I only did IR)
The documentation suggests it will do RF as well.
The RM bridge app is free verses the RM plugin annual fee.
BWSsystems is working on adding support directly to the HA-Bridge for the Broadlink so hopefully soon we'll not need an Android server
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