Broadlink Home Theater Control with Alexa

Adding RF Blackout Blinds & Other Devices to the Broadlink® RM4 Pro Emitter:

the Broadlink hub controls blind motors and window/skylight motors

As discussed in the previous article (downloading and installing the app), the RM4 Pro unit from Broadlink is an emitter that can "learn" both RF digital radio commands and IR (infrared) device commands.

It can directly control our motorized blackout blinds and other motors, such as our window and skylight openers. It can also control many other devices, including heaters, projectors, TV, fans, lighting, etc that can be controlled with IR remote controls.

If you hover your mouse over the pictures, you will see some information about the picture, and the picture number.

the Broadlink hub controls RF blackout blind motors

In our great room, we have windows on 3 sides, so it is important for room darkening that we have blackout blinds on 2 sides (with opaque fabric fitted into side guides), and the retractable 10 foot projector screen on the third side.

We did not want the great room to become a dedicated theater room, so it is really nice to get the room back once any projector viewing is over.

We use the projector to teach our staff how to use 3D CAD, and to view our Roku streaming stick in the evenings. We also use it for special sports events (such as the 2021 America's Cup AC75 monohull sailboat racing on foils in the city of Auckland).

1. How To Add Blackout Blind Motors:

Broadlink RM4 Pro emitter was added to app-pix 7 adding blind motors to RM4 Pro in app-pix 8 select appliance type-pix 9

Picture 7: Please note that we are continuing from the previous page with the picture sequence. This is the same picture as the last picture on the previous page, where we successfully added the RM4 Pro. Please press the RM4 Pro name to add the blind motors (they will become sub-devices, and you'll see the sub-device count updated, once the blinds are successfully added).

Picture 8: The Broadlink app automatically detects that you have not added any sub-items to the RM4 Pro emitter yet, so please press the Add appliances button to start the process.

Picture 9: Press the Roller Shutter area to select the appliance type. An information screen may come up, if you had not previously indicated Don't remind. If it appears, please click the Add appliance button to proceed to picture 10.


2. Identifying the RF Learning Type & Assigning a Room:

Broadlink app RF code learning button-pix 10 Broadlink app RF code selection area-pix 11 Broadlink app room selection-pix 12

Picture 10: Press the Learn remote control now button that is presented. We will also use the synonomous term for learn: CLONE

Picture 11: Press the RF remote area that is presented.

Picture 12: Press the Room selection area that is presented. Note that you can create a new room at this point.


3. Setting the Blind Name & Reviewing Information:

Broadlink app blackout blind name-pix 13 Broadlink app info re sub device-pix 14 Broadlink app button to use device now-pix 15

Picture 13: Enter the blind name and press Save.

Picture 14: This screen is information only (about sub-device). Press the I know it button that is presented.

Picture 15: Press the Use device now button to proceed.


4. Setting the Button For Cloning the RF Code:

Broadlink app info re virtual remote button to learn-pix 16 Broadlink app info re virtual remote button to learn-pix 17 Broadlink app info about button learning-pix 18

Picture 16: This screen is information only, warning you that you will be presented next with a remote control screen. You will need to indicate which button you want to learn, by pressing the appropriate button (it will become active, turning from gray to a solid outline). Press the OK button that is presented.

Picture 17: This screen is presenting the virtual remote control buttons that you are going to clone from the actual physical remote. The 3 buttons are marked as ON/OFF/STOP, but this will be the same as OPEN/CLOSE/STOP (or CLOSE/OPEN/STOP, or UP/DOWN/STOP, whichever you prefer). We have already pressed ON, so it has turned from gray to a solid outline. Note that as soon as you press the button, the screen will advance to picture 18.

Picture 18: This screen is information only, with an explanation about button learning (cloning). Press the Start learning button to proceed. If you selected Do not show again previously, you will not see this screen.


5. Setting the Motor Receiver Frequency & Cloning the RF Code:

Broadlink app simple RF code selection-pix 19 Broadlink app entry of blind motor RF receiver frequency-pix 20 Broadlink app press physical remote button for actual cloning-pix 20

Picture 19: Press the Learn simple RF code button. Note that this screen is also warning you to locate the actual physical remote control that you want to clone (learn).

Picture 20: Please enter the correct blind motor frequency (433.92 MHz). Pressing the Next button will take you to the screen where YOU WILL ACTUALLY NEED THE PHYSICAL REMOTE to press the button you want to clone (learn).

Picture 21: This screen is the actual point where you will clone (learn) the code by pressing a button on the physical remote; note the countdown timer (30 seconds).


6. Confirm That You Have Cloned the RF Code Successfully:

Broadlink app motor control signal was cloned-pix 22 Broadlink app confirm virtual remote button is working-pix 23 Broadlink app test virtual button-pix 24

Picture 22: This screen confirms that the cloned code has been captured to memory.

Picture 23: This screen is asking you to test the virtual button on the screen to verify that it is functioning properly. The problem with this is that your blind motor may have already reached a travel limit. So we suggest your just press the Yes button (you will be able to test it in the next step).

Picture 24: A brief message will flash on the screen indicating that the code was successfully saved, then the virtual button screen will appear again. You can now test the virtual button, moving the blind away from the travel limit with the physical remote (if necessary).

You can repeat this procedure to clone the RF codes to the other buttons.

If you want to delete the blackout blinds example and start over, use the three dot ellipses (. . .) at the top right of the virtual remote control screen for the blinds, then go to PROPERTY on the sub-menu that appears.


Summary:

Broadlink app home screen with sub-devices updated-pix 24

This final test step completes the process of cloning an RF code to the RM4 Pro emitter. Here we can see that the home screen is showing the blackout blinds as a sub-device, with an updated count of 1.

You can set up a process for a home theater system in a media room - deploy projector screen, dim the lights, lower blackout blinds, turn projector on, activate audio system, select Acorn or Britbox ... with a single voice command such as "ROKU ON".

Article 5 will focus on the Alexa app, but if you don't want to use Alexa, you can use this app to control your Broadlink emitter and create SCENES that will combine functions into procedures that will automate a series of functions.

The SCENES in the Alexa app are called ROUTINES (these are synonymous terms), and we reccommend that you use them instead, as per the following article (if you are going to use Alexa).

Buy The RF-IR Hub In Our Online Store

We have the excellent BroadLink emitter. You will have direct control over our blind motors and window/skylight openers.

You can purchase these products in our DIY online automation store.

We sincerely hope you enjoy our advanced technology products; if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at any time!

Adrian Biffen
Senior Tech
NodeSwitch Controls


Articles in this series:

Part 1: Alexa + Benq + Broadlink + Roku + Denon: Introduction

Part 2: Download the Broadlink App and Add the Broadlink Emitter

Part 3: Clone an RF Remote Control Button to the Broadlink Emitter (You are here)

Part 4: Clone an IR Remote Control Button to the Broadlink Emitter

Part 5: Download the Alexa App and Install the Broadlink Skill

Part 6: Create Single Routines with Alexa App: BLINDS CLOSE

Part 7: Create A Master Routine with Alexa App: ROKU ON