A complete guide to connecting the Broadlink RM pro and Broadlink Blackbean to Alexa

This is a fairly complete guide to connecting the RM pro to Alexa and Google Home.

 

To understand this complicated mess you’ll need some History:

Broadlink took so long to create an official skill that a 3rd party developer created their own trick to make it work by using an Android device to advertise the devices to Alexa.  The software that makes this work is called the RM plugin and it still works today if you have an older version of the RM pro (RM2+ and backwards).  In my opinion this is still the most versatile way to control the RM pro as it opens up other opportunities for automation.

Later on Broadlink decided to have their own go at Alexa control and created an official skill, but they only released it in America.  They also made it so it could only control Infrared devices such as TV’s and set top boxes, it can’t control RF.

 

I was told of a way of tricking Amazon into thinking I was in America so I could use the official skill, and from there I came up with a way of tricking the Broadlink into controlling RF devices (Light switches, plug sockets etc)

 

There is now even more confusion because Broadlink recently came up with a way to stop my trick and as of today the official skill can only control Infrared again.  Their block only works on the more recent RM pros though so now everyone is trying to find an old one and everyone is super confused about what works and what doesn’t.

 

Thanks Broadlink!

To make it even MORE confusing the latest RM pros do not work with the original Android method either because the RM plugin software can’t detect the new devices.

 

If you’re in the UK and your RM pro is a recent model then your only real option is to wait for them to release the official skill in your country (February 2018 they reckon) and hope that they’ve included RF support (no date specified yet)

 

How to tell what version of the RM pro you have
The RM plugin is the only reliable way of knowing what version of the RM pro you have, if it can’t detect it at all then you probably have the RM pro+ and you’re stuck waiting for Broadlink.  If it can detect it then it will tell you what model you have and you may have a way forward with the original method at least, though it may require a firmware change on the RM pro to enable the RM plugin to control it.  A simple procedure, but choose the wrong firmware and you will brick the device!  Check the FAQ section of the RM plugin and it will advise what firmware to install and how to install it.

 

What about Google Home?
If you have Google home then the official Broadlink service for Google home can control RF but not IR, so it has the opposite problem to Alexa!  There is a way to trick it to control IR however, so Google home is actually the best way to control the RM pro at present!
 
See the links below for guides on each aspect of this sordid mess:

 

How to control the RM pro using an Android device (RM pro 2+ and ealier only): https://youtu.be/DJIhEyMQ0TI

 

How to trick Amazon into thinking you live in the US (Not suitable if you use Amazon music or Kindle as it breaks them, but is reversible and causes no lasting damage): https://youtu.be/dO5rExW-7I8

 

How to use the official skill to control RF if you’re in the US (or at least pretending) (RM pro 2+ and earlier only): https://youtu.be/Lg4HQhN5KXo

 

How Broadlink broke everything on purposehttps://youtu.be/FWRrQ-_uwEs

 

How to control RF with Google homehttps://youtu.be/RoJHFzh971U

 

Which models are affected and how are they affected?:
MODELS ARE AFFECTED AS FOLLOWS:
RM2 : Unaffected
RM2+ : Does not work with the ‘official skill work around’ but does work with RM plugin method (requires firmware change)
RM03 : does not work with either method
RM PRO+ : does not work with either method
Drawbacks of each method:
Official skill

 

  • If you convince Alexa you live in the states then Amazon music and the Kindle book store won’t work.  They are the only two drawbacks and can easily be reversed by simply undoing the trick.
  • The official skill will allow you to control TV’s and that’s about it.  In order to control RF devices like plug sockets and light switches you can trick the Broadlink skill by using this video: https://youtu.be/Lg4HQhN5KXo
Android method
  • It requires an always on Android device
Benefits of each method:
Official skill
  • Doesn’t require an Android device
Android method
  • Less of a hack, Amazon music and Kindle still work
  • Allows you to do more with the android device as a remote for people who don’t want to use Alexa: https://youtu.be/GxpG8G21was
  • Allows for more automation such as tasker and IFTTT control

Once you’ve chosen and implemented a method, and started having some fun with it you will want to look at creating custom commands so you can say more than just “on” and “off”, i.e. “Alexa, it’s time to go to sleep” might trigger all the lights off at once.  This video will show you how to do that: https://youtu.be/yaxIaPPRXt

Current bugs and the fixes! :
  • When trying to enable the Philips Hue skill in the Alexa app you may be asked to press the button on  the bridge before it will enable! If you don’t have a bridge you can’t, but never fear just login with my details below instead and the skill will skip the button press 😉
Username: Testbed@paulhibbert.co.uk
Password: testbed1

 

Where can I buy an older model?

You can’t 🙁  You can never be certain that the seller won’t assume you want the latest model.  The safest thing you can do is wait for all this to blow over.  If you want to try anyway then I suggest you ask the seller directly and explain your motivations.  Ask if he has any old stock he’s looking to get rid of.

My video has caused some confusion and people are looking for a red base RM pro.  My red base is simply because my RM pro is ancient and came from a very brief time frame before they changed the design to black and repurposed the red base for the RM home which can’t do RF!  You will not find a red based RM pro!  If you find a red based design it will more likely be the old RM Home, and YOU DO NOT WANT THAT!!!  Do not buy a red base RM pro, you will be disappointed.

Watch me rant like a maniac

Buy me a beer!

Donate to the channel: http://paypal.me/PaulHibbert
Become a monthly contributor on Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/paulhibbert

 

Hope that helps.
-P

43 Replies to “A complete guide to connecting the Broadlink RM pro and Broadlink Blackbean to Alexa”

  1. Hi Paul,

    thanks for the helpful videos. I happened to get an RM pro and have been figuring it out. I actually have a Google Home Mini, but thought it might help.

    Have you tried Broadcom’s newer app? Their tech support (today) recommended ‘Intelligent Home Centre’. Unfortunately remotes aren’t copied across…(?yet) but the pictures look nicer. The Apple App Store pictures include an official link to Alexa and a Chinese equivalent (
    Tmall Genie ); I wonder if they speak English yet…I also don’t know if the Alexa skill is just US/China etc.

    They also recommended the S1 (thanks again for video): I can’t see how it would help get data out of Broadcom though.

    The real puzzle question I have is: how do you do reverse bridging for RM Pro? I can go Google-home>IFTTT>webhook>RM-Bridge>RM-Pro>IR/RF…but how to go from something in Broadcom to outside world…any idea? It has me completely stumped. All I really want to do is turn on a security camera (on Wink free account/no hub and hence IFTTT) in a scene. The only answer I have so far is to power on the socket or do something that triggers another sensor on IFTTT. I have a Sonoff RF bridge and thought the RM and Sonoff could talk, but the Sonoff IFTTT is currently really basic. The Sonoff RF Bridge can have a remote so you could teach the RM Pro it’s 4 buttons and then communicate with Itead Sonoff smart stuff (cheap plugs and super cheap switches that need basic wiring skill – also there is a low voltage circuit board for home bodging)

    Thanks in advance for any genius ideas

  2. Purchased broadlink rm Pro and mini after seeing your videos, downloaded e control app and rm plug in but the rm plug in will not import the codes from the e control app? Any help would be much appreciated.

    1. Hey!

      The latest version is still buggy. There is an older version on the downloads page on my website. That one works fine, give it a go 🙂

    2. if you are running the rm plugin on a seperate android device, try installing the e control app on that device as well as on your phone.then open both up and transfer from phone to e control on your android device , then open rm plugin

  3. Hi paul
    Iv just purchased a broadlink RM Pro and I’ve been watching your videos to control it with Alexa I’ve seen the RM Pro app on Google Play but since update there has been a lot of bad reviews with it will it still work

    1. Hi mate,

      The latest version is still buggy. There is an older version on the downloads page on my website. That one works fine 🙂

  4. Yo bro like your work !

    Bought the mini and echo after watching your videos, downloaded the ios app the ihc , added my Airconditoning hoping that i could use the commands on alexa but I couldn’t detect the devices even after downloading skills and entering user and password tried resting the black bean many time still it only works from the app and i cant even make it show on alexas devices list. Your help will be appreciated thanks

    1. Thanks mate! You’ll need to add the air conditioner as a TV in order for Alexa to discover it. Alexa can only discover TV’s in the Broadlink app, so you have to trick it. watch the How to control anything with the broadlink skill video.

      Thanks,

      -P

  5. Amazing work around and really want to try it out, but is there a way of doing this if you don’t have an android device? Thanks.

      1. Ok cool thank you. I could just get a cheap Android tablet to set up as a Smart Home Hub like you had.

        Is there a way of k owing before purchasing if the RM Pro will be the correct version? There are so many on eBay and Amazon!

  6. Hiya. Always find your videos brilliant. Recently purchased the RM Pro. I’ve tried to set it up following your videos. I’m having an issue. When I press device list in the RM plugin app it says ‘Device is currently not supported” can you help at all? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

    1. Hey man,

      Check out the FAQ’s in the help section of the RM plugin. There is something in there about updating firmware, but it will only be relevant to certain models. BE WARY UPDATING THE FIRMWARE TO THE WRONG DEVICE WILL BRICK IT!!! If it’s an RM Pro+ You may be playing the waiting game as I know that one isn’t yet compatible with the plugin. This is all stuff I’ve literally just found out in the last couple days. Broadlink are basically messing everything up, check this video out for a full explanation: https://youtu.be/FWRrQ-_uwEs

  7. Hi Paul
    I upgraded ro the echo 2gen from the dot 2 and from the moment i upgraded alexa stop from discovering my smart Home devices from the rm plugin…
    I tried to add the skill of the hue and use the user you give in the article, atill thw same problem.
    With the dot 2 everything was working so great!
    So frustrating 😤
    May be you have any idea whats happening with my alexa?
    Thank you for all the videos and guides!

    1. This is a nightmare, but apparently Amazon have taken the decision to only allow cloud based devices for their new products. They’re basically shafting the enthusiast market entirely :*(

      I will be looking at going back to Vox commando on my PC for controlling the RM plugin I think. The good news is that the official Broadlink skill is supposed to be coming to the UK soon, fingers crossed that it has RF support!

  8. So just purchased an RM Pro last week (as we all are doing) but I bought from Ebay and because it was advertised as the RM Pro2 Great I thought and well it is kinda…..

    I got the RM Pro 2+ which seems to work ok. Alexa is intermittent in finding the decvices in the RM Plugin but that could be because I’m using a single device and not a dedicated separate android device (will find my old phone) 😉

    But so far impressed that I am getting success – just want to have more consistency though 🙂

    Thanks for all the advice Paul

    Appreciate it all,
    Jim

  9. Hi Paul,
    Your videos on broadlink and Google home have helped me a lot. It was the reason I bought the RM3 to begin with.
    I tore my hair out a few days ago trying to get my Google Home to recognise my RM3 by using 3 different apps/services, which will didn’t work consistently. I came across your recent video about IHC and is so much easier!
    Can you tell me if the RM3 with Google Home can perform more functions on my TV than just powering on and off? I added the device as “light” like in your video but looks like in only restricted to 4 buttons.
    Thanks!

  10. Hi Paul

    Just found your youtube channel and site. very well done.

    If I only want to be able to control broadlink devices from Voxcommando can I use any broadlink model? Then for Alexa control I would have all commands go through Voxcommando?

    I’m in Canada but have my Echo setup for a US account at the moment.

    Lots of Broadlink models on amazon.ca
    https://www.amazon.ca/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=broadlink+&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Abroadlink+

    Thanks

    1. Hey dude,

      Unfortunately the only way to get Vox commando to control the RM pro would be through an Android device running the RM plugin. You would set the RM plugin to HTTP bridge and send the requests from Vox commando using HTTP. Unfortunately the latest RM pro’s are not detectable by the RM plugin. The black beans are though, so if you were only interested in Infrared then that would be an option.

      I’m looking at SOnoff products at the moment as an alternative. I know that Kalle (Vox commando expert on the forums) has hacked the Sonoff stuff to work directly with Vox commando, but another option would be to send HTTP from Vox commando to IFTTT and then get IFTTTT to control the sonoff device.

      Kalle also makes his own dedicated controller for Vox commando which is unbelievably awesome. Not sure how much he would charge you to build one. Worth asking him via the Vox commando forum.

      Lots of options!

      Thanks,

      -P

  11. Hi Paul,
    Since my early success with ihc and GA unfortunately it has stopped working, Google’s Home App still see’s the appliances/scenes and most times even states it activating them, but the RM3 sends no commands.
    The appliances/scenes work fine within the ihc App, I’ve tried: Unlinking ihc account from Google Home App and relinking, all the devices/scenes come back but still no voice integration.

    How’s your set up have you seen this also or is it just me and any suggestions?

    Yours frustrated,

    Bob

    1. Hi Bob,

      This is odd because I heard one other person say the same, but it’s just the two of you I think! I personally only use it for RF via my RM pro, I only set up the Infrared on the blackbean for a one off to make the video so it’s not setup for me to test it and with me working 2 full time jobs I don’t have the time to set it back up 🙁 sorry dude!

      I’ll keep my ears peeled for other reports, but it sounds like a local issue, but I’ll let you know if I hear from anyone else.

  12. Just had a push notification on my rm plugin app saying a new version is out (2.38) in a few days which will support the newer models!

    I managed to get an old one recently so both of mine are fine but thought people would like to know.

    If they were working on it, they should have told customers rather than ignore them!

    1. Not sure what was happening in his personal life, but he said his business had been undergoing a change. It’s good that it’s working again, but be warned, he’s still working on the gen 2 echo problem. It still doesn’t work on the latest Alexas at present.

      1. Rm plugin 2.5.4
        This is the support mail words about the new model :
        We’re still not able to support Echo Gen 2 and Echo Plus at the moment.

        We’re still working on it. You’ll be notified via notifications when new version supporting Echo Gen 2 is released.

  13. Interesting and probably true, Amazon must have recruited too many designers from Apple.
    My RM plugin Alexa devices have stopped being recognise by my echo dot a couple of days ago. Worked flawlessly before. The only thing that could have possibly changed is the Alexa/echo dot end.

  14. Hello. Hoping you can help!! Love your vids. I have the rm pro+. i use the ihc app for my tv/receiver. I just got a second Broadlink RM Pro+, can i use this to control a garage door opener? If so how!!??

    1. Thanks mate 🙂 It all depends on whether the garage door signal is encrypted and whether or not it is on the same frequency range as the Broadlink RM pro. I would recommend trying to train it with the remote and see if it works!

      -P

      1. Thanks very much and I appreciate the reply! No more question for you in regards to this I don’t see any garage RF option on the app which should I choose? Should I choose Rf blind although there’s no options there or should I go through like I’m adding a TV

        1. Hey man,

          Use the TV option like in my video and just rename the TV “Garage door”. You may have to use Garage door on and off rather than open closed though 😉 Worth trying both!

  15. Have the rm black been but can not get it on to my network using bt hub 6 set to 2.5mhz using the 1st method and the 2 after resets still no joy

    1. Hey dude, best advice I can give would be to reserve a static IP in the BT Hub for all devices, most importantly the Blackbean and the phone. I’ve heard that resolves some of these types of issues, though I’ve never experienced them myself!

      Hope that helps,

      -P

  16. Paul,

    How did you get the RMPro to control your HomeEasy dimmers? I have tried making it learn from the HE remote control but can only make it turn on and not turn off. (I am using the ihc app if that matters)

    Thanks in advance

  17. Hello Paul, hope everything is OK.
    I finally bought a new RM Pro+ from Amazon and in fact is working fine, but there is an IR RCA old remote from my Home Theatre (remote: CRK7AD1) which I haven’t been able to teach to the RM. I wonder if one can entr a code manually or some other method which can solve the problem?
    Thank you,
    Fernando

    1. Hi Fernando, if Broadlink had the remote in their Econtrol database then you would be able to do this (although it’s a bit awkward to do). Unfortunately I can’t find that remote in their database. Who is the manufacturer? I tried to google CRK7AD1 but couldn’t find anything!

      1. Hello Paul
        Thanks so much for your answer
        The Hometheatre in question is an old RCA RT2280 or 2250 (around 17 years of age) but it works like a champ
        I have been able to teach a universal remote in the past but lately my Broadlink won’t accept commandsw2 it acts like it gathered but it really doesn’t; the battery cover of the remote says:
        CRK76AD1 and is definitely an IR, well, maybe it has become a piece of junk now, I’ve also tried to grasp commands from the universal remote I managed to programe, but my RM Pro+ ignores it all together.
        Ok, thanks again Paul for your effort and all the best,

        Fernando

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