wifi RF-IR blaster motorized window blinds with phone app

WiFi IR Blaster Hub With Phone Apps for Motorized Blinds, TV, Etc.
(by Adrian Biffen, GM)

wifi IR blaster with Android and IOS phone apps for blind motors and everything else For a long time we have been asked for a user-friendly wifi phone app that isn't complicated like many of the existing automation solutions.

It would need the ability to "learn" our RF motor control protocol for our blind and shade motors, and other IR remotes for media controls (TV, sound systems, projectors, etc).

The solution has finally arrived in the form of the BroadLink® RF-IR blaster hub, and we are using this as the backbone automation hub for our systems.

One of the most important features is its ability to "learn" RF radio commands. This very important feature means it can address each individual blind and shade motor. It also has timers with weekly settings for each motor.

We all know what it is like to have six remote controls on your coffee table, and this unit is an inexpensive solution to that problem because of its wide range of control capabilities.

It can also "learn" signals for controlling our skylight/window openers, smart film, drapery motors, and many other devices, such as fans, LED lighting, and other x10 and 433 MHz devices.

Preserve Your Initial Investment

If you start out with our very simple wireless wall mount and hand held remotes for your motorized shades, your investment is preserved because you can still continue to use those remotes for added convenience, even if you add this wifi blind control system later.

Buy The Automation Hub & Blind Motors In Our Online Store

If you are interested, you can purchase these products in our DIY online automation store.

Use Your Old Phones and Tablets

control home theater with RF-IR blaster phone app for blackout blinds and projector screen

Got some older phones and tablets hidden away somewhere? Here's a great way to put them back to work as powerful home automation control terminals.

As long as you have a device with Android 4.0 (or IOS 7.0) and a functioning WiFi system, your old phones and tablets can be used (without a SIM card) to operate your home automation system. They do not need a built-in IR blaster as this function is handled by the hub.

Clone Your Phone and Tablet Control screens

Once you have set up a unit as your master control terminal, it is a very simple matter to clone the master screens to any of your other phones and tablets. This is another great feature that makes it very easy to keep all your control devices up to date

Control Your Netflix Streaming and Other Media

This hub is also an excellent IR blaster code learner too, for controlling all your Netflix streaming, TV, sound and other media systems. It also has the ability to combine events onto a single button press, so you can easily configure a sequential process for application in your home.

For instance, you may need a startup process for a home theater system in a media room - activate projector, lower projector screen, close blackout blinds, dim lights, power up audio system, switch to Netflix, etc.

You can quickly create screens with button controls for devices your home, (even quicker if you use the available existing templates). As mentioned previously, you can share your remote control system simply by cloning it to any other phone or tablet on the local network.

Cloud NOT Required

With growing concerns about hackers everywhere, it is important to note that cloud use is optional for your system. If you prefer to keep this entire system just within your home, without accessing the internet, you can do that.

If you want to use cloud support, it is available for remote control capability while you are away, and you can also upload your control screen creations to the cloud to support family or clients in remote locations.

Use a PC Desktop or Laptop

You can easily extend operation to your PC or laptop by using a 'phone cloner' that puts your phone screen onto your local machine screen, using mouse clicks to simulate button presses. We used the excellent Seven Square program to display our Android phone screens on our local Ubuntu laptops via a USB connection. There are similar programs for Mac, Windows, and IOS.

Powerful Sensor Capabilities

You can add the ES-WIFI-5V e-Air environmental sensing module, with capabilities for detecting environmental conditions such as temperature, humidity, air quality, smoke detectors, etc. There are also accessories for security functions: motion sensors, door/window opening detectors for events that fall into the security realm.

These sensing systems also have IFTTT (if-this-then-that) capabilities, with none of the latency or security issues associated with cloud based systems.

Feature Summary for Smart Home Automation Hub

  • User friendly - system can be up and running in a few minutes
  • Powerful - learns both RF & IR codes by pressing a button
  • Secure - not cloud dependent, it defaults as a local system only (optional cloud features are available)
  • Flexible - clone the app settings to other tablets and phones; easily keep all your family phones updated
  • Chainable - multiple events for one button - eg. dim lights, lower blinds & screen, projector on, select Netflix
  • Repeatable - Ability to set daily and weekly timed operations
  • Responsive - IFTTT (if-that-then-this) scenarios for events - eg. If rain detected, close motorized skylight
  • Extendable - use with 3rd party software such as Tasker, with remote access and many other capabilities.

Please see the next article Activating Your Home Automation Hub for further installation instructions.

Buy These Products In Our Online Store

If you are interested, you can purchase these products in our DIY online automation store.

Specifications:

ModelHA-RFIRW-5V
MaterialFlame-resistant PC
SizeL: 4.51" x W: 4.29" x H: 1.42" ( 11.45cm x 10.9cm x 3.6cm )
Input Voltage5V DC
Input Current2A
Working Temperature-20-60°C
Operating Humidity≤80%
Wireless Power≤0.5W
Wireless TypeWi-Fi 2.4GHz b/g/n
Infra-red Frequency38K
Radio Frequency315MHZ & 433MHZ
Operating System
(phone or tablet)
Android / IOS
Supported IOS VersionIOS 7.0 or above
Supported Android VersionAndroid 4.0 or above

Articles in this series:

Part 1-Smart hub for blind motors: Introduction (you are here)

Part 2-Smart hub WiFi router connection: Activate Hub

Part 3-Smart hub program installation: Download Software

Part 4-Smart hub methods: methods: Creating Control Screens

Part 5-Smart hub example: Home Theater Control Screen

Also, see the follow-on series about our other devices: