I recently bought a Broadlink RM4 Mini for not very much money in the hope that I could use it to control my stereo, TV and air conditioning using my Home Assistant setup. The device itself is smaller than I realised (a bonus!) and is powered via usb cable plugged into a 5V/1A charger - I just used an old iPhone charger.
The device has Broadlink integration…but boy did I have to wrestle with it to get it working! I figured I’d record my progress getting it set up incase anyone finds it of use (and when I forget what I did and once again curse myself for not ever writing documentation!).
1. Adding the device to my iOT VLAN
Ok, this bit is irritating to anyone wishing to maintain a vestige of digital privacy. You NEED an account to get the device on your network with the Broadlink app (although it’s possible you could use various badly-documented utilities on GitHub- I couldn’t get these to work however). You don’t need the app beyond this, so it’s worth signing up with a burner account - I’ve been experimenting with SimpleLogin for burner email addresses I can delete if junk starts coming through.
The device broadcasts its own wifi network for setup which you connect your phone to. It’s easy enough to then input the network details you want it to connect to (in my case my iOT VLAN firewalled off from the rest of the network and the internet). Once the phone app prompted me to also connect to network I had just added the RM4 to I simply hopped onto my main VLAN and closed the app - job done. There is no need to complete the setup beyond placing the device on the network and, if you want to use it with Home Assistant, you absolutely SHOULD NOT complete the setup as connecting the device to the cloud service makes it impossible to control with Home Assistant. The app is probably crap anyway - and who needs ANOTHER APP to control iOT devices when Home Assistant can control it instead?
2. Learning command codes
Now this bit was a mission…There are some guides out from the last few years that at least gave an overview of the process. The guides didn’t work for me for learning the IR codes - I think this might be due to the device being on a different VLAN. This video was helpful;