Domotise a bathroom fan heater with Appthe HomeKit e Broadlink (via Homebridge)

7 minutes of reading
PURPOSES OF PROJET:
  • Domotise bathroom heater so that it can be used as an accessory via Appthe HomeKit and Siri
  • Difficulty level: medium
  • Cost: reduced (<30 €)
CONCEPTS FACED:
SOFTWARE COMPONENTS USED:
PHYSICAL DEVICES USED:
Procasting more suitable for:

Apple-200x200

Notes and disclaimer
  • qualsiasi modifica all'impianto elettrico dev'essere progettata ed effettuata da personale qualificato;
  • any changes implemented in probefore is a propersonal responsibility as well as a profirst risk and danger (the contents of the present page are purely educational);
  • any changes implemented in proprior to a device it voids the guarantee, quality approvals and certifications.

Abstract

One of the promore interesting jets published so far on inDomus (at least for users Apple) è the one dedicated to the automation of a traditional air conditioner with Appthe HomeKits (via Homebridge). Let us therefore take inspiration from that procast in order to domotize a traditional bathroom fan heater.

The purpose of this projet it is therefore to demonstrate how, with a paltry expense, it is possible to domotize a simple bathroom fan heater in order to make it compatible and controllable through the final management tools of the world Appthe HomeKits (and, consequently, with Siri).

Home automation of a bathroom fan heater it's extremely comfortable to make it controllable remotely and, above all, to plan its switching on (perhaps in relation to the ambient temperature)

For this procast we will use an infrared emitter Broadlink RM Mini 3 and a controlled bathroom fan heater via infrared remote control: the methods described here are essentially essentially the same for all heating elements controlled by infrared remote control, even the most dated.

As listed in the beginning, you must be in possession of:

  • instantiate Homebridge functioning;
  • un Broadlink RM Mini 3 (o Broadlink equivalent model as long as it emits infrared, eg. mod. Pro/Pro+)
  • a fan heater and related manual and remote control with infrared signals.

For the procast we will take as a reference a specific model of fan heater among the many available on the market, theARGO Chic Silver.

ARGO Chic Silver

The ARGO Chic Silver (like many fan heaters) is basically a fan with a heating unit inside. When switched on, the user sets the temperature at which he wants to take the room and the fan heater starts, in ventilation and heating mode, keeping the heating unit on until the set temperature is reached; ventilation remains always on until the fan heater switches off.

Since this fan He has not a switch-on timer (but only switch-off) is available and its activation cannot be triggered by an actuator located on the power supply line to 220v. (such as in the case of the proface jet to domotize a fan); the only solution in order to plan to switch it on (perhaps to find a hot bath when you wake up), infrared is still used to simulate the remote control.

This scenario it is typical of many fan heaters on the market, which:

  • they cannot be activated via actuators on the supply line (on / off);
  • they do not have a switch-on timer but a switch-off timer;
  • they do not offer home automation support.

It starts

Philosophy of projet

Let's start with a ragionamesimple.
Since:

  • Homebridge is recognized da Appi iOS (iPhone, iPad) as "BRIDGE compatible Apple HomeKit ”- therefore as a“ natively ”domotic element;
  • Homebridge (With appspecial plug-in) can send infrared signals means Broadlink;
  • the fan heater it is controllable via infrared signals

therefore, it is therefore possible to control the air conditioner via Appthe HomeKit, then control it with Siri and automate it with the rest of the home automation.

Analysis

Analyze the features controllable by remote control

First of all we must clarify that, not existing on Appthe HomeKits (at the time of writing this projet) a "fan heater" accessory (but only a "thermostat" accessory, useful for controlling heating / cooling units such as boilers, radiators, air conditioners), consequently the Home pluginbridge "homebridge-broadlink-rm”(Which we will use to send infrared codes to the fan heater) it cannot be specifically configured for this purpose.

Use the "thermostat" accessory (something that you would instinctively do) is not appropriate profirst for his jobnamento the "home" pluginbridge-broadlink-rm ”: this element requires configuration an infrared code for each set temperature by the user who, together with the temperature, also sets the operating modes of the controlled unit (read on to better understand how the remote control of an air conditioner usually works).

The fan heater used as an example for this projet has a very essential remote control available, which does not present the intelligence of the remote control of an air conditioner or that of a traditional thermostat.
This control device has only "single function" buttons, ie a function, a key, an infrared code:

ARGO Chic Silver - Remote control

To overcome this "proproblem ", we will use an accessory available in the" home "pluginbridge-broadlink-rm ”, ie "Switch" (or "switch"). In essence we will go to simplify the complexity, treating the fan heater as an element capable of only two states: "On" and "off".

The configuration of the "switch" accessory will therefore provide for switching on and off the infrared code sequences that we would normally send using, manually, the remote control. Once this is done, "turning on" the switch accessory at iOS's "Home" Broadlink (via Homebridge and the related plugin) prohe will see to taking the place of the remote control and then send the ignition codes - and then make the fan heater operational.

Understanding the functional logicnameof the fan heater

Understanding how the fan heater works is the basis of this projet, as each element has the prologic of functionnamento; it is therefore necessary first read the manual of the profirst fan heater, provarlo, understand how it works.

In the case of our ARGO Chic Silver, to ensure that it heats the environment and places the inclined wings of 45 degrees (because maybe we want them so positioned) is necessary (starting with the unit extinguished) press on the remote control, in sequence:

  • On / off button (and wait half a second);
  • twice the "eco | com" key (and wait for 11 seconds, the time it takes to open the flaps);
  • flap swing button (and wait for 7 seconds, the time it takes to position yourself at 45 degrees of inclination);
  • again the flap swing button (to stop it in position).

To turn it off, just press the power button again.

Identify infrared HEX codes useful for our home automation

As explained above, to "wire" the on / off behavior in a sequence of sending infrared codes we will need to capture the codes of:

  • on / off button;
  • "eco | com" button;
  • swing button.

Obviously this is the scenario related to this fan heater projet, scenario that obviously varies from model to model, from situation to situation, from need to need.

For the present model projet (ARGO Chic Silver) we have made the original codes available at our code archive (to which you can participate with your codes for the benefit of all.

Installation and configuration

Install the "home" pluginbridge-broadlink-rm "

Installing the plugin is as easy as always, the command it's really trivial:

npm install -g homebridge-broadlink-rm

Nb. for more info on the installation there is a card apposita on inDomus. Once installed, it is always necessary provvedere to the basic plugin configuration.

Device configuration Broadlink

Before commanding our fan heater through the combined use of Homebridge and the plugin appena installed, it is necessary that the Broadlink is already present on ours Wi-Fi. If this step has already been done before, it is possible profollow over.

To make the infrared emitter enter (and remain) inside yours Wi-Fi just download theappe-Control reporting for Android o for iOS and follow the instructions.

In case of difficulty, it is available the manual in Italian.

Capture of the infrared codes supplied by the remote control

First to ask yourself proproblem of capturing the codes, the healthiest thing is to jump on ours COLLABORATIVE ARCHIVE of infrared / radiofrequency codes. With any luck, you may already find the job done. Differently, don't forget (always through that page) after collecting yours, to send them to the archive!

ATTENZIONE: in case you have a computer available Windows, as an alternative to the methods described in this paragraph, we recommend using one faster and more practical based on free TOOL "Broadlink Manager ”, described in detail in this guide.

Once the plugin is installed and performed the basic configuration on Homebridge, at theapp "House of Appthe iOS appa named switch will appear "LearnIR". Now, to acquire the infrared HEX codes of our remote control will be necessary position yourself in front of the Broadlink with Homebridge running (for command-line convenience rather than as a service) and activate that button.

At this point, the Broadlink will get it in "listening" of any infrared HEX codes and, once received, will display them on the screen via Homebridge. Then press the "LeanIR" button on theapp"Home" indication, point the remote control towards the Broadlink, press the key you wish to acquire and observe the terminal.

Here is an example taken from the Raspbian terminal when acquiring the "power" button of a Samsung TV:

Broadlink RM captures HEX codes

The HEX code - which is usually a string starting with "2600" - appare so:

2600460093951237123812381213121212131213111312381238123812121213121311131213121212381213111312131113121312121238121312381139113911391138123812000d050000

At this point, learned the proprocedure, acquire all necessary remote control codes based on the considerations amply illustrated in the paragraphs above.

At the end it will be possible capture the code "OFF", pressing it, always with Broadlink "Listening".

Nb. It will be a good idea to save the infrared HEX codes captured on an Exel sheet, for future uses in the eventual variation of the configuration.

Definition of the Home configuration filebridge

Now it is necessary create a new entry presso the Home configuration filebridge in order to create at Appthe HomeKits a new "switch" type accessory.

It is therefore necessary, in the configuration file, to insert between the accessories of the block - “platform""BroadlinkRM" - an accessory (which we will call "Warmer”Similar to this:

{
	"name": "Scaldino",
	"type": "switch",
	"resendHexAfterReload": false,
	"debug": false,
	"data": {
		"on": [{
			"data": "2600580000012a931....",
			"sendCount": 1,
			"pause": 0.5
		}, {
			"data": "2600580000012a931....",
			"sendCount": 1,
			"pause": 11
		}, {
			"data": "2600580000012a931....",
			"sendCount": 1,
			"pause": 7.1
		}, {
			"data": "2600580000012a931....",
			"sendCount": 1
		}],
		"off": [{
			"data": "2600580000012a931....",
			"sendCount": 1
		}]
	}
}

As you can clearly see, the block "on”Shows the sequence described in the paragraph dedicated to theanalysis of the functional logicnameof the fan heater, in the specific case of the ARGO Chic Silver. The codes (field "date") Are only examples.

In the block “off“Instead, there is only the infrared code relative to the on / off button.

Configuration precautions

Before feeding any configuration file to Homebridge, remember always to verify its syntactic correctness at JSONLint.

For all the detailed information on the characteristics and configuration parameters of the "Switch" accessory via the "home" pluginbridge-broadlink-rm ”refer directly to the online guide.

Automation at "Casa" of Appthe iOS

Once defined the new "switch" accessory (which activates / deactivates the fan heater) we can think of to automate its behavior.

In fact, let us consider the case turn on the fan heater for half an hour from to 7: 00 of the morning of each working day. It will be sufficient to access the "Automation" tab of theapp "Home" of iOS and press "+" to add a new one, then choosing "A certain time of day arrives"

New automation Appthe iOS Home

Next, you will choose the time and days of the week in which to trigger automation and whether to perform this automation in the presence or absence of the occupants of the house:

New automation Apple iOS Home - Time selection

It will then be time to choose which accessory to command, I our case "Warmer" of the bathroom:

New automation Apple iOS Home - Timetable - Choice Accessory

Finally, before concluding the automation configuration it will be possible to indicate after how many minutes (Possibly) turn off the switch (therefore the fan heater):

New automation Appthe iOS Home - Timetable - Final

At this point, press "End" the automation Sara pronta and operational.

Perfezionameof automation

In the case of HomeKit home automation there is also a thermal sensor it is possible, through theapplished here Elvate Eve (and NOT directly from theapp "Home", which does not directly allow this customization), add a condition for which to allow the execution of the automation only in the presence of a lower (or equal) temperature at a given threshold:

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