Broadlink Firmware update takes down Home-Assistant component. See my Node-red workaround!

Broadlink firmware update knocks out HA component

I’ve suddenly noticed that a recent firmware update from Broadlink has unfortunately caused issues with the broadlink component in home-assistant (hassio core). Whilst we’re waiting for the broadlink component to be updated, I’ve had to amend some of my flows in Node-red to take this into account. You can read more about the issue here on both github and the home-assistant forums (https://community.home-assistant.io/t/broadlink-rm-mini-3-does-not-work/185759).

Essentially when I was using voice control (alexa) to switch on our home theatre, the routine was going through, but the broadlink mini rm3 wasn’t triggering my Epson TW6100W projector to switch on. On further debugging and analysis in node-red, I was able to see that I was receiving the following debug error:

“Broadlink Timeout Received – Closing Device Connection”

A quick bit of googling and I found the issue was common and due to some firmware updates that Broadlink had been pushing. Presumably to get people to start using their cloud. I have no intention of doing this, but it means that my Home-Assistant component is currently not functioning as it should. Fortunately for me, whenever I set something up in Home-Assistant, I also set it up in Node-red independently via specific nodes. I do this because firstly, should I ever choose to pick a different system to home-assistant (i.e. homeseer, hubitat, smart things, loxone, crestron etc), I can potentially still incorporate node-red. Secondly, should a component in home-assistant ever fail (sometimes due to circumstances beyond its control) I am still able to control the component separately.

Therefore, here’s a fix which I’ve put in place which has meant that we are able to continue to working as normal. This fix took me approximately 45 seconds to implement, and again, is the reason why I love node-red!

Original Node-red flow with HA component
Original Node-red flow with HA component

As you can see the projector on / off nodes were essentially service calls switching on or off the broadlink component command I set up in Home-Assistant. If you’d like to see this individual yaml, ask in the comments and I’ll show it.

I simply switched out the Broadlink component in the flow for the individual Broadlink nodes instead (node-red-contrib-broadlink-control).

New Node-red flow with broadlink node
New Node-red flow with broadlink node

 

This gave me exactly the same method of operation that I had previously, only this time the theatre alexa voice command is able to switch on the projector directly in Node-red.

I am sure that it wont take Github long to find a solution to this new found problem, but I just wanted to illustrate my workaround for those of you who might be in the same predicament.

For those of you wondering what the function node looks like on my new flow see below for power on:

Function Node
Function Node

You can get more information on working with Node-red and broadlink components on my earlier blog posts here and here

The actual broadlink IR device I use, which up until this most recent update has been flawless is the RM mini 3.

They can be found (affiliate links) on Aliexpress here: RM Mini

Or on Amazon: RM Mini

Let me know if you need any more info!

Cheers.

Comments

  1. Dear Andrew Howe!
    I wrote that problem to home-assistant forum, what you shared here. 🙂
    I tried this method (node-red). I read your earlier post to setting https://www.thesmarthomebook.com/2020/02/03/automating-a-humidifier-with-node-red-and-a-broadlink-rm3-mini-part-1/
    But in learning process, what I write in rm node/ device setting. IP OK, MAC ok.
    But what is type? RM mini 3 newer or 5f36? And what I write to catalog box?
    Because I can’t pair it with e-control.
    For istance, I wrote 5f36 and I leave catalog box empty. I tried learning. I got that message in debug:
    “Broadlink Timeout Received – Closing Device Connection”

    Thank you in advance

    1. Hey there. So in my node set up, for type i have 2737. This was what the node tells me when I use the Discover node. For catalog, I personally left it blank, although there’s some text greyed out – it says D:/SharedData, but i can’t be sure if that’s a default or not. My mac address is without colons, i.e. 780f777xxx (not sure if that makes a difference). I cannot remember which app I actually used to put the RM3 mini on to the wifi network, and i don’t want to open either of them (broadlink or eIHC) as I don’t want to risk triggering a firmware update! All I can tell you is once I had the broadlink on the network, I never used either app in the last 12mths or so.

      1. There is a new version of the node-red node released (v2.0.1) that fixes some minor issues and removes the required field for catalog (it’s only relevant if you are using the data dump from the e-control app.

        For the device type, you can do a search with the discover node and it will tell you.

        The MAC address can have colons or no colons, it doesn’t matter.

        If the instructions could be improved, please make some suggestions in the issues on the repository. https://github.com/mlfunston/node-red-contrib-broadlink-control

        Enjoy!

        Mark

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