Already have a SmartThings hub. I bought the Harmony Hub to control my media center. Works well, but the TV is inside a cabinet that raises and lowers with an RF remote. Harmony Hub doesn’t do RF. Seems nobody does RF. Any suggestions for getting Alexa to raise and lower my TV?
You’ll have to be a little more specific. “RF” just means “radio frequency.” Zigbee is radio frequency. Zwave is radio frequency. Wi-Fi is radio frequency. Bluetooth is radio frequency.
Your remote could be any of several frequencies. Probably 345 or 433, but there are others as well.
So the first thing we need to know is the brand and model of the device. If you can’t find anything else, if this is a battery operated remote, look on the back of it or inside the battery compartment and there should be an FCC certification number if you’re in the US.
Now, I have a remote that I pick up and push the UP button to raise the TV and a Down button that I push to lower the TV. I want to do the same thing by talking to Alexa. The Harmony Hub will operate those devices with an IR receiver ( I can tell Harmony Hub through Alexa to change channels, or mute, or change inputs), but I can’t tell Alexa to raise or lower the TV because the lift motor is looking for an RF signal, and Harmony Hub does not generate an RF signal, only an IR signal. The remote has absolutely no identification, so any hub will have to “learn” the function of the two buttons on the remote (Harmony Hub has a learn mode, but only for IR remotes).
I understand that. The thing is that RF is just a category, it doesn’t tell us specifically what would be needed for an integration with SmartThings. We need to know what frequency the radio frequency is. There are many different ones in use. That’s why we need the brand and model number of the television lift that you are using. Or rather of the remote for that lift.
Again, even if there are no markings on the remote, if you are in the US and it is less than 20 years old there has to be an FCC certification number on it somewhere. Look inside the battery compartment if it’s not on the back of the device.
(By the way, technically the harmony hub does Use RF because Bluetooth Is one kind of RF. But it’s probably not the one that your television lift is using.
If it’s one of the other frequencies, the question of how to do integration will depend on exactly which one it is. It will probably involve getting an additional bridge device, but which one depends on the exact frequency being used.)
There is one last resort even if you can’t find any information out about the remote. It’s expensive and a little weird, so you probably won’t want to use it. But just in case I’ll go ahead and mention it. (I myself am quadriparetic and can’t push buttons on a remote, so I’m always tracking other options.)
There is a South Korean company named Naran which makes a “robot finger” that is just a tiny actuator. The finger is called “push.” The push costs $49 by itself, but then it can only be worked from a phone that it was paired to with Bluetooth.
If you also get their $99 bridge, you can then access their IFTTT channel. So now you have a button pusher that you can attach to pretty much any existing device and operate by IFTTT. One bridge can support I think up to 40 of their micro bots.
So for $200, you could get two Push actuators and the Prota bridge and have integration with SmartThings or echo.
If you built a little stand to hold the two microbots in the right position over the remote you could still slide the remote out and use it by hand. But then you have to remember to always put it back in the stand so you can use it with echo the next time.
So like I said, weird, and expensive, but it should work. It’s the kind of thing that would be worth trying for someone in my physical situation, but probably wouldn’t make sense for someone who is ablebodied.
So just something to keep in mind if this is a use case that you really want to solve and you can’t find out anything more about the remote and you don’t want to go with one of the maker solutions that require soldering things to either the remote or the TV lift. The microbot has the advantage of being prepackaged and not damaging the existing remote.
You may be able to use the same scheme as what some folks are using for non-smart garage doors. Either get a sacrificial remote and wire a Z-Wave or Zigbee relay to it, to simulate the push of the button. Or if the lift supports an external switch input, wire it directly to the Z-Wave relay. Or check out the various Arduino / SmartThings shield projects to use as a relay. The bottom line is, that unless the lift manufacturer supports some form of home control support, you will probably have to do the integration yourself.
Cheap $20 easy option is to wire this to your remote or directly to your control board. There was a thread on here a while ago about it and it worked great. I use it for my RF projection screen.
Hi there, did you get this working? I’m looking to achieve the same thing with Venset TS1000 tv Lucy via RF and SmartThings hub.
Does anyone know how to get ST to learn the frequency? I have an existing universal remote that came with it that works.