Seeking advice on automating mini-splits

Hey everyone,

I have a property with 4 identical mini-split AC units with IR control each (the same remote can control any of them).

How can I control any of them individually remotely? Can a BOND hub or Broadlink device do that? Do I need one for every room? What about cross-talk between rooms? I have a couple of Remotec ZXT-120 but I can’t seem to get them to work reliably using various DH’s out there…

Thanks!

What’s the brand and model of the mini splits?

If they really use an IR (infrared) remote, then you will have to be in direct line of sight of them. That’s like a little beam of light, and it doesn’t go through walls. This is easy to test, just go out in the hallway around the corner and see if the remote still works

If it does, then it’s some kind of RF (radio frequency) remote. Those can go through walls, but there are many different frequencies in use and so you have to know exactly which one before you can find an alternate controller. There should be an FCC license on the remote somewhere, maybe inside the battery compartment, that you can use to look it up.

What country are you in? The device selection does very somewhat, but if you open the smart things app, choose the + in the upper right corner, and choose devices, you can see which air conditioner/remote companies have provided an integration with smartthings.

For example, in the US, Cielo and Kiot both have an integration listed under air conditioners, but these are not air conditioners themselves, they are controllers for them. Similar to your Remotec but not Z wave.

I hear good things about the Cielo and it tends to get very good reviews from both bloggers and at Amazon, but I don’t know the details of their integration.

The property is in Mexico. Units are an unrecognizable brand, Zmarttech. IR only. I know it has to be one in every room. I have 2 Remotec ZXT-120 that “almost” work. I’ve added small Z-Wave contact sensors on the “door” that opens when the AC is ON. So now, at least I know when the AC is ON.

I used Sensibo but they are not cost-effective. Cielo Breez seems to be in the same ball-park. I would need 4 of them. Maybe a simple Wi-Fi IR device like cheap Broadlink, one in each room… teach it my remote and make 4 of them… without integration…

Thanks!

Broadlink is very popular, but if you want smartthings integration it does require an additional android device, which then increases the cost.

Switchbot minihub is an IR blaster and has a manufacturer-provided smartthings Integration which works pretty well, although you may have to do the integration just via the equivalent of scenes. I have a Switchbot hub and Devices but I’m not using them with an air conditioner, so I’m not sure.

Looks like the hub is sold out on Amazon right now

You can buy direct from the manufacturer:

When I got mine, it didn’t come with the wall plug, just a USB cord. I had an extra phone charger so I just plugged it into that. I don’t know if that’s still true.

Mine was the same about a month ago.

I haven’t tried using the SwitchBot hub with an A/C IR integration. I do know custom remote IR types don’t integrate with SmartThings. So when I was setting it up with my electric fireplace, I chose the “water heater” option from the menu and that did integrate with SmartThings. My guess would be the A/C option also integrates with SmartThings since its a standard option in their app.

I have a SwitchBot mini hub. But I will need one for every room… And I haven’t tried to integrate into ST in Mexico or Hubitat and ST here at home. I’ll have to read up on Broadlink - Android - ST integration. I have plenty of older TV boxes that I may be able to use. I’d prefer not to have one for every room :slight_smile: I have one RM pro+.

You’re going to need one of something in every room since IR needs line of sight.

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Of course. I’m just trying to figure out what that IR device would be. Broadlink mini or Bestcon are cheap. I could go without integration and only use sensors to tell ST if the AC is on or off. If adding one andorid device allows ST to Broadlink integration, that would be a winner.

I’ve been using Tuya Smart Life app to control 5 LG mini split zones with generic compatible IR blasters. I had intended to attempt some kind of Smartthings integration, but so far I’ve not really felt I’ve needed to, as I just change settings from the Smart Life app, as needed, based on weather/temp etc…

Anyway, even if just a temporary solution, it’s a pretty good one.

No hub required, just wifi, I think I paid like $6 each from China:

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I like that! The price is certainly right. If only it at least had an IFTTT support, but still, not bad. Thanks!

I use the broadlink rm mini’s. They are pretty cheap and can work in Smartthings through IFTTT or even with Alexa and virtual switches.

The mini is IR only vs the pro which has rf, but if you only are controlling ir devices the mini will be fine.

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Yea, they are on my shortlist. Are these compatible with the IFTTT? Not their idea of home-grown ifttt where if you use their sensor, it will do stuff. :slight_smile: I assume didn’t go the Android integration?

The Broadlinkk IFTTT integration really can control anything on the Broadlink side. Sometimes you have to make a custom device on Broadlink and learn the device as a lightbulb or something else. Plus the nice thing about the broadlink is it can be in your network “unlocked” so you have the android route and can even control it with a local server in Node red. It’s a bit technical but many options. When I was starting out IFTTT was the easiest and generally reliable.


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Yea, I think Broadlink / Android / ST is the way to go. I figured that their IFTTT is not THE IFTTT :-). Thank you!

I think with Android you mean the tasker bridge? I initially had set that up several years back before there was a broadlink Alexa skill to get my broadlink devices on Alexa. I stopped using it though after they improved the Alexa skill.

The IFTTT integration and Broadlink Alexa skill have vastly improved very recently, and a lot of guides you see now are dated back before they were updated, so I would at least check those out first. They might do what you need without needing the android phone/tablet on all the time.

But the key with the broadlink is you have multiple configuration options with different systems. I’m not familiar with alternative IR devices because the Broadlink is all I use, but I’m very happy with it. I have 5 of them now controlling older dumb TVs and IR mini splits all around the house.

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At this point, I don’t care about Alexa integration. Basically, good independent remote control and/or integration with ST for additional “nice to have” automation. I’m leaning toward Broadlink RM mini3. I own an RM pro+ , but not sure if the “android man in the middle, RM Bridge, I believe, is the app.” solution is compatible with it. If I have to waste 3 hours on trying to make RM pro+ work, might as well get an extra RM mini3 for $25. I don’t have any RF devices, so not a big loss.

The only functional difference I’ve seen between the mini vs the pro is the pro does rf as well as ir. Other then that, the mini and pro use the same broadlink apps, Alexa, and Ifttt integrations. You should be able to test any integration with your existing RMPRO, and getting the mini I don’t believe will get you any more functionality (it actually supports fewer options). It’s been awhile since I used the bridge though so I’m not 100% on recent changes there. I have an older rm pro and the minis, and they both can be controlled through a local server using Node red using this same palette linked below. They both also come through the same IFTTT and Alexa integrations.

node-red-contrib-broadlink-control (node) - Node-RED .

On the Broadlink app this is how a pro appears

And this is a mini

The key here though is if you’re using any local server for control, be it an Android tablet or RPI device, you must “unlock” the rm device by deselecting the “lock device” in the preferences (which is toggled to “lock” by default) or you won’t be able to control the device locally.

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Great tips! Mine is an RM pro+, but should work. I will use one of many old Android TV boxes for this, I have 4 mini-splits and 4 ceiling fans/lights. Will require 4 IR devices. Should be interesting. Thanks!

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I will eventually get a Smart Life hub and see if can manage any of the app actions to show up in Smartthings. Browsing the forum it looks like it can be done, but who knows… If I have any luck, this seems like a good thread to follow-up.

I’m determined not to pay $100 x 5 to have control through LG’s ThinQ, while still not having Smarthings integration, but it would be nice to be able to see the actual status of the units. I’m not eve sure if there is anything special about their WiFi cards other than the connectors.

I saw some mention of one model of Zmarttech being manufatured by Hisense, for what that may be worth.

The Broadlink devices seem like a good trade-off for function and value, and tempting to experiment with.

Good Luck

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I run a ST v2 at the property and replaced my 2nd ST v2 with Hubitat here at home. I had a hard time integrating Broadlink stuff so I abandoned it and got a BOND hub - works great in Hubitat for all my ceiling fans/lights. I also have one SwitchBot Mini hub - not using it at the moment, along with RM pro+.

As I mentioned, I’ll add a contact sensor to each mini-split so I could get some feedback on the status.

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