There are many WiFi-based universal IR blasters available online from manufacturers, such as Tuya and its rebranded versions, sold around the world.

They allow you to get rid of all the remote controllers and control your TV, heater, HVAC, home theater, fan or other IR remote-controlled devices through a smartphone app. You can also integrate these IR blasters and send commands to control devices via Alexa or Google Assistant.

Converting an IR Blaster to a Custom IR Remote for Home Assistant

There are two different ways to turn a universal IR bastor with the TYWE3S chip into a custom IR remote for home assistant.

In this DIY guide, you’ll learn the process of turning these universal IR devices into a custom Tasmota firmware-based IR blaster, add them to Home Assistant for local Wi-Fi remote control, and set up automation triggered by events.

Steps to Flash and Convert a Cheap Universal IR Blaster to a Custom IR Remote

To flash Tasmota firmware on a Universal IR Blaster, you need to interface the IR Blaster with a USB to TTL Serial Converter Module. The steps are as follows.

Step 1: Take apart the Universal IR Blaster

Detach the IR blaster to access the hardware inside to flash the Tasmota firmware. Use the screwdriver to remove the screw and then use some force to remove the outer cover.

Step 2: Flash Tasmota Firmware

Once you have access to the hardware, solder jumper wires to the 3.3V power supply, TX and RX communication pins, GND, and IO0.

After soldering the jumper wires, connect them to the USB to TTL serial converter module as shown in the table.

Download Tasmota.bin firmware file and Tasmotizer.exe Flashing Tool.

Connect USB to TTL Converter Module to PC or Laptop and launch Tasmotizer Flashing Tool

Click Refresh and then select the COM port and click Open to select the downloaded Tasmota.bin firmware file.

Step 3: Setup Custom IR Remote

After flashing is complete, disconnect the IO0 pin from the ground pin and press the reset button on the USB to TTL module.

On your PC or laptop, open Wi-Fi Settings and connect to the Tasmota-XXXX-XX Wi-Fi network

Open a web browser and go to 192.168.4.1.

Select an available Wi-Fi network and enter the password. Click Save.

An IP address will be displayed. Make a note and then open the IP in a web browser. You can also click on the IP address to open the Sonoff Basic Tasmota web interface.

Click Configuration > Configure Modules.

From Module Type, select Generic and click Save. The device will restart.

Step 4: Connect to Home Assistant

To connect this converted custom IR blaster to Home Assistant, you need to install and configure MQTT on your Home Assistant.

Once set up, go to Configuration > Configure MQTT in the Custom IR Blaster web interface and enter MQTT parameters, such as the IP address of the host, user, and password, and click Save.

Step 5: Send/Receive IR Commands

Once the setup is finished, open the web interface and go to the console.

When you press a button on your IR remote, the converted IR blaster receives an IR signal and displays it in the console.

The command will be sent, and the device will take action based on the transmitted IR data.

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