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Author Topic: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights  (Read 8605 times)

Offline Jasonejc

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integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« on: January 27, 2014, 10:08:21 pm »
Are there any known controls to integrate with existing ceiling fan/light combos?  As I'm sure 1000s of people do, I have remote controlled ceiling fans/lights that I would love to control via my Vera3.  Has anyone come across a solution to integrate these?  Or has anyone developed a homegrown solution?

If not, I'm thinking about making one by cannibalizing a working remote and soldering some z-wave components to make it work.

Any ideas?
 

Offline strangely

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 10:25:46 pm »
Depends on where you live, how much you want to spend, and how many gangs in a switch you want to occupy?

There are options that don't involve canabilizing stuff.
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Offline Jasonejc

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 11:09:01 pm »
I should have clarified.   I have existing ceiling fans with remotes but no wall switches.  I would like to send RF signals to the fan to control it (just like the existing remote does).  I guess I would need a z-wave RF blaster of sorts.


Offline AgileHumor

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 11:10:44 pm »
You need 2 gangs, 1 for the Z-Wave Light Switch (assuming you want the light automated), and one for a Fan Control Z-Wave switch like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-VRF01-1LZ-Capable-Control-Almond/dp/B001HT4M48/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

There is no all in one switch to my knowledge you can buy off the shelf for both fan and light control (dual load).
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Offline strangely

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2014, 12:00:44 am »
There is no all in one switch to my knowledge you can buy off the shelf for both fan and light control (dual load).
Sort of....and also the OP didn't say where they lived, cos if its not the US, then the Leviton Fan controller isn't really an option.

You can do single gang if you go the Insteon Fan link Route. Admittedly this isn't Zwave, but its been done by others with a bit of extra investment in a PLM.

Its also possible to hide a fan controller (be it the Leviton or something else like a micro module/relay) in the ceiling or elsewhere.

If the latter option is chosen, then paired with something like a Leviton 4 button scene controller with local load control, then the other 3 buttons can control speed via scenes and you only need a single gang....

I went the Leviton route and expanded my single gang to a dual gang.
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Offline AgileHumor

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2014, 12:21:46 am »
@Strangely, good point, I forget this is an international forum.

@JC, I haven't seen an RF blaster yet.
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Offline Jasonejc

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2014, 09:29:47 am »
I do live in the US and I have Leviton dimmer in use in a couple of locations.  The case I'm trying to solve is for a ceiling fan / light combo that is only operated by an existing remote (Hampton Bay brand).  There is no wall switch for this fan and it's mounted on a 19' ceiling so not easy to get to electric box.

Since the fan already has a remote (RF) I was wondering if there is anything that would replicate the signals being sent by the remote.  If not, I don't think it would be too hard to tap in to the remote with an Arduino to z-wave enable the remote.  This would all end up in a project box and kept out of sight.

Seems like it would be a fairly simple project, I've seen a similar approach here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vADl3FO0hGk


Offline SM2k

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2014, 10:00:28 am »
Jason, I have a very similar problem. I have an existing remote because the wall switch is placed behind where the door opens. here's what I plan to do:

I have procured one of the radios from this wiki page: http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/rtl-sdr

I am going to take a similar approach to @RexBecket's Kira IR receiver plugin. http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,14618.0.html In that I'm going to write a daemon that listens for RF and sends corresponding UDP packets to a specified target. I'll then attempt to learn the RF commands from my ceiling fan remote. Once I am confident I can reliably receive button presses from my remote, I am going to replace the inaccessible wall switches with zwave switches (and remove the RF receiver from inside the fan--can't have both). Then it'll be a matter of associating button presses on the remote with the proper behavior on the zwave switches.

My solution may not work for you since I'm taking the opposite approach--making the zwave be the primary control and RF secondary. But I see no reason that you couldn't do the same thing with an in-wall switch inside your fan: http://aeotec.com/z-wave-in-wall-switches

The radio is still in transit so it'll be a few weeks, but I'll post back with my progress if you're interested.

Offline SirMeili

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2014, 11:47:56 am »
I do live in the US and I have Leviton dimmer in use in a couple of locations.  The case I'm trying to solve is for a ceiling fan / light combo that is only operated by an existing remote (Hampton Bay brand).  There is no wall switch for this fan and it's mounted on a 19' ceiling so not easy to get to electric box.

I'm having the same issue. I'm almost certain that we likely have the same model fan as well (there is only 1 I know of that does it, but it could be the way Hampton Bay does some of their fans). My only concern with attaching it to another controller is that the fan itself uses one of the in-ceiling control modules for it's remote. I'm afraid the only option would be something that would repeat the RF signal. I keep telling myself I'm going to email Hampton Bay and ask them if the fan will work fine without the controller module. The only reason I hesistate to take it out is that there is no physical way (on mine) to 'reverse' the fan. It is only done via the remote making me think that the controller module isn't the only thing in play.

Granted, your fan could be completely different, but it sounds like we are in a very similar boat.
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Offline Jasonejc

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2014, 05:19:40 pm »
SirMeili,

I think we do have the same fan.. I can tell you that the control module can come out, I saw mine go in.  The fan will operate without it (and your fan will spin a lot faster without it).

SM2k, let's stay in touch.. I suspect whatever we come up with can be reused by a lot of people.

Offline SirMeili

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2014, 05:25:27 pm »
SirMeili,

I think we do have the same fan.. I can tell you that the control module can come out, I saw mine go in.  The fan will operate without it (and your fan will spin a lot faster without it).


I think I ran some tests with it out and it ran fine. My concern was not being able to reverse it (as I do this in the winter). It's not a huge deal, and the fan is already messed up (As "high" is actually slower than "med").
VeraLite (Live); ISY 994i (Live); Vera 3 (Waiting to replace VeraLite); Vera Edge (Waiting for all the bugs to be fixed); Xuan StackBox (Testing and waiting for more plugins and for it to mature)
Countless z-wave and insteon devices :D

Offline dlasher

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2014, 10:15:36 pm »
Jasonejc, I have the same type of fans that you do, 6 of them, all RF, and would love to integrate them with my Vera install.

http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Ceiling-Fan-Remote-Control/dp/B001I1M95E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1391224175&sr=8-1&keywords=wireless+fan+kit

^^^ this, is the same guts as 99% of the "wireless" ceiling fans sold in the US, I've ripped several apart... Same 4 dip switches, with 16 possible combinations, all transmitting on the same frequency (433 mhz I think?).. and they use the same circuits in wireless gas/electric fireplace controllers as well.

I've gone down the same mental road you have.. it's all RF, if I could -learn- the codes, then I should be able to transmit them with something else. Ideally, you'd have a plug-in module that listened to Z-wave and spoke RF to the fans/lights.

If you check Alibaba, there are several "universal" remotes available that give more clues..  (http://mc003.en.alibaba.com/product/1388954231-218232573/Universal_wireless_remote_control_for_curtain_ceiling_fan_shutter.html)  -- both the frequencies and standards used.

I have all the pieces, just none of the knowledge necessary to turn the pieces into a working product.. but hopefully someone will...... so I can buy one! :)



Offline BulldogLowell

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #12 on: February 01, 2014, 03:01:07 pm »
you could modify the existing RF remote by adding a z wave relay to close the circuit that the button closes.  try a MIMO, it can switch 4 circuits.  most fan remotes have 3 speeds and off.

Offline strangely

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2014, 06:05:10 pm »
It might be worth trying to see if the RFXtrx folks could update their RFXtrx433 to support it. They've done this in the past for rollertrol to support their window treatment motors.

The RFXtrx433 may already even support it.

Linking to related topic:

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=14375.0
« Last Edit: February 01, 2014, 06:12:53 pm by strangely »
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Offline fullauto

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Re: integrating existing Ceiling Remote Fans/Lights
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2014, 10:36:19 pm »
I will soon be replacing a fan/light and welcome recommendations.  Unfortunately, the current fixture/switch is a single gang with pull chains.  I was thinking of removing the original switch from the circuit completely and using two aeotec micros, then sticking a GE 45631 in the old switch box to substitute.  I could change the stepping so it would not dim the fan.  Thoughts?