Author Topic: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?  (Read 541 times)

Offline Sammy2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Karma: +3/-3
Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« on: November 08, 2017, 07:37:07 pm »
I'm thinking of using two of these to control 3 fan speeds and of course off.. Is it doable through some sort of wiring logic?

http://getvera.com/portfolio-posts/aeon-labs-nano-switch/


Online ninkasi

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • Karma: +5/-0
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 08:26:43 pm »
Yes. With a minor gotcha with respect to the physical switch itself if you leave that in place.

Unless you have a really fancy electronic fan, you will find that the vast majority of fan switches work like this:
Full speed = all the power goes to the fan
Medium speed = the power goes through something like a 2uF capacitor that reduces the amount of power going to the fan, so it turns slower
Slow speed =  the power goes through something like a 4uF capacitor that reduces the amount of power going to the fan, so it turns even slower

Your electrician, because of course you would use a licensed electrician to do this :-), would hook the fan up to the nano dimmer in the same way as it would be hooked up to a light. Using the nano dimmer will then provide you with the ability to turn the fan off or on, as well as vary the amount of power to the fan (and hence change the fan speed) by as little or as much as you want. So it's basically better than having three speed settings.

The only thing I'm not sure of, is if you can leave the existing manual switch in place and hook it up to the nano dimmer, you may no longer have the ability to control the fan speed properly unless the nano dimmer is set to pass through 100% ie if you set the nano dimmer to 50% then if you set the manual switch to full it may only go at 50%.... not sure. If you install it, let us know what happens! The nano dimmer is supposed to be able to detect the type of switch it is connected to, it just doesn't say anything about fan switches. I have three of these nano dimmers and they work really well, but they are all connected to lights.

As an aside, if you still want to have fast/medium/slow you could always create a scene that switches the fan to 100% (fast), or medium (say, 50%), or slow (say 25%).

Online ninkasi

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • Karma: +5/-0
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 08:35:03 pm »
According to here: https://aeotec.com/z-wave-light-dimmer-switch
It works with toggle, rocker, chain, push button and wall switch. No mention of rotary dimmer (which is effectively what a fan switch is, only with three settings plus on/off) which kind of makes sense ie you would not put a dimmer onto a dimmer.

So, I suspect if you wanted to have a physical switch as well as this you would need to replace it with a standard on/off switch *or* you could use a push button switch. I have them on my lights with the nano dimmer and can use them to manually modify the brightness - so I assume you could probably do the same for the fan ie press the button to turn the fan on or off, press and hold the button to change the fan speed.

Offline Sammy2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Karma: +3/-3
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 09:33:44 pm »
I should mention it currently has no wall switch.. Proprietary RF controller only.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk


Online ninkasi

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 103
  • Karma: +5/-0
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2017, 01:31:52 am »
I should mention it currently has no wall switch.. Proprietary RF controller only.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

Ah. Well, assuming a physical controller can also be connected to the existing fan (even if it means putting the switch in the ceiling or in a box next to the fan) then you should be ok. If there is no such beast, and you don't plan on replacing the fan, then you may need to look at some sort of RF bridge. I mean, it might work by feeding power to the fan from the nano switch but there would be no guarantee....

Offline cc4005

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2017, 09:46:39 am »
I should mention it currently has no wall switch.. Proprietary RF controller only.

I had a similar situation with the proprietary RF controller that flaked out so I removed it similar to the way demonstrated here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0NvjKEEr9s

This causes the fan to run 100% all the time, requiring a separate speed control of some sort. I currently have a combination light and 3-speed switch in the wall but plan to swap them for z-wave switches at some point. My issue right now is the combo switch is in a 1-gang box and I don't think I have room for 2 nanos and a dual switch to maintain manual control.

From a bit of reading before modifying my fan, it seems many of the brands have similar controllers. So the technique shown in the video might work for you. The built-in capacitors in my controller were soldered in with very short leads so I ordered one from amazon for $6 delivered rather than reuse one of them from the controller. Pretty simple project.

Offline Sammy2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Karma: +3/-3
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 10:29:21 am »
I should mention it currently has no wall switch.. Proprietary RF controller only.

I had a similar situation with the proprietary RF controller that flaked out so I removed it similar to the way demonstrated here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0NvjKEEr9s

This causes the fan to run 100% all the time, requiring a separate speed control of some sort. I currently have a combination light and 3-speed switch in the wall but plan to swap them for z-wave switches at some point. My issue right now is the combo switch is in a 1-gang box and I don't think I have room for 2 nanos and a dual switch to maintain manual control.

From a bit of reading before modifying my fan, it seems many of the brands have similar controllers. So the technique shown in the video might work for you. The built-in capacitors in my controller were soldered in with very short leads so I ordered one from amazon for $6 delivered rather than reuse one of them from the controller. Pretty simple project.

You ordered the capacitor or the controller? Don't you need ones with different micro-farad ratings for each speed? Maybe I should watch the video for clarification..

Offline cc4005

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2017, 10:34:55 am »
Ordered a 5μF cap for motor start only. Fan runs full speed without a separate speed control. The wall switch/speed control combo controls speed in my case, and presumably the nano dimmer would serve that purpose for you.

Here's the one I bought...might or might not work for your fan.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00A3KHCE4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

**edited to correct capacitance and add link
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 10:38:05 am by cc4005 »

Offline Sammy2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Karma: +3/-3
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 01:00:53 pm »
I should mention it currently has no wall switch.. Proprietary RF controller only.

I had a similar situation with the proprietary RF controller that flaked out so I removed it similar to the way demonstrated here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0NvjKEEr9s

This causes the fan to run 100% all the time, requiring a separate speed control of some sort. I currently have a combination light and 3-speed switch in the wall but plan to swap them for z-wave switches at some point. My issue right now is the combo switch is in a 1-gang box and I don't think I have room for 2 nanos and a dual switch to maintain manual control.

From a bit of reading before modifying my fan, it seems many of the brands have similar controllers. So the technique shown in the video might work for you. The built-in capacitors in my controller were soldered in with very short leads so I ordered one from amazon for $6 delivered rather than reuse one of them from the controller. Pretty simple project.

Still watching the video but does anyone have the actual link? Some of my fans are Hampton Bay. Others are This specific Harbor Breeze model as I bought and installed them on the back patio before I was automating my home.

Offline cc4005

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 01:10:03 pm »
Still watching the video but does anyone have the actual link?

Not sure what link your referring to here.

Offline Sammy2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Karma: +3/-3
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 01:42:23 pm »
Still watching the video but does anyone have the actual link?

Not sure what link your referring to here.

Found it.. It was in the comments for the video, about 10 down..

http://forum.smarthome.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=10220

Offline Sammy2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Karma: +3/-3
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2017, 02:34:05 pm »
BTW, what's going on inside that wall switch? Is there something that needs to be duplicated from there and put in the canopy housing too?

Offline cc4005

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 37
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2017, 03:26:55 pm »
My wall switch is a simple capacitor-type fan speed controller. If the nano switch can be used to control a fan motor, then it will replace the speed control switch.

Just took a quick look at the aeotec website and tot sure the nano is suitable for motor loads. Appears to only list lighting as supported loads. If you haven't already, you might want to check with them.


Offline Sammy2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Karma: +3/-3
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2017, 04:39:01 pm »
My wall switch is a simple capacitor-type fan speed controller. If the nano switch can be used to control a fan motor, then it will replace the speed control switch.

Just took a quick look at the aeotec website and tot sure the nano is suitable for motor loads. Appears to only list lighting as supported loads. If you haven't already, you might want to check with them.

So I'd need another capacitor (or 3?) to replicate what's in a wall control switch?

I'm looking at the switch control unit, not the dimmer unit but will use the dimmer unit too to control just the lights on the fan.

Currently I use this enerwave Z-Wave switch to turn the fans on and off without issue. I want to replicate the function of the remote for speed control and light dimming. I do this now but have to go grab the remote to do so. I can turn the circuit on and off with Z-Wave using that switch which will come out once I get the fans controlled properly.

Offline Sammy2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 602
  • Karma: +3/-3
Re: Using Micro / Nano Switchs to Control Fan Speed?
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2017, 04:45:46 pm »
Can I just use several of those enerwave (or similar) switches to turn on and off various resistors such that different speeds can be accomplished? That would be too easy!