SmartThings Community

Another odd wrinkle to my HA project. Non standard ceiling fan, can't install Hampton Bay controller, among other issues

(Big Hoss) #1

So in the master bedroom, I have this old, like mid to late 1980s old Taiwanese ceiling fan.

It has a variable speed knob instead of the standard pull chain 3 speed selector, which is fine, I can work with that. The issue I am running into is a bit more daunting.

When I power off the circuit, and drop the canopy, it’s unlike any other fixture I have ever seen. Instead of the downrod having a ball and socket type arrangement, the downrod end behind the canopy is pressed flat and drilled so that there is a disk to disk type joint with a rubber bushing that allows for vibration / motion in all directions. The end coming from the ceiling bolts to the INSIDE of the electrical box instead of the standard mounting ends.

There is NO WAY the Hampton Bay Universal Zigbee ceiling fan / light controller will physically fit in this space!

I am considering buying, assuming the drop rod diameter is at least standard, a new drop rod, and a standard ball and socket joint set. I know both Home Depot and Lowes carry them from their house brands as well as Westinghouse sells them.

For right now, I have a fan that is compatible in an unused, for now, room that I can install in and wait until I get the right fan and another controller for the master bedroom, I also have a fan in the office / studio room that is badly out of balance (Fender Jazz Bass headstock Vs. Ceiling fan, they both kind of lost although the Jazz Bass took very little damage, just a minor nick in the finish). IF I can manage to rebalance this fan, this one will be compatible, it’s got a Hunter Fan logo on it but it is a 6 blade fan. I would love to replace the blade arms, but they only seem to sell arms for 5 blade models…

Anyway, I digress.

The unused room, and the master are priority due to lighting, as I have mentioned previously, I want to have all outside of the house visible lights come on with an alarm event. These 2 rooms are much more visible than the studio.

From a functional standpoint, I REALLY want the master bedroom done first, I can use smart bulbs to automate the other rooms for now. So wish me luck on the downrod and hanger thing…

I also have one Zooz Zen 22 left to install. This is for the 3 way lighting circuit in my guest / main bathroom. The lights are 2 recessed can lights in the ceiling, 1 above each sink. And somehow they got this to work using 14/2 romex.

The good thing is all of this is right next to the attic access stairs and are relatively easy to access. It is likely that if Zooz can’t get me a wiring schematic that will work (I am working with them).

And lastly, I should be getting my 10 Iris 2nd gen motion sensors from the Ebay seller on Friday. I have a pretty solid plan for deploying these to automate lighting.

So why am I mentioning all this? I mean most folks here on this forum have been through stuff like this right? I am writing this down to encourage new HA users, to not give up. I have been having discussions iwth friends that are looking at harder conversions. A friend at my church has a home that was built in the 1960s, with 2 conductor wire, no ground.

As home technologies progress so does the need to evaluate what you have existing, and what in your infrastructure needs to be changed or at the very least rearranged to work correctly.

So far in my Smart Home projects I have had the following somewhat annoying hurdles to get around.

#1. HVAC, no C wire. I had to hire a contractor to pull and terminate new wire to include the C wire and perform the install of my Honeywell thermostat.
#2. Front hallway 3 way circuit picked up power from one circuit, and neutral from another (?!). I had to rewire it according to directions from Zooz, I moved it so that power and Neutral are picked up where the original neutral were coming from, and simply ended the power that originally came in.
#3. The above mentioned, still more wierdness with the 3 way wiring.
#4. The above mentioned problems with installing space for the Hampton Bay controller in the master BR ceiling fan.
#5. Running power to, and reusing my former Iris OC821 outdoor cameras (not yet done). I want to repurpose 2 of them, 1 for each side of the house.

I am finding that the folks here, and on the former livingwithiris forum (Now I guess Living withOUT Iris) have been super helpful, and I can’t say enough good about Zooz, and www.thesmartesthouse.com for helping me get these switches figured out and installed. They are offering up some fabulous switches at prices that are actually reasonable, with some nice features, and customer support that is just unbeatable. These folks know how to make customers happy!

So if you are thinking about it, just get after it and get it done!

Everything I have hooked up so far, except perhaps for the Hampton Bay fan controllers and ADT SmartThings dual branded sensors, which I have 1st gen Iris sensors to replace if need be, are supported by the Hubitat Elevation hub as well. So worst case scenario should Samsung / ADT get stupid like Lowes did and shut down ADT SmartThings, I can convert to Hubitat with minimal expense and effort.

I am finally getting to the point of being comfortable with HA and DIY home security…

Thanks Samsung, and even more so, I want to thank this community, you folks have made this transition a good experience!