DC Ceiling fan controller


(Robert Vandervoort) #1

I’m not having any luck finding anything. The idea is to control a Harbor Breeze Slinger 72" DC fan. It uses a 3-phase brushless DC motor and has a proprietary control box inside of it. Apparently a regular fan controller like the 3 speed GE wont cut it. Maybe have to re-engineer a control to replace whats in the fan or hardware hack their proprietary box / remote… Anybody know of anyone doing this today?


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #2

This is quite possibly the most practical solution and a good use case for the SmartThings Arduino SmartShield or a few choices of Z-Wave relays.

Can you describe / post pix of the remote? Is it RF or IR?


(Robert Vandervoort) #3

This is the remote. It operates on 303.9 MHz ISM band and I think it uses FSK for communication. I am getting an RTL-SDR so I can hack the communications from the remote and duplicate it. The annoying part of this is the Arduino can’t transmit directly without secondary circuits like the Raspberry Pi can and there’s no thing shield for it though technically there are adapters. I would really like to use an Arduino Nano or Lilypad and a ZWave module from Sigma because I could integrate the circuits into a single gang box. I may go that route since I have to have a secondary circuit for fan communications anyway and I would want to bump the transmit power maybe just south of a watt so a single unit could communicate with several fans in other rooms.

All of this said, the fact I have to ask or figure this out is my one main irritation with the consumer products industry today especially with regards to home automation. The entire area, HA, would be so much better if manufacturers just said hey lets provide the ability to integrate with your choice of radios instead of making their own proprietary crap. Hey it’s great you offer Bluetooth and an app for my fan but I would really rather you just make it z-wave and call it a day. I would say it would be cool if SmartThings had a Bluetooth radio but Bluetooth is so limited and not a mesh network. Blah.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #4

RF ICs on breakout boards for Arduino are available in various frequencies very cheaply.


(Robert Vandervoort) #5

Yeah I found them, but I’d need to use a different SAW and then tune the other components to hit 303.9 (315Mhz is what I find available). I’m considering making a “multi controller” with multiple RF outs for the various frequencies used. This project is actually for a friend of mine. My fans are all “dumb fans” that I never use. My A/C keeps the humidity controlled and I had my house zoned and balanced… I just never feel the need for a fan, and honestly, would like to sell the ones I have LOL! But I know lots of folks who do have them so I wanted to cook up a solution for them.


(Robert Vandervoort) #6

going to leave this here for anyone interested… http://www.rtl-sdr.com/reverse-engineering-rf-controlled-ceiling-fan-rtl-sdr/