Z-Wave Smart Fan Control Custom Device Type

Great thread and work being done here! I bought the GE 12730 Fan Control but want to use it for a different purpose… Specifically I want to use it to control this fan: http://www.amazon.com/GE-12730-Z-Wave-Smart-Control/dp/B00PYMGVVQ

That is a variable speed fan that goes into duct work. According to the manufacturer the fan is “100% speed controllable”. I take this to mean that instead of having a low/medium/high market like typical ceiling fans have, this duct fan can be set to run at speeds on a sliding scale.

Do you think I will be able to use the GE12730 to have this fine level of speed control, where it can be anywhere from say 0-100% speed (or something close to that)? Or do you think the GE 12730 will not send the incremental changes on the slider - but only signal it when it cross thresholds like what it considers slow/med/high speed? In other words - is the reason that the slider only works for three speeds a function of the ceiling fans, or a function of the GE device itself. If this is a limitation of the GE 12730, is there any other z-wave switch out there that will allow me to run my duct fan at a full range of speeds?

If I am stuck with just three speeds low/med/high, then hopefully I can still set the thresholds low? For instance I may need to only run the fan at 10%, 25% or 50% but never close to max speed.

Also on a related note- Will I be able to use Smart Rules or something like it to create commands like:
if motion is detected then
if temperature is < 30 degrees then
tell GE 12730 to run the fan at 10%
else if temperature is >=30 and temperature is < 50 then
tell GE 12730 to run the fan at 20%
etc etc

Thank you!

Hi @HDGuy. No, you won’t be able to that, so I think you’re stuck, and stuck with the defaults for low/med/high. I got the switch when it first came out, and in my testing while writing the first version of the device handler the switch would only change at set thresholds for low, med, and high. Those are set internally at the switch, not via ST.

I’ve tried incrementing the levelset values by 1% from 0 to 100, but the switch would not change until the built in values were met. I did not investigate if there are configuration parameters that could be tweaked to override the defaults (like what can be done for ramp rates for the GE dimmers).

With regards to your rules question, yes - assuming you can find a device that has the range and flexibility of a dimmer switch, but is designed for motor control.

Thanks John! I assume the way the duct fan work is that based on the amount of voltage it gets it ramps from 0 to 100% speed. Further I assume that the GE 12730 puts out a fixed voltage at low, medium and high. So I guess its correct to assume that whatever speed the fan spins at for those three voltages are my only options. Do I understand correctly that’s how it will be? I assume you don’t know of a Z-Wave device that supports variable speed or you would have mentioned it. I’ll try calling GE tomorrow (assuming I can even find the phone number to their Z-Wave controls group) to see if there is any way to override that fixed-preset behavior, but its unlikely.

So assuming there is no workaround for the GE device and no other device that can do it - I’m thinking now about possible work-arounds. This could be VERY cludgy but what do you think about the idea of having a group of these devices: http://amzn.com/B00EVYGPJQ

Say I had 3 of them. Each one would be manually set to give me the desired fan speed for three difference “presets” / scenarios. Then somehow wire these with a Z-Wave relay/switch so that it would give power to only one of the three (z-wave selectable) which would then feed the duct fan. Even tho this limits me to three fixed fan speeds, at least the 3 speeds would be what I wanted (instead of whatever speed those GE presets would run the fan at, the fastest of which I already know will be too fast).

Does that sound like a viable workaround? Any thoughts on what Z-Wave controls I could buy to work do the switching between the three Vantech manual switches and how they could be wired up to all feed the duct fan? Thanks!!

Could you not just use an actual Zwave Dimmer and not the fan control?

GE Z-Wave Smart Dimmer (In-Wall), 12724 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B006LQFHN2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_KDt2wbB75DHEF

I do not have one myself but I believe that provides the additional stepping you are wanting.

Maybe I’m missing something from what you are asking or someone else can chime in about a normal dimmer.

Chad - I am not sure about this, but someone told me that dimmers may work by regulating the wattage, whereas the fan switch may work by regulating the voltage. And that for some perhaps all variable speed fans, the voltage needs to be regulated not the fan. I am not sure about any of this so don’t go by me, but that was what I heard. If that indeed is the case (anyone know?) then to regular my fan speed I would not be able to use a dimmer.

You should definitely not use a dimmer to regulate most fans.

Here is an excellent write-up done by the very helpful @JDRoberts that will explain why this is such a bad idea:

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Thanks guys. Since the Smart Fan Control is not appropriate for my project I’ve started a new thread (to keep this one on-topic) to see if anyone is aware of a control that will do what I am looking for, and if not perhaps this could be achieved by with a combination of Z-wave and old-school parts. The thread is here Z-Wave device for TRUE variable speed fan control? and comments and suggestions are welcome and appreciated there. Thanks again!

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Having issues copying the code to SmartApps. Not sure what I’m doing wrong here. Here’s the error: No signature of method: script**********************.metadata() is applicable for argument types: (script**********************$_run_closure1) values: [script**********************$_run_closure1@595d88d] Possible solutions: getMetadata(), getState(), setState(java.lang.Object), metaClass(groovy.lang.Closure)

Hi @maelstromm,

Make sure you are adding the code as a device handler, not as a smartapp, and you’ll be in great shape!

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I’m not seeing the fan level % indicated anymore on the UI (IOS) for both my fans. I’m pretty sure it was there previously so I’m wondering if anything changed recently?

Hi @Roadrider,

Version 2.1.0 of the iOS and Android app hosed it.

2.1.0 version on Android and I’m still seeing it in the bottom left corner of the main tile.

That’s odd because the multiAttributeTile key for SECONDARY_CONTROL is used to show the %, and that’s what broke. On your device, is the % indented in just a little, or is it justified to the left all the way like the image in the first post of this thread?

Pretty much like the first post.

That’s interesting. I took one of my own device handlers and modified it to just display 1 character, and the size was about like yours, but as soon as it got several characters long, the text became microscopic.

I have no other explanation to offer other than it’s just another odd function of ST’s app. I know that’s not what @Roadrider wants to hear though.

Mine looks just like this as well…

It happened after the recent App Update. They apparently either changed how the design is handled or they broke the tile display.

I haven’t looked at it yet to see if there is a work around, I’ll give it a shot tomorrow. Personally think they broke the design, meaning it’s a bug of the App. If any one else happens to find how to display it now or workaround, let me know. :slight_smile:

I have a question. I am new to this so How do I use your code? I tried to create and App in the ST IDE but it gives me a bunch of errors and I don’t want to take your code but just use your app if possible. So what is the best way to do this.

Start by reading this. It will give you an overview of the process which should help clear up a lot of the confusion. :sunglasses:

Thanks JD I was able to figure it out. I thought I needed to install an IED but Then I just created an handle on the ST site and was able to go from there.

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