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Topic:
Ceiling Fan Control - Success!!!
This thread has 17 replies. Displaying posts 1 through 15.
Post 1 made on Friday March 21, 2008 at 17:23
KrisRoberts
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Not long ago I got a Pronto TSU7000 and have been super happy with it. I also got an X10 IR receiver and am in the process of setting up dimmer switches for my lights.

Once that is done, the only thing in my theater not controlled by the remote will be my Hampton Bay ceiling fan. It has an RF remote that sets the fan speed and turns its light on/off/dimm.

There must be a way to get the ceiling fan integrated with the pronto, right?

A lot of people have RF controlled ceiling fans and home automation systems, someone must have figured out a way to get it to work that doesnt require an engineering degree. Or does everyone just accept that it cant be done and move on?

I found this silly video about how to get it to work with an eHarmony remote. Theirs just does RF from the remote with no hastle?!?
[Link: expertvillage.com]

I also found this guys project with schematics for how to modify the controller. But that seems pretty hard core:
[Link: freshmeat.net]

Is there really no X10 compatible control module replacement for ceiling fans? Its a pretty simple system, I would have thought the people who make automation systems would provide an aftermarket replacement that you could control through the wires or with IR so it could be integrated easily.

Any suggestions?

Last edited by KrisRoberts on April 3, 2008 02:11.
Post 2 made on Friday March 21, 2008 at 18:14
Peter Dewildt
Loyal Member
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If you had a European Pronto then there would be a small chance that the ceiling fan used the same RF frequency as the Pronto's carrier frequency, and you might be able to somehow get the codes. As your Pronto is the U.S. model, there is zero chance, (without an engineering degree and modifying your Pronto).
Peter
Pronto 1000 (retired), Pronto TSU7000, RFX6000 (retired)
Pronto 2xTSU9600, RFX9400
Post 3 made on Saturday March 22, 2008 at 04:46
Ernie Bornn-Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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To quote Joni Mitchell,

That was a dream some of us once had

On March 21, 2008 at 17:23, KrisRoberts said...
There must be a way to get the ceiling fan integrated
with the pronto, right?

No, there mustn't not.
A lot of people have RF controlled ceiling fans and home
automation systems, someone must have figured out a way
to get it to work that doesnt require an engineering degree.
Or does everyone just accept that it cant be done and
move on?

The basic problem is buying any RF controlled device and expecting an RF solution from IR devices.
I found this silly video about how to get it to work with
an eHarmony remote. Theirs just does RF from the remote
with no hassle?!?
[Link: expertvillage.com]

Peter's right, but heck, there's an experiment you can do, and somebody please tell me if this works these days.

Get a powermid. I think the current model is from RCA. It's a two part device. One part receives IR and turns it into RF. The other part receives the RF and turns it back into IR.

Use it backwards. Set up the second part to teach its IR output to a Pronto, and push a button on the RF remote. If you get IR out of it, the RF frequencies probably match. Anyway, if you get IR out of it, learn that IR. There's no guarantee that the form of the signal in RF will even be learnable in IR.

If you've learned a code, turn on RF in the properties of the page that you've put that code into, and see if it controls the fan.

As Peter says, IF. And the "if" has to do with the RF frequencies.
We can't give you a good answer, or maybe any, without the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
OP | Post 4 made on Saturday March 22, 2008 at 20:05
KrisRoberts
Long Time Member
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March 2008
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I've actually found a few other people who have done projects where they have modified the fan remote to integrate into their control system. I'm still shocked that there is no general way to control the fans, but okay.

Good thing I have that engineering degree.

I'm thinking the best approach would be to build a little IR receiver and integrate that into the fan remote.

I wonder how many people would be interested in a ceiling fan remote that still used the normal RF to control the fan, but would respond to IR commands...
OP | Post 5 made on Sunday March 23, 2008 at 11:56
KrisRoberts
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March 2008
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I think I found the easier, off the shelf solution I was looking for in the first place!

Lutron makes a fan control module that you install in the fan canopy - replacing the RF control module. Then you install their IR addressable controller in place of the wall switch, and there you go...

[Link: lutron.com]

Looks like MIR-FQ4FMT is the package that has the canopy unit and controller, and is seems to be around $85 retail. So its not cheap, but integrated fan control from the Pronto: priceless...
Post 6 made on Monday March 24, 2008 at 13:45
raiders_fan94
Long Time Member
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302
Kris,

If this does work, PLEASE let us know..I've been wanting to have this solution for a LONG time...I was going to do a project with 4 x-10 appliance switches built into the AC control of the fan box, but haven't gotten around to it.

Let me know...
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
OP | Post 7 made on Thursday March 27, 2008 at 22:21
KrisRoberts
Long Time Member
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I'm fairly confident that it will work. I just picked up a controller, switch and remote from ebay. Still kind of expensive, but a better price than I was able to find elsewhere.

[Link: cgi.ebay.com]

We'll see next week when it comes. I'll let you guys know how it goes!
Post 8 made on Saturday March 29, 2008 at 21:34
Ernie Bornn-Gilman
Yes, That Ernie!
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23,214
On March 23, 2008 at 11:56, KrisRoberts said...
| Looks like MIR-FQ4FMT is the package that has the canopy
unit and controller, and it seems to be around $85 retail.
So its not cheap, but integrated fan control from the
Pronto: priceless...

It really is a good thing you have that engineering degree. A lot of people would be put off by the $85 dollar cost and would sink several hundred dollars of time (away from the family) into it.
We can't give you a good answer, or maybe any, without the make and model of everything.
"The biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." -- G. “Bernie” Shaw
OP | Post 9 made on Thursday April 3, 2008 at 02:17
KrisRoberts
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So the Lutron kit came today and it was super easy to install. The Pronto learned the 10 commands from its IR remote with no problem. I stuck one of the repeater LEDs from the RFX600 onto the face of the switch to make sure it gets the signals and it all works fine!

The only potential bummer that I wasnt expecting was the Lutron does not have a 'reverse direction' function. So you seem to be stuck with the direction it wants to spin the fan. For me its not a problem since the way it spins is the way I usually use the fan, but I could understand some people being frustrated that they cant control the direction.

I'd recommend scanning ebay or froogle for a reasonable price, but for an off the shelf solution it works great.
Post 10 made on Thursday April 3, 2008 at 11:34
raiders_fan94
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302
KrisRoberts,

Thanks for the update. You had to install the receiver module in the canopy right? Did you also have to install a wall switch version from Lutron or did you just keep the OEM switch? What fan manufacturer do you have? Will it work for any?

Sorry for so many questions. I've just been looking for this solution for awhile and the summer months are coming! ; )

Thanks again,

Tee
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
Post 11 made on Thursday April 3, 2008 at 12:56
bobli
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230
One other question-is there only an IR receiving sensor in the wall switch or is there also one in the canopy unit which goes into the fan assembly?
OP | Post 12 made on Thursday April 3, 2008 at 13:47
KrisRoberts
Long Time Member
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The 'package' contains a canopy control module, a wall switch (with IR window) and a remote.

The control module goes in the fan, in my case replacing the Hunter Douglas RF receiver module. The instructions make it seem like it should work with most/all fans regardless of whether they were remote controlled in the first place or not. Here's a link to the instructions:
[Link: lutronservices.com]

The wall switch as two groups of buttons, one for the light and the other for the fan. The fan button has a little window on it which is the IR receiver/sensor. Here's what it looks like:


The Lutron remote control is nice, and has a similar set of buttons to control the light and the fan. Basically using either the wall switch or the remote you can set the level you want them to default to, and have manual override to max out, turn off, dim/slow or brighten/speed-up as you like.

My pronto learned all the codes with no problem and I threw together a device interface that mirrors the Lutron controller. I also integrated the controls into the actions I have that set all the lights in the room to particular levels.

So far I'm satisfied. Its great to have integrated control over the fan. Its a little mysterious to me that there are no other general IR/X10/Insteon fan control solutions. Seems like a business opportunity for some clever person to make a device that will work with the popular automation systems.

This particular solution is sufficient, but its a little clunky that it relies on IR. For me its not a problem because I have a RFX6000 near the switch and can easily have one of the little repeater lights right on the ir receiver. It would be less reliable to have to use the IR blaster from across the room or actually aim the Pronto at the switch. But that would still be better than nothing...
Post 13 made on Friday April 4, 2008 at 11:36
raiders_fan94
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Thanks KrisRoberts,

From what you've said, that answers my question about whether there is an IR sensor in the canopy as well as just on the wall plate. Because my switch is no one where near the fan (down the hall, as a matter of fact). Does the wall plate switch have an IR input jack that I could use for an IR extender/receiver?

Thanks again,

Tee
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
OP | Post 14 made on Friday April 4, 2008 at 12:46
KrisRoberts
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Nope, no IR input jack. Just the sensor window on the front of the switch.
Post 15 made on Friday May 28, 2010 at 21:04
Jasonn B
Long Time Member
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August 2007
37
Hey Kris. Is this still working for you? Anyone else do it? Wonder if I can control this from the X10 remote.
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