Converting remote-operated fan to 2 wall switches

Reply

  #1  
Old 06-11-13, 12:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Lightbulb Converting remote-operated fan to 2 wall switches

I got 2 fans, both DC-motors, one by Hampton Bay and one by Harbor Breeze (look like both made by the same company)

There are 2 wall switches dedicated to operate lights and fan independently and that's how I would like it to be. It's 14-3 from the box to the ceiling. But, both fans have just something like 16-2 (black, white, neutral) pigtails and come with remote controls that I have always hated and have no plans to use them.

Important part is that both fans are 6 speed and have reverse control on the remote. I don't care if the fans end up running just 1 way and have 3 speeds from proper wall fan control switches.

I managed to trace the wire that goes to the light kit, and spliced it directly with the red wire going to the wall switch. So I have 1 part done - light control on the wall.
The wire I spliced was connected to blue wire coming from the black square box - that box has no antenna though, so I guess it's not the remote unit.

Now, how do I attack the fan control?
There is just too many wires there for my liking. Attached are pics of the fan I haven't done any work with yet.

Edit:
I am looking for info on internet right now and it looks like the square box with red, blue and white is the limiter and I possibly should have spliced the red wire instead of blue as I am guessing red is "in" and blue "out" on that limiter.

Edit2: U shaped brown box is definitely a remote unit and the square pigtail connector looks awfully familiar to older type of fan remote units.
 
Attached Images    
Sponsored Links
  #2  
Old 06-11-13, 12:51 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Why are you doing this? Did the remote fail?
 
  #3  
Old 06-11-13, 12:55 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
They are the new thing now, really efficient. I got Harbor Breeze Helicopter Slinger and Hampton Bay Winfield - not sure if I should post links here, but they are easily googleable at 2 big name stores.

I really don't know if it being DC motor makes any difference.
 
  #4  
Old 06-11-13, 01:01 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Live and learn. I had never heard of a DC ceiling fan. I have edited my original post. Apologies for questioning you.
 
  #5  
Old 06-11-13, 01:23 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Hey, no problem. I had no idea there are very efficient DC furnace fans/motors until I bough the house with one.

I am doing this because:
- Both me and my wife hate the idea of using remote control for fan
- Entire house is wired with 14-3 for fan/lights and has dedicated room on wall boxes
- Remote controls do break down and are expensive to replace
- Remote controls get lost, especially with kids in the house, same as above

In my mind it is an assinine idea to make an expensive fan and don't give an owner the option to control it in the same way he/she would control the remaining lighting in that room.

There are 8 wires spliced through that cube connector and they include:
- black (hot from the ceiling box)
- white (neutral from the ceiling box)
- 2nd white (splitting to 2 neutrals: to the limiter and to the light kit)
- green (grounded to case and limiter)
- blue (spliced with red going to the limiter)
- yellow (to the motor)
- red (to the motor)
- grey (to the motor)

There is also a pair of thin black and white wires going to the motor (my guess is reverse control)
And thin antenna wire.
Sleeve going town towards the motor also has white and black braided wires, which are light kit wires.
 
  #6  
Old 06-11-13, 01:29 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Hopefully one of the pros is familiar with these. I couldn't find a internal wiring diagram on the net.
 
  #7  
Old 06-11-13, 01:40 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
So with just 3 wires (and no apparent white neutral) to the motor, does it seem like a regular motor wiring would be? (disregarding actual color designations until someone comes up)

Edit: I should have mentioned that when wired through a 3 speed wall fan control, it effectively gives the fan 18 speeds. It makes me believe that fan could be wired so it bypasses the remote unit and I still get my 3 speeds.

Really don't want that monster 6ft fan to go 9000 cfm all the time.
 

Last edited by witom; 06-11-13 at 02:00 PM.
  #8  
Old 06-11-13, 02:46 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
So with just 3 wires (and no apparent white neutral) to the motor
If it is truly a DC motor the motor does not have a neutral. It has positive and negative from a DC power supply. Speed would be controlled by varying the voltage from the DC power supply. But this is all guess.
 
  #9  
Old 06-11-13, 04:15 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Originally Posted by ray2047
If it is truly a DC motor the motor does not have a neutral.
I couldn't find instructions online for the Harbor Breeze fan, but the instructions for the Hampton Bay fan show one hot, one neutral and one ground connected. No other option. Since it sounds like the other fan wires the same way, my guess is that they have rectifiers built into them.

They are the new thing now, really efficient... I really don't know if it being DC motor makes any difference.
I'm not sure whether it's the DC motor or the built-in whether-you-want-it-or-not remote, but you apparently can't control the motor and light independently with wall controls on either of these fans.

I'm ambivalent on the subject of remotes, but I clearly hear your dislike for them and your clear reasons for that dislike.

These fans may also be too large for the rooms you're planning to install them in. Certainly a 72" fan seems likely to be. I think you would do best to return those two fans and buy two others that are the right sizes and that can be controlled the way you would like. Both Hunter and Casablanca (a Hunter brand) start their fan selection process by asking about the size of the room the fan will be in. They may or may not make fans you like, in terms of appearance, but going through that process is an easy way of learning what size and type of fan should work best.

BTW, more blades on a fan do not increase its efficiency. As counter-intuitive as it may seem, for two fans the same diameter, a 4-blade fan is more efficient than a 5-blade fan.
 
  #10  
Old 06-11-13, 04:35 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
The 54" fan is installed and running very quietly in large master bedroom. Dunno on oversizing but it feels really nice on 2nd setting and wall switch on medium.

The 72" fan will go to huge open area in the loft. I think I am not doing anything wrong on the sizing matter. 9 vs 5 vs 4 blades apart, efficiency beats all the odds as both fans are above Energy Star ratings. They are both listed on Energy Star website: Ceiling Fans Over 52 inches : ENERGY STAR
At $6 and $9 annual cost vs purchase price, they can't be beat.

On 54" fan I have light working independently as it was easy to figure out which wire was going to the light kit. Fan wire is hooked up to the wall fan control unit (standard 3 speed) but once it's turned off, to make it run a remote has to be used.

I am still browsing for some internal wiring examples. I recall seeing something about inner and outer windings and L1, L2, N1 or so designations. And combinations of splicing resulting in different voltages and effectively fan speeds. Can't find that link, as much as I am trying.

I also found a place to get reverse switches that can be added on the case, but it really isn't the most important thing as I am not planning to use fans in the winter.

It would be awesome what exactly yellow, red and grey going to the fan motor are doing. Without neutral and motor likely grounding through the case, I am betting that combinations of them 3 wires result in 6 different speeds.

red
red-yellow
red-grey
yellow
yellow-grey
grey

But then red-yellow-grey would make it 7, haha.
Not sure if I am heading in right direction with this.
 
  #11  
Old 06-11-13, 04:44 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Not helpful but from what I found it is probably brushless DC motor that has permanent magnets in the rotor and coils in the stator that are controlled by microprocessors.
 
  #12  
Old 06-11-13, 04:50 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
That sounded discouraging, but...

When the fan is running, 3 speed wall switch actually changes speed of the fan. When you kill it with the wall switch and then turn the switch on, remote has to be used to make it run.

So I am thinking that if I directly wire the wall switch to red and/or/no yellow and/or/no grey, fan will run and I can do the actual speed control by 3 speed wall switch. I just want to make sure I am not destroying $300 fan by doing so or doing it wrong. $300 is a lot to me but actually extremely cheap for ceiling fan that size with DC motor.

And because of it's nature, bench testing might be hard, haha.
 
  #13  
Old 06-11-13, 05:23 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I am thinking that if I directly wire the wall switch to red and/or/no yellow and/or/no grey, fan will run and I can do the actual speed control by 3 speed wall switch. I just want to make sure I am not destroying $300 fan by doing so or doing it wrong.
Doing that may or may not damage the fan. Wiring it in any manner other than the manner specified in the installation instructions will almost certainly void the warranty and leave you with no basis for a claim for, say, replacement.

$300 is a lot to me but actually extremely cheap for ceiling fan that size with...
$300 is a not-insubstantial price for any ceiling fan.
 
  #14  
Old 06-11-13, 05:24 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
from what I found it is probably brushless DC motor that has permanent magnets in the rotor and coils in the stator that are controlled by microprocessors.
OK, that makes sense .
 
  #15  
Old 06-11-13, 05:40 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
The 54" fan is installed and running very quietly in large master bedroom. Dunno on oversizing but it feels really nice on 2nd setting and wall switch on medium... On 54" fan I have light working independently as it was easy to figure out which wire was going to the light kit. Fan wire is hooked up to the wall fan control unit (standard 3 speed) but once it's turned off, to make it run a remote has to be used.
Yep, so it will have full power at startup. Of course your standard 3 speed wall fan control unit Guarantees the exact same thing, but the fan wasn't designed or built to work with that. It's probably designed to always have full power coming to it, not "wall switch on medium."

The 72" fan will go to huge open area in the loft. I think I am not doing anything wrong on the sizing matter.
If that huge open area is roughly the size of a hayloft, then that fan may be the right size for it.

9 vs 5 vs 4 blades apart, efficiency beats all the odds as both fans are above Energy Star ratings. They are both listed on Energy Star website: Ceiling Fans Over 52 inches : ENERGY STAR
At $6 and $9 annual cost vs purchase price, they can't be beat.
Interesting. I wonder how many hours per day or year they used for the calculation? I'm getting $31.80/year for the Harbor Breeze fan.
 
  #16  
Old 06-11-13, 07:49 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
No idea what they base their yearly numbers on but cfm/watt is equally impressive. That pretty much sold me. This plus how quietly it runs and how much longer DC motors last.

Now, unless someone comes up with wiring schematics (haha), I am pretty much destined to do some bench testing and fiddling with volt meter. If that U shaped remote unit is also a transformer, I am pretty much done. But if both sides of that unit run AC and I will get some meaningful readings on each of 3 wires with different speeds, I will take the risk of slicing that ugly unit out.

Could someone confirm that the black box is indeed a limiter? Lights only?
 
  #17  
Old 06-11-13, 11:10 PM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I will take the risk of slicing that ugly unit out.
$300 is a lot to me...
Originally Posted by Nashkat1
Wiring it in any manner other than the manner specified in the installation instructions will almost certainly void the warranty and leave you with no basis for a claim for, say, replacement.
Enjoy !
 
  #18  
Old 06-12-13, 07:43 AM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Here is link from a post on this forum that mentions 3 windings, 3 wires and 3 speeds. http://www.doityourself.com/forum/li...ml#post1869701

I wonder how 6 speeds are done (and if my combo idea was valid).

And about your sarcastic posts... I still think this would be a useful information to folks that want to do the same thing. Dump the stupid remote. Soon enough we will have remote operated toilets as it's going to be too hard for some lard-a$$ engineer to lift his hand to flush.
 
  #19  
Old 06-12-13, 08:26 AM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
And about your sarcastic posts...
I reread all the replies and saw no sarcastic posts. Sometimes the written word can be ambiguous.
 
  #20  
Old 06-12-13, 10:39 AM
Nashkat1's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: USA
Posts: 8,470
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
Soon enough we will have remote operated toilets as it's going to be too hard for some lard-a$$ engineer to lift his hand to flush.
We already do, as well as automatic ones. Friends of ours had one installed when the remodeled part of their house into a suite for her mother.

And about your sarcastic posts...
That's an interesting judgement. Do you have observations you can point to?
 
  #21  
Old 05-08-14, 04:30 PM
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 29
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
FYI - I purchased and installed this switch. Works like a charm and solved 6 speed problem.:
Fanimation TW30LA DC Reversible Fan and Down Light Wall Control, Light Almond - Switch Plates - Amazon.com

Hopefully someone can use this info.

Edit: Amazon shortened address. Just look for:
Fanimation TW30LA DC Reversible Fan and Down Light Wall Control
 
  #22  
Old 05-08-14, 04:56 PM
ray2047's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 33,597
Received 13 Votes on 11 Posts
Thanks for the info and update on your project.
 
  #23  
Old 05-14-14, 06:58 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'm not sure about the box with the RED, WHT & BLU wires, but I just installed a Harbor Breeze Fan with a DC motor and 6 speed control. I popped the cover off of the controller before I installed it, and found the following:
BLK & WHT wires - AC Line Feed
BLU (Dark) & WHT - Light Dimmer Output to Bulb
RED, GRY, & BLU (Thinner Wires) Output to 3 phases to DC motor

The 2 white wires are both AC Neutral so it doesn't matter which is which.
The controller function for light output is basically the same as a wall dimmer, however the controller function for the motor speed is a 3 phase brushless DC motor controller which uses back EMF for position feedback.
application notes and circuits for 3-phase Bldc Motor Control With Sensorless Back-emf Adc Zero Crossing Detection Using 56f80x

No way can this motor be hooked up to a common 3 speed fan motor wall control.
 
  #24  
Old 05-14-14, 11:15 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,251
Received 482 Votes on 452 Posts
The Fanimation controller is not a speed controller or light dimmer. It is a wall mounted remote control that operates the fan's internal receiver. It get's connected in the hot line and requires a battery to transmit.

Fanimation/support/download_pdf.html?media_id=4265
 
  #25  
Old 05-15-14, 01:30 PM
Member
Join Date: May 2014
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Fanimation Control vs Remote

If I install the Fanimation control for a Harbor Breeze 6 Speed DC fan, does the included remote still work?

I like the idea of the wall control for a cleaner look, but would like to use the remote on occasion, like keeping it in the nightstand...

The fan is a "Harbor Breeze Platinum Saratoga 60-in Oil-Rubbed Bronze Indoor Downrod Mount Ceiling Fan with Light Kit and Remote".

Any issue with 6 of these in separate rooms all with the Fanimation wall controls?

Thanks!
 
  #26  
Old 05-15-14, 02:41 PM
PJmax's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Northern NJ - USA
Posts: 54,251
Received 482 Votes on 452 Posts
Welcome to the forums.

If I install the Fanimation control for a Harbor Breeze 6 Speed DC fan, does the included remote still work?
I would think so.

You can use as many fans as there are separate receiver codes.
 
Reply

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: