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View Full Version : OT: Crazy Ceiling Fan



randyjaco
04-01-2011, 10:37 AM
This is way off topic, but I could use some advice. I have a Hunter ceiling fan that runs via a remote control (350Mhz). The original system worked fine, but we had some electrical problems and the controller got burnt out. I replaced the old controller and the fan worked, but the fan and lights started turning on and off on their own. I replaced the controller and remote several times and the problem persisted. I have gone thru all the permutations of the codes. I put the aerial in a metal can and just let a small portion protrude. I presume I am getting a signal from one of my neighbor's devices, but my nearest neighbor is at least 100 yards away.

This independent turning on and off is driving me crazy. I have tried to isolate the problem, but can find no rational as to what the cause is. The events seem to be totally random.

TIA

Randy

Deja Vu
04-01-2011, 10:49 AM
Have you yet removed only the batteries from the remote? At least this would point the finger at the controller.
Any other devices around the house that you have added around the time the problems became more than the "electrical problems" you experienced?

Are there any other electronic components separate from the "controller" or remote?
I'd be interested to learn the solution to your dilemma. :confused:

madwilliamflint
04-01-2011, 11:08 AM
Have you yet removed only the batteries from the remote? At least this would point the finger at the controller.

Yep. that'd be my first task. The timing of the onset of symptoms you describe certainly indicates the controller.

Another "is it plugged in question.": Is the old controller kicking around someplace with batteries in it? Profoundly unlikely, but one of those things that's, well... one of those things.

RWO
04-01-2011, 01:43 PM
I have one that used to turn itself on (fan and light) about 2 days a week about 1:30PM. It was the only one of 4 in the house that did it. I was too lazy to change the code. After a few months, it stopped and has been normal for over a year. I guess there was a 350 Mhz RF source somewhere in the area, but it would have to have been more than another remote since I live in a rural area and like you there is not another house close by.

RWO

aboard_epsilon
04-01-2011, 01:55 PM
maybe its your cheap chinese cfls or a strip light .

just an idea

all the best.markj

Deja Vu
04-01-2011, 02:35 PM
I know this doesn't help much..but this (http://www.hark.com/clips/pypmjtdgrj-twilight-zone-theme) "tune" may explain...:D

vpt
04-01-2011, 02:36 PM
Every now and then when an older vehicle drives by my house my stereo will turn on or off. At first I couldn't figure why it would do it but one day when high school kid with louder pipes on an old chevy truck went roaring by right when he was dead even with my house the stereo turned off. After that I started checking out the window when it would shut off or turn on and sure enough every time it was an older vehicle driving by. I assume it has something to do with the points or something in the vehicles.

randyjaco
04-01-2011, 08:07 PM
Thanks for the suggestions guys. Of course, since I first posted, it stopped acting up. I have pulled the batteries from the remote, we'll have to see what happens. The controller is hardwired in and has no batteries.

Responding to Twilight Zone, last week we had a house sitter taking care of our dogs. It must have been really acting up while we were gone. He emailed us thinking that our house was haunted. We had to reassure him it was normal 8^)

The house is full of cheap Chinese florescents. There are also remotes of all kinds, but they have never caused the fan to operate that I can remember.

The old car thing is a possibility. This subdivision does have its own, very active, airstrip. It is quite possible that some of the planes or their equipment could be a cause. There are also a couple of HAM operators.

This phenomenon will go for days or weeks without showing itself and then all of a sudden it will happen several times in a day or worse in the middle of the night.

Randy

Toolguy
04-01-2011, 08:17 PM
I read somewhere a long time ago about a neighborhood where people's garage doors would spontaneously go up and down. Someone finally figured out they were being activated by planes flying overhead.

J Tiers
04-01-2011, 08:51 PM
Look around for bad connections that may arc.

usually those remotes are pretty simple, but they do SOME validation checks...

However, I just cured a problem in a product recently (consulting is such fun) that was due to random RF noise..... It was actually getting through one level of data checking.

Apparently, on the "million monkeys with typewriters" theory, the random noise every so often would hit the right combination, and input another piece of valid format data..... The programmer had not protected against the wrong data, just invalid data, so we had a classic situation of buffer over-run due to not getting a packet termination.... after he fixed that, ZERO problems.

Remotes typically have a code and a command.... if you hit the code, the next bits are the command.... Eventually one of the "million monkeys" of noise will hit the code and do "something" via a command.

Since it is noise, it can be on any and all frequencies at any time.

Look for loose connections in the electric. They could even be outside on teh pole.

hitandmissman
04-01-2011, 09:24 PM
I have a light in my computer room that is the touch type, you touch the base to turn it on. Everytime a triaxle truck goes by with one of the hopped up CB radios and is talking my light comes on. Maybe you have something like this happening with the fan.