Help buying a new fan/ remote kit

I’m about to start redecorating my new home, and want to replace the old ceiling fans with some that look a little more modern.

I’m a little wary on what to buy, to make sure that the remote will work with Bond… had some teething troubles with my fan in my old home (in short, Bond Tech support said that the remote was the wrong frequency and wouldn’t work but, magically, it did).

My fiancee really wanted the Monte Carlo Maverick II, but from everything I’ve read, it’s the wrong frequency to work with Bond, and I can’t find a suitable remote and receiver (6 speed with reverse function). So I vetoed it, and now I’m in the doghouse.

The Bond FAQs for compatible remote kits list a grand total of, er, 3 - which apparently are only suitable for Hampton Bay or Harbor Breeze. I don’t think we particularly like the style of the SBB fans we have seen, and the nearest approximation (Big Ass’ Haiku) is a fair bit more expensive.

So my question is: how can I quickly/ easily find other universal remote kits that are in the correct frequency for Bond?

thanks

I will say I’ve increasingly looked for RF devices, fans and otherwise, that fit within the specified frequency ranges of the Bond Bridge, and have had pretty good luck with devices not even listed. For instance, I can introduce you to an Amazon-purchased floor lamp that I’ve manually programmed each original RF command in a Bond Bridge through the app, and renamed in the API - all of which looks to Bond as if it is a fireplace type device. :laughing:

I also use the 4 spd universal SBB kit which Home Depot sells for two of my AC motor ceiling fans + light kits that work fine; however, there is no reverse function (there wasn’t originally, though), and ‘only’ 4 speeds of fan (despite the fans either having 3 speeds or 5 speeds originally, don’t remember).

Official hardware level supported frequencies in Bond Bridge:
~300-500 MHz (Serials starting with ZZ support 285.5 - 505.5 MHz, older models with serials starting with A or B only support 300 - 450 MHz)
Now, there are modulation / encryption / etc kind of aspects that factor into whether or not a particular device will work even if it is in the supported range (FSK modulation, as opposed to OOK modulation is one I’ve heard of from @merck on here - but please don’t ask me to explain, as I don’t have the technical know-how).
If you can find the FCC ID of the OEM remote, and can see on the FCC’s website for that device the frequency is within Bond’s range, check the return policy for the fan and try it out before the return window closes; if it is outside that range, Bond Bridge for sure won’t be able to help you.

Thanks, @residualimages! I’ve seen that you’re a very knowledgeable poster on here - do you work for Olibra or just an enthusiast?

I saw the 4 spd universal kit (from one of your older posts I think, so thanks also for that). If you don’t mind, I have a few questions on that…

  • can I just assume that any fan that lets me install my own receiver will be compatible with that? (Here’s the one I want, the instructions that are linked on that page seems to imply that I could install my own receiver)

  • how does the smart functionality work? Like, the remote has a WiFi connection; provided it’s within range of the fan, I could tell Google Assistant on my phone to turn the fan on, and the remote sends the signal to the fan? So I can incorporate it as part of a routine etc?

  • an always-on WiFi connection is probably quite power-hungry… Does the remote need frequent battery changes/ needs to be plugged in via USB for uninterrupted operation etc?

  • in your case where it was a 5 speed fan, does it just map speeds 1-4 on the remote to 1-4 in the fan? Or 4 on the remote maps to the fan’s top speed of 5?

Thanks again!

I’m just an enthusiast, Mark. :grin:
As you’ve likely seen, I’m a bit wordy, so strap in for the reply below haha.

  • I’ve got some news you won’t like, in this scenario. The universal kit is for AC motor fans, not DC motors (unfortunately, like the one you / your fiance want). Nearly any AC motor fan would be a candidate for using the universal kit - whether the fan originally came with its own receiver / remote, or if the fan was one of the ‘old-school’ pull chain styles that didn’t have a remote originally.

  • This universal kit is smart in the receiver (the part that is wired to the fan in the cowl / ceiling mount). The remote is just a “dumb” one way remote that operates over RF to send commands to the receiver; the receiver is what knows what state the fan and light kit are in, and nothing from the receiver goes back to the remote.
    There’s actually a post I have that ‘complains’ about the fact that this universal kit has an LED over the fan speed button which tries to show speed 1-4, but can get out of ‘sync’ if using a smart assistant or integrations to change the speed with the receiver rather than the physical remote.
    Chris Merck (an Olibra employee) has mentioned that he has recommended future SBB kits are designed by partners without the LED (unless the remote included is two-way / more expensive and power hungry).

  • Since the always-on WiFi connection is in the receiver in the ceiling, it is not a concern with the remote. What does become a concern is the wiring to the fan / light / original home wall switch. Do you want to be able to physically cut the power to the kit? Kinda defeats the purpose. Do you want to just have a label on the wall switch plate that says “use remote, don’t flip me off”? Or do you want to take the wall switch off, hard wire the line to the fan / light load(s), and have the switches be ‘useless’? The evolution of that last choice is to use smart switches in the wall that are connected only to line, neutral and ground - and programmatically integrate with the SBB kit over WiFi API to have your smart home hub of choice turn light / fan on or off.
    See this discussion.

  • For any universal kit, a SBB one like this or otherwise, that you are placing in an AC fan, the recommendation I’ve heard (and used) is generally to first install using the original receiver + remote, or pull chain, and using those, set the fan to the highest speed you’ll ever want (say, speed 5 if you want full power of a 5 spd fan; alternatively, you could set it so speed 3 was the new ‘top’ speed :man_shrugging:).
    THEN you cut power at the breaker, install the universal receiver, and when you flip the circuit back on, the universal kit should be in its highest supported speed by default.
    Relatively speaking, the universal kit will now use speed 1 as 25% of the power, 2 as 50%, 3 as 75%, and 4 as 100% - relative to whatever max power state was in the fan motor when the circuit was flipped off. There is no discrete setting or command the universal kit sends to the fan to say, activate speed 1; from what I understand, it just chops the power to ~25%.

Phew! You made it to the end. Hope it helps you in your search for personal, and fiance, fan happiness :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

1 Like

thanks, Matt, that was so, so helpful! (well, apart from being the bearer of bad news about the Monte Carlo fan, but I’d certainly rather that than find I had just spent $$$ on a device that would be perpetually ‘dumb’!). Think I’m probably just going to get one that’s smart from the off, even if it means paying a little more.

Really appreciate you taking the time to write that. Happy new year!

1 Like

Sounds like you should have more and more options now and in the future as Bond expands the partners with which they work:

Happy New Year!

1 Like

I suggest looking at the MinkaAire series, some of the newest ones are natively BOND compatible.
We used the Artemis fans in our home. We have the large 5 blade in our great room, a 4 blade in the dining room and a 3 blade (all the same series / look and design) in the wife’s sewing studo.

we also used the MinkaAire remote kits for three other fans, one that is a fan/Chandelier combo with clear blades that retract back into the lamp body when fan part is off. one that is a similar fan but just a fixed lamp but includes a Bluetooth speaker in the room with the gym equipment and one older fan we brought to the new house that is a collectors item from the Emerson aviation series that look like antique bi-plane wings.

the Artemis units all are 6 speed reversing with central LED lamp

the others are all three speed with adjustable temperature LED lighting.(warm to daylight)

by using the MinkaAire remotes/receivers all fans are compatible with the Bond unit and Bond App

The Artemis fans do not require a Bond unit, just the Bond App since Bond is already built into the fans

3 Likes