Infrared problems trying to control Dreo tower fan?

Hi, I have a Bond Bridge mounted about 6 feet up the back wall of my room. The idea was that It would have a clear line of sight to most of my IR devices, including my TV, AVR, and tower fan. It also has control of my ceiling fan through RF. For the most part it’s worked fine; I’ve been able to create pretty detailed remotes through the API for my TV and AVR, and my ceiling fan was one of the supported devices by default. The only problem is my tower fan.

My tower fan is about 10 feet away from the Bond Bridge, about the same distance that my TV and AVR are. The Bond Bridge can control my TV and AVR just fine, but it fails to get any response from the tower fan. Even if I point it directly at the bond bridge, or prop it up so it’s at an equal level to the bond bridge, I get nothing. I almost thought it was something to do with the signal (and sent a support ticket in for it), but recently I tried moving the fan closer and realized that once it gets to about 3 feet away from the Bond Bridge, it suddenly starts working like normal. Any farther and it can’t control it at all.

I have no clue what could be causing this. The AVR is positioned level with the bond bridge and is actually a foot farther than the tower fan and is controlled just fine. If I take the physical remote that came with the tower fan, hold it in front of the bond bridge, and press a button then the tower fan responds normally. I actually have a Broadlink RM4 Pro mounted about a foot underneath my Bond Bridge (I bought it first but found it couldn’t control my ceiling fan), and that can control the tower fan just fine also.

I’d really like to be able to return the Broadlink, mostly because I’m a little shaken by their privacy policy (it was painful to read, apparently they need my location from the app at ALL TIMES because of… vacuum robots?), as well as their need to store my remote information on their own servers. But because of this ONE thing, I can’t get rid of it unless I look for a completely different alternative like some sort of DIY IR blaster or something. Please, any help or ideas on how to fix this would be appreciated.

Bond Bridge does not have as many internal IR LEDs as a dedicated IR blaster would. The LEDs are pointed slightly up towards the ceiling, as we were thinking mainly about split AC units and ceiling fans. If your tower fan is below the level of the Bridge, I can see why that wouldn’t work. You could mount the Bridge lower, use a different Bridge, or even open the Bridge and manually bend the IR LEDs in the appropriate directions. (That’s kind of DIY, right?)

With my Dreo fans, I’ve had better luck mounting the Bond on the wall or similar (so the top side of the Bridge is pointing across the room), vs sitting on top of a table or shelf (where the top side of the Bridge is pointing up to the ceiling).

Even with the Dreo remote itself, I feel that the range and particularly the angle is much more restricted than, say, my Dyson fans.

Many Dreo fans seem to have network capabilities, too, and I recall working that out for local network control once upon a time.
Looking for my notes on that and I will update the post once I find them.

EDIT: I think it was one of the cloud authentication methods like here, sadly. Not that it would have helped you, @Muse_2 with your particular model, given the lack of WiFi. :face_with_diagonal_mouth:

Have you tried re-recording the original remote as a new device in Bond, maybe holding the buttons you’re recording even before the Bond app says to press it?
For any comparison you want to do, the Signal API endpoint under Commands node of my Dreo Tower Fan device shows as:
Mine works with a rep of 1, but you can always patch the reps up to try to avoid having to mash the button repeatedly…

I believe I have my Bond Bridge mounted upside down actually, the power cable is connected to the bottom of the device. Very good to know that the LEDs are angled though. Opening it up isn’t out of the question…

I mentioned in my post, but I did try to prop up my tower fan to the same height as the Bond Bridge, Though it was actually slightly higher, and It didn’t work. I also should’ve mentioned I have it mounted flat against the wall with the top of it pointing out like residualimages described, not on a shelf or anything.

My Dreo fan unfortunately was the model just before they added network capability; Checking the amazon listing I can see it’s been replaced with an internet connected variant. For the record, this is the listing for it (which now mentions wifi connectivity):
The model number for this fan is “DR-HTF004S” While the back of mine is “DR-HTF004”. Darn.

I decided to do some more testing, and found that when propping it up to be roughly the same height as the Bond Bridge (not higher than it), If I spammed the power toggle button I could get it to turn on. It wouldn’t turn on with a single press, however.

I also tried moving it closer (within 3 feet) but slightly offset it so it was facing slightly to the right of the Bond Bridge and it displayed the same behavior, I could get it to turn on after several presses of the power toggle, but nothing on a single press. Facing it directly towards the Bond Bridge, it turned on with a single press like I found before.

Also something to mention is that my TV is only a couple feet off the ground, about 4 feet lower than my AVR or the tower fan when propped up. The TV gets turned off and on no problem.

At this point I’m considering 2 possibilities:

  1. The tower fan is simply in some sort of “dead spot” that the IR LEDs on the Bond Bridge can’t reach consistently.
  2. The tower fan’s IR sensor is positioned so weirdly or is so not sensitive that nothing short of a direct blast of powerful IR light can control it, which the Bond Bridge can’t deliver when it’s as far away as it is.

If it’s the first, then maybe opening it up like merck described and readjusting the LEDs might work. If it’s the second, then I think it’s time for me to look for a new tower fan. Of course, if anyone else has any ideas I’m absolutely all ears.