Multiple Ceiling Fans, One Controller?

We're looking at putting 6 fairly basic celing fans in a large commercial space to get some air circulating.
While it is easy to wire them so they all run at maximum speed is it possible get a single [large?] controller to run all 6 so we don't need 6 runs of cable and 6 controllers?
Cheers, Antony
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We have 6 fans where I work also. About 20' to the ceiling. All of them are controlled by one dimmer switch. They've been like that for 20 years now. Just be sure the switch can handle the load.
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wrote:

Also, be sure the dimmer will actually control even one fan. I don't have any experience with ceiling fans, but there are only so many kinds of fan motorss in the world, and I have tried more than a dozen table fans, with dimmers. Some fans will work only with motor control "dimmers", and won't turn with dimmers designed for lights. Others, more than half of the ones I've tried, will work fine with dimmers designed for lights.
I usually use the ones with a slide control at the end of a wire, where the light or fan is supposed to plug in right above the dimmer plug at the other end of the wire. Or I take a wall dimmer or the smaller fan dimmer and mount it in my own box..
What I like is to have a fan by my desk, and by the table I eat meals, and by my bed, each controlled by a dimmer, and I turn the speed down until I can't hear the fan at all. It still gives a nice breeze at that temperature, and it feels about 20 degrees cooler than with no breeze. So I don't need to use AC more than a couple weeks a year.
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There are programmable remotes that might work for you. The control unit goes in the canopy that is part of the fan. They and the remotes can all be programmed the same if that is what you want or individually for more control. I do not know the range of the remotes to know whether one remote in the right location could run six fans at once from a single location.
No wiring is needed except for installing the controllers in each fan. This method will also allow speed control and lights if they are included.
Try Home Depot, Lowes etc.
Charlie

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If you are trying to operate six variable speed fans by using one wireless remote control,
(a) Theoretically it can be done, by setting the dip switches on each fan to the same setting as the remote control's --
(b) But you may be creating endless problems, because not all six fans may sense the remote's signal when you press the button, and you can expect some of the fans to get out of synch with the others. Once that happens, it's very difficult to get all of the fans to react to the same signal from the remote, because they react differently to the controller depending upon whether they are already on or off.
Before you try something like this, make sure the controls for the fans are unique for each setting -- ie, pressing the button for fan speed 2 will always result in that speed, whether the fan is already running or not. For some fans, the controller is a simple toggle, going from off to on, or on to off. In this case, if some are running and others aren't the remote controller will never get them all back in synch. The same thing holds for fan lights, where lights go on or off or are dimmable. Once one gets out of synch, it's near-impossible to get them all back on the same page.
We tried what you're suggesting, with only two overhead fans/lights, and eventually had to go to separate controllers.

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A hard power switch may resynchronize them. These can be made remote-controllable too.
[snip]
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In the end the sparkie suggested the same thing. He even said it was easier for us to source cheapo fans rather than have him buy them.

I'd really love to, but I'm in Western Australia ;)
So far I've found 120cm Arlec fans with remotes at Bunnings for about AUD$89.
I can also source standard fans and add controllers to them but this works out much dearer at about AUD$180.
Now I just need to work out if 120cm will do of if I want larger fans...
Cheers, Antony.
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On Mon, 30 Jan 2006 13:55:29 +0800, "Antony N. Lord"

I used to have a single remote-controlled ceiling fan. Using that required setting DIP switches in both the fan and the remote, to prevent interference. With your 6, that interference is what you want. Set them all the same.

and why should I be replying by email?
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"I used to have a single remote-controlled ceiling fan. Using that required setting DIP switches in both the fan and the remote, to prevent interference. With your 6, that interference is what you want. Set them all the same. "
I don't see why this wouldn't work. It's been suggested that some of the fans might not get a particular single, then be "out of synch." I don't see how this can happen. If for example, they are all off and you then send the signal to go to med speed, if one of them doesn't respond for some reason, then simply pushing the med speed button again should work. If it didn;t this would be a problem even with a single fan, wouldn't it? Even those don't get the correct signal occasionally because of interference or the remote being too far away. But you can push it again, and then the fan works. I don;t see why 6 fans would behave any differently and don;t see why these controllers would have any synch issues. They just respond to the current command, without regard to history, don't they?
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You took the words right out of my mouth (or keyboard I guess) I have two remote control fans and I have no idea that there is any sort of technology involved that requires synchronization, Charlie

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If you're talking about JimR's post, I believe he meant that this was only a problem if the remote uses on/off toggle signals, or the same button to turn the lights or fan on and off. In that case, one signal serves both purposes, and the fans react differently depending on whether they're already on or off. If each function (off, on, low, medium, high, whatever) has a separate button, then it shouldn't be a problem.
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On Tue, 31 Jan 2006 16:28:52 -0500, "Charlie Bress"

There is problem technology, a LOT of it (see my other response).

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On 31 Jan 2006 13:05:37 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

This works fine on a fan with separate controls (like "off", "low", "med", "high"). It fails (sync problems) when the controls are relative (like "up", "down"). For example (starting with all fans off): press "up"and all fans go to low speed, press "up" and fans 1-5 go to medium (fan 6 missed that RF burst), press "up"and fans 1-5 go to high and 6 goes to medium, press "up" and fans 1-5 go off (off is next highest from high) and fan 6 goes to high. Then turn off the hardwired power switch and hope that fixes it.
Such problems are quite common when you try to set up a remote control with macros.
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