Check out the antenna

I got tired of this ceiling fan falling off the system, so I pulled the HBFLC (Hampton Bay Fan Light Controller). I know you guys love acronyms. Anyway this fan was never designed to be used with a controller, I think it is over 20 years old. So I WP-BLM (take your pick) engineered it with the HBFLC. It never worked correctly with ST so I thought when I got HE and strengthened my mesh with 4 more repeater it would be OK. Didn't happen. It still lost connection with HE so I took everything apart.
What I found was very interesting. The controller antenna connector on the board is in a bad place. When the OEM antenna is installed it connects at an angle because there are 2 boards close together and the antenna is pushed up. So I rigged up this beauty. I didn't have the antenna parts that I saw others using in another post so I used this one. I set up so that the antenna connector sits flat on the connector on board and then secured the cable. I originally mounted the antenna to the cowl, but found that this caused a problem. The HBFLC was making a ground through the antenna to the cowl. If I had the cowl off the fan would spin, but if it was attached to the mount with the antenna attached to it, the motor would not run. I noticed a small spark when the cowl touched the mounting bracket. Thats what you get when you WP-BLM engineer something. So I had to remove the antenna from the cowl and form another form of mounting. Nice huh. As of now it is working and I have my fingers crossed. The wife is at work and she hasn't seen it yet. I don't think I will point it out to her.


Good Plan! My Mrs would absolutely go nuts if she spotted that! LOL

Great stuff!

Looks like a good solution. Makes me wonder if there are any patch antennas that would work for this solution. Flat, white and stuck to the ceiling...hmmmm



Yea, I'd go with... "yea, I didn't have any of the flat kind. I'll order one and replace it later."

You know how that is.. later never comes. :smiley:


Yeah... I wouldn't either.....


I took pliers, and bent a tiny lip into the canopy. It is barely noticible, and it makes the antenna clear the lip. I didn't want to cut or file anything, and I didn't want to take the fan down to modify/drill it.

I saw those antenna options you mentioned. I had this antenna so I thought I would use it. Poor boys have poor ways.

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Oh for sure. I didn't know if scottgu3 had seen it though.

I've done my share of Redneck engineering but rule of thumb when dealing with "The House" is that poor boys and poor ways end with being even poorer and single.....


Well, we'll just hope that doesn't happen.


I'll bet you can recess that thing in the drywall (assuming your ceiling is drywall. Mud it over, and paint it, and it will look perfect.

I have a WiFi antenna behind an inch of drywall that works well.

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I will take this under consideration. Not too good with drywall mud.

I actually went UP in two of my installations.. instead of the antenna oozing out of the canopy, I stuffed it UP in the gap between the electrical box in the ceiling and the drywall -- so the antenna is up in the attic, so to speak. (It's not a long enough wire for THAT, but it's up there with just wood around it NOT metal canopy.


Your heating and cooling bill must be atrocious with gaps around your boxes like that. Time to get out the caulk, and get busy.

I over simplified and as I was typing I also thought "you know.. one of these guys are gonna..."

The two that I've done this aren't in the attic actually, it's that gap between the floors. I just thought "attic" would be more universally easy to visualize. :smiley: There MUST be a name for that space between floors.. I just don't know it or the brain is failing to retrieve the word. :smiley:

I sized my Solar to be 110% of "before" (which was the Max the Electric Co would allow on that day) and so I have that flat rate as my only cost. I've gotten $$ back from the electric co each year, so far.

Ceiling joist cavity? Otherwise, the space between the floors is what I would call it.

I have that 'gap' (caused by using a screwdriver to notch the drywall) because before I got the HBFC, I actually had considered getting an ordinary ZWave Dimmer + ZWave Fan Controller, sticking them in a 2gang box and putting that whole thing up in that space. It would be a LOT like just sliding the HBFC into that space.. same wiring anyway...

Just to dot the Ts and cross the I's... I would NOT put the HBFC in that space. Putting the ZWave devices inside a metal 2 gang box, would be a different answer. :smiley:


Thats what I did! And, like you, for the fans between floors, not the ones on the top floor!


I remembered that thread @neonturbo, I'd just forgotten it was you that did it.

I was too lazy to look up the thead though...sorry,


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I thought about this, but then I thought, I'd have to sand and paint the mud, so that Idea went right out the window! lol

I was also thinking about @neonturbo's canopy notch, and thinking, hey wait a minute, what if I installed a bulkhead feed thru SMA connector in the canopy, then I could screw a SMA antenna to cable, Small antenna, no shorting issues....

That seemed like almost as much work as that idea goes out the window too.

My HBFCs are working fine -- so really I don't have a problem to solve...

Upstairs though. Inovelli is my goal.


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I wish I had a nice goal like that. I have 3 more fans I would like to automate, but the people that wired this place did me no favors. The fan power comes to the fan and the load is split out and ran to the switch and back in the same wire to turn it all on or all off. Originally these were only lights so I see why they did it that way, but now I have no neutrals in the box. I really like the HBFLC when they work and by the time you purchase all the stuff to make the fans automated you could have bought a HBFLC.

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