UPB ceiling fan problem

I am trying to control a pair of ceiling fans using SA UFR modules. The problem that I have encountered is that the UFR cannot start the fans if they are manually set at any one of the 3 speed settings via the pull chain.

If I set the fan to OFFf with the chain, the UFR clicks in and gives me the green led . I can then manually start the fan at any speed with the pull chain. If I try to start it at any speed setting other thatn OFF the UFR may or may not click and then gives me a combination of green and red leds.

Once the fan is running, the UFR will turn off when it is supposed to. I thought it might be some kind of weird inertia problem when the blades were completely stopped, but even if I try to activate it before the fan blades have slowed down, it still will not engage.

This is happening in 2 different rooms with 2 different UFRs on 2 different links.

Jim over at AO thinks that there is a conflict between the UFR and the electronic speed controller in the "cheap" fans, and suggests using a fan that has a seperate winding for each speed. I doubt my customers want to chuck a couple hundred dollars worth of fans to experiment with more expensive ones.

I read the thread for Aug 15th about just using a standard UPB switch to control the fans programmed as a simple ON/OFF switch with no dimming (I do have a spare 1130 on my test bench) but then what the heck is the UFR supposed to be for? I thought is was supposed to BE a relay module.

Has anyone experienced this in their installations?


Active Member
I thought the UFR was relay based though so how could an electronic speed control module make any difference I wonder.... I've never used one myself however. Do these have local switch sensing like the lamp modules (ie can the customer also activate the fan by using the pullchain)?


Senior Member
The UFR is a contact closure relay and it is very strange that you have that problem. I would try a few different things just to be sure:

1. Be sure it is really a UFR and not a UFD (I know its a longshot, but they do look the same and are easy to confuse). The UFR will make a pretty loud and distinct relay click sound.

2. Try to turn the fan on/off via a regular switch is possible. Set the fan to any of the speeds that don't work, then try to turn it on/off via a regular not automated switch. If it does not go on, it is an issue with the fan itself. If that does work then I have no clue why the UFR would not work and I would contact Brad at Simply Automated.
I shorted the hot and switch leg together on different fan speeds and it started every time. If the fan pull chain is off, you can definitely hear the relay click. But it does not click when the fan is set to any speed position.

I wonder if the electronics in the fan are confusing the UFR and making it not latch. But you would think that it would have latched to send the power to the fan before the speed controller could generate any noise.

Ther is no switch sensing for the fan, only UFR control.

I will try substituting my spare 1130 switch and try using the local load output to see if it can respond to the link and control the fan this weekend.

If that works, then I will will contact SA to see what they think.
Well, I reconfigured the transciever buttons as "Link Adtivators" and the UFR controlling the ceiling fans in the great room respond to both the "Grt RM FANS ON and OFF links as well as the ALL CEIL FANS ON and off links from multiple locations.

The master bedroom UFR still gives and audible click but the fan does not start. I pulled it out of the box and the led patter is: 3 green blinks, a 2 second solid red led and then both green and red leds stay on steady after that.

I just thought of this. the only thing I haven't tried is resetting the factory default and starting over with programming the UFR.

I can't see why chaning the transceiver button affected it, but I noticed that a double press (the snap feature) would make the UFR work. I guess I may have had a fade rate problem, but I thought that I had set it up as an ON/OFF button.

More UPB gremlins, but I love it when it works

Jim Doolittle

Active Member
Found this thread while searching for "UPB" and "ceiling fan". I want to control light and fan and its speed separately with UPB. For separate control, I would need to hide a UFR/UFD in the fan housing as I only have one set of wires coming from the ceiling box. Guess I could try to pull an additional but have not had good luck with that in the past.

I really would like to modify fans to also allow reversing control but that would be more of a hobby effort than practical need as I would only be reversing directions several times a year.
Not quite sure how you would control fan speed with UPB. Most fans use a 3 pole switch for either an electronic speed control or to send voltage to seperate motor windings (on the better fans). You would need a seperate UFR for each speed, and one for the light. To make it even more problematical, the reversing switch usually swithces two winding wires, so you would need 2 more double pole relays to boot.

The fan would have to have a housing the size of a lunch box...lol

I keep hopning that one of the mfg's will build a PLC compatible fan some day....SIGH... :lol:

The good news is that there are "inside the housing" wireles fan modules available with remotes, but I have not investigated their protocols.


Senior Member
I also have had problems with the SA UFR. Personally I think it has some "issues." You would think that a relay module is the most robust controller there is, but I just don't see this from that device. My problem is not not turning on, but rather not turning off. I'll turn off the ceiling fan, it will go off a second, then it will turn itself back on. I've talked to SA about this and they acknowledge the problem, and their recommended solution didn't work.

On other "nice" thing about the UFR that you should be aware of. The metal bracket that holds the programming button in place is tied to HOT. So if you happen to be grounded and push the button, using a finger or screwdriver, its Zapsville.

Personally, if you can, I would return the UFR, and buy a US11-30 switch, program it to not dim, and use that to control your fan. You can remove the faceplate if you like. If your fan draws under 600 Watts, it will work fine. I myself, would never buy another UFR again.


Active Member
I just bought 3 UFR's to control fans! How is it possible that these things don't work!!! I was under the impression that fan's didn't like to work with a US30 because even though it can be set not to dim, it is still triac based which motors apparently don't like...

According to SA, the older UFR's had a problem with the power supply that has been fixed since I started this thread, but I haven't purchased any new ones to try yet, so you may be OK.


Senior Member
I was under the impression that fan's didn't like to work with a US30 because even though it can be set not to dim, it is still triac based which motors apparently don't like..

They work great. I have 6 ceiling fans in my house, all different brands, and they all work great with US11-30 switches and all work great. No clicks, no hum, they just work.


Active Member
Ano - are you dimming with these switches at all? Or using the fan's pull chain to adjust speed and using the switch in on/off mode only?


Senior Member
No, I have dimming disabled. You should not "dim" ceiling fans. I set them on one speed and leave them. Can be changed with the pull-chain, if needed, but that's pretty rare.