Friday, May 27, 2011

Fan Update

My uncle indicated interest in fiddling with the fan with me. He took it over to the house last Sunday (after helping me with the air conditioners), and I followed a bit later.

We tried pushing buttons (just in case), with no luck. So we started disassembly.

After the removal of many screws, we had the fan cylinder removed (it would have been *much* easier to clean that way), and exposed the circuit board at the top. (Uncle D expressed some doubts about fixing it when he saw that... things with circuit boards generally aren't fixable.)

We first decided to determine whether power was getting to the board. I'm not sure how we *intended* to do that, but we knew that it was getting it when I picked up the board when the fan was plugged in. (Boy, was that a *bizarre* sensation! Like a whole bunch of ants crawling on my fingers. At that point, I was glad there was a second person, just in case we needed to call 911 at some point!)

I noticed something labelled "fuse" (probably a fuse... I'm clever like that), and asked if I should be able to see a filament spanning it (which I couldn't). Uncle D said yes, but commented that the light was poor in the garage. So I took the collected semi-attached fan bits outside. There was indeed a filament spanning the fuse.

Then I tried pushing what the buttons connected to, in case it was a problem transmitting the button pushes.

This is when I discovered the button labelled "on/of" (using the 0/1 notation) was actually just an "off" button. To get the fan to turn *on*, you had to push the fan speed button. (I have vague recollections of having the same problem in a previous year. I'm daft.)

Now that the problem was diagnosed as a probable "ain't broke, don't fix it", the task was to reassemble without causing new problems!

Getting the circuit board reattached with the button connectors in position was tricky, but possible. Everything else was reasonably easy. At every stage, we tested that the motor still turned on.

Once fully reassembled, the fan worked! Well, sort of. If we chose the "rotate" option, the fan would occasionally cut out and restart, or just cut out.

I brought the fan in the house to demonstrate to the rest of the family, but it didn't cut out at all (well, in the time period they were willing to put up with a fan blowing on a cold day).

My theory now is that the fan missed my parents. (It's a hand-me-down fan.) Their garage was better than my house, but their house was better than the garage, since it was then fully "home" again. I haven't tested my theory by plugging it in at my apartment yet. ;) (After all, the natural A/C is working!)

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