A while ago I saw a project in here about a smarter fan over wifi.
I’ve been working on a similar thing, allows you to add the intelligence of that one product that already exists but to you existing fan. I’d love some feedback on if this is cool to you? I’ve made a video about it. With all the people who have the hardcore Lasko and other powerful but non-smart fans (I found a stanley similar for cheap) is adjusting it’s speed based on your sensors, speed, heart rate, or power useful? I’ve been finding it really cool. Thoughts? I explain how it works, if it’s a no go I’ll be open sourcing it.
I did the same thing. Works great. I think there is demand for this feature, but the pricing would need to be low enough to appeal to people who don’t want to drop $250 on a wahoo headwind.
A lasko max performance fan runs in the range of $100-$120 so the hardware to do the variable speed fan control would need to be somewhere in the $50-70 range I think. Which probably does not leave a lot of room for markup on cost.
I’ve thought about trying to commercialize my design, but I’m working full time and don’t have the time to spend on it. Maybe some point in the future!
My friend pointed out your work only a couple of weeks ago. It’s been an idea kicking around my head for a while so afterleaving a groupset company I figured I’d give some of my ideas a go. You’re right, it could be very sensitive to price. The Lasko fans seem really popular so I got the knock off / rebranded Stanley one here in Canada for very little. It’s been interesting to test with. Even tested multiple fans on the same controller. Some shops have told me that the headwind isn’t a great seller but I don’t live in a major cycling center anymore so its hard to tell why. That’s kind of the reason for asking this community that is kind of hard core about their fans… is it the price, that you already have a fan, or that the fan isn’t as powerful as you’d like, or that people don’t find the control cool. So far, comments and page videos have been very enlightening.
I think the concept of the controllable fan is very cool. Pun intentional.
I think there is probably niche demand on it. The Zwift forums would be the best place to get your name and product known if it every goes to market. Good luck and welcome to the forum.
my rudimentary solution is that I have my fans hooked up to wifi outlets and just leave them in the on position, when I’m ready to go I just flick each on via the app, because I really don’t like to start off with the fans going (especially at high power!).
For me, the headwind sounds neat but the price doesn’t, the premium over my basic tech solution doesn’t seem worth it, but I like the idea of a more dynamic fan solution
I’ve tested a few different fans with mine also. The lasko ones seem to work the best I.e give the biggest adjustable speed range using the Triac as power controller.
I think the demand is there, but the “lower” end of the market will be price sensitive. The “higher” end of the market is taken by the headwind fan, and as a higher end product, not surprising that it’s not a big volume seller.
If anyone wants my two cents, the real untapped market is finding a way to get a lasko-like fan introduced into the UK/EU, period. As far as I can tell from this forum, that style of fan isn’t available over there right now.
I LOVE the idea of a smart fan! It’s definitely not needed, but would be very cool. I live in a small house in Michigan and have my bike out in the garage on the trainer for winter because of lack of house room. I usually make the choice to turn the fan on low speed when starting and then very awkwardly lean forward to turn the fan up after some interval work during a recovery period. Smart fan that increases speed based on heart rate or power output could be very useful.
What about the idea of a receptacle with a dimmer controlled by heart rate? That way one could plug their own fan into the unit and any fan could be controlled by heart rate. That would help to keep the cost down.
You may want to check out this idea from Keith Wakeham he built his own power meter knows his stuff. Now his going to make and hopefully sell a adapter to turn a fan into a smart fan both Bluetooth and ANT.
Links to his videos and site below.
Video - Smarter Zwift Fan - Maelstrom Fan Controller
I have two lasko fans positioned above and below my TV I ride in front of. These are both connected to a power bar that is in turn connected to the magic. I found a Leviton WiFi dimmer switch. Its meant to run lights but inside the app you can select what kind of light it can control. I found the LED setting is the best because it will run the fans at almost any setting above about 5%.
What is great is that from your phone on your bike all you have to do is open the app and move the slider up or down to set the fans from full tornado fighting a hurricane to light spring breeze. I’m not sure how I could do indoor rides without both the fans and the dimmer. YMMV, but I really love this thing.