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I've good experience with Arduino, but always with digital electronics and low-power loads. I'd like to automate my ceiling fan using an IR remote control but I've no experience with controlling AC other than using a simple relay to switch things. The arduino/IR part is clear.

I've a ceiling fan with a rotating knob controller. Without the cover it looks like this:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gqzwcqx98kyf5ij/2014-08-10%2014.39.57.jpg

How should I control it? I don't mind having only one speed so the quick solution is using a relay. Is there anythink like a "digitally controlled rotary knob" so I can also choose speed? As far as I understand this should be nothing else than a variable resistor, but I do not know anything about controlling AC loads.

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    I think you're better off asking on electronics.stackexchange.com. They can recommend specific electronic components that will allow you to control an AC fan motor. – longneck Aug 12 '14 at 12:06
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    This question appears to be off-topic because it is not our bailiwick. – longneck Aug 12 '14 at 12:06
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    They sell remote fan control units, why not just buy one? I've seen them as low as ~$20.00 USD. If you built and installed your own, and something happened to cause a fire. If your unit was found to be the cause, the insurance company could deny payment. Unless of course you submit your device for testing, and it gets UL approval (which is really expensive). – Tester101 Aug 12 '14 at 12:32
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Ceiling fan switch diagrams

You can easily do it with three arduino activated relays; you might be able to do it with only two.

You'll need to figure out how the switch maps position to connections as it rotates, and replace all of those connections with relays. Relatively easy, but somewhat time consuming.

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