The ceiling fan man
Mercator Avia DC motor ceiling fan in black
I purchased the Avia black DC ceiling fan a couple of months ago from my local Bunnings Warehouse for $300 which was half the price I had seen it advertised on eBay, so off to a good start. I purchased the fan for my home projector room because of its very short drop from the ceiling so as to not cast a shadow on the projector screen, as the projector is also fixed to the ceiling. I had seen the fan at my local Bunnings display of their fans so I knew the look of what I was purchasing. The fan fitted in well with the projector room/man cave decor, which is full of wood effect speakers and black electronic boxes, so it looks great.
It was not an easy install as the fan assembly is so short, (250mm drop) and that you are working with your head on the ceiling or very close to it to see all the fixings and wiring connections. The remote-control receiver unit fits snugly into the ceiling hanger bracket, if you fit it the correct way up, shiny side up and lumpy side down, you'll see, and insert it from the correct side of the bracket, thin end first in from the gap in the support brackets. The hard part is getting all the wiring to sit within the confines of the push up ceiling cones canopy, perseverance will get you there. However, don't fit the receiver until the motor assembly and down-rod has been hooked into place. When you hook the support ball of the motor assembly down-rod into the bracket loop, via the gap, rotate the down-rod assembly until the ball drops into a slot, don't worry it’s hard to miss it when it happens. Now connect up and install the receiver, its plug and play mostly, but make sure you connect the plugs after you have the wiring neat and tidy as they are a pain in the bum to get apart as the male female plug/socket connections lock together. The wiring for the receiver is mostly plug and play, but the inboard side of the terminal block on the support bracket is easier to wire when the remote receiver is slid back in its location to give more room and then re-positioned forward, when the wiring terminations are completed. Now push up the ceiling canopy cone to cover the wiring nest. Try to lace the excess wiring around the receiver unit otherwise you will not be able to push the canopy flush up to the ceiling, I used some cable ties to keep the wiring compact, tidy and in place, try to keep the remote receiver central in the support bracket as it has shaped ends to fit inside the canopy's cone shape. Don't worry too much if the upper canopy will not fit flush to the ceiling just as long as the gap is even on all around. On the black fan unit any gap still looks great and appears intentional.
Well that's the easy part done, now for the hard bit, the fitting of the blades. This was a nightmare and the instructions were next to useless. Firstly, I found the fixing holes in the blades too tight for the screws to pass through, I guess this was a manufacturing issue. This issue also occurred on my second fan unit. As the blades are just wood effect plastic, I drilled them all slightly larger by approx. 1 mm to give a nice clearance fit, this you will require for later. Mounting the blades turned out to be a two-man job or should I say, one-man and a one-woman job, aka enter the wife assistant. I just could not do it without her. There is so little room to do this, the only way I found was to lift up the lower yoke canopy cone as high as possible and tip the rear part of the canopy down hence lifting the front up were I'm working, that gives you the maximum of amount of finger room, but it’s not enough for direct access to the blade fixing screw heads, from the top with a screwdriver. So, this is my technique to install the blades. Put the fan blade on your shoulder if you're high enough on your ladders that is and finger-in the bolts as far as you can until they are well started into the motors threaded holes, don't forget to fit the metal blade holder on top of the fan blade, and then the bolt goes through that, then the fan blade, then into the threaded motor holes, because believe me you don't want to do this twice. Then tighten up the bolts with a cross or flat head offset (I used a cross head) manual screwdriver, purchased from a previously mention DIY store for buttons, or under a $5. Luckily, I had a set in my garage. These things are Z or double L shaped screwdrivers. If you don't have any don't start the job. I could not fit any angled ratchet or screw driver set, there is just no room. The first fan blade is the hardest to fit. On the first one, I used a pencil mark on the motor case to line up all the holes for the screw to engage the threaded hole on the motor, after that the other blades butt up to each other so the screw holes are a slightly easier to hit, because you cannot see them.
TOP TIP don't try and run this DC fan motor without the blades, as I did, because it won’t run, at least not correctly. I test ran it without the fan blades to check my wiring and the remotes operation. It would run for 5 secs, then stop, jiggle a bit like its thinking about the fact it might run in the other direction, then it will run for a few secs then stop for a few secs again, all very odd. I thought I had bought a dud. Now fortunately I had purchased a second Avia fan for my living room, so in stages, I replaced the remote receiver motor controller unit and then the fan motor, from the other unit. The same intermittent operation persisted each time, I repeatedly checked my wiring, checked and the supply with a voltmeter and found nothing wrong. Throughout all of this the LED light switched on and off via the remote perfectly at every test. Thinking I had purchased two duds, I phoned Mercator on their warranty number and they put me through to Matt on customer service, he had heard of this before and he recommended to fit the fan blades and she’ll be right. I did and it was, hey who knew.
I'm happy with the unit now, it runs whisper quiet even when running flat out which is #6(max speed) however I run it a #4 speed to for silent running with a good air flow. However, it does seem to take a long time to get up to the remote selected fan speed, it’s a bit hard to tell as there is no discernible increase in fan or wind noise. Yes, the blades are wood effect plastic but they look OK from the ground, with their odd twisted shape and the 3-blade design looks very modern and I like it. It also did not require any fan blade balancing even though a blade balancing kit was provided in the box. The blades are only 1200mm wide, coupled with their short drop (250mm) they look a bit lost in big open plan areas like living rooms/kitchen areas, but perfect for bedrooms and man caves,
The LED light is very compact and almost flush to the blades. It is very bright and rated at 13.5 watts @ 4000k, which is classed as a natural white light, it’s a little white for me as I'm an old fart used the warm yellow glow of old tungsten incandescent lighting but it suits the room and the boss. The LED light cover felt very light and cheap plastic in the hand but looks good once it’s fitted and is very easy to fit and remove for say cleaning, twist on and then twist off. There is no removable globe, in this unit, the LED’s are permanently fixed in, as is the modern trend with LEDs these days, as they are so long lived. The LED being 13.5 watt it is easily bright enough for any room including bedrooms. If the fan unit is installed with say any existing room light switch wall plate, in the circuit to the fan unit, this will turn on and off the fan light, as a normal room light switch will, if required, but not operate the fan. However for the remote to operate, the light switch, will require to be left permanently on so both the fan and light will work independently from the remote. So you can use the light switch wall plate to turn on the fans light as you enter the room as normal and say once you are tucked yourself up in bed, or in front of the TV, switch off the light or operate the fan from the remote hand set.
The remote handsets wall location bracket looks a bit fragile and is not the best looking, but is adequate. The remote could look better too, it’s a bit plasticky and not too attractive either, I have seen worse for a lot more money. The remote is not back-lit for night use but it does the job adequately. The forward/reverse switch on the remote has to be selected when the fan is running, which switches it off and when the fan blades run down until stationary, it will change direction and run back up to the selected speed. It will not change direction when the fan is stationary. I would have liked to be able to dim the LED light from the remote too, but there is no facility for this. It’s either on or off. I have thought about replacing the remote and receiver unit, as I have done this in the past, maybe go Bluetooth via an app on my phone. Well good quality ones cost in excess of $100 upto $200 and most are rated for AC motor use not DC motor. The remote itself, has a good range of up to 12 meters when I tested it. Apparently, you can select different radio codes on the remotes to prevent interference between fans in close proximity. No doubt I will find out in due course.
I have now carried this operation of remote pairing on my second Avia ceiling fan install. Just follow the instructions and it’s a doddle. Flick a DIP switch in the rear battery compartment of the remote handset and then carry out the remote pairing process. Which is, hold down the ‘’SET’’ button and the fan speed button ‘’4’’ for 5 secs and hey presto. no probs at all. The supplied instructions were useful on this occasion.
I have installed many ceiling fans in the past, they were much larger domestic fans and much easier to install, they were all AC from 50 up to 100 watts, usually the bigger the wattage the heavier, physically bigger the motor and fan assembly which means additional timber in the roof space to attach it to. This one being DC appears to be the new way forward it’s only a 30 watt motor, and according to its box is up to 78% energy saving over the standard, but what standard. It feels like it moves the same air as an AC motor twice its size and is physically a lot more compact and is very light in weight. The Avia has a max air flow of 9,040m3 per hour according to the box it came in, which sounds a lot.
On this first (and now second) install I fitted additional timber in the roof space between the roof trusses to attach it to. On the next one I'm thinking about using some specialised plaster board fixings, no not wall mates, I'll let you know how that goes. So, I have installed one Avia black fan (now up to two, with another one to go) and one more to go, which I'm dreading. (The next one is white for the Master bed room.) I love it now it’s up but I didn't when I was putting it up. My boss is so impressed with how quiet it runs she wants the white version installed in the master bedroom for the summer so the running fan will not disturb her sleep, I'm surprised she can hear anything over my snoring. I have a feeling all our bedrooms will end up with these fans just because they run so quiet and they will be cheaper to run all night than the ducted AC system. These fans come with a 5yr motor warrant and a 2yr in home warranty, as indicated on the box. I hope I don’t need to find out how good these warranties are. However I have all the receipts and have kept one box just in case.
Now would I recommend these fans. Yes, indeed I would. I have purchased 3 now. 2 initially in the black format, both of which are installed and working OK and a recent purchase of a white format Avia fan as yet to be installed. Yes they are difficult to install, the second one was much easier than the first and I installed it solo this time. I should have knocked a star off this review for the manufacturing defect of the fixing holes in fan blades being too small, but Mercator customer service saved the day. I like the modern look, the flush LED and short height, it looks different from the other run of the mill stuff out there. However it’s not to everyone’s taste, I’m sure. I find they are value for money at $300, for a DC format LED light/fan unit with remote/receiver included, but not for $600 as I have seen advertised on the internet. The quality is good for the money I paid. And thanks to Mercator customer service for the assist.
I hope this review and installation guide will help someone out there in internet land.
TTFN from the Ceiling Fan Guy.
Looks good in the picture on website and on box.
Did not see a display model or it out of the box, bought home questioned it with wife, put it together and threw out the box. Looks like and is a cheaper version of the more expensive looking fans of this type.
It doesn't make a noise when running very quiet, Blades look cheap, light bright but small, and fan size is small, over priced.
The blades where hard to put on instructions don't really tell you how to make it easier, found it hard to locate the DC transformer, so we were lucky it can sit above on a bracket in garage where we installed it.
All I can say is buyer beware and check it first to make sure it is what you want, over priced
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