Arduino IoT Fan Control using 1Sheeld and Smartphone

IoT Fan Control

IoT Fan Control

Here I am with another IoT-based home automation project; Arduino IoT Fan Control.

Every day, I get back from work tired and feeling hot. No air conditioner here and the fan takes much time to start cooling the room, sadly!

So, I was thinking why not controlling the fan from outside my home with my smartphone so I can tell it to turn the fan on once I am ready to leave my office! That would make the room cooler, indeed. And that’s why I have made this tutorial.

Of course, the landing image shows only a small USB fan, not a real big one. But it’s the same concept here, just used a small one for an easier demonstration.

In a previous Arduino Light Control tutorial, I have gone through controlling a lamp through my smartphone by connecting it to an MQTT broker “server”. That was the first IoT tutorial using IoT Shield from 1Sheel. Today,  I am going to go through my second IoT real-world project. It’s about connecting the fan to an MQTT broker, so I can control its speed anywhere using my smartphone.


The idea behind the IoT Fan Control is as follows:

Once the phone – the first device – is connected to the broker and the Arduino – the second device – is connected to the broker too, you can start publishing messages from the phone like “2” and “3” on the topic that the Arduino is subscribing on. These messages are just the speed level of the fan since you can send “1” for the lowest fan speed, “4” for the maximum fan speed or even “0” to turn the fan off.

In the Arduino code, I will compare these received messages and then I can easily generate PWM signal to the fan pin with a value between 0 and 255 according to the received message. For example:

  • when received “0” from the broker, you generate a PWM with the value of “0”.
  • “1”,  generates a PWM with the value of “100” which is the lowest speed.
  • “2”, generates a PWM with the value of “150”.
    And so on … Just this simple!

Since the broker is online, then you need to connect the Arduino to the Internet, then connect it to the broker.

But Arduino alone can’t do that, so I will use the IoT Shield from 1Sheeld+ board that will be plugged into the Arduino and connect it to the online MQTT broker.

Also, you will need an iPhone “since IoT Shield works with iOS only” to be connected to the 1Sheeld via Bluetooth. And another one “iPhone or Android” that will act as the controller device where you will use it to publish messages through an IoT app.

You will find all the software and Apps required for this tutorial linked in the software components section.

Getting started:

If this is your first time to deal with 1Sheeld or you want to learn more about it, then I recommend checking this quick and easy getting started tutorial.

Furthermore, if this your first time reading about MQTT broker, then I recommend you go through this MQTT before going into this tutorial.

Now, after you’ve become a little bit familiar with 1Sheeld and MQTT broker, let’s start!


Step 1: Hardware components:

  • Arduino Uno.
  • 1Sheeld+ board.
  • Arduino USB cable.
  • NPN BC547 transistor.
  • 1k resistor.
  • Diode 1n4007.
  • USB 5v fan.
  • Male-to-male jumper wires.
  • iOS phone with 1Sheeld App installed on it.
  • Android/iOS phone with the IoT MQTT Panel Pro installed on it.

Step 2: Software components:

Step 3: Connection and Schematic:

  • Plug the 1Sheeld board into your Arduino as this:


  • Connect the fan “just a motor” with the Arduino as illustrated below:
  • Switch the 1Sheeld power to operate on 5v (Not the 3.3v):

  • 1Sheeld have 2 modes: Uploading mode and Operating mode. You can switch between them using the switch close to the Digital pins and is called “UART SWITCH” on 1Sheeld and “SERIAL SWITCH” on 1Sheeld+.


Firstly, you slide the switch towards the “SWITCH” notation which turns the 1Sheeld board into the Uploading mode to let you upload the Arduino code.

Then, after you finish uploading the code, slide the switch towards the “UART” notation (or “SERIAL” at 1Sheeld+ board) which turns the 1Sheeld board into the Operating mode to communicate with your smartphone 1Sheeld App.


  • Finally, connect the Arduino via your PC using Arduino USB cable.

Step 4: Code:

I would recommend checking the Arduino IoT Shield documentation to know more about the Arduino IoT Shield functionalities and how to use them.

Also, you can check this IoT Shield Functions Explainer blog to know about the usage of all the Arduino functions related to the IoT shield.


Now, switch the 1Sheeld board to the Uploading mode, upload this code:

Note: change this code:

to your own broker instance credentials you got after you have created it on CloudMQTT website.

If you don’t know how to get your own CloudMQTT broker instance, please check this MQTT blog.


Then, Switch the 1Sheeld board to the Operating mode then open the 1Sheeld app and connect it to the 1Sheeld board via Bluetooth.


Step 5: Configure it:

Firstly, let’s configure the phone and connect it to the broker.

Open the IoT MQTT Panel App and create a connection to the CloudMQTT broker. Again, all these MQTT broker stuff are explained in the MQTT blog.

After that, you will add a panel with a type “slider”.

Then write any name for the panel, like “Fan”. Then make its topic as “fan/operate”. That’s the topic which this slider will publish on.

Hence, we need to publish a value from 0 to 4. So, write “0” in the Payload min section and “4” in the Payload max section. A payload is just another name for the message.

Also, you can specify a speed unit for more pretty visual polish ^_^

When finished, press “CREATE”.

Step 6: Run the IoT Fan Control:

First of all, you will open the CloudMQTT website from here and navigate to the Websocket UI to monitor what’s going on on the broker.

Then on the App, press on the upper right cloud-shaped button to connect the phone to the broker.

Once connected, the cloud-shaped button will change its color to be orange.

Finally, press on the reset button on the Arduino and monitor the CloudMqtt WebSocket UI panel.

You saw something on the WebSocket UI, right? Cooool!

That’s because once the Arduino connects to the broker, it publishes on the topic “fan/state” a message “ready”. Just an indication that the Arduino has connected to the broker.

And once you increase the slider on the App, the fan starts working with different speed values according to the slider position. Cooool!



You can easily monitor all the publishing and subscribing operations on the broker from the Websocket UI console, where it will be something like that:

And here is the project working:

That’s it for the IoT Fan Control, guys.

If you are interested in this IoT Blog Series, stay tuned for the next IoT tutorial which is controlling the door lock remotely, using 1Sheeld and a smartphone.

Furthermore, check my 2 IoT blogs:

And my previous IoT tutorial:

I hope you enjoyed this Arduino IoT Fan Control tutorial. 
And for any questions or even opinions about this tutorial, please don’t hesitate to leave your comments down below 🙂

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