Automated motorized window blinds - help!

Discussion in 'Windows and Doors' started by HandyLinda, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Feb 28, 2014 #1

    HandyLinda

    HandyLinda

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    Help! I want an automated system for my window blinds that will open/close the blinds depending on how bright the outside is (with the ability to remotely change as needed), and stay closed at night. I would like to do it automated, by myself, with guidance.

    Does anyone know if it's possible? If so, can you point me in the right direction?

    BTW, I'm using these motorized blinds I found online
     
  2. Feb 28, 2014 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    Welcome, have you asked the people who sell the blinds?
     
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  3. Feb 28, 2014 #3

    HandyLinda

    HandyLinda

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    Just heard back from them - they said it was possible, but its a highly customized and expensive option. Not much help for me to DIY.
     
  4. Feb 28, 2014 #4

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I would think if you had the remote control type, some wizz could figure out whats needed for the telephone to opperate it.
     
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  5. Mar 1, 2014 #5

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Having made from scratch a photocell-controlled light using a Schmitt trigger circuit with two BJTs I must say your project is ambitious.

    Having seen motorized heavy duty shutters in Germany I have some idea of the power it takes to do this. The wall transformer was fist sized, ~25 cubic inches.

    I think the optimum solution would be a photocell along with a programmed timer that knows when the sun sets and rises (this info is available from the Naval Observatory) and it changes with your latitude and the season. You also need to sense when the blinds are fully closed and fully open which means limit switches or motor-current-sensing circuitry.
    This will be a combination of analog and digital circuitry.

    The parts cost might be up to $50. Interfacing to an existing product might be more difficult than starting from scratch.

    If you have any other design constraints (Bells and Whistles) now is the time to post them.

    Now I can add one more to my name meaning list

    "Linda (name) The name might be derived from the same root as the linden tree, from Germanic lind meaning "soft, tender" ultimately from a Celtic root. The image of the tree is used to indicate a gentle personality."
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2014
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  6. Mar 3, 2014 #6

    HandyLinda

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    Wow, thanks for the reply. What other bells and whistles could I possibly want? (No seriously, what are my options? :)
     
  7. Mar 3, 2014 #7

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    You can get systems that open and close automaticly day and night but you can also rig them to measure sun light and heat to adjust them during the day.
     
  8. Mar 3, 2014 #8

    slownsteady

    slownsteady

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    The motor and other mechanical parts are the least of it. The hardware that came with it might be adequate. What you are really after is a sophisticated interface.
    •An optical sensor to detect varied levels of daylight. Something that needs to be isolated from indoor (artificial) light that might confuse it.
    •Software that can read (and translate) the signal from the optical sensor, and then send commands to the mechanical parts.
    •Bluetooth or wifi interface if you want to control it remotely.
    •etc.

    Maybe possible to start with some of these new house components meant for remote control of locks & alarms & stuff, and then start hacking from there.

    check this out for a primer: http://www.cnet.com/1990-10839_1-6224211-1.html
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2014
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  9. Mar 4, 2014 #9

    guyod

    guyod

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    Your not the first person to want to do this. So it is out there to buy. Just google automatic blinds light sensor. I would buy the blinds from a company that offers it

    Here is an example of one with a neat wall switch dimmer. Makes alot of sense for office buildings.
    http://www.smartblind.com/operation_1.html
     
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  10. Mar 6, 2014 #10

    HandyLinda

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    thanks for your help guys, I really appreciate it!
     
  11. Mar 10, 2014 #11

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Slow and steady is right. Many companies are probably right now jumping on the control/robotic bandwagon.

    An online patent search with good keywords may turn up a company who recently patented exactly what is looked for, presumably without the shortcomings of previous inventions.

    One advantage of wireless is that if these things harm anyone you can blame the Internet, or The Cloud, or some hacker in a country that does not speak The Queen's English. :D
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014

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