Introduction: Automatic Blind Opener

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We live in a 150 year old farm house with the original windows. Despite insulation and new siding, it is like living in a sieve, in the winter time . To combat this problem we install plastic over the windows to try and stop the drafts. This has to be installed on the inside or the winter winds will just tear it up. I built this contraption to open and close out blinds in the winter time.

Step 1: The Power Source

I started with a Black and Decker $10 drill/screwdriver. I tried several different motors but none of them had enough torque to turn the shaft to open the blind.

Step 2: The Rest of the Parts

These are the parts I will use to modify the drill into a powered blind opener.
1. A 6 volt power adapter (wall wart)
2. LED assembly
3. A small project box
4. Power Jack
5. Power Plug
6. Batteries

Step 3: Disassembly

The first step was to remove the handle from the motor. Be careful doing this as you dont want to cut the wires yet. Cut as close to the body as possible.

Step 4: The Switch

After removing the handle, seperate it, and remove the switch. We will extend the wires and use this to control the opener. All this switch really does is reverse the polarity of the DC current. Unsolder the motor and the battery connector from the pcb.

Step 5: Preparing the Motor

This is the power end of the driver. The motor is just visible. We need to make the cut area as flat as possible to secure it to the wooden block used to mount it.

Step 6: Back-up Power

The next step is to prepare the batteries for back-up power. I retained the batteries because living in the country, we do do lose power once in a while. This will allow us to still open the blinds if the power fails.

*** A word of caution: If you must solder batteries you have to be very careful. To much heat can cause batteries to explode.***

Step 7: Building the Switch Box

First fit the switch in the box then cut a hole in the lid to fit the switch.

Step 8: Power Jack and LED

Next install the LED on the side of the case. This will light when the unit has power. Then cut a hole to mount the power jack.

Step 9: Adding the Batteries

Next fit the battery into the box and wire it up.

Step 10: Mounting to the Window

I suppose there are several ways to put this on the window but the solution I came up with seems pretty easy. I simply made my mount from a 2x4. I cut it wide enough to hold the motor under the opening rod of the blind. Then I cut a slot for a zip tie. The next step is to mount this to your window frame. Make sure the mount does not touch the blinds or they will not close properly. Using the phillips bit that came with the drill, which fits right inside the rod, I recommend heating the rod slightly when inserting the bit to keep the rod from splitting. I attached the rod to the motor and then the whole thing to the blind.

Step 11: Dress It Up

Now let's make it a little more professional. Design a logo for your opener,Open and Close labels for your switch and then sit back and open your blinds from your chair.

There are really many possibilities for this. You could interface this into your computer so you could open the blinds from your desk. Better yet, how about IR or RF remote and open your blinds from anywhere in the room.

Have fun and go automate your blinds!


http://contraptionmaker.info

Comments

author
Alcreion (author)2009-03-06

dont you think youd break the blinds if you hold one of the buttons too long?

author
purpulhaze (author)Alcreion2009-10-11

One way to deal with that may be to use a limiting switch that would stop the motor once the blinds is fully open or closed.

author
philgenius (author)Alcreion2009-03-06

Depends on the torque of the motor you're using;

A lot of torque = potentially break the blinds
Not a lot of torque = potentially burn out the motor.

I'd just not hold the button too long.

author
stephenniall (author)2009-04-06

At a auction i bought a box of motor from a car for £2 (About $4) and it has a Car window Opener motor thing It slides a Little plastic piece on a bar I was thinking of sticking it At the top of my Window and putting some cloth over my window and making a sorta Electronic Curtain opener

author
Solderguy (author)2009-03-08

You could have gone to radioshack and gotten an AA battery case, so you wouldn't have to tape the batteries together.

author

Ya I did think of that but it would not fit in my project box.

author
jingerfinger (author)2009-03-07

You could probably use a rubber rod to transfer the torque. This way, if you ran the drill for just a little too long, the rubber could just twist a little instead of the blind mechanism breaking. Also, to avoid soldering, you can get those little plastic battery holders that hold 4 AA batteries. They're quite cheap.

author
NachoMahma (author)2009-03-06

. Great job.
. !http://contraptionmaker.info = This site is currently unavailable.

author

Sorry, will be back online within the hour

author
lemonie (author)2009-03-06

I like it. And "If you are the owner of this site (contraptionmaker.info), please contact us at 1-480-505-8855 at your earliest convenience" L

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Bio: I love to build things. My love affair with destructing, constructing and reconstructing stuff began when I was very young. When I got a new ... More »
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