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Any ways to make a motorized Blind? Answered

Any ways to make a motorized Blind? Saw someone on instructable made one, but without instructions. I read somewhere, someone mentioned to go SOMFY SYSTEMS INC and read about motor and cord take-up system that fits into the existing blind headrail. But SOMFY SYSTEMS INC mentioned the specs and not on how to do it. Now i am kind of lost. As a beginner, i am only at this stage. This is what i found.  
www.distel.co.uk/DC_MOT_CON1.htm 
I need to know what kind of DC motors with what voltage and power, can roll up a blind. Wonder will a 12V DC motor with 30rpm do the trick? Thanks!!!

28 Replies

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dimension_55 (author)2010-08-09

Apologise to those who sent me private messages as i can't get this project to work, due to certain motor voltages and RPM problems which i don't quite understand. So i am stuck here for now. Hate to be a quiter. May the infos here help those who are interested in taking this project further. Thanks all.

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dweenonut (author)dimension_552012-09-04

Hi, there are blind and shade motors that work with Arduino over at rollertrol.com, electric window openers too.

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crapflinger (author)2009-11-09

i would imagine that you'd want something that turns pretty slow turning motor (30rpm is probably about right)....low torque i'm sure...most of the guts of cheaper blinds are plastic so you wouldn't want to exert too much force

depending on the blinds you've got...the open/close of the louvers should be pretty easy....if it's got the kind with the rod that you twis...then just replace the rod with a motor, you'd probably want to fashion some kind of limit switch for open/close so you don't over crank it on accident

for the up and down of the blind itself (assuming it's like a horizontal blind not those 80's-tastic verticle blinds)...the cord usually turns a gear that turns a rod that lifts the curtains...so either interfacing directly to the rod that get's turned....or making a belt that would be turned by the motor that would in turn use the existing gearing inside of the curtain to turn the rod should work

also...if you've got the type of blinds that have a cord for the open/close of the louvers...they work in the same way as the up/down cord....the cord turns a rod that moves the curtains...so a motor to actuate this would work the same way

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Kiteman (author)crapflinger2009-11-09

Maybe a pair of modded servo motors, one to wind the cord up and down (remove the small brake-block), one to rotate the tilt mechanism?

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dimension_55 (author)Kiteman2009-11-09

Thanks! So Servo Motor does the trick too? Yes, I just need to wind the cord up and down. Don't know am i right to do this to copy what he had done in this link. But is something like what this guy had done.
https://www.instructables.com/id/Blinds-electric/  
Seems to be a simpler way to make a motorized blind.
Wondering wether the diagram i found in distel.co.uk
a motor with a changeover switch will work. 

 Wow love this site. I get advices from expects in such a short time! I'm really a green horn in electrical engineering. Really appreciates it!

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Kiteman (author)dimension_552009-11-09

You can modify servos to go round-and-round, instead of round-and-back.

A decent-sized one should be strong enough to do your job.

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dimension_55 (author)Kiteman2009-11-09

Round and round as in in one direction? I need it to rotate in 2 direction for the blind to go up and down. Is this diagram with a changeover switch correct the way to do it? :  www.distel.co.uk/DC_MOT_CON1.htm   

I just been looking at servo motors. Kind of confuse with Output Torque in Nm instead of rpm. I even read about capacitors for motors.... So sorry for my ignorance.... = ( 

Can you suggest to me a motor? 12v dc servos? Output Torque? Don't really want to waste your time explaining to me. Just need the right motor with a changeover switch like the diagram  i found :  www.distel.co.uk/DC_MOT_CON1.htm   

Will this motor works?  
http://www.virtualvillage.co.uk/12v-dc-quiet-30rpm-high-torque-gear-box-electric-motors.html
(sorry for the links again).

Many thanks.  Geez, i am such a green horn to start with....

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Kiteman (author)dimension_552009-11-09

Normal servos only turn for part circles - you can modify them to turn full circles and more.

Torque is turning force, not turning speed.  You need torque, not speed for this job.

Will those motors work?  I'm not sure enough to say yes or no.  You need somebody else to give a more expert answer.

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dimension_55 (author)Kiteman2009-11-09

Thanks for your replies anyway. I appreciate them.

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Kiteman (author)dimension_552009-11-10

Not a problem.  Hope you get a useful answer.

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crapflinger (author)Kiteman2009-11-10

your "change over" circuit is pretty much a standard reversing switch...and could be done with any motor or any reversible device on the other end...all it's doing is switching polarity

the only real way to know what's going to work is either find another project that's done this and has motor examples...or try it out on your own (IMO that's the best way)...get your hands on some different sized motors and see which works the best

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crapflinger (author)crapflinger2009-11-11

also...if you went with the modified servo setup

you could get an RC speed controller (you'd need to have a controller that can handle 2 channels ber blind..one for up and one for down) and a corresponding RC remote....then you could have wireless electric blinds

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dimension_55 (author)crapflinger2009-11-11

Hi, thanks for replying. Ok noted. "This "change over" circuit is a standard reversing switch...and could be done with any motor or any reversible device on the other end...all it's doing is switching polarity", like in the diagram i've shown you. I am slowly getting the whole picture now.  

User id- biochemtronics suggested i use a 6V Solarbotics GM3 Gear Motor, 224:1. Fed me with tips, infos and assured my diagram works.

Userid - Re-design told me the change over switch is called DPDT switch with 3 position which is center off. Fed me with tips, infos and assured no problems with my diagram works.

Userid - hondaman900 and you mentioned to me on something that i overlooked, is that the circuit link i've sent could be modified for a manually operated motorized blinds, but i need to include limit switches to prevent the motor from over running the limits of the blinds (i.e., continuing to operate when the blinds were fully open/closed). You mentioned earlier to limit switch for open/close so i don't over crank it on accident. I think i might bypass this, controlling it manually for the time being, if i can't understand or find infos on how to make this part. 

Lastly, you said to get an RC speed controller (i need to have a controller that can handle 2 channels ber blind..one for up and one for down) and a corresponding RC remote....then i could have wireless electric blinds. 
This suggestion really sounds tempting and wonderful. But I think i will not wish to waste your time on explaining to me how to do it. Maybe a link might help or i might get into the steps on what User id- biochemtronics had done. Again it might get too complicated for me even if i manage to find infos on it. Actually i am only a Graphic and Multimedia Designer in Advertising Industry. And Electrical Engineer isn't my forte. = (

Really appreciates your replies, tips and suggestions.. Many thanks to all of you for the advises!

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crapflinger (author)dimension_552009-11-12

for the RC stuff....go to your local hobby shop that sells RC cars and start asking some questions....you want to get a servo with medium-high torque and low rotation....if they've got any that are already "full motion" then that's even better...if not...as kiteman said you'd need to remove the stops (not too hard)...for wireless control you'd want to get a radio and a receiver to match.

the radio obviously takes your input on the switches and sends it to the receiver which decodes it and sends the output to the servos

i was incorrect on my channels though (sorry been a bit since i was an RC nerd)...each channel controls a servo in both directions...so a 4 channel remote would do 4 servos up and down

basically you could either use the remote as is to control the servos...or you could gut the radio and make your own switches (not too hard but could get confusing...)...then from the receiver you'd extend the servo wires out to the distance you need...

alternately you could go to walmart and pick up a cheap RC car (make sure it's actually remote and not one of the ones with the wire coming out of it) and make a mock up....just get a rod (small dowel, a stick, anything round) and wind some light (as in weight) cloth on it....then put a small weight on the bottom of the cloth...then hook up the motor (or preferably the steering servo with the stops removed) from the cheap RC car directly to that rod and see how the remote controls the turning of the servo which in turn turns the rod and winds the cloth up and down....then open the remote and see how the switches work (it's usually actually a potentiometer of some kind instead of a simple on/off switch)....it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what's going on and how you could tweak the system to your advantage


as to the limit switch....that's actually a little more complicated and outside of my paygrade.... I've got some theoretical ideas on how one would do a limit switch if you weren't using the whole RC car remote system...

one easy-ish method would be to use two NC (normally closed) reed switches...one at the upper most extension (fully open) of the curtain and one at the lower most extension (fully closed)...then put a magnet on the bottom edge of the curtain that would line up with these reed switches....wire the bottom reed switch in-line on either leg of the "close" circuit from your DPDT switch (i.e. if you've got a red wire coming from one of the poles on your DPDT that corresponds to positive to the motor, you would put the "closed" reed switch in between the "close" leg on the DPDT switch and the positive pole on the motor) do the same for the "open" limit but this time put the reed switch in-line with the positive wire coming from the "open" leg on the DPDT....

what this would do is cut power to the motor any time the magnet is in-line with either of the reed switches...which would stop the motion of the motor...as soon as the magnet moves away from that position then power is available again on that circuit allowing you to reverse the movement...

the issue i could see with this is that if the curtain get's blown by wind or something...the magnet could move away from the switch and actuate the curtain again if the up/down switch is still in an "on state"...they have switches (for the life of me i can't remember what they're called) that have like...a long(ish) bar coming off of the switch....moving that bar (or arm) actuates the switch....you could use either N/C (normally closed) or N/O (normally open) switches here....depending on how they're placed...

i'll try to draw some of this up

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dimension_55 (author)crapflinger2009-11-12

Thanks please do try to draw some of this up 'only' if it doesn't take up too much of your time. It's not only help me but to others who are interested too. More and more users are starting to get interested in this topic i started and i believe i ain't the 1st to post topic about this. I get messages in my inbox asking for it. 

Thanks soooo much for the write out. Even if it sound kind of complcated to a newbie like me, i am reading it slowly and trying to my best to understand them line by line you wrote. Really appreciate that. 

Back to my diagram, so in your opinion, do you think my diagram will work? Using a 6V solarbotics GM motor, wire up to DPDT switch and batteries, will work just as a simple electric blind? The DPDT switch to control it manually just for the time being. I am thinking to build it like this 1st, and modify it later to a 2 channels controller and RC wireless when i get and learn more of it. 

By the way, is this 6V solarbotics GM motor suggested by User - Biochemtronics a servo motor too? Cause he told me it is reversible.  

Thanks again! I would also like to thanks all for being a wonderful help to me and other interested parties!

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crapflinger (author)dimension_552009-11-12

in theory, any DC electric motor hooked up to a DPDT swich in a way like the diagram shows would work....on paper... the only thing that's an unknown here is the torque required to roll your curtains up...if their heavy you could need a stronger motor, if they're really light a really strong motor could tear them up.

which is where the fun part comes in...experimentation

and no...that motor isn't a servo motor

i'm having trouble with my art skills at the moment so the drawing isn't working

HOWEVER...for the limit switches
based on the simple DPDT switch design you posted...limit switches would be a little complicated

instead of connecting the first two legs of the switch over to the last two legs (those wires that cross the switch body in the drawing) you would run a seperate set of wires from the power source to the last two legs

looking at the switch in the picture the legs are numbered like this:
1 2 3
4 5 6

you would have a wire going from positive on the battery to a limit switch then to leg1 on the DPDT and you'd have a wire from the negative on the battery to leg4 on the DPDT, this would be the "open circuit" that would turn the motor forward and roll the shade up..

then you would have a wire going from positive on the battery to a limit switch then to leg6 on the DPDT and you'd have a wire from the negative on the battery to leg3 on the DPDT, this would be the "close circuit" that would run teh motor in reverse and roll the shade down

the limit switches are similar to regular switches except that they generally have a little arm to actuate the switching function that sticks out from the switch and is usually more sensitive than a regular switch...when something comes in contact with  that arm it pushes (or pulls it) which turns the switch on or off

for your you would want NC (normally closed) switches so that hitting the switch would turn that circuit off

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crapflinger (author)crapflinger2009-11-12

replace their with there anywhere up there that it applies..

i wish the site would let you edit your posts

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dimension_55 (author)crapflinger2009-11-28
I've tried the 6V Solarbotics GM3 Gear Motor, 224:1, and it isn't powerful and fast enough to lift up a standard roman or roller blind, even just by winding the cords with the Motor shaft without any adapter or reel attached to the shaft. I've got everything setup but need the right motor, i'm kind of lost. I am just gonna wind up the blind with the motor shaft, but don't know which motor rpm speed is the best. I figured by winding up the blind with the motor shaft will be fast as the diameter of the shaft is small and too wondered will 6v torque motor be powerful enough.

Can you recommend me a torque motor with the right rpm speed and power that will be able to wind up a standard roman or roller blind that 1.2m in width? The blinds i have are pretty light.

These are what i've found which i hope one of them works.
6V DC 120
RPM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270488012819&_rdc=1

12V DC 60
RPM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220513994252&_rdc=1

12V DC 120
RPM :
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220509876756&_rdc=1

12V DC 160
RPM :
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270487995557&_rdc=1

Userid : Re-design suggested i use 12 v. 60 rpm.

So i assume that 12 v. 60 rpm is the strongest among the bunch. The slower the speed, the stronger the pull? And 12v 120 rpm is weaker than the 60 rpm? The previous 6V Solarbotics GM3 Gear Motor is at 42 rpm with 6v, and it isn't strong enough to wind up the blind. i guess it's this gear motor i had doesnt have the power like a torque motor and torque motor seems to be a better choice. 

Anyone? Plssss? Many thanks!

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dimension_55 (author)crapflinger2009-11-12

Thanks! Thanks! Thanks for the layman explainations. So to say you are the 3rd expert to endorse this simple diagram. Have read this post carefully! I kind of understand. Meantime i will try to help myself, and to for more infos on it. If i have questions, will send you the questions on proceeding to the 2 channels or RC settings. And post them here for everyone. Don't wish to waste to much of your time on this. Your contributions are very appreciated! Really!

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crapflinger (author)dimension_552009-11-12

i'm no where near an expert...switches are "easy"

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dimension_55 (author)crapflinger2009-11-14

Hi, i am kind of confuse on the reed switches connecting to DPDT switch. This i what i found on simple definitions of it.

http://conference.nie.edu.sg/paper/Converted%20Pdf/ab00367a.pdf 

Maybe will just stick to the simple diagrams which you guys approved. Thanks anyway

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crapflinger (author)dimension_552009-11-16

if it's confusing...ignore it....it's not critical

if you were to use a DPDT rocker switch instead of a DPDT toggle switch then you wouldn't REALLY need to worry about the limit switches as much anyway....a rocker switch is BASICALLY two momentary switches...one on both sides...so the circuit is only active when the button is pushed (in this case when the rocker is pushed on one side or the other)...so the motor would only be on while you're holding the side down...so once the shade is where you want...you just let go of the button

other than that the switch would be wired exactly the same as the DPDT toggle switch

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dimension_55 (author)crapflinger2009-11-09

Thanks! Yes I only need the motors to roll up and down of the itself . It's roller or roman blinds that i will be try on.  Sometihing like what this guy had done.
https://www.instructables.com/id/Blinds-electric/ 

Wanna know am i at the right direction. I figured the layout is something like what i've found : www.distel.co.uk/DC_MOT_CON1.htm  
So it is called a low torque motor. 
Like this? : http://www.virtualvillage.co.uk/12v-dc-quiet-30rpm-high-torque-gear-box-electric-motors.html  
Will this motor do the trick with a changeover switch like the diagram i found in distel.co.uk??

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dimension_55 (author)2009-11-28
I've tried the 6V Solarbotics GM3 Gear Motor, 224:1, and it isn't powerful and fast enough to lift up a standard roman or roller blind, even just by winding the cords with the Motor shaft without any adapter or reel attached to the shaft. I've got everything setup but need the right motor, i'm kind of lost. I am just gonna wind up the blind with the motor shaft, but don't know which motor rpm speed is the best. I figured by winding up the blind with the motor shaft will be fast as the diameter of the shaft is small and too wondered will 6v torque motor be powerful enough.

Can anyone recommend me a torque motor with the right rpm speed and power that will be able to wind up a standard roman or roller blind that 1.2m in width? The blinds i have are pretty light.

These are what i've found which i hope one of them works.
6V DC 120
RPM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270488012819&_rdc=1

12V DC 60
RPM
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220513994252&_rdc=1

12V DC 120
RPM :
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=220509876756&_rdc=1

12V DC 160
RPM :
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=270487995557&_rdc=1

Userid : Re-design suggested i use 12 v. 60 rpm.

So i assume that 12 v. 60 rpm is the strongest among the bunch. The slower the speed, the stronger the pull? And 12v 120 rpm is weaker than the 60 rpm? The previous 6V Solarbotics GM3 Gear Motor is at 42 rpm with 6v, and it isn't strong enough to wind up the blind. i guess it's this gear motor i had doesnt have the power like a torque motor and torque motor seems to be a better choice. 

Anyone? Plssss? Many thanks!

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zieak (author)2009-11-11

I want to take this a step further so please document your findings.  I'd like my blinds to open in the summer at set days and times so i can wake to a fully lit room (or the motors making it fully lit).  I'd also like to have the blinds on southern facing rooms open when the sun is out and close when it is overcast.  And they should be set to close in the evening.  So aside from motorizing the blinds i also want to program them with a clock, control them with a photoelectric sensor, and of course, have a manual override.  I'm replacing my blinds so any model would work for me - even curtains. 

I know this sounds like a lot of work - and it is definitely over my head.  But some day this project will be at the top of my list and i'll start on it.

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Zaphod Beeblebrox (author)zieak2009-11-23

that would be cool..................and marketable!

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dimension_55 (author)zieak2009-11-11

Wow, it will definately cost a bomb to buy this kinds of electrical blinds in the market. Building it with a fraction of it's cost will be wonderful. To me, it's definately far beyond my capabilties as a newbies to make one. Really appreciate your add on comments and may more users do the same with their tips, suggestions etc to the topic. It really helps!  

So far the expert infos i gathered from other users on a simple motorized roller or roman blinds are :
- A feasible Circuit like this : www.distel.co.uk/DC_MOT_CON1.htm  

- Use a 6V Solarbotics GM3 Gear Motor, 224:1 - User id- biochemtronics

- Wire it to a changeover switch call DPDT switch with 3 position with center off - Userid - Re-design

-
Then to batteries. 

The steps i've yet to look into or have not search hard enough are :
A) - Limit switches to prevent the motor from over running the limits of the blinds or over cranking it on accident. - Userid - hondaman900 and Crapflinger.

B) - To get an RC speed controller (to have a controller that can handle 2 channels ber blind..one for up and one for down) and a corresponding RC remote....then could have wireless electric blinds. - Userid - Crapflinger.

Maybe someone have the diagrams for A and B? It will sure be a great help for me or others who interested in doing the same project as me. = )
Thanks you and thanks all!!!

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