DIY Motorized WiFi Roller Blind - ESP8266 & Blynk

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Introduction: DIY Motorized WiFi Roller Blind - ESP8266 & Blynk

About: Robotic Projects (Arduino, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266, PCB, IoT, 3D, Electronics)

In this project we will see how to control a roller blind via a smartphone application. The reason why I realized the project was to use a roller blind to change the background in the video footage and to be able to easily control the roller blind via my smartphone. In this project, a breadboard circuit is shown for basic readers and a printed circuit board circuit for users who want a more useful prototype. Check out the video to see how it works...

Step 1: How It Works?

As can be seen in the video showing the step-by-step construction of the project, I can easily open and close the roller blind on my wall using my smartphone. Of course, you can use this project to wirelessly control the roller blinds on your windows. A WiFi microcontroller was used to provide wireless communication, a stepper motor to provide move, and an application called Blynk was used.

Step 2: Required Hardware and Components

First of all, we need some 3D parts to be used like providing roller blind movement. We talked about 3D parts in the next step. In this section, we listed what we should use as hardware for electronic components and mechanisms:

A few extra components are needed for the printed circuit board prototype, mentioned these components in the PCB step.

Step 3: 3D Parts

The 3D parts shared below are needed for the roller blind mechanism. I recommend printing the gears at high-quality settings, while you can print the other parts at normal-quality. Then assemble the 3D parts as shown in the images or video.

Step 4: Breadboard Circuit

I've built a breadboard circuit for beginner readers. So you can easily build the circuit with jumpers following the shared circuit diagram. The pins used in the microcontroller are specified in the circuit diagram. The point to be noted here is to directly connect the 9V power output to the ULN2003 driver and to use the L7805 voltage regulator 5V power output for the microcontroller.

Step 5: Printed Circuit Board

I designed a printed circuit board for those who want a professional prototype. Thank you PCBWay for support and sponsorship in ordering the printed circuit board. For high-quality PCBs, you can choose PCBWay. If you want to get this printed circuit board easily, you can download the PCB Gerber file from the link below or order it directly.

https://www.pcbway.com/project/shareproject/Motorized_WiFi_Roller_Blind_ESP8266.html

If you look at the bill of material (BOM), easily solderable components were preferred, so you can easily assembly your printed circuit board by following the circuit diagram designator.

Externally you need 3 more components for the printed circuit board:

  • Female Header
  • Male Header
  • Power Jack

Step 6: Create Template Using Blynk

Blynk, a popular developer application, was used to control the roller blind mechanism wirelessly via WiFi. You can see how to create a Blynk template step-by-step by following the images or video. Basically go to Blynk from the link below and create a template via web browser. The template is based on ESP8266 and consists of two switches. Then you need to install the Blynk application on your smartphone to use the created template with smartphone. Thus, you can wirelessly control your roller blind via both a web browser and an app. Blynk will provide you with a unique token, copy this token and enter it in the next step "Source Code".

https://blynk.io/

Step 7: Source Code

If you are going to program an ESP8266 for the first time, first download the Arduino IDE from the link below:

https://www.arduino.cc/en/software

Then by following images or video add json package link for ESP8266 and install ESP8266 using Board Manager.

http://arduino.esp8266.com/stable/package_esp8266com_index.json

If you need more details follow the instructions at the link below:

http://arduino.esp8266.com/Arduino/versions/2.0.0/doc/installing.html

The library is needed for the Blynk application, again by following the shared images or video, install the Blynk library. Finally, download the shared source code and update the Blynk values contained in the code with the unique values provided for you. Fill in the SSID and Password required for WiFi. Update the ROLLERTIME for the timing required for the roller blind movement (time required for open and closed position). If everything is ok, upload the source code to Wemos D1 Mini.

Step 8: Assembly

In the last step, fix the 3D mechanism to the roller blind profile with two screws. The mechanism is suitable for different roller blind profile widths. It can also be installed for both ceiling and wall. Optionally assemble the circuit box created for the circuit and everything is ready... Now it's time to movements it! Thanks for reading this Instructables, if you have any questions please leave a comment.

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    24 Comments

    0
    svenderik
    svenderik

    5 weeks ago

    Great project. On the pictures there are 4 blind_gear sizes, but there are only 3 sizes to download. The one with the biggest diameter is missing and unfortunately this is the one I need. Is it possible to get this file as well?

    0
    svenderik
    svenderik

    Reply 3 days ago

    Thanks :-)

    0
    ishubhadapatil10
    ishubhadapatil10

    Question 4 weeks ago on Step 3

    How will I be able to download those 3D files part ?

    0
    MufflerEU
    MufflerEU

    Question 7 weeks ago on Step 8

    Can you feed the driver 9v? I have the same driver and motor and datasheet says 3-6v. Might have missed something, I'm not very experienced with steppers.

    0
    VictorD95
    VictorD95

    Question 7 weeks ago on Step 8

    And the blind? Model or part number as well as manufacturer

    0
    Shawn Harper
    Shawn Harper

    8 weeks ago on Step 8

    I assume there's no issue mounting the gear mech vertically so it sticks out less far from the wall, in a window blind situation? Also, is it possible to integrate this with a platform such as Smartthings? Thanks.

    0
    AndrewA167
    AndrewA167

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    You'd have to redesign the gearbox mount to do this - and since all you have are the STL files (not the original 3D design files) - that's not going to be an easy lift. You'd need some tool to convert the STL back into some other standard for 3D (ie - DXF) and load that into your editor, then play around with it from there. It would probably be simpler to design your own, or find another gearbox (3d printed or otherwise) that uses the same motor, etc.

    0
    PhilipJ1
    PhilipJ1

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    There are plenty of mounts on thingyverse, both vertical and horizontal, even some with the motor controller inside.

    0
    snuf1
    snuf1

    7 weeks ago on Introduction

    Hi,
    That’s great, any chance it could be adapted for vertical blind (wand & cord) control?

    0
    DavidG775
    DavidG775

    8 weeks ago

    Great project and super use of 3D printing. My only remark concerns limits. If there is a power cut with the blind half way up then, if you press UP or DOWN, you are going to have a problem with the controller not knowing where the blind actually is. Of course you could just go UP maximum steps at power-on and let the stepper motor stall but you may damage the gears if the motor torque is large enough. One solution would be to have a small magnet glued to the blind and a reed relay to detect the full-up position. At power-up always home up first and all would be well.

    0
    technotic_us
    technotic_us

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    Good point. For my blinds I use a pwm servo (35kg 270 degree I think?) so when it powers on, it centers it. I just can't seem to get the code to work right in esphome, so I use the sketch I got from here.

    0
    technotic_us
    technotic_us

    8 weeks ago

    I love PCBWay. I used them to make some TCM2209 silent stepper drivers. 5 of them, with shipping and I even had them source the parts was only $100. They came ready plug n play. Flashforge printers like to use reverse pinned drivers, and you have to do some funky stuff with all the tcm2209 boards out there, plus adjust the pots to get the voltage just right. These use the firmware to get it, so truly plug and play. Best investment I made on my 3d printer.

    0
    dpressm
    dpressm

    8 weeks ago

    What Brand of Shade did you use??? Oh - you used a simple roller shade. Any idea if this will work with Hunter Douglas? They charge $300 to do it for their shades EACH!!!

    0
    Da_nn
    Da_nn

    8 weeks ago

    hi
    I haven't found your source code ...

    0
    AndrewA167
    AndrewA167

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    I've never used it - but if I followed what was happening in the video correctly, Blynk generates the source code for the ESP8266 - basically, it's a "no code" system, where you pick/choose the "virtual parts" for the controller side, it creates the code, you cut/paste/download the code and then put it in the Arduino IDE - then create the phone/mobile Blynk app that gives you the tokens needed and add those to the code for the ESP8266. Then compile and upload as normal to the controller, then when you start the controller up, it contact Blynk via the web and the tokens you have to get to your app on Blynk and sync everything up so you can use it.

    0
    Da_nn
    Da_nn

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    I never used Blink
    If you can join the code you downloaded on Arduino, it'll will be possible to replace tokens with a local (ESP8266) Web page and/or bluetooth control
    regards

    0
    kmpres
    kmpres

    8 weeks ago

    Nice! Been mentally designing something like this for three blinds in a bay window since I moved into a new house several months ago. Have you ever thought of putting the works inside the main blind roller so it doesn't show on the outside? I believe commercial electric blinds work this way. My guess is that they use a planetary gear setup to make the motor and transmission fit inside the tube. To avoid having an unsightly power cord run down the wall I was thinking of putting the battery and electronics package inside the tube as well, but I haven't figured out how to keep the battery charged yet. Solar cells maybe... Interesting project!

    0
    mwitherspoon
    mwitherspoon

    Reply 8 weeks ago

    Or a wireless charger?