So my 7 year old girl wanted to make her chores easier and convert this blanket box into an automated Blanket box by just adding a remote control Linear actuator. It was a little project that would be cool to do and i get to spend some quality time with my daughter and she gets to learn about simple electronics, motion control and simple wiring. This is a super easy project that took about 30mins. I got all the parts for her online at www.FirgelliAuto.com all parts and model numbers are listed in these drawings and installing instructions. The simple ide can be applied to anything that opens and closes, door, flaps, etc.
Step 1: Step 1 Buy All the Parts
Step 1. buying the parts. You need a simple linear
actuator device, we used a FA-RMS-12-4" this has a 4" (inch) stroke but you can buy strokes from 1" up to 60" if you like. On each end of the actuators there are mounting Clevises where you can buy an MB1 for each end. The Brackets are allowed to rotate once installed which is great because as the lid lifts the actuators actually rotate around the brackets.
Step 2: Step 2. the Setup
The Setup is very easy. you install 1 MB1 bracket on the back wall of the box and the other bracket on the top of the Lid. You measure the distance between the center holes on each bracket to make sure the actuator will fit. The idea is that when the lid is closed the actuator is fully retracted and that when its open the actuator is fully open.
Actuators from Firgelli Automations all have built in limit switches, this means that when the actuator moves to either fully open or fully closed it automatically switched off until the actuator is ready to return in the opposite direction. So first you measure the actuators end hole to other end hole centers, in this case it was about 9" so therefore as the actuator has a 4" stroke the open length between holes is therefore 4" longer (13") so we just install the brackets so that they are 9" apart when the lid is down and when open they should be about 13" apart.
Step 3: Step 3 Wire Everything Up Before Installing
next we need to wire up the Actuator, the Battery and the Remote control.
The Remote control is easy it has 2 buttons one for up and one for down. There are 2 wires to go to the Battery which is a mini 12v battery and will last about 3 years without a charge if used once per day. The red wire goes to positive and black wire goes to negative all shown in the included wiring diagram that comes with the Remote system. Then there are 2 wires that go to the Actuator, they can be any way round it doesnt matter. Then just hit the remote button a few times to make sure its all working well. YES its really is that simple to wire up. This is all 12vdc so no one can get harmed, My daughter wired it all up herself without any issues.
Step 4: Step 4 Now Install the Actuator Into the Blanket Box
Now using the pins that come with the Brackets install the Actuator thats now all wired up and working into the blanket box. The cross pins are what hold the actuators onto the MB1brackets and cotter pin used to stop the cross pins falling out. First you want to extend the actuator all the way by pressing the up button on the remote, its easier to install when the lid is fully open.
Step 5: Step 5 Test It Out
Now test it out, just press the up and down button a bunch of times.
Now if your using heavier doors, lids or applications you may want to use a higher force linear actuator. On the website www.FirgelliAuto.com they have forces from 8lbs to 1000 lbs force. This unit has 15lbs force as the lid is so light.
My daughter was so happy after doing this and instantly wanted to go do another project like it. She loves the fact that she just has to press the remote and it will open and close. Now she wants to have a TV in her bedroom pop up from behind a side table so that could be next. Its Educational, fun and a great way to spend time with her. Here is a youtube video we also made