Remote Control Blinds for $20


Introduction: Remote Control Blinds for $20

So I was tired of the arduous task of manually opening and closing the blinds each day... and I had made motorized blinds before with a continuous revolution servo to turn the rod when I was a kid but that didn't look nice with a servo mounted up there and I still had to walk all the way over to the window to push a button to do it.

So I decided to see just how inexpensively I could make them wireless and hide the motor.....

Step 1: Examine Your Blinds to Determine What Motor Will Work Best.

We have 2" blinds that have a wand that you twist to open and close them. After removing the wand and worm drive assembly there is plenty of space for a small gear motor. I found some 6V, 20 RPM gear motors on eBay that fit easily but they are not as powerful as I would like. These work but I may upgrade them later. A continuous revolution servo with the circuit board removed would make a simple small gear motor as well.

Since I had all the wiring, power, screws etc. I spent less than $15 to do both windows.

I used the following parts:

  1. Small gear motor. $3 each

  2. Wireless remote. $7

  3. 2 Power bricks, 12V for the wireless remote and 6V for the gear motors. (Stuff I had around the house)

  4. Misc. screws, wiring, shaft coupler. (Stuff I had around the house)

Step 2: Mounting the Motor

Inside the blinds were small plastic spacers or bracing that I used as the mount for my motor. The motor has a 5 mm round shaft with 2 flat sides and the blinds have a 5.75 mm hex shaft. There are many different ways you can mount the motor and couple the motor to the shaft and I am sure each motor/blind combination will be unique so you will have to figure that out for your situation. Since I had already started the project and didn't want to waste any more time sourcing a coupler I drew one in Sketchup and printed it on a 3D printer.

Step 3: Wiring

The wireless controller I used has 4 relays. The wiring diagram above shows how to wire 2 motors for forward and reverse. We only use 2 of the 3 windows anyway so this worked well for my project of motorizing 2 windows.

I used a 12V power brick to power the wireless remote and a 6V power brick to power the motors. I could have used batteries or even made a small circuit to step the 12V down for the motors and used a single power brick, but I had them and it was easiest to just use 2 different power bricks.

I used a hot glue gun to run small 24 gauge wire down the side of the window behind the blinds to connect the gear motors to the remote and you can hardly see the wires.

While this doesn't easily allow for automation or phone/computer interface like some of the other motorized blind projects on Instructables it is a very inexpensive way to have wireless remote control blinds.

I hope this inspires you to make your own!



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    6 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Hello, I dont understand how to connect the 6v power to the motors?



    2 replies

    Hey Ricardo,

    If you look at the 1st picture in step 3 you will notice the motors are connected to the B terminal. The 6V + is applied to the A terminal noted by the red wire and the 6V - is applied to the C terminal noted by the blue wire. After using them for a few weeks I upgraded to another controller that had 6 relays that let me do all 3 of my windows and only cost $15. I used the 12V power brick for the controller and the motors when I installed the new controller and so far they have not had any problems with the additional voltage. They open and close the blinds a lot quicker too.

    Thanks a lot for your help. Now is all clear.

    Best regards

    This is a good idea, especially if you can get the remote so cheap. One thing I would suggest is to use travel-stop micro-switches on both extreme ends. the switch will open when blind reaches the end even though the relay stays marked. In this case if someone keeps the button pressed it will break something, maybe the printed coupling.

    2 replies

    That is a good idea and I thought about it. It would add a lot of complexity as far as physically mounting the limit switches and making some sort of cam to actuate them or trying to use the spool that is already built into the blinds that moves the string as a cam. I could even add lobes to the printed coupler. These little motors barely have enough power to move the blinds so I am more worried about the motor being over loaded than I am breaking something.

    I also thought about using a small clutch of some sort that would limit the amount of torque.