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Mechanical parts for automated curtain control Answered

Hi guys,

I am building an automated curtain control, based on an ESP8266, to be controlled by the sun comming up (or going down) or by time or by smartphone. The electronics and software are all but complete, but I do have a problem...

First, how can I open and close the curtains? I was thinking about a fishing wire in a loop, but how do I get enough traction from a pulley to move the curtains?

Second, how can I make sure that the curtains can be opened and closed manualy, without frying the motor?

Third, how do I detect the position of the curtain?




2 months ago

Hi KenR1,
Tnx for your quick reply. I should mention that I am not a native English speaker and I do know every (technical) term. I do not know what you mean by a "tension arm"or an "idler pulley". Can you refer me to a picture or description?
I tried with a pulley and a fishing wire, but there was not enough friction between the pulley and the wire, leading to the pulley turning but the wire not moving.
There are several systems providing automatic closing of curtains of which Slide (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/41829059/slide-make-your-existing-curtains-smart/) is my big example. However, I do not want to spend $400 - 500 on such a system!
And I did search Youtube, but all I could find were DIY video's concerning the electronics and not the mechanics. Well, at least not the mechanics making it possible to electronicly control the curtains and also still making it possible to open and close the curtains the 'normal', manual way.
I guess I need some kind of clutch system between the motor and curtain pulley. But how?


2 months ago

Cutain control could use a reversible motor, with a tension arm and idler pulley to move a curtain pull type of endless rope pull. To stop the drape when it reaches open or closed position use limit swtches mounted on/above/under the curtain rod to sense end-of-travel and stop the motor. There are a number of add on system on Amazon and DIY how-to videos on youtube for this.