Blinds are great on windows, but who wants the hassle of actually "using" them? No one, that's who. I wanted a way to automate the control of my window blinds in my master bedroom. A little reasearch online brought me to these two designs.
Ultimately my design is a hybrid of the two mentioned above, with IR as the control mechanism.
The circuit required for this is unbelievably simple. Presented in StandardNapkinScribbleFormat™
That's right kids, no resistors or capacitors. Worked fine hooked directly up. Is this a dumb idea? Maybe, but it seems to work.
Partly because I inversed the servo position values and partly because it had a cleaner look without the servo motor sticking out, I reversed the blinds in the window.
It was a happy accident, since it looks much cleaner overall this way. Of course, it makes pulling the cord for vertical movement a little bit harder, but I only do that
when I have to go out onto the roof to clean the gutters, so no big deal.
Even taking the starter kit into account this cost well under $20. The Picaxe kits really are quite simple, and I think a great alternative for projects in which an Arduino would be overkill, not to mention better suited to guys like me who are just getting into electronics and might not be ready for an AVR programmer/toolchain.
I actually purchased two of everything, assuming I would want to do the same thing to the other, larger window in the bedroom, but I'm reconsidering that one. I think I'll use a stepper motor on the larger window instead since I think the S3003 would be a bit overloaded with a window which weighed twice as much. Maybe a gear motor with encoder or potentiometer on the shaft for position feedback. Thoughts?
Overall I'm fairly pleased with the results. The version in the video still uses a battery pack, but I have a few 7805s laying around and will be using them with a wall wart for a power supply. Update: I soldered in a 7805 to a repurposed 9v wall wart which works nicely
A few minutes out on the deck cutting the sheetmetal plus some superglue and it's all hooked up.
Servo sticking out is hidden nicely by reinstalling the blinds in reverse. Hindsight being 20/20 I may have cut out the back side of the sheetmetal even though it would stick out a bit more. Oh well.
Everything installed. Using batteries to test.
Resting gently in the cover. Not a very high W.A.F, but I only have a G, and she has her own apartment. Update: now I have a W, and had to take this down. See the undercabinet light project for my first experience with WAF friendly hacking.
Here's the source. Simple as simple can be.
If anyone has any questions, comments, ridicule, or suggestions send me a message to
nebulous (at)[ SweetBeard.com ]
Also check out my Kegbot build